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Hi there! So here's the thing: betta can be pretty f-ing hardy fish even in the worst of conditions. They should be in a 5 gal or more with a low flow filter and heater and lots of plants and hiding spots. Do that, they will be so happy and pretty and healthy.
But i grew up watching my mother care of our family betta fish. We had 3 over the years and each lived for 3 ish years all dying because my mother would drop something on them, drop them, or poison them on accident. And she kept these boys in a 1 gallon tank with 1 hide or plant. Plastic plants of course (when they had them). She would use tap water for their weekly water change. No filter. No heater. Water anywhere from 60-67°. Those betta were not very active or happy, but they lived (somehow) for 3 years.
To anyone thinking I'm justifying that type of care: I am not! They are so much more enjoyable when they are happy and healthy in a 5 gal with a filter and heater. That being said, OP I believe your boy will be ok, just keep an eye on him.
As for good tanks I highly recommend the 5 gal portrait tank. Its $70 on Amazon but comes with a filter and light. Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Kit, 5-Gallon [link]
As for a heater I recommend one that has a temperature control so you can set it between 78-82°.
You're welcome. This is the exact one, but I think I grabbed it on sale for about $50 from Amazon a little over a year ago.
Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Kit, 5-Gallon w/ Hidden Filter [link]
Our son was gifted a Betta in a small plastic 0.5 gallon tank, and he was looking pretty bad. I got thid for him, got some black sand for the substrate which I LOVE, but it is a little bit of a pain when cleaning the tank, it can get everywhere. I pour new water with a large drink cup from a movie theater into the back filter chamber to prevent sand clouds. This is my favorite tank of the 3 we have, because it just looks really elegant and sleek. The LED has also kept Java Moss and an marimo moss ball alive for just about a year. I tried duckweed but it didn't live. I am goi g to try moving a small cutting of an Anubias to this tank too, we will see how it does.
I’ve had horrible luck with a 2g and a 3.5g, so just beware. You’ll still be doing those frequent water changes even with a filter. And as a college student, I can attest to not always having the time/energy to keep up. I got a tall 5g off Amazon so it takes up less space than a long would. Of course it’s more pricey, but I’m spending more to upgrade my failed 3.5g than if I’d just bought a bigger tank to begin with (sigh).
Either way, lovely lil fish you got there!
Same! would like to know! i'm hoping to get around to starting one of these for my daughter to stare at haha.
It reminds me of this, but its not it: [link]
I believe it’s an internal filter, it’s the one that comes with this marineland tank: [link]
Honestly would not recommend this tank to anyone else, but I got it as a gift and this was my first tank after a pause in not keeping fish for five years. The intake does have a sponge on it.
I am considering removing all the hardscape because I am at my wit’s end with this infection. I will look into paraguard. Thank you for your help!
I made similar mistakes originally due to lack of research. Now, I recommend at least a 5g tank for a male Betta (can’t speak for females because no experience). I spent weeks researching tanks and finally decided on a marine land one off amazon. I am not disappointed! It’s very pretty while giving my fish space to thrive. Also, silk plants are the go to. No plastic from pet smart. They will tear their fins. Learned that the hard way, too. So far, my Betta is seeming to enjoy being in a larger tank. Something I was not prepared for though is how long water changes/cleanings take. Well worth it though to see Leonardo DiFishy happy!
This is my current tank.
Hey there! I want to stay posted on this situation. Everyone else who has replied to your post has exhausted their good advice, however, I wanted to just share this with you!
Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Kit, 5-Gallon w/ Hidden Filter
If you happen to have 10 square inches of surface to spare, this tank could be a great investment for you! It’s dimensions are 9.5x9.5x16.
Christmas is coming up. Maybe someone in the family could help chip in??
I also have a quick question since you seem to have more knowledge. I want to change my betta fish I have in my tank and put in either 5-6 tiger barbs, or 5-6 neon tetras. Do you think that would be overstocking for the 5 gallons I have? Here’s the exact tank I have (Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Kit, 5-Gallon w/ Hidden Filter [link])
This tank was nice the brief time that I used it and I believe barely fits in your space. I can't remember if there are sponges covering all the holes leading to the back though, so you may need to get some sponge filter media and something like a zip tie to cover those:
For species, you can usually easily get Ghost, Amano, and Neocaridina (most commonly "Red Cherry") shrimp. I've found that Ghosts and Amanos are the hardiest but don't have much color. Neocaridina come in tons of colors, but don't mix them because the offspring will be mostly clear/brown.
