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Old 02-17-2013, 09:11 AM   #1 
heckofagator
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Do you need water movement for a heater?

Do you need water movement (pump/filter, etc) in a smaller ~5g tank for the heated water to be dispersed properly?

I am now thinking of the Eheim 4g or Ecopico 5g rim less tanks.

I had always expected to get a small filter, something like this:

Hagen Elite Filter

to help get some water movement, but in reading some other threads, a lot of people seem to think that these filters in a < 5g tank just aren't necessary. I'd of course would like less equipment in the tank, but also wanted to make sure half of the tank doesn't end up hotter than the other half.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:22 AM   #2 
shellieca
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Depends on how you position the heater. If the heater is towards the bottom of the tank & horizontal you'll have more even heat IME. I have a 2.5g with the heater horizontal across the lower part of the back glass, no matter where I put the thermometer the water is 80F. In my 1g QT tank I have the Hydor heater pad which is on the bottom of the tank & the water stays 78F. Of course it'll probably be slightly of in some areas but there shouldn't be any drastic temp changes. You can test it out by having 2-3 thermometers placed in the tank for a week or so monitor the temp in different areas & levels of the tank & if the temp is too uneven then you can decide on some type of a filter. You may want to look into a sponge filter.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:58 AM   #3 
Kytkattin
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I have found there to be some variation in temp in my tanks. I notice it when I reach my hand into change where a plant is located or to prune. It is slightly warmer near the surface (when the lights are on), and sometimes quite colder next to a plant rooted on the bottom. I honestly just don't worry about it. I have a heater on one side of the tank with the thermometer on the other. I figure that in the wild the water won't be heated perfectly evenly, why should my tanks be? When I first set up a tank I make sure that the temp stays between 78 and 84 at any given time (day and night). Some flux, as long as it is within the range and not dramatic (IE, happening over hours) is again, in my mind, completely natural. The fish can then choose to regulate their own temp within the environment while I take comfort in the knowledge that they do have access to the "perfect" temp.

As far as filters go, I personally no longer use them, but that is because I choose to use plants as my filtration system instead of a mechanical one. I personally am of the mindset that these are fish that come from slow moving or still waters, and that we have handicapped in a sense by breeding some to have quite heavy fins that slow and limit their movement, so filters often cause more harm than good. HOB filters should be baffled at both the intake and output to prevent problems. Sponge filters are considered the more gentile and safe, though I personally don't like how they discourage the creation of bubble nests, particularly in smaller tanks where surface space is limited.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:41 AM   #4 
Hallyx
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Very good advice by Shellie and Kytkattin.

A heavily planted tank is, of course, the most elegant method of maintaining the best water quality.

But, for those of us who lack the skill, knowledge or ability to keep healthy plants, a cycled tank provides the best water quality. A 5gal tank is relatively easy to cycle, so most of us always recommend it. A cycled tank is not for the convenience of the keeper, but for the health and safety of the fish.

Last edited by Hallyx; 02-20-2013 at 05:44 AM.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:55 AM   #5 
waterdog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallyx View Post
A cycled tank is not for the convenience of the keeper, but for the health and safety of the fish.
I agree. IMO a 5 gallon should be cycled and have water movement. It provides more stable water conditions and the best enviroment possible.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:47 AM   #6 
acitydweller
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surface aggitation and circulation will always benefit the inhabitants.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:40 AM   #7 
Hallyx
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Surface agitation discourages bubble-nest building. It also promotes gas exchange, which is good for the nitrifying bacteria and fish other than Betta. But it also cause C02 outgassing which raises pH.

A minimum circulation is nice for plants and heat distribution. Betta don't care unless there's too much. And some even like it.

That Hagen Elite Mini is my favorite internal filter. It's quiet, reliable, adjustable and features an airbleed intake which oxygenates the tank---good for the bacteria. Unfortunately it doesn't have a large enough sponge to provide room for an adequate bacteria colony. I've fixed this by putting a hand-made foam tube over the outlet. This also dampens the current.
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:57 AM   #8 
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That Hagen Elite Mini is my favorite internal filter. It's quiet, reliable, adjustable and features an airbleed intake which oxygenates the tank---good for the bacteria. Unfortunately it doesn't have a large enough sponge to provide room for an adequate bacteria colony. I've fixed this by putting a hand-made foam tube over the outlet. This also dampens the current.
This is exactly the filter I just got for my daughters 2 gallon. Great filter! I replacing the foam with something denser for better bacteria, and the water this tank will receive will be from my cycled tank. My hope is that with daily partial water changes and the filter mod and live plants, I can force the 2 gallon to hold a cycle. I plan on journaling it.
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:39 AM   #9 
Hallyx
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Probably will be enough, along with bacteria in the substrate plus some live plants, especially flopaters. If you still need to attenuate the flow, (you might in a 2.5g) you'll know where to apply additional foam.
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