Betta Fish Care  
Go Back   Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care > Betta Fish Bowls, Habitats, and Accessories
Check out the eBook Betta Fish Care Made Easy
betta fish
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-10-2011, 04:03 PM   #1 
ekwerle
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Texas
Help w/ set-up for 20 gal tank

I just acquired a 20 gal tank from a friend and would LOVE to set up a fantastic tank for my betta, Remy. Currently he's in a 1.5 gal bowl (I know, I know - for shame) and I am so ready to move him, but there is NOTHING set up in this new aquarium.

I plan to cycle it and purchase many things before moving him, but I wanted to get some advice about water filters, heaters, substrate, plants, etc. I had a 10 gal tank when I was in high school, but it's been a LONG time since then.

Suggestions on any or everything? =)
ekwerle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2011, 04:30 PM   #2 
Micho
Member
 
Micho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Canada
Woo welcome to the forums, and gratz for getting that lovely 20 gallon tank! It'll be a great home for your Betta, and other fish if you plan to do a community tank with it.

First off, heaters I would recommend a Hagen Elite Submersible Pre-Set Aquarium Heater 100w. It's adjustable by a knob, will keep your 20g tank at a warm temperature for your Betta, with the heater grab a thermometer, preferably the ones that go INSIDE the tank, the ones can stick on the outside are quite unreliable.

Filter, you can go with anything you like, it's up to you really. I recommend the AquaClear 30, if you want a silent filter you could go with the Tetra Whisper 30i. Either way when buying a filter go bigger, if you have a 20g tank get one that's recommended for a 30g tank, increases your filtration capacity. If the current is too strong for your Betta, you can always baffle the thing.

Now the thing is substrate is that you can basically choose anything, seeing how you want live plants you can do a NPT (Naturally Planted Tank), with this grab a bag of potting soil, make sure it's organic with no fertilizers and extra additives just soil and nothing else. You might also want to pick up some gravel or aquarium sand to place on top of the soil. If you choose not to have live plants, just normal aquarium sand/gravel will do.

With plants you can choose a large variety depending on what type of lighting you have, it's recommended to have 2.5 watts per gallon, so seeing how you have a 20g tank I would say around 50 watts would be fine for you, did the tank come with a hood? If it doesn't you'll have to find a hood for your tank.

That was pretty much it with the questions right. . . ?
Micho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2011, 10:52 PM   #3 
ekwerle
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Texas
Wow, thanks for your suggestions! I looked at several reviews online regarding filters, I think I'm going to try the AquaClear 30. I also looked at the Aqueon Quiet Flow, but there were many people who said their pumps stopped working properly after several weeks. Not something I want to deal with.

I think I've found a heater similar to the one you've recommended. It has a dial on the top to set temperature and is also self-regulating (?, so my husband says). The tank also came with a temperature strip that is inside the tank and seems to be pretty accurate, so I'll try that out first before adding anything else.

For the substrate, I've read a little bit about using sand. While I'm interested in the benefits of it, I'm a little wary of putting that much work into getting it ready. Do you have any experience with sand? Would you recommend gravel or something else instead?

No hood with the tank, unfortunately. Before I purchase any plants I'll look into options for lighting. I really like the look of the NPT, so I'll figure out the substrate and lighting soon. Right now in his bowl I have (I think) a dwarf amazon sword and a fake plant that he's fond of resting in. I also have a moss ball that is sitting in a bowl nearby. Remy loves it, but I'm not entirely sure what to do with it. Saving it for the big tank for sure though! Thanks for letting me pick your brain!
ekwerle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2011, 05:56 PM   #4 
PatrickFish
New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Congrats on the "new" tank!. First off, sand substrate is nothing to be afraid of, as long as you take the time to properly rinse it. Most people become impatient and thus ending up with a very cloudy tank. I see your situation as a perfect opportunity to set up a nice planted tank for your betta. If there is no hood, id invest in a small t5 lighting fixture for use with live plants. I personally use an organic potting soil base, topped with play sand. Piece everything together, set it up and let it cycle properly and you're off to a good start.
PatrickFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2011, 06:10 PM   #5 
Okami
New Member
 
Okami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Massachusetts
Some Petcos and Petsmarts sell a Clay substrate thats basicly aquarium soil for plants. It comes in Red black for the most part. This can be used as a substitute if your uncomfortable with using potting soil as I am. if you get a good enough light the plant options are pretty high.

You might also want to take a look into getting a couple peices of drift wood. This makes a natural habbitat hidding spot and promotes the health of your water chemesrty.