For plants, moss provides a large surface area for shrimp to graze on. Tropica.com has a nice list of plants that most LFS should be able to order (since most carry Tropica at least in my area). The pictures you find of plants often show them growing with CO2 though, so keep that in mind as far as expectations.
This subreddit's sidebar has some links that would be helpful as guides. If you want guides on the shrimp, usually you just want to try to match whatever the breeder's conditions are (including the lesser known GH, KH, and TDS).
Thank you! His name is Randy. I’ve had him about a year now. The light came with the tank which I bought on Amazon.
They only leak water if they come defective or you crack it. I recommend getting a marineland portrait and a basic heater for a 5 gallon. The marineland portrait looks nice and comes with an internal filter
EDIT: marineland portrait
Oh I have plenty of equipment, that's not an issue :P
I actually did some more research and decided on this tank instead.
I'm also thinking about a bonsai tree planted set up instead to help utilize the extra vertical space. I plan on stocking this tank with CRS or black bumble bee shrimp.
It is a taller 5 gallon tank ([link]).
I have never spent the money on a testing kit, but the temperature is right at 78F. It has about 4 different plants. There is no air stone, the bubbles are seemingly popping up overnight.
There are lots of great desktop aquariums you could consider. I personally have this tank, and it takes up no space. There are some longer options that would be just as good (but my betta seems to not mind the vertical space).
Its this tank. Basically, I just want to leave it off and use only a sponge filter. Its already installed from the previous tenants but I've moved them to another tank and want to use this one for some cherry shrimp. I'm just wondering if too much bacteria, algae or what not might grow on the sump side of the tank that could leach over to the front of it.
Thanks for all the info! I will take all of that into consideration.
I talked to my LFS and he said that if I wanted to go real nano since im brand new at this I should get this and just get a goby and a shrimp. Maybe it would be a good idea for me to start out small like this? He quoted 100 for the tank and everything else I need besides fish. Im not worried about price, more just my lack of experience in salt water.
This is the tank i got, I paid $50 for it, so wait till Amazon restocks it. I upgraded the light, because the leds they give you aren't strong enough to grow the plants I wanted.
Honestly, I'm still trying to figure it out. "The kit features Marineland 3-stage hidden filtration with a Rite-Size Z Cartridge and Marineland Bio-Foam (included in the kit), and includes an adjustable flow filter pump." So will any of these take out the good stuff from the IAL?
My exact tank is this: [link]
Thanks! He is eating normally, seems slightly less active though. Haven't seen a bubble nest since the color change started either, although that might be because I've been stressing him out with increased water changes.
I'm trying to talk my wife into a 5 gallon setup. Do you have any recommendations brand-wise, or are they pretty much all the same?
(Edit: this one might be a contender)
That's an idea, I'll take a look this weekend when I have time.
It's this aquarium [link] so I'm not exactly sure how to get to the components cos they're all enclosed, but will give it a shot!
Unfortunately aquariums are one of the only things that are generally more expensive on Amazon. Here are a few options that will be suitable for a betta with a few modifications:
[link] (DOES NOT CONTAIN A HEATER)
[link] (INCLUDES A HEATER BUT IS NOT ADJUSTABLE)
Finally here is a list I threw together for someone awhile back. If you are interested in this, all you need to do is go down to petsmart/petco and pick up a 10 gallon tank for $14.99 and the substrate of your choice: [link]. Tons of lighting options on Amazon.
Editted: horrible formatting
marineland portrait I got it on amazon for 50$ last year. It’s 77$ now, I believe petco has it on their website for cheaper
please remove the referral tags from the amazon link ( or use a clean link like this: [link]).
It is a very popular selling tank you can also get it on Amazon.
Marineland Portrait Glass LED aquarium Kit, 5 Gallons, Hidden Filtration [link]
For the tank, I'd suggest a marineland 5g portrait. It comes with a decent filter. I'd say it's a decent first tank.
