Guys & gals, I'm having a fish dilemma. More like a, "To split, or not to split, that is the question."
I have my fellas currently in their own tanks, Goblin is living life up on my Grandmas kitchen counter (2.5), and Golem is living in the 4 gal biorb tank in the entryway. They are coming back to the dorms with me shortly, and there is my dilemma. I have a 10 gal tank here that was originally going to be a sorority, but after thinking about it, I don't have the cover I'd need. So I was thinking of making the 10gal tank a split tank, 1 water change a week. (its not cycled anymore since I've been away for a month)
So question, pros/cons of a divided tank? I have most of the materials to divide the tank, I just need black report covers. && I'd probably need a few more plants so that they wont see each other. But other than that its not that much of an undertaking.
The only 2 cons are that sometimes the divider could slip during water changes and you'd have to keep a close eye on that, and that its hard to filter.
Other than that its all pros. Less space used, less water changes, seeing your boys interact, more space for your boys, etc.
I have my 10 gallon split 4 ways and dont have any issues as long as I keep an eye on the dividers after I change the water. I have a sponge filter and I'll move it from compartment to compartment every few days and it does a good job.
Take up less space
You can have more fish
You only have to change water in one tank instead of two.
Every disease that hits one is exposed to all of them
Nitrates and other bad stuff builds up X times faster
They can be stressed by seeing each other
Your temperature across the tank probably won't be even because of having the heater on one side of the divider
The divider with the filter will have better filtration than the rest.
They could jump the divider and kill each other
The divider itself can poison them (if you use the wrong kind of material.
If you don't install the divider properly (as noted above) it could move
It's only 2 fish in a 10 gal with a Aqueon quietflow 10 filter. It's got a pretty strong current. I baffle it, and I'm not really worried about one side being more filtered than the other, becaus the water moves around pretty well as is. aqadvisor has me at a 15% change a week.
I'm just looking to keep the 2.5 open and only have to do a single wc a week. I keep my tanks clean and I do not rescue or bring in any new fish without QT first so I've never had any kind of disease. Besides Goblins obsession with biting his fins off. I also own some black craft mesh, which is what is used in the divider tutorial.
I have mine divided 3 ways. If i recall correctly its the same setup you got from petco that was onsale a while back. But I droped the light INTO the tank.
Pros - 1 filter/heater and 1 water change
cons - Harder to siphon with the dividers. Once every month or so i remove the dividers, decor and siphon the whole thing and change about 90% of the water. The side furthest from the divider is always more dirty.
If you have sand, put some gravel along the dividers so when you add in the water, the sand dosent all move away leaving a hole someplace that they can sneak through.
I have some black river rocks I can use, thanks for that advice! I wouldn't of even thought of that.
Our living room has ceiling to floor windows, so there will no doubt be tons of algae and I'll have to siphon crazy often. It'll give my rabbit snails more room to explore though!
I've had both divided and undivided tanks - I now prefer undivided for several reasons:
1) Like others have said, diseases can spread easily through divided tanks. With undivided tanks (and silk plants), I could introduce new bettas to their permanent homes without quarantine (although leaving the tank bare bottomed initially was sometimes helpful).
2) I found that my craft mesh dividers were a prime site for growing algae... and when this did occur, it was very messy to remove it (the only way was to scrub it off, which clouded the water) and it would grow back quickly.
3) The divided tanks were just generally more difficult to work with (harder to clean, install equipment, etc.).
I will say that dividing a tank is easier on the wallet, however, as you need only 1 filter, heater, and light on a per tank vs. per fish basis. In the end though, it's really just a matter of personal preference ;)
I personally have two tanks, a 5.5 gallon and a 10 gallon, which is divided. I've found that the divider used in the tutorial you mentioned both looks great and works VERY well.
Noted, my divider goes all the way to be touching the hood, so they can't jump, and I have my substrate built so it's a layer of fertilized gravel then a layer of sand, but I've used the tank with guppies | male betta, male | male, and female | male, never had problems with it.
The side away from the filter DOES build up a protein film, though not too bad (my boy is an obsessive bubble nester, so he disturbs the surface quite often). My males were both pretty passive when I kept two males, so the occasional flare fest was few and far between.
In the end, it's a matter of personal preference. I would never divide a 10 gal more than once, just to allow swimming space and decorating fun (my tiny female loves her half, it's amazing how well one fish with a big personality can fill the space). It's cheaper, and allows a highschooler with limited funds, limited time, and limited space keep more fish happy. Also, when I go to college in a year and a half, I can bring two fish with me to college, where most limit you to 10 gallons.
Last edited by Vizja13; 01-07-2013 at 08:57 AM.