If happends for you to have a NEW aquarium, what will you choose, counting in your actual personal experience.
1) Tank size
2) Water care (testers, conditioners, bio..etc) also type of water: pure or tap.
3) Filter, Gravel Vacuum or Heater; base on your budget, but good working product.
4) Gravel, stones (colors)
5) Decorations(caves, castles), artificial or live plants
6) Other fishes or just bettas..
7) Preventive meds
You get the point, just be creative and add as you please.
My most recent tank setup was purchaced late last month.. The plan was to have a setup that could house Bettas, but also be used for other purposes such as a growout tank for live bearers (without the Betta's of course).. It also had to be large enough to be able to be cycled..
I chose a standard 2ft tank (24x12x14 inches) which by my calculations is about 16 Gal. I installed a glass divider, making it 2 separate tanks.. Being 2 separate tanks does mean that I need 2 times everything ( 2 filters, 2 heaters etc) but it does give me some freedom in that I dont have to worry about diseases and illnes being transferred between occupants, and also allows me to lower the water level, raise or lower the temperature and even treat sick occupants if need be, without bothering or affecting the fish on the other side..
I was so happy with how the tank turned out, I decided to do the same to my other two 2ft tanks..
IMO Filtration in a Betta tank is always a compromise between having the filter do its job, and not upsetting the Betta by causing excessive water movement..
In the first tank, I placed a corner filters in each half that run off an air pump.. Filtration is good, but the bubbles do move the surface of the water more than I would like... However, this hasnt stopped oliver from building a big bubble nest, so it must be OK..
In tank No2., I installed 2 power head style internal filters that are probably a bit large, as each one could easily do the whole tank on its own.. I used the spray bar on the outlet, but drilled many extra holes in it to reduce the pressure and flow coming out of each filter.. I also removed a few blades from each impellar in the pump to help reduce the flow.. Surface movement in this tank is almost zero although there is some water movement within the tank..
Tank 3 (still yet to be completed) will have 2 smaller power head style internal filters..
Here in Australia, one of the more common, and reasonably priced brands is Aqua-one.. They offer a 2 year warranty, with an extra (3rd) year as an option by simply registering on their website on their heaters and filters.. Most of my equipment is the Aqua-one brand, with the exception of 4 x 50W heaters, (which have a plastic cover) are the aquamanta brand...
Being Australia, we cant get many of the meds readily available in the USA.. All I keep is Prime, API Stress Coat, AQ. Salt, Epsom Salt, and my old favorite, Wardley Fungus-Aid..
I do need to get an API freshwater test kit, as I am guilty of not doing enough water testing.. All I have is a PH test Kit, and an Ammonia test kit..
I have a brown thumb when it comes to aquarium plants.. All I keep is Java Moss.. All of my other plants are silk (Aqua-one brand), as these dont seem to die on me... lol..
If I started a new aquarium I would do everything the same as now except that I would get a bigger tank,just to see what it's like.My 3 little boys are currently in tanks that are 30L,with silk plants (1 tall & 1 medium each),hideouts (1 log each and 1 different decoration each,bell,barrel & mangrove),gravel (black & purple/black & blue/& black & red),(Aquatopia) filter and (Aqua One) heater,thermometers inside & out.I have API Stress Coat+,Prime,Stress Zyme & API Quick Start.Also an API test kit.If I started a new tank I would get a 50L aquarium (which is the next size up in the tank brand I like) and add a couple more silk plants & use black gravel.I would still just keep one betta in there by himself.
At the moment, I would love to have a 75-gallon betta sorority (natural planted tank) with a school of Sterbai cory for the bottom. I use well water and so don't need any conditioners. I would likely buy cichlid stone caves for the bottom, as they're very natural looking. It would look similar to my current sorority (a 20-gallon long), but bigger, with more hiding places than this picture shows.
I really like the Fluval E-series heater; I have had a few issues with one of my current ones only wanting to heat if turned at a specific angle, but Fluval has been very good about offering to replace it. I also use the Fluval external filters, because they're a quality product that is fairly affordable and quiet. However, I would seriously consider a canister filter for a 75-gallon--probably an Eheim.
The biggest amount of money I've spent has been on plants, but it has been so worth it. The plants make the bettas very happy, and I was able to put the bettas in immediately and get an almost silent cycle: I had nitrates showing within five days, and very little ammonia and nitrites before that.