Hope this helps!
Okami is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2011, 06:16 PM   #6 
PatrickFish
New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Potting soil and sand isn't as scary as you think, I swear! ;) Plus it's way cheaper then these hybrid substrates that pet stores sell.
PatrickFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2011, 06:19 PM   #7 
Okami
New Member
 
Okami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Massachusetts
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickFish View Post
Potting soil and sand isn't as scary as you think, I swear! ;) Plus it's way cheaper then these hybrid substrates that pet stores sell.
Lol if i didnt already special order some clay for my Southasian Blackwater im setting up ide give it a try.
Okami is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2011, 08:57 PM   #8 
Micho
Member
 
Micho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by ekwerle View Post
Wow, thanks for your suggestions! I looked at several reviews online regarding filters, I think I'm going to try the AquaClear 30. I also looked at the Aqueon Quiet Flow, but there were many people who said their pumps stopped working properly after several weeks. Not something I want to deal with.

I think I've found a heater similar to the one you've recommended. It has a dial on the top to set temperature and is also self-regulating (?, so my husband says). The tank also came with a temperature strip that is inside the tank and seems to be pretty accurate, so I'll try that out first before adding anything else.

For the substrate, I've read a little bit about using sand. While I'm interested in the benefits of it, I'm a little wary of putting that much work into getting it ready. Do you have any experience with sand? Would you recommend gravel or something else instead?

No hood with the tank, unfortunately. Before I purchase any plants I'll look into options for lighting. I really like the look of the NPT, so I'll figure out the substrate and lighting soon. Right now in his bowl I have (I think) a dwarf amazon sword and a fake plant that he's fond of resting in. I also have a moss ball that is sitting in a bowl nearby. Remy loves it, but I'm not entirely sure what to do with it. Saving it for the big tank for sure though! Thanks for letting me pick your brain!
The AquaClear 30 isn't exactly silent but it's a great filter since it has an adjustable flow and all that jazz. Also with the three step filter, I quite enjoy it.

I recommend any heater that is adjustable, all heaters are self-regulating some are bad because they rarely turn on causing your fish to freeze, but if it's adjustable it's probably a good heater to go with. I have no experience with temperature strips so I wouldn't know, but just in case I would always pick up a thermometer.

Sand is actually easier to clean than gravel, with sand just have to hover over it when you're using the gravel vacuum and it'll pick up any leftover food/poop/etc that's laying on the sand, unlike gravel where it'll fall into the cracks and you'll have to stir the and vacuum at the same time.

I have a planted tank, not sure if it's natural or not because I'm using gravel instead of potting soil & some sort of substrate on top. If you want a picture of mine it's right here, I have Geosystem substrate by Hagen. The gravel is not pretty but I'm too lazy to switch to sand & potting soil. In there I have java fern, swords, moss ball, moneyworts, crypt and some anubias tied onto driftwood.

There should be some 20 gallons hood out for sale, you can try online and at your LPS. Most hoods would have slots for lights, go to the lighting department at Wal-Mart or any hardware store, try to find 6500k bulbs, they're the best for plants. Also remember the correct watts/gallon for your tank. Moss balls are easy care plants, everyday just nudge them so all sides of the moss ball can get light, and once a week bring the moss ball out, clean any debris stuck on it, squeeze it gently and put it back into the tank!

Or if you do not like the ball form of the marimo you can open it up and tie it onto some driftwood, slowly it'll attach itself to the driftwood and grow. But I prefer the ball form, they're cuter that way.

No problem, if you have any questions feel free to ask. c:
Micho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2011, 10:05 AM   #9 
ekwerle
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Texas
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickFish View Post
Potting soil and sand isn't as scary as you think, I swear! ;) Plus it's way cheaper then these hybrid substrates that pet stores sell.
What kind of potting soil do you use? I looked at the local garden center on Monday but even the completely organic soil had some compounds I wasn't familiar with. The woman there referred me to the LPS, but if I can find something cheaper that's just as effective I'd like to try that! I hate to cut corners, but my fish budget is not completely unlimited. Oh, that it was...

Micho, your tank is really fantastic! I'm hoping mine will look something like that. I need to make some decisions and get the ball rolling!
ekwerle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2011, 03:26 PM   #10 
PatrickFish
New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
I use Miracle Grow organic choice potting mix. The bag I got was around 7-9$. Everything I got for this tank was either on sale or for free haha. For plants I have: Amazon swords, java fern, pygmy chain swords, jungle val, java moss, pelia moss and bacopa australis. The following videos are both a review on aquaclear 30 filters and a little vlog of my betta's tank. The tank is much more lush now, so an update is much needed.
http://youtu.be/Qqj-VYYDaKw
http://youtu.be/aUHLvNw0zfY
PatrickFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:55 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.