TANK MAINTENANCE

Now that you've set up your tank and added your betta, you will need to perform regular maintenance on the tank to keep it clean and safe.

 

Below are our recommended maintenance steps, and the schedule on which they should be performed.

Daily

1. CHECK YOUR FISH
Take a moment each day to observe your fish for signs of ill health or stress. You will want to catch any problems ASAP. 
  • Is s/he behaving normally? (is s/he eating well, swimming around less, spending more time hiding, etc.?)
  • Are there any visible injuries to his/her body or fins?
  • Are there any visible signs of disease or stress? (ie: stress stripes, faded color, or specific signs of disease?)
2. CHECK YOUR TANK

Look over the tank to make sure that all equipment is functioning properly

  • Is the temperature where it should be?
    • Check your thermometer
    • Consider adjusting your heater if there is an issue
  • Is water flowing from the filter?
    • Make sure that it is still running
    • If it is not, unplug it immediately - a filter should not be allowed to run "dry" (not pumping water) as this can damage it.
  • Is the filter making any loud/strange noises?
    • If so, you may need to unplug it and clean it/consult the instruction manual
3. USE YOUR TURKEY BASTER to suck up any debris that may be on the bottom of the tank, such as uneaten food or fish feces.

Weekly

1.

Test the ammonia in your tank (if your tank is cycled, also test nitrite and nitrate)

  • If any ammonia is detected in the water, you will need to assess your filter system to determine why this ammonia was not removed
    • Has your filter stopped running?
    • Is it time for the media to be changed? (zeolite media)
    • Does your filter need to be cleaned?
2.

Perform a small (10-25%) partial water change - even if there is no ammonia in your water, it is still good to add a small amount of "new" water regularly

  • Take your water change bucket (see NECESSARY SUPPLIES),  fill with tap water and add enough water conditioner to treat the bucket.
  • Allow this bucket of water to sit, uncovered, for a day or two to outgas (see GAS BUBBLE DISEASE)
    • While this bucket is uncovered, make sure that it is not left where harmful substances could splash/fall into it (ie: near the kitchen sink where soapy water could splash into it)
  • Once this new water has "aged"/outgassed for a day or two, you are ready to change water.
  • Using your gravel vacuum, remove a bucket full of water from the tank and discard this water.
    • Make sure that your betta does not get too close to the end of your gravel vacuum, as he could be sucked up into it and injured!
  • Refill the tank with the new aged and treated water.

Monthly

Take your filter apart and clean it - it is easiest to perform this cleaning at the same time as your weekly water change.

  • Remember that your filter media, whether it is zeolite, Bio-Balls, or another type, will have beneficial bacteria growing on it in your tank
  • These bacteria will be killed if:
    • They come into contact with water that has not been dechlorinated; or
    • They are allowed to dry out
1.  Peform your partial water change as usual, but do not discard the water that you remove from the tank.
2.

Take your filter out of the tank and remove the media

  • Place the media into the bucket of water that you have removed from your tank and swish the media around to rinse off any debris/dirt
  • Leave this media in the bucket of water while you clean the filter itself, so that the media does not dry out
3.

Take your filter apart, as its design allows, to clean internal pieces. If possible, separate:

  • Intake tube; and
  • Impeller
4.

Using your fingers, a clean toothbrush, or a special, filter cleaning brush, scrub any slime, algae, or other gunk off off the filter parts, rinsing them in the bucket of water that was removed from your tank

  • Do NOT use any kind of soap or other chemical to clean your filter
  • Pay special attention to the impeller, making sure that it spins freely
5.

Reassemble your filter, replace media, reattach the filter to your tank, prime it if necessary, plug it back in, and you're done!