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Old 05-13-2012, 02:09 PM   #1 
True Indigo
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First Time Attempts To Make a Divided 10 Gal -- Help Please?

So I recently got my hands on two 10 gallon tanks cheap. Perfect! Both came with a heater and filter (I'll have to get the lights myself but that's no biggy considering the cost of what I saved getting these two).

I want 4 bettas and was thinking of having 2 10 gals and dividing them both. However, I haven't the slightest clue how to set it up or what the best setup is (I've looked and people seem to have different interpretations of what the "best" is). I'm looking for answers from people who have had repeated good experience with divided tanks to offer up any pointers.

I also have a few concerns:

1. What would be the best kind of divider that keeps water flow consistent but doesn't allow the bettas to see each other through the divider?

2. Because bettas have pheromones, am I in danger of stressing my bettas out even if they can't be seen?

3. Are their better alternatives I should take instead of dividing tanks like get single use 5 gals? My primary concern is the fish so if there are safer and better methods, even at the expense of price and space, I'd like to know about them.

4. What are the basic pros and cons of having a divided tank versus single tanks?

5. Difficulties or special directions for changes and adding directions needed?

So those are my concerns and I'm also just generally wondering what the best methods and supplies I'd need to setup a divided tank from those who are experienced with them.

Thanks in advance and I look forward to your responses. I'm excited about this.

Edit: Also a suggestion since I know I'm not the only one who is inexperienced in this. Would it be possible for someone to make a detailed tutorial on how to make divided tanks and make it a pinned topic of this forum? I'm sure it'd help out. :)

Last edited by True Indigo; 05-13-2012 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:39 PM   #2 
lilyrazen
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I've had no problems with using dividers in ten gallons. I bought two at PetSmart that were already made and they work AMAZINGLY. Here's the link
($10 for a ten gallon one)
http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=3742975

1. I think the flow is perfect, but you will have to clean the side away from the filter a little more, because not everything can pass through the divider. It's clear, but my boys never seemed to mind each other.

2. I'd only really think that'd be a problem if you planned on housing BOTH females and males in the same tank. If you wanted to house females, it could be easier to make one tank into a sorority instead of dividing it (so long as you have 4-6 girls).

3. Using separate tanks is an option, but it's essentially the same. In my opinion, dividing a tank is easier because you can later convert it into a REALLY small community or a sorority, and it's easy to take care of.

4. Divided Pros: they share water so water changes aren't as hard, they aren't as hard to clean, they're cheaper, they are easily changeable, shares a filter and heater. Divided Cons: they can have a little trouble adjusting to seeing the other betta there, it's sometimes not as evenly heated. Single pros: no worries about heating/cleaning/agression Single Cons: separate water changes, separate filter and heater.

5. When vacuuming, vacuum both sides. Add plants to cover parts of the divider. Make SURE the divider doesn't have gaps near the tank walls. If the bettas are really aggressive, put a less aggressive boy in one of the sections and move the more aggressive one to a single tank.

If you want, get the divider from PetSmart, they're really great. ALSO, make sure there isn't too much room at the top below the lid, because they'll leap over occasionally if you have a determined betta.

Here're some pictures of my ten gallon when it was divided.


Last edited by lilyrazen; 05-13-2012 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:31 PM   #3 
Bombalurina
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Another con of the divided tank is that, because they share the same water, if one gets sick you must treat both.
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:54 PM   #4 
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Oh, I didn't even think to write about that. I'd never experienced them getting sick though, so I wouldn't have known about that anyway.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:56 PM   #5 
Hopeseeker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True Indigo View Post
So I recently got my hands on two 10 gallon tanks cheap. Perfect! Both came with a heater and filter (I'll have to get the lights myself but that's no biggy considering the cost of what I saved getting these two).

I want 4 bettas and was thinking of having 2 10 gals and dividing them both. However, I haven't the slightest clue how to set it up or what the best setup is (I've looked and people seem to have different interpretations of what the "best" is). I'm looking for answers from people who have had repeated good experience with divided tanks to offer up any pointers.

I also have a few concerns:

1. What would be the best kind of divider that keeps water flow consistent but doesn't allow the bettas to see each other through the divider?

2. Because bettas have pheromones, am I in danger of stressing my bettas out even if they can't be seen?

3. Are their better alternatives I should take instead of dividing tanks like get single use 5 gals? My primary concern is the fish so if there are safer and better methods, even at the expense of price and space, I'd like to know about them.

4. What are the basic pros and cons of having a divided tank versus single tanks?

5. Difficulties or special directions for changes and adding directions needed?

So those are my concerns and I'm also just generally wondering what the best methods and supplies I'd need to setup a divided tank from those who are experienced with them.

Thanks in advance and I look forward to your responses. I'm excited about this.

Edit: Also a suggestion since I know I'm not the only one who is inexperienced in this. Would it be possible for someone to make a detailed tutorial on how to make divided tanks and make it a pinned topic of this forum? I'm sure it'd help out. :)
I just recently divided my 10 gallon for my 2 boys. Here is the thread: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=98702
The divider is made from plastic canvas and report binder spines.
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Old 05-14-2012, 01:03 AM   #6 
thekoimaiden
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Right now I only have betta in divided tanks and absolutely love it. I will never go back to 5 gals unless I'm forced to. Now to answer your questions. ^-^

1: I had the petsmart divider and found it was too clear and didn't offer enough water flow. I made my own with craft canvas and found it to be a far superior medium. Once a little algae grows on it, they don't even notice each other.

