I currently have my betta in a 1 gallon tank. I feel like I'm about ready to get his a three gallon, so I can have a couple plants, and some driftwood. I have an idea of what I want it to look like in my head, so that's what I'm going for.
Now, I know there's a large knowledge base on here, and I have a few questions:
1. I want to get the Eclipse 3 tank. The rectangle, not the hexagon. I know it's acrylic. When I have the light on in my tank right now, and NO other lights on in the room, my fish can see his reflection in the acrylic wall and flares up. That might be because the tank is a triangle. Anyone have the Eclipse 3 and notice that happening?
2. I need to get an unobtrusive small heater for the tank that is reliable and won't cook the fish. Something I can program to a good temperature. Recommendations?
3. How often should I clean that size tank? I keep my fish's tank clean by not overfeeding (got the hang of it) and doing regular small water changes until the rocks are dirty, in which case I remove the fish, dump all the water, and clean the rocks. Obviously, if I have any plants, I can't just DUMP IT every couple weeks.
4. Will the filter on the Eclipse 3 aid in question #3? Do I even need to have it on at all? I don't use one now.
Hey there zebra3. :)
I'm afraid I've never had that specific tank model, so I can't give specific answers about that from experience....though I have heard good things about Eclipse tanks in the past. From what I understand, they are great little tanks in general.
I can, however, answer a few of your other questions....and hopefully someone with Eclipse experience can answer any Eclipse-specific questions. xD
1-With any tank, acrylic or glass, that I have EVER had regardless of size or shape.....if the room is dark and the tank lights are on, the fish can see their reflection somewhere. I'm pretty sure there will be some place he can see his reflection in the Eclipse, I would be really surprised if he couldn't. Only way to really prevent that is just to keep another light on in room or turn off the tank light when you turn off all the other lights I'm afraid.
2-For a heater, something 25 watts would be a good size....and of course, fully submersible along with the thermostat so its adjustable and all that, which is what you're looking for. Hydor, Elite, and Aqueon are a few good brands that come to mind. Also, if you have a Petco near you, Petco has their own heater brand that works just fine as well. I have the 50 watt in my 10 gallon, it works great.
3-In a 3 gallon tank, if you plan to cycle(which can be a little tricky in that size, you'll want to watch your water parameters VERY closely and it may take a little more initial effort and a few extra water changes if you're going with a fish-in cycle)then once you have you're cycle completed and stabilized, you should do 2 50% changes per week. If you choose NOT to cycle(in witch case I'd suggest just taking out the filter all together, not much point in it if you're not cycling)you will want to preform 1 50% and 1 100%(taking your fish out, emtying the whole tank, giving everything a good rinse, then setting it all back up and re-acclimating your fish and all that)per week.
If you are planning on doing something like an NPT though, best to head over to the Planted Tank section and ask the plant gurus about what sort of water changes you should be preforming. I just keep a few easy to grow plants, so I'm not sure what sort of water changes a 3 gallon NPT would require.
Also, a gravel vacuum. A gravel vac will make your life and water changes SO much quicker and easier. It'll get down in there and suck up all that gunk from down in the gravel(if you go with gravel)during your partial changes to help prevent waste from building up too much. Whether you cycle or not, gravel vacs really help with water changes(though not always in smaller NPTs).
4-....I do believe I actually answered that in answering number 3. xD
I'd go with a heavily planted tank or even an NPT - makes the water nicer and the fish happier and healthier - but keep up water changes to at least two or three 50% per week. This is how I keep my 3.5 gallon in a stable cycle - and avoid nastiness should that cycle crash.
I have not done a 100% change or rinsed the gravel fully in six months, and the tank and fish are fine. I just vac the bits of gravel that don't have plants all over them every water change. The plants love the debris (especially the banana lily).
I find my fish that are in filtered tank are much healthier than those which are not. I think some water aeration and slow fitration is also good for plants, and I don't tend to lose plants in the filtered tanks.
My small tank is a Dymax IQ5 cube (I love this tank to bits for a single female or a smaller long finned male) which came with a lid, inbuilt filter and a submersible pump (with adjustable flow, all of this behind a false wall which looks great) and small LED that keeps the plants happy (I've had great success with lots of moss, java fern on driftwood, banana lily, small crypts, small anubias, low light plants.. and a little floating wisteria for a fish 'sofa', no ferts used) , and I won't use anything but Dymax 30w heaters in my smaller tanks as they are slender, the glass is guarded, they look nice (in black) and are adjustable. About 20 bucks on ebay, I think? They were much more expensive from my LFS, I know that, but I think they're worth it.
Well it really depends with the filter. You COULD stuff it with filter foam and cycle your tank, but if you don't want to bother with cycling then the filter is a rather pointless....this is, of course, assuming you are going with an artificially/lightly planted sort of tank rather then an NPT.
I very much agree on setting up an NTP if you're up for it by the way. They're absolutely lovely and have all kinds of wonderful benefits. I'm afraid I can't contribute much in that area though, I'm absolutely terrible with any sort of live plants, aquatic or otherwise. xD
For heaters, most of them are generally similar in size....obviously he smaller-wattage heaters are shorter, but you're not going to find a good 'thin' heater thats going to properly and stably heat your tank as far as I know.
As far as specifics....well, Aqueon, Hydor, and Elite, like I said before, are some good brands. 25 watts is a good wattage(you MAY be able to get away with 50 watts, but I'm not sure how well it would fit length-wise in that tank). Try to stay away from 'present' heaters without a thermostat, look for something adjustable and fully submersible.....and I'd personally suggest staying away from the Top Fin brand. Had a bad experience with one in my 5 gallon, I'm convinced it contaminated my tank.
Thanks for the advice, I've never had plants in a tank but I definitely want to go for some real ones. Probably just a couple, after all, 3 gallons is only so much. I figure a piece of driftwood and two plants should do it, and hopefully water changes won't kill them.
I'd suggest taking a look at the Planted Tank section of the forum, lots of great info on different live plants if you just want to go with a couple of easy ones along with some silk plants or there is this whole sticky( http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=114575 )along with plenty of posts with all kinds of awesome information on NTPs.
I don't think I've ever heard of water changes killing plants before....xD So I think you're good.
Best of luck! Glad I could offer some assistance. :)