It’s 5 gallons, here’s the link on Amazon Marineland Portrait 5 gallon
My favourites are the imagitarium 3.7 gallon and the Marineland Portrait 5 gallon. Both are kits with filters and pumps hidden in a blacked out panel in the back of the tank. There is also the Top Fin 5 Gallon tank, it has a hidden filter and pump like the others, but there is no space for a heater in the panel, so it would have to be out in the tank, unlike the other two.
Petco has 10% off with coupon code 'pickup10' if you select in store pickup.
Amazon has a warehouse deal on the marineland.
And Petsmart has 17% off any one item with in store pickup for today only.
I personally only have experience with the imagitarium tank, I have it set up with one of my bettas and I absolutely love it. It has been the easiest tank.
Marineland Portrait Glass . I removed the inside filter which makes it a 6 gallon. [link]
It looks like this marineland tank. [link]
Deal link: Amazon
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You can easily have a google and research reviews, ratings and other such things on most items of interest on the internet. Amazon is always great for non-live goods. There are countless retailers for live aquatics livestock and plants online. I assume you're in the US, so here's a few suggestions.
Sponge filter: https://www.amazon.com/UPETTOOLS-Aquarium-Biochemical-Sponge-Filter/dp/B08JGQ1ML5/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=sponge+filter&qid=1605619359&sr=8-2-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExWlhERTUyNDRRWkMyJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMTEyODU4MzVBV0RPOFNEOFA5ViZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNzE3MzU1MTVBSDNZQTRYODlIVSZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=
Heater + Thermometer: https://www.amazon.com/FREESEA-Aquarium-Submersible-Heater-Thermometer/dp/B07SY73N2N/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=5+gallon+aquarium+heater&qid=1605619051&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyQUhJS1FYTEw2RlBSJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwODIzMjYwMkdHWTFCQ0dIVlRGNCZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwODAzNDU1MUZPS05BVlA0N0k4SSZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=
Substrate: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GIVN68S/ref=twister_B08L97TR6B?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1 NOTE: Rinse this substrate very thoroughly before adding it to your tank, and when you add it, pour water over a plastic bag to fill the aquarium so as not to disturb the substrate and make everything awful and dusty.
Neocardinia Shrimp: https://flipaquatics.com/collections/all-shrimp
Here’s a decent tank :) [link]
I got the Marineland 5 Gallon Portrait off of amazon, I love it. It's on sale right now for $41 and comes with everything you need except for a heater, thermometer (It *MIGHT* have come with a stick on the glass thermometer, I can't remember, but I don't think it did) and of course accessories like substrate/plants. I did have to remove the pump and turn the flow all the way down, as it comes cranked all the way up, and I made a baffle out of a water bottle to redirect the water flow a little so it doesn't blow him all over the tank. It's easy to play with the outflow and get it where you want it to be. It also has a little notch built in for your heater cord, which is nice, because there is not a lot of room to run cords thru where the covers are. The instructions say not to place the heater in the filter compartment, but I have read of many people doing it without issue, I haven't tried it because I'm scared lol, but it would definitely be more aesthetically pleasing that way. It is literally the perfect betta tank with a few modifications. I love the lid, everything fits nice and tight, no worrying about jumping out, or even snails escaping. If you have a cat that might be inclined to step on top of the lid... it's not going anywhere at all, so thats a big plus for some folks. The filter and pump is all tucked into a compartment in the back so you don't see any of it. Plenty of room to add more biological media. The light is adequate as well, very bright. I have seen videos of people modifying the filter set up, theres plenty of room in there to make modifications. Here is a video about the tank from Aquarium Co-Op on youtube. If i remember correctly he shows you the modifications he made to it. I really do love it, and my fish has been very happy in it!
