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Old 06-28-2011, 09:59 AM   #1 
Sivan
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Setting up a 5 gallon tank for the first time

Hello,

I found a 5 gallon tank in my attic that looks like the sort from Petco. It has a light and some decorations but no filter that I can find. It appears to be new as well, so I am not sure if these things come with filters or what, but I know its probably not used or had limited use.

Before Fabio died, I wanted to set this tank up for him so that when I went away to study in England, so nobody would have to fuss with 100% water changes and make a possibly error when I couldn't be there to correct it. Although he is gone, I would still like to know how to set this tank up in case I decide on buying a new friend before I leave or if I simply want to set it up in the future.

I am used to fishbowls and nothing else, aside a 2.5 gallon vertical tank with an air stone, so filters are a new concept for me. I have been told to cycle the water and read somewhere that I should leave the filter running for 6 weeks before placing a fish inside in order to "break the filter in" and set a good balance of chemicals in the water. However, this seemed aimed at having a community of fish or including live plants. I wish to do neither of these things and my father said he never cycled his aquarium back in the days of him having a community and that it isn't needed for one fish.

So: Do I have to cycle for one betta? How do I choose a filter? How do you install a filter? What are basic obvious things that I probably will not think of because I lack experience?

Thanks guys.
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:05 AM   #2 
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Well you don't have to cycle but it is better if you do. I have heard a lot of good things about the red sea nano deco art filter. The installations are different for each filter, it will come with instructions. And you need a heater for the betta.
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:26 AM   #3 
Sivan
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Yes, I do know about the heater. I don't want one that is too expensive but would like one that gives a nice steady temperature.

What makes that filter good in comparison to others?
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:14 PM   #4 
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A good filter is a reliable filter. A filter that doesnt shake, knock and splash and gives off a steady turn is what makes a good filter...

And yet, every single filter youre gonna find out there will be too strong for your betta, guaranteed! ;P Usually, the filter will produce a "waterfall" from its outtake, which can either knock the fish around, create too much current (both very dangerous things with long, heavy fins!) or make too much surface disruption for their liking.

Selecting a filter should be based on the kind of tank you have, how many gallons, how many fish, etc...so for a 5 gallon, you dont need one for, say, a 20 gallon- you know?

What TYPE of tank is it? Its hard to recommend without knowing what tank you have, as some tanks dont have space for HOB filters (hang on back). If you could send a quick pic of the tank, that will be a major help.

Also, have you checked to see if perhaps its a marineland tank? These tanks are of good quality, and sometimes have their filters up and over the tank, rather than where you often see them, such as hanging on the back. Check for us, and let us know to help you better :B
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Old 07-04-2011, 05:30 PM   #5 
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This is what the tank looks like. It has a cover with a long light too, but I do not know where a filter would go or how to decide the type of filter/power of filter. I also do not know if a 5 gallon will fit in my room in the flat I will be renting out when I return. I actually considered getting a 2.5g marina goldfish tank for my future betta because it has a filter/light. I could easily add a small heater inside if need be as well. The tanks I saw weren't attractive looking though and I don't know how to work with a filter or what to look out for, etc.
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:52 AM   #6 
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Look for kits, then, that come with those things. They tend to be more expensive, but worth it in that you dont need to run around looking for what you need.
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:40 PM   #7 
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Would this be a good tank then? http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...lickid=prod_cs

I am thinking of the 2.5g in case my apartment flat is too small for a 5g. How well does a filter work in a 2.5? I already have a 2.5 vertical hexagon but it has only an air pump. My last betta seemed to be happier in a more horizontal shaped tank.
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:24 PM   #8 
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Horizontal space is better, yeah.. But vertical isnt too bad, so long as you have tall plants to rest and play on.

Those tanks are widely used in the forum, if youre interested, Id say get it :)
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:44 AM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sivan View Post
Would this be a good tank then? http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...lickid=prod_cs

I am thinking of the 2.5g in case my apartment flat is too small for a 5g. How well does a filter work in a 2.5? I already have a 2.5 vertical hexagon but it has only an air pump. My last betta seemed to be happier in a more horizontal shaped tank.
I have this tank, except the "betta" version which is the exact same thing.

Light works well, but heats the tank up. So when it gets hot in my apartment, I cannot use the light because the light gets so hot that it will heat up the tank. (DO NOT make this as an excuse to dismiss the heater.) Although so far I have not had any electrical problems, rusting problems, etc and the light bulb lasts a good while.

The filter is WAY too strong. For my male, I don't bother using it at all... You will have to baffle it, but it is awkward to baffle, so I think using sponge on the INtake would be best. I have yet to do that and try it, though.

The tank is also kind of weirdly built... The filter takes up a huge amount of space. If I remove it in the tank, the tank is suddenly SO much bigger, but I tried this with my male and he got upset because he really enjoys hiding behind it... Also, it is much more vertical compared to horizontal. There's really not a lot of swimming across space.

It works great for my very small female and my small HMPK, but for most HMs or the normal 3 inch or so bettas they'd definitely be cramped.

The empty 2.5 gallons at PetSmart have way more space. Using a small filter in there would have way more room compared to these...

I only use them because it works because my two are very small compared to most bettas, and I got them for free. Hopefully they'll be upgraded to 5 gallons soon.

If you're willing to pay that much money, look at WalMart's Hawkeye 5 gallon. It is $25 and has EVERYTHING you need, plus has flourescent lighting! That is like the biggest thing ever to me, LOL!

Cycling is not required, it is more required for more delicate species of fish. BUT, if you DO cycle, it really helps the fish along. You will also have to do very frequent water changes until it cycles with your fish. Cycling minus fish means you just never change the water and add the ammonia daily, test every few days, and do a massive water change and add fish. It really doesn't take 6 weeks, a week or two for the filter to run, and probably about 3 weeks for it to be fully cycled, especially in 5 gallon.
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:35 AM   #10 
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Thanks laughing! You are always full of so much information! I am debating on a 5 gallon in case my room ends up being the tiniest in the flat, which means I can have no bigger than a 2.5 gallon. I am also still considering just using my old 2.5 vertical hexagon tank. Its lack of a filter kind of bothers me and I have read conflicting information on how to change the water in a tank, so I wonder if a filter would really help. I will avoid a new tank if the filter is too strong though, especially since a filter is the reason I would buy a new tank to begin with! I am quite confused as to what I want, honestly.
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