Hello there, my name is Pipsqueak and I'm newer to the world of keeping Betta Splendens. I've had several of these beautiful fish in the past, but unfortunately, I was too young and uneducated to understand that I wasn't caring for them properly, which resulted in their deaths. I'm mature now and wish to redeem myself by researching proper care on this forum so that one day I can choose a Betta whom I can call my baby and spoil like a grandmother spoils her grandchildren.
And now, it's time for a short Q&A session. I'll ask the questions and you answer if you can!
Q: What aquariums would you suggest for someone who is somewhat on a budget (I'm a student so I'm not the richest person in the world)?
Q: What heater (brands, etc) would you suggest I purchase for the tank I choose?
Q: Some people say that the minimum size of a tank is 5 gallons for a Betta (on other sites), is this a rumor or is it true?
Q1: Sometimes kritter keepers are cheap and great for a limited space, but they sometimes make the same sizes in glass (which I feel are a little more durable)
Q2: Heaters depend mostly on how much your water needs to be heated, but I do recommend the adjustables over the pre-set thermostats. Some illnesses (like ich) you need to turn the heat up to a certain temp which isn't good for normal every day, and the pre-sets can't do that. Hydor is a good brand.
Q3: There is a LOT of debate on the minimum tanksize for bettas. Some say 5, some say 10, and some say 1 gallon. I prefer 2-2.5 gallons personally, but I have the time to keep up with the necessary water changes. If you're short on the time to perform multiple changes a week, I would go with a cycled and filtered 5-10 gallon. Temperatures and water quality are more stable with a larger volume of water.
Skyewillow, the information you provided was very useful, and for that, I thank you. I was thinking about purchasing a Fluval Spec III until I saw the prices of them at the LFS. I think it would be best to find a nice glass 5 gallon aquarium at Meijer or Walmart or perhaps online. If I want to go to Petco or Petsmart, I have to make a 30 minute to an hour long drive, which isn't safe to do right now because of the weather and condition of my vehicle.
What do you think of those Aqueon Mini Bow tanks? I know the one I'm looking at isn't the 5 gallons that I would prefer to have, and is gently used, but it's at least 2.5 gallons, which seems to be plenty of room for a single Betta. It appears to be a decent tank, with the small issue of lighting and filter flow, but it's always best to get the opinion of someone more experienced.
I don't use the filter on the 2.5 minibow, it covers too much surface area. Mine is currently unfiltered, (with adequate changes), but I've also done the whisper i3 airline driven filter. It's not too strong for bettas.
I do like the minibow though, the lights are easy enough to replace with something more to your liking, and it offers enough wiggle room for one fish.
I think the best choice would be to purchase the Aqueon Mini Bow 2.5 from the acquaintance who is selling it. The price is unbeatable, he is giving it to me for a mere $15, mostly because he is praising my desire to give a Betta the best life possible through research. I think that's super neat. There's nothing wrong with the aquarium, it just needs to be cleaned up a little.
As for a heater, what would you suggest I use? Can you provide a link to it so that I can purchase it ASAP? I'm thinking that it must be more complicated to heat a tank that's smaller than 5 gallons. I'm sorry for asking so many questions, there's so many things I don't know yet and you've stated that you have used an Aqueon Mini Bow 2.5 before, so I'm hoping that you can help me with my setup. Getting ideas for it, that is.