2: This could very well be, but with proper water changes and lotsa plants, I've never had a problem with this. Once I got rid of the petsmart divider, I got rid of my fin-biting issues. But keeping a male and female together in a divided tank doesn't sound like a good idea. I think this is where the hormones would come into play a lot and have the potential to be bad.

3: Personally, I believe that a divided 10 gal is a better alternative to a 5 gal as a larger tank has more stable water chemistry. In terms of space, having two 5 gals side by side is longer than a single 10 gal.

4: The pros are cycled (so single water change per week), less outlets used, and you can claim to parents to only have one tank ;). The cons are you have to cycle it (which is a pain), as Bomba said transfer of disease, some boys just can't handle it, and you gotta watch out for jumpers.

5: For water changes, make sure you gravel vac both sides. Trying not to pour the water on either fish can be kinda tricky. I pour it gently on the divider. When the top is off, you need to be really careful about jumpers.

Basically, your biggest concern is going to be jumpers. I've had two jump the divider, but I divide my tanks in a unique way so there is a 3rd section in the middle as a "buffer" and for the heater and sponge filter. But as a precaution I added a jump guard made from extra craft canvas.

Oh ya. And here is the tutorial I used (the craft canvas one not the plexiglass one). Tank Dividers @ petfish.net If you want to see pictures of my tanks, click on "My Aquariums" under my username.
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Old 05-14-2012, 01:13 AM   #7 
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. What would be the best kind of divider that keeps water flow consistent but doesn't allow the bettas to see each other through the divider? I made my own with craft mesh and report cover binding

2. Because bettas have pheromones, am I in danger of stressing my bettas out even if they can't be seen? depends on the betta - some will be fine - others will stress out and/or become tail bitters

3. Are their better alternatives I should take instead of dividing tanks like get single use 5 gals? My primary concern is the fish so if there are safer and better methods, even at the expense of price and space, I'd like to know about them. I find 10 gallons is better because then only 1 filter/heater for 2-3 fish

4. What are the basic pros and cons of having a divided tank versus single tanks? less work doing water changes, less outlets required to plug in equipment. However I find gravel siponing is more difficult with a divided tank

5. Difficulties or special directions for changes and adding directions needed?

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Old 05-14-2012, 01:58 AM   #8 
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There is a detailed tutorial on dividing your tank here somewhere..

If you get a 10 gallon setup or larger, make sure your apartment allows it, and make sure it's on a load bearing wall so it doesn't go visit your neighbors downstairs someday unexpectedly. A 10 gallon tank will weigh about 100 lbs in water alone.

Also don't make the same mistake I did and get an incandescent hood.

Go for a fluorescent hood. You won't regret it in the long run!

If you go with live plants at some point, fluorescent will allow you to keep a larger variety of plants much healthier. If know for sure you want live plants look into the plants you like and their light requirements. It may save you money down the road to just invest in a REALLY nice light off the bat. If you aren't in a hurry for one you can sometimes catch a sale. Florescent are good to start with though because you can upgrade to better bulbs, incandescent you can't do much... and the light is much dimmer.

I can't really link any specific products because there are so many different kinds of aquariums, styles, and plants. What you want to do with a tank makes a difference in what equipment you will want.

What kind of filters do you have? You will probably want to make them Betta safe. Sometimes fish get sucked into the intake tube. Bettas especially!!

Jamming a pre- filter sponge on the intake tube for hang on back filters makes a nice little home for beneficial bacteria. Some people use nylons, but my fish sleep on the sponges. (I have lazy fish.)

I used the store bought dividers for my tank. I didn't have good flow through the plastic sheet that is just punched with pin hole sized holes. One side of the divider was very sharp too. My fish didn't appear to injure themselves, but when I put it back together I personally am going to try the plastic needlepoint canvas because it is smooth on both sides and the holes are bigger for better flow. The canvas comes with different sized holes btw. If you order online make sure you are getting a good size. It also comes in different colors, as well as clear.

Natural planted tanks are popular. People abbreviate them as NPT. It's worth looking up the information on them.

Also look up aquascaping and planted tanks on YouTube. You can get some good ideas. There are also aquarium magazines, both in print and online. Some of the online information is free on the magazine sites too. Even if you don't do any of it, it's inspiring. :D You can also browse peoples tanks in their profiles on the Tropical Fish Keeping side of the forum for ideas and a lot of information.

Sorry that was so long.. I yammer a lot... Best wishes with whatever you decide, bettas have great personalities.
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:57 AM   #9 
Hallyx
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Two 5g tanks offer more floorspace, which equals more swimming room. It's also easier to maintain (vacuum and whatever) a shallower tank.

That said, the following applies to a divided tank:

The Koi Maiden and I (as well as a few others) use two craft-mesh dividers with the filter and heater between them. This has a lot of advantages.

Evenly distributed heat and filtration.
Blocks their view of each other.
Makes jumping less likely.
Pouring refill water is easy between dividers.

Btw, light-colored craft-mesh is harder to see through than black. Try it.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:48 AM   #10 
True Indigo
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I can't thank you all enough for your help. I'll try to sift out the best of what I can from what all of you said and start on that when I get the chance. :)

I also think if someone pinned a picture/video tutorial about making one, a lot of people would benefit from it.

Great help as always, guys. Thanks again. ^_^

Last edited by True Indigo; 05-15-2012 at 06:06 AM.
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