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Old 11-25-2013, 02:45 PM   #1 
funkytoad
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Some questions about setting up a 5.5 gallon tank

First of all, let me thank everyone for making this such a valuable resource to newbs like me. I'm sorry for jumping on here and asking questions that have undoubtedly been asked ten times over. I've found a lot of information online to be rather confusing, so I figured that I would post a couple of questions here.


My girlfriend and I got a veil-tail male named Kumo a few months ago. We picked him out at Petco because he was chasing and flaring at a spider who was running around on the shelf next to his little cup. Much like many bettas when they first come home, he didn't eat anything for the first couple of weeks. Now he is a healthy and happy part of our family. He's been living in a 2 gallon tank with an undergravel air pump, heater, and a live plant for the past few months. It's nice and warm, and receives regular partial water changes. He's been pretty happy with this setup. But I know that he would be happier in a larger space. He deserves some room to zoom around.


My girlfriend's sister gave us her old 5.5 gallon tank. It previously housed a betta for several years. It also has a couple of decorations that will be good for him. So here come the questions. This tank doesn't have a filter of any kind. I have the pump from the 2 gallon aquarium. It doesn't really count as a filter. It's just a six-inch piece of plastic grating with a tube and an airstone. In theory, I could move that setup over to the 5 gallon. But I doubt that would be very effective. What do you recommend in the way of filtration/air pumps for a betta and a live plant or two? Obviously, I'll be heating this tank as well. What is the best way to go about setting this tank up prior to moving him in? Will setting the tank up with a pump and a plant help prepare it if I run it for a couple of weeks? I didn't really establish a nitrogen cycle when he originally moved into the 2 gallon. Obviously, nothing like that has been completed with 5.5 gallon as there is presently no filter. Does just an air pump require a nitrogen cycle? Will a simple air pump work with a 5.5 gallon?



Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-25-2013, 03:20 PM   #2 
NeptunesMom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkytoad View Post
First of all, let me thank everyone for making this such a valuable resource to newbs like me. I'm sorry for jumping on here and asking questions that have undoubtedly been asked ten times over. I've found a lot of information online to be rather confusing, so I figured that I would post a couple of questions here.


My girlfriend and I got a veil-tail male named Kumo a few months ago. We picked him out at Petco because he was chasing and flaring at a spider who was running around on the shelf next to his little cup. Much like many bettas when they first come home, he didn't eat anything for the first couple of weeks. Now he is a healthy and happy part of our family. He's been living in a 2 gallon tank with an undergravel air pump, heater, and a live plant for the past few months. It's nice and warm, and receives regular partial water changes. He's been pretty happy with this setup. But I know that he would be happier in a larger space. He deserves some room to zoom around.


My girlfriend's sister gave us her old 5.5 gallon tank. It previously housed a betta for several years. It also has a couple of decorations that will be good for him. So here come the questions. This tank doesn't have a filter of any kind. I have the pump from the 2 gallon aquarium. It doesn't really count as a filter. It's just a six-inch piece of plastic grating with a tube and an airstone. In theory, I could move that setup over to the 5 gallon. But I doubt that would be very effective. What do you recommend in the way of filtration/air pumps for a betta and a live plant or two? Obviously, I'll be heating this tank as well. What is the best way to go about setting this tank up prior to moving him in? Will setting the tank up with a pump and a plant help prepare it if I run it for a couple of weeks? I didn't really establish a nitrogen cycle when he originally moved into the 2 gallon. Obviously, nothing like that has been completed with 5.5 gallon as there is presently no filter. Does just an air pump require a nitrogen cycle? Will a simple air pump work with a 5.5 gallon?



Thanks in advance!
None of my Betta tanks have filters. As long as you keep a regular water changing routine you don't really need one (in my opinion).

If you are planning on cycling I would read the cycling stickies on the forum. You will need a filter to cycle your tank, or you can do a silent cycle by heavily planting the tank.
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Old 11-25-2013, 07:39 PM   #3 
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I hesitate telling you what to do. However, A pump and a filter are two different animals. The pump drives a sponge filter and any animated décor you may have. A filter circulates the water in the tank through some sort of filter media basically removing particulate matter from the water.

If I understand your description you will be having live plants. An undergravel filter which seems to be what you are describing will fight with the plants for the necessary fertilizer.

A Hang on Back filter, sponge filter or canister filter will give the BB a place to start colonizing. The BB will eventually colonize all the surfaces in the tank. The BB is what eats the ammonia produced by the fish and poops nitrite which will be eaten by other BB and poop nitrate. The nitrate and other dissolved solids are basically what is removed by WC.

Now I used to think that sponge filters were mere toys not for aquariums. Experience has taught me different. I have sponge in both my Betta tanks and as supplemental filter in my 29G to cope with the load of unexpected frys.

I hope this helps.

Neptunes Mom makes a good point that you should read the cycling stickies on this and other forums to help you understand what is happening when you set up a new tank.

Dr. Tim, a recognized expert in aquariums and their inhabitants has a good explanation on his website to help us understand the nitrogen cycle as it applies to aquariums.

Last edited by FirstBetta; 11-25-2013 at 07:45 PM. Reason: Addition
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:36 PM   #4 
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A 5 gallon aquarium can be cycled and makes life so much easier with water changes once a cycle is established. Fish in cycle is common because most people find out about cycling after the tank is set up. Since your Betta is happy in a 2 gallon now I would go pick up a sponge filter or a hang on the back and do a fishless cycle in the 5 gallon
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=111960
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:24 PM   #5 
Hallyx
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I usually recommend a fishless cycle for tanks which will be heavily stocked all at once, like a Betta sorority or community schoals of fish. For a single Betta in a 5g it's much more convenient to do a fish-in cycle with an extra water change every week --- that makes two 50% changes per week. http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/b...ecific-107771/


It would be nice if you had one of these to keep track of your water quality.
[ame="http://www.amazon.com/API-Freshwater-Master-Test-Kit/dp/B000255NCI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379756505&sr=8-1&keywords=API+freshwater"]Amazon.com: API Freshwater Master Test Kit: Pet Supplies[/ame]


Cycling is not for the convenience of the keeper, but for the health and safety of the fish.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:05 PM   #6 
gbose
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Put a hang-on-back filter on your exisitng tank The beneficial bacteria will setle down in it. After 3-4 weeks, transfer fish and filter to the new tank -- instant cycle!

GBose
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Old 11-28-2013, 06:51 AM   #7 
Hallyx
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That would be good advice if we knew the current 2g tank is cycled. After two months with a UGF and partial water changes, it may very well be.

Funky, if you get one of those test kits, you can determine if your tank is cycled. If so, following gbose's advice is the way to go.

(A sponge filter would work as well, using your current air-pump.)
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