Edited to add: Oh, another thing you have to consider with an NPT is lighting. Do the research on what you need for your plants. I have a full-spectrum fluorescent on this set-up but will change the lighting if necessary.
2) Water care (testers, conditioners, bio..etc) also type of water: pure or tap. API master liquid test kit, (forgot brand of) tap water conditioner that neutralizes metals, chloramine, chlorine... tap water, as "bottled water" means you need to replace the minerals and good stuff we take out.
3) Filter, Gravel Vacuum or Heater; base on your budget, but good working product.All of the above. I'd get a double filter... and shatter proof heater that's wattage heats tanks larger than the one I chose, that way it does not have to overwork ;)
4) Gravel, stones (colors) soil, for planting, gravel for a layer on top.. natural color, or black.
5) Decorations(caves, castles), artificial or live plants Live plants such as wisteria or duckweed, java fern, java moss, assorted swords, marimo moss balls, and much more. I'd use driftwood, and natural looking caves. Also tube lighting, for the plants to thrive.
6) Other fishes or just bettas.. I'd go for a sorority of female bettas, plus neon tetras, cory cats, and possibly another type of fish.
7) Preventive meds I always keep meds on hand. AQ salt, Epsom salt, Maracyn and Maracyn 2, Kanaplex (ordered online), API fungal cure, Jungle parasite fizz tabs... Plus a quarantine tank.
Sorry, I didn't say about substrate and hardscape. What I used for this one was clay dug from my yard and sifted through a colander to remove stones and large chunks. I capped it with black sand, and I sorted through a cheap bag of Home Depot pea gravel for white pebbles with which to decorate. The large stone I bought at That Fish Place in Lancaster, PA.
If you do an NPT, you will need to be sure that you have floating plants as well as rooted, fast-growing ones. Several folks over on the tropicalfishkeeping forum occasionally sell floaters, and there are several onlines sites where you can buy them as well.
tank size: I have hex 5gs for both my boys so if I could do it all over again I'd divide a 10g for them
water care: I just use a Conditioner. I use plain old tap water for my tanks!
filter, gravel vacuum, or heater: the kit I bought came with a filter so I can't really tell you about with is the best. For me a gravel vacuum is a MUST because one of my boys gets super stressed when he isn't in his tank, I use the cheapest kind which is aqueon. I have two different types of heaters, one is aqueon one is topfin I prefer the aqueon just because they are smaller...
gravel, stones: I use the topfin brand gravel in my 5gs but in my two 3gs I'm gonna use the petco brand sand... they are about the same price, I just like the way sand looks... as far as stones go I don't like to buy them from the store, I like to collect them from outside!!! I have stones from lousisana for my girl that I got there and stones from a river in a state park for my boy Maddux...
decorations: I also like to collect driftwood to use as decor... I collected all my driftwood at a lake! I use artificial plants but just because I don't have a good selection of real ones locally so I'll have to order them online...
other fishes or just bettas: I have no problem housing bettas with other fish if the tank is big enough, I would probably have some tetras or cories with my bettas if I had a big enought tank!
preventive meds: I use melafix in a 1/2 dose for my boys some people say it hurts them but only if you use it like recommended... I also have aq salts which I used when my betta first got fin rot....
I hope this helps you!! if you live in America, Craigslist is a good place to find tanks at a low price!!
Once I move after school I plan on larger tanks, for now I keep 3 small tanks (2.5, 3 and 5) today I am setting up the 3g for a new fish.
1) Tank size- 3g
2) Water care (testers, conditioners, bio..etc) also type of water: pure or tap.- Aqua-Plus conditioner by Nutrifin, it's cheap and concentrated so it fits my budget and it works well. Tap water.
3) Filter, Gravel Vacuum or Heater; base on your budget, but good working product.- No filter, regular blue gravel. I wanted black but I'm having a hard time finding it. Since I have blue leftover I will use it. Heater for now will be a Tetra 50w preset. It's my mom's but she said I can use it until I get my own.
4) Gravel, stones (colors)- see above.
5) Decorations(caves, castles), artificial or live plants- Live plants only. Might save for a bit of driftwood. Prefer the natural look but am too afraid to try the NPT yet until I have more money and resources.
6) Other fishes or just bettas..- One PK for now. Might get a nerite snail if I have an algae problem but probably just the PK for now.
7) Preventive meds- I always have an epsom salt + IAL and an aq salt + IAL solution ready just in case (those are pre-saturated for immediate use if I need)