Originally Posted by VJM
I am thinking about getting one of these as my first tank. It holds just under 3 gallons. I would prefer a glass 5 gallon long, but that doesn't seem to exist. I know I could go custom, but that seems pricey for a first tank. Maybe later.
What do all you smart people think about:
1) filter or sponge filter or no filter?
2) is there enough room for the Betta once you account for substrate (NPT) and some plants, maybe rocks, maybe driftwood?
3) will I be able to get this tank to cycle?
I love the long tanks for bettas, and for plants. I'm just not ready to dive in with a 12 gallon.
Hello there and welcome to the community! ^^
1) In theory, you could get away without a filter if you've got anything less than a 5 gallon~ you'd just have to do the necessary water changes! Considering that you're looking have plants, substrate, driftwood and a betta fish all in in about a 3 gallon tank, I wouldn't bother with a filter.
However, if you'd prefer a filter, obviously you have two of the more widely used options. For price, sponge filters are excellent (you can even make your own!) and shouldn't take up much space. If you really want a filter, HOB (hanging off the back filters) such as anything from the AquaClear brand are other suitable options. Just be sure to do your homework. That being said, if you know that you're going to upgrade to a bigger tank in the future, having a filter already teeming with beneficial bacteria (BB) is a huge help for future tank cycling!
2) Yes, it's definitely do-able! The key thing is placement. For instance, if you just throw in everything, it may not work aesthetically (and even worse) it may make your betta fish unhappy with lack of swimming space.
Supposing that the driftwood is a little smaller and that the plants you plan to get are arranged in a fashion that allows for hiding space and an open swimming area, there's no reason your betta fish can't comfortably fit in the tank ^_^
3) Personally, I've yet to complete a full tank cycle (hey, I'm working on it!) However, even if you don't have a filter, I believe that you can. With enough live plants actively growing and containing the ammonia made by the fish, a natural cycle is created with the nitrogen cycle.
Please feel free to check out the tank cycling/NPT stickies found in their respective forums~ very knowledgeable and thorough! ^^
Good luck with your tank and I hope that this helps~