Originally Posted by danolunchbox
I currently have a betta named Charles (after Charles Barkley) in a small bowl and want to upgrade him into the nice aquarium he deserves! Here's what I am looking to do--I need all the advice I can get! I am also interested in keeping live plants/aquascaping in his tank.
Looking to go for a 3-8 gallon tank--any suggestions? I've seen a lot of the all-in one's (like the marineland eclipse series, fluval spec or flora kit, ada garden mini cube)...not sure what's the best to get? An all-in-one kit or building one from scratch?
If I build from scratch what are the best filters for bettas?
Lighting? Best for keeping live plants?
I'll start there--any advice would be much appreciated!
That sounds like fun!!! I loooveee getting new tanks, its so exciting.
Personally, Im gonna suggest a kit. Because in the end, admittedly, youre probably gonna have to baffle the filter anyway, hah!
All the ones you noted are great. I personally own a 5 gallon hex from Marineland (which holds more like 6+ gallons), and its great, IMO. It has a good filter, which cycles like a CHAMPION. Ohhh, it takes me like a week. Whhattttt! Its also pretty and looks really cool when in a place that can be looked at from all sides (like, say, you had it on an island in the kitchen or something), minus the cords.
I also have a 5 gallon Aquaculture tank from walmart, which is an ok tank. To be honest, while much cheaper than an eclipse or whatever, you get what you pay for with it. Still recommended, though.
The fluvals look COOOOLLLLL! Ive never owned one, but bah, I want one badly.
Id say out of what you mentioned for tanks, theyre all good- just pick now what you like the look of.
Live plants are fun, they really are. They also help to clean your tank, keep it healthy and help it cycle (which I suggest you do! :D) I made a thread on easier-care ones here ( http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=67565
), which has good plants for those new to them.
How familiar are you with plants? I can suggest less-easy ones than those suggested (as can other members), but it depends on your comfort level and expected tank capabilities, like if you get cO2, etc :)
For lighting, aim to get CFL/Florescent lighting. Incandescent ( yellowy ones) arent great for plant growth. When looking for a light, its important to know what the hood can handle, so pay attention if it says "Under xxx watts" or "Tubular lights only", as this is important, because they could burst. Aim for 6500K+ bulbs for best growth.
I personally recommend a brand called "Lights of America", which sells great $5ish bulbs in the pet section of walmart. They are 10w and 6500K, which is fantastic. I have them in both of my Planted tanks!
As for the scaping, that's SOOO fun! Enjoy it! Try looking for a nice center piece like driftwood (try Malaysian driftwood or Mopani woods) to grow mosses on or swim through :)