I recently brought home a pet Betta fish. Is there anything special I should know about cleaning the tank?
Waste can accumulate in your fish’s tank, which is why regular water changes are necessary. However, you don’t have to change all of the water in the bowl – aim to change 10-25% of the water at least twice a month. Removing all of the water takes away helpful bacterial that keeps your fish healthy. Use water from the tank to create a temporary home for your fish, carefully scoop him out with a fish net and gently place him into the temporary home.
Remove any electrical components and decorations and use a siphon to remove some of the water (being careful to remove only about 25% of the water). Scrub the decorations and walls of the tank with a cleaning brush before replacing them in the tank, and refill the tank using water that is as close to room temperature as possible so as not to shock your fish. It is also a good idea to use a water conditioner made for Bettas in order to neutralize any chlorine or heavy metals that may be in your tap water.
It’s always good practice to do what you can to minimize the need to clean your fish’s tank. Make sure that you only feed your fish what he eats, as leftover food can attract bacteria and dirty the tank. Use a Betta Waste Remover to remove excess food and waste to keep water cleaner longer. Using a filter can help keep the water clean, but remember that Bettas are not accustomed to swimming very hard, so if you do use a filter be sure to keep it on a low setting and turn it off completely at night so your fish can sleep peacefully.
–Shelley G., Pet Expert, Pet Valu (1240 Commissioners Road West, London ON)