Question: I bought my Betta fish a week ago and now I need a way to clean the water in the tank. I’m totally new to this so I need a hold my hand as walk me through approach. Please help me because I have no idea what I’m doing. My tank is a 5 gallon tank and I have one male Betta fish. Thanks in advance.
Answer from Chris:
Your aquarium is considered very small in the grand realm of “fishkeeping” so it is going to be difficult to keep clean. The problem with small tanks is the amount of oxygen in the tank is limited because the amount of water is limited. Compare it to a human being inside the trunk of a car.. the amount of air will run clean out unless more new air is added.
Not trying to scare you, but instead of just inform you of the importance of keeping up with cleaning the tank and the water. Alright.. enough preaching on that.. lets get to the point here.
Having a clean tank and water inside the tank is a necessity to your Betta living a long healthy life. The natural habitat of the Betta fish is somewhat of a “pond water hole” setup. THIS MEANING, water current really isn’t their thing. They are not used to it and don’t like it. Powerful filters aren’t the most ideal setup for Betta tanks.
I would highly advise a small sponge filter setup. Sponge filters use air from an aerator to push up bubbles through a pipe and water vacuums through the sponge on its way up with the bubbles. It’s somewhat hard to envision unless you see it in action.
These sponge filters work incredibly well too. As a beginner fish keeper years ago, I underestimated the power of filtering water through a stupid sponge. Boy was I wrong! I’ve been on board ever since and hopefully you can see the light.
Point blank, changing the water in your Betta tank is going to be the most influential factor to having clean water. The trick is to do them properly so your fish doesn’t stress out when you do them (Fish die from stress very easily). In a small tank like yours, I would change a maximum of 30% of the water at once. All you have to do is pour the water out carefully or just use a large cup.
Don’t forget to use water conditioner added to the new water before you put back into the tank. Chlorine and other harmful chemicals can kill your fish very fast. Conditioner is mandatory if you live in locations of city water use. When pouring your new water into the tank, try to be delicate and not to let the new incoming water toss your fish around in back current like a rag doll. Treat your fish as you would want to be treated.
Keep up with water changes every couple of days and keep to routine. If you have gravel, make sure to stir it up and let all the debris and decay loosen into the water so it comes out with your water change. So much decay will build up in your gravel so beware. Hopefully that help. Good question.
Also, check out this podcast audio version of this question too.. kinda cool!