Friday, May 16, 2008

Recycling Water from Betta Community Tank

Ask anyone how do they recycle water siphoned from the community/spawning tank and the most common answer you will get is: "I use it to water the plant". Fish keeping goes deep into the water bills.

What I am about to discuss is against most rules in fish keeping, but please read on with an open mind.

The jarred Bettas I have are periodically suffering from fungus attack. I've done everything according to the book, water change every 2 days, aged de-chlorinated water, medication, salt, counseling, massage .... , but the fungus attack isrelentless. I will apply anti-fungal medication to them, they will get better and then the fungus returns even after adding salt for preventive measures.

Constant medication for recurring attacks have left the Bettas very lethargic, some of them have stop flaring. I've stopped using ketapang extract, fearing that it is the extract that is promoting fungus growth, then started thinking it will help them. Nothing worked, the fungus attack just keeps returning like a bad nightmare.

I took a step back and re-think what is happening. The Bettas in the community tank are all healthy and well, even though I added Ketapang Extract and did less water change (once every 4 days). No sign of fungus attack in anyone of them.

My jarred Bettas are suffering even though I've been giving my utmost attention to them. I am guessing because the community tank is much larger, contains aquatic plants and a filter system, the water is better cycled and contains more beneficial bacteria and organic materials, which provides a more natural and stress-free environment. The jarred Bettas are housed in much smaller tanks which cannot provide any form of water cycle, each water change introduce a new environment. Therefore the fungus takes over and infect the stressed out Betta.

So against all rules, I did a 70% water change to a 5 of my recovering jarred Bettas with the water from my community tank. I am sincerely amazed by the results. All of them flared the next day; some of them had not flare for a while. They seem very active and for some strange reasons even happy. They are recovering well with water changes recycled from the community tank. It is too early to tell if the fungus will return but I will keep track of their progress. I am hoping the recurring fungus attack will finally come to an end.

I am guessing the best way of aging water is to add (de-chlorinated with ketapang extract) new water to a community tank, leave it overnight and used it the next day. The community tank should consist of Bettas, thriving aquatic plants and preferably a filter system.

Upon your schedule water change for your jarred Bettas, use the water from the community tank, it will be perfectly aged and cycled; containing beneficial bacteria and organic material. Compare this to hard, new, clean tap water; even being aged and de-chlorinated overnight it is still harsher than the one from the community tank . Just replace the community tank with the same amount of water removed, add ketapang extract.

By doing so we accomplished 2 tasks at one go; Water change for the community tank and water change for the jarred Betta BUT only using half the amount of water needed as the community tank's water is recycled into the jarred Betta tanks. It is a win-win situation, the smaller tanks gets cycled water, the community tank gets more frequently water change as new water is added constantly.

I will be doing this once every 2 days for my jarred Betta to evaluate the results. I will also be siphoning waste from the community tank once every 4 days to minimize nitrate build up. If you intend on trying this method out, take note to retrieve water from mid-water level, closest to the filter outlet, avoiding any waste material.

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