If you decide to get plants... be careful buying them at the store. I spent way too much on plants at the store that weren't in the greatest condition (granted I was buying for a 40 gallon and a 10 gallon as well and you won't have to spend much to fill a 5 gallon), they were about the same price online, and arrived MUCH healthier than the ones in the store were. I ordered a low light bundle off of amazon and was pleased with it. I also find that by buying at the store, I have no idea what the hell I'm looking at/for because I am a noob. That is why I bought bundles of plants that someone else pre-picked to work in a low light tank lol. I have also shopped eBay, you can get buy 2 get 1 free on a lot of plants, and the sellers are incredibly helpful!! Here is a nano aquarium bundle on amazon, I don't think you could buy these in store for less than that price either! The description says " This is a live plant bundle for smaller/nano aquariums or betta tanks.The plants do not need any special fertilizers or CO2, just enough light from an aquarium lamp to thrive. All plants are smaller and none are taller than 6". The plants in this bundle includes a Rosette sword, Marimo Moss Ball, Cryptocoryne Parva, Lobelia Cardinalis, Micro-Swords, Anubias Nana. "
It is more expensive than gravel, but I would look into Fluval Stratum or the Seachem Black for your substrate if you do real plants. Someone with more experience please correct me if I am wrong on any of this!!
I hope that helped some, all just my opinion based on what I've experienced/learned thus far with my 5 gallon & plants. I am a noob to planted tanks, but I really wanted to get away from plastic plants since they can hurt fins. I am still learning, so I am sorry if I gave you any misinformation!
surprising, Amazon!! It’s a Marineland Portrait 5 gallon kit. I love this tank. Here’s the link!
I really enjoy this tank: [link]
It would fit in your desk and it's 5 gallons. What I love about it is that it has built in filtration on the back and a light with it so all you need is substrate, a heater and maybe some plants.
An air stone will help him breathe better under water but you should probably get a betta hammock leaf or a floating log so your betta can rest near the surface of the water. They can breathe through the air so this would also help.
This nano air pump is by far the most silent that I've tried.
MarineLand 5 Gallon Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit [link] here you go!
It's a Marineland 5 Gal Portrait tank
It all depends on exactly what you're looking to get out of your tank, but here's a few tank's I'd personally suggest.
If you're looking for a rimless tank, I'm a fan of Lifegard Aquatics and Landen as cheaper alternatives to ADA and Mr. Aqua. I have a Lifegard 17.1 gallon and a Landen 7 gallon that i've never had issues with.
The best bang for your buck is certainly going to be dollar-per-gallon sales or craigslist/facebook. I'd aim for something around 10 gallons to start, or at least 5 gallons or more if that's too large. The correct size tank is always the biggest one you have room for, although with shrimp you want more length and less height.
For cheap all-in-ones I like the Marineland Portrait because it's easily customizable so you don't have to bother with the BS cartridges they sell. Aquarium Co-op did a good video showing how to modify it. You'll probably want to stuff a little bit of sponge in the filter outlet as well to reduce flow.
oh of course. Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Kit, 5-Gallon w/ Hidden Filter [link]
It’s an internal canister that came with the tank. This tank Thank you for your help!
I've had two bettas (separated) sharing a 5-gallon portrait tank while I've been trying to cycle a second identical tank. Several months in and several restarts later I'm having zero luck fishless cycling, despite having been successful in the first tank. I mean, the first tank is really doing well, apart from having two fish in it.
So I'm starting "fresh" (so to speak) in the new tank, completely replaced the water twice (Prime both rounds), next I'm trying a sponge filter; I've ordered a biologically active sponge and a small air pump, the idea being when both arrive I'll plop them in and have cycled media.
Other than the obvious API test kit tests, is there anything I should have to do before moving one of the bettas into his new tank? Should I continue running the powered filter while the sponge is going, too?
I don't! It's this one: [link]
Marineland Potrait 5G Aquarium
He has fin rot because he's in a 1.5 gallon tank without enough water maintenance. It's not gonna get better until that's fixed. Treating him with meds is like putting a bandaid on a broken bone.
In a 5gal tank, a typical schedule is 25% weekly. In a 2.5 gal tank (the bare minimum), 25% twice weekly is more appropriate. I would consider 25% changes every other day in a 1.5gal to be necessary.
You took out the entire filter cartridge and let it dry? If so, you have crashed the cycle and the nitrifying bacteria that convert his waste into nontoxic nitrates will have died. Check out this link for how to safely establish this biological filter. Truthfully, I'm not sure you could even maintain a cycle in such a small tank.
If you are limited in space in a dorm, this is a 5gal tank with a small footprint that won't take up much room.
In the meantime, do a very large water change, put the filter cartridge back in, and find a small pouch of activated carbon at a pet/fish store to remove the meds from the water.
