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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I'm trying to decide if it's a good move to go from a 7 gallon cube to a 20 long. Right now it would just be plants and my Betta. 20 is as big as my apartment allows. Thankfully I'm on the ground floor if anything were to leak.

My Betta does not have a lot of room to swim horizontally in the cube. I even trimmed back most of the plants and I feel like it's not enough.

Also I feel like a larger volume of water would be more stable. Right now I'm using spring water for water changes because Betta gets distressed if I use tap water, even with Prime and adjusting the PH and temp the same before adding. I can't detect any ammonia or nitrite/nitrate in the tap water but there's something in there he doesn't like.

That's my major concern with the 20 gallon tank is not having enough water on hand. With the small tank it's easy to get a couple gallons of spring water on hand from the store. Although my LFS store does sell RO water I may be able to get in a bigger quantity and I could add the minerals back.

Is this a good idea? What would be the best method of moving? I'm thinking to use my existing substrate and add more, and the continue using the same Aquaclear 20, although I would like to move up to something a tad bigger and just sponge off the flow like I do now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So I decided to go ahead and get a new setup. I got a 20 long with a Finnex Planted 24/7 + and eco complete. Dealing with the Fluval Stratum effects on PH and KH with the small water volume in the 7 gal cube was beyond my skill level.

Hope this grows in nice. I’m sure the fish will enjoy the horizontal swimming room.
 

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20 gallon is a nice size tank!

My advice is to dump whatever you are using to regulate ph. If it were my tank, I would test the tap water for ph, kh/gh, tds and then start using that if the results were at all encouraging. I hate hauling water from stores and if you don't own the place its probably not worth it to install a rodi unit. Every time I have used chemicals to adjust the ph my fish have suffered and a few times died. Whatever is in that stuff is just too harsh on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks minorhero! I got into this situation because my LFS would constantly tell me my PH was too low whenever I brought in water for a test. ( I do that to compare to mine )

I mentioned I was using Fluval Stratum (which is active) and they basically were trying to say that’s a bunch of BS that it would lower KH and PH. So they were like here use this alkaline buffer so I was constantly trying to get that small tank to level out and eventually gave up.

This new tank is just tap water treated with Seachem Prime with no other alterations. I spent 2 hours today acclimating the betta by doing a 1/2 cup of new water at a time into the transport container. He seems happy in the new setup.

I guess the keep it simple advice works with aquariums too!
 

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welcome to the group! Sorry I did not catch your earlier posts as I don't look in as often as I did at one point.
I would like to say we are using the same water and doing the same thing but that would be a total lie, as I have never kept a betta long enough to know anything and just because we are in the same town, it doesn't mean we even have the same water!
Do you know which water supplier you get the tap water? That is one way to go for some of the basic details as you can then go to the "consumer confidence report (CCR) to get the details of the testing and treatment they use and where the water comes from.
there is a good chance it starts out very hard and very alkaline due to the limestone all around us but then how it is treated does make a difference as Austin water is quite a lot different than mine. I'm on Settlers Valley just off Tenth.
No disagreement with how others run their tanks but I just tend to go the easy route at this point and go with fish and plants who like the tap water whereever I live as it does make it less work to keep things stable and that is my first choice on treating fish nice.
I find they can often adapt to less than ideal water as long as I give them a firm set of water parameters and not something they have to constantly struggle to chase a moving target!
That's part of my lack of experience with betta as African cichlids are so much closer to what I have often found my water to suit. Another secret is that I kind of like the big bold folks more than the gentle type!
I might suggest as a first move, to go for the info on what your water company provides as it is super accurate and complete as well as totally free info. If you are in town, I would assume the supplier will be big time enough to be required by reg to have the info online, making it easy to access.
This is a link if you get Pflugerville city water but do check which company/which area you may have as there are more than one and they may pull from different sources.
To locate yourself, check this map:
https://www.pflugervilletx.gov/home/showpublisheddocument?id=1008
Then you can go here to sort down to the area that is right for your report:
https://www.pflugervilletx.gov/city-government/public-works/water-treatment/water-quality-reports
 

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Not saying for sure as this is just one of several points to consider but I might point to a couple items to think about.
I see the hard alkaline water I would expect but then it seems there are two things I might question how they come out as such.
Natural water in our area runs through tons of limestone it's entire life, so hard and alkaline is normal but the tests are very careful and very much better than our testing and I know the water coming from the Colorado does vary as we get more ore less rain over the years testing.
So when I see the alkalinity and TDS stay totally the same for a year, I have to assume the treatment is what maintains those levels. You don't get the same TDS during the Llano flood as when the lakes are going dry!
They appear to be holding alkalinity steady?
But the hardness varies quite a lot.
My question might be how this may bother the betta as a type which normally might like a lower hardness but also could adapt better if it did not vary so much?????
That's a pretty big swing to adapt to every time the water changes.
Just another point to ponder!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the advice everyone! I've now learned my lesson about trying to chase a number and using a bunch of chemicals I don't need.

When I first got started I was trying to simulate a natural environment, but the fact is these aren't wild-caught fish and I don't need to simulate that. The LFS water is almost the same as mine based on testing, and here I am trying to change it to some theoretical best match for my Betta when he's much happier just to have stable water parameters. I'm sure there's a time and place for all of these adjusters and additives, but I'm just keeping tropical fish. Testing, temping, and dechlorinating the tap water is what I'll do from now on.
 
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