The thing with the designer tanks is that they're overpriced in terms of functionality. You're really paying for the sleek design.
buceplant has rimless tanks if you want something a little nicer looking than the braced tanks from petco or whatever.
I have the marineland 5 gallon portrait which was only 60 bucks for me.
It may be due to the angle of the photo, here is the exact tank I have [link]
Would this setup work? [link]
Well, like you said, life is busy which is why appreciate your thoughtful replies. And is also why my own reply is so late!!
I just uploaded some new photos to an imgur link..to help portray some of the things I might refer back to as I go through this post: [link].
As I am typing this I see an earlier suggestion of yours that addresses one of my photo's subjects. So due to the fish-in cycling stress of the tank it's normal for Christopher to be chilling mainly on the filter intake...upside down (for me it's the 3rd pic down, and he's bit opaque)?? He seems to swim normally and happily whenever he feels like it, and easily removes himself from the filter. A google search shows it may be okay behavior. I mean, if he wants that, I am totally fine with it, but I know I need to somehow slow the current of the filter to avoid too much more stress. I'm concerned more about a small bit of redness on the bottom of Christopher's belly/bottom fin. Elsewhere he looks fine, just a bit of new redness at the fin's tip. By, the way, I have say thank you again. By the time I got to doing the salt bath I mentioned earlier, to me he looked like a fish that wasn't going to make it. I was already looking at how to treat the tank if the betta died in it. But he is back to his old self, energetic, so I am pretty grateful. There's not way of telling, but I really think he might not still be here if I hadn't read through that link.
Thanks for suggesting the Polyfill, as you can see, my second, half-assed attempt at baffling isn't too effective. But at least the water is directed only to the tank's center, and not all over, so there's to move around it all. My first attempt where I carefully cut up the sponge was useless. Maybe since the water's not going straight down, Christopher Lee suddenly likes resting on the intake?
The first pic might seem random, but it is another new tank I am trying to fishless cycle. It's a Merineland 5 gallon portrait tank: [link]. It's highly rated and the pump/filter(?) strength is adjustable. So the first pic is this filter on the slowest adjustment, but it still looks strong to me, especially since the tank is deeper and the fish would have to swim up a bit to eat and breath.
I don't believe the filter on the first (Walmart) tank is adjustable, but someone else set it up and got rid of the box and instructions immediately after, and I had no clue what I was doing yet.
And the Amano Shrimp sounds like a good place to start. I never looked into what I wanted as tank companions beyond the tetras, which are Dwarf Emerald. I was never much of a fan of Plecos. I knew what they looked like, but not their name. They likely would not have been my choice when I got to the point of adding more tank pals. I'll definitely be doing much more research and referring back to this advice when I get to point of adding more companions.
By the way, do you have any quick, general suggestions for possible tank mates for a five gallon tank with just a betta?
Sounds like I will have to start googling live plants as an eventual goal as I already have a lot of "playing around" to do. Can I ask one lazy (and maybe silly) question though? Can a tank have a mixture of live and fake plants? Is there more attention and effort in maintaining live plants? Ok...I think I'm starting to get into the google questions.
I did water changes on both of my tanks this morning, and the filter on my first tank, the Walmart one, suddenly seems to have stopped working. It could be the cords, but will this affect the fish a lot if it takes a day or two to get a new filter? Any suggestions on a decent one on the lower end of price ranges? The heater seems to be working and the tank is at a good temp.
I apologize for my lazy formatting, especially with how wordy this response is! I only have short patches of time here and there to try to write anything, so this is pretty much get any sort of reply I can get sent at all.
What is your lazy betta's name? And what is(are) your setup(s) like, what kind of communities? Pics are cool!
do you guys use this tank?
It'd be tough (ironically, tougher than using lights and filters,) but possibly doable. Most plants thrive with lighting, of some level, and with fish, the filter does two important things - maintains most of your beneficial bacteria and circulates your water.
However, for bettas, the most important thing would be a heater. If you were willing to do frequent water changes, and had a densely planted 5 gallon, you could do a really simple set up without extra filtration or lighting. The trick would be finding plants that would thrive in your office's ambient lighting :)
btw, if space is an issue, here's some cool tanks that have small footprints: This marineland comes with a built-in filter, This one is only 4 gallons, but so pretty , I have this one, and it's stunning