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Old 02-24-2013, 08:34 PM   #1 
cdouglas93
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Filter or no filter

I have a five gallon hex. tank and it has a special filter that sadly gave out on me. I know it's possible to order the filter online but my male is actually a lot hapier without it and even started building bubble nests all over the place. My problem is I wanted to get neon tetras in there with him to liven up the tank but now I'm not sure I can.... do I really need a filter or should I be ok without one?
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:58 PM   #2 
veggiegirl
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Hey there,

In smaller tanks of 1/2 gallon-2.5 gallons a filter is not recommended because in a space that small it would create too much water movement for the betta also because of the small volume of water changes need to be frequent in order to avoid ammonia poisoning and harmful bacteria therefore because water changes are needed so frequently this eliminates the need for a filter and maintains water quality. Larger tanks of 5 gallons upwards really do need a filter because it would be impractical to be doing 100% water changes every couple of days and so instead the filter maintains the water quality. This does not mean that the filter is a substitute for water changes but because larger tanks hold a larger volume of water they only need to be clean maybe once a week depending on the size of the tank and the filter helps to maintain water quality in between changes, if you get what I mean.......I hope that all makes sense

So you see if I guess correctly your tank probably came with a filter, the trouble with this is that the filters included in set ups are often way too strong for the size of the tank which is why your betta now seems happier with the filter not working. However the water quality will decline without a filter so I would recommend buying either a sponge filter or box/corner filter because you can adjust the airflow to ensure the current is not to strong for your betta.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:58 PM   #3 
ao
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I'm not sure bubble nests are a sign of happiness. it's just something betta fish do. they can't build a nest with a current, so they give up :)

For a 5 gallon I would recommend a filter. you can get some that are quite gentle. the reason really is that... once your tank is cycled... to save you the trouble of doing 100% water changes. plus it's always healthier to have a cycled tank ^_^
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:21 AM   #4 
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^+1

A cycled tank consistently provides the best water conditions. It's not for the convenience of the keeper, but for the health and safety of the fish.
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:32 AM   #5 
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You could get an Azoo Mignon 150 (they have them on amazon) - it's small and has adjustable flow so you can dial it down for your betta.

I personally am not in favor of tanks with no filters. Sure you can do water changes basically every other day to keep your water safe for your fish, but what happens if you want to go out of town, or you get really sick, or anything else that would mess up that water change schedule? Having a cycled tank can provide you some insurance if for whatever reason you can't do a WC on schedule. I change some water in all of my tanks every week, but I could go MUCH longer than that if something happened and I couldn't do it (cycled tanks should be fine for at least a month without a partial water change.. if not, they are either seriously overstocked or weren't fully cycled). I also have a system for water changes that is very simple, so someone could probably do it for me with very little instruction if I couldn't.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:24 AM   #6 
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It depends on what you want to put in the tank. One or two bettas will not have a high bioload so you can get away with no filter if you keep up on the water changes. Only my 10G and up gets filters due to lack of places to plug it in. In the long run a cycled tank IS better but uncycled is doable. Is it the marineland hex? I do beleive you can do live certain plants with the light it provides - then you don't need a filter

Isn't 5G too small for anything other then bettas? I though tetras were schooling fish..

Last edited by Tikibirds; 02-25-2013 at 01:33 AM.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:07 PM   #7 
cdouglas93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tikibirds View Post
It depends on what you want to put in the tank. One or two bettas will not have a high bioload so you can get away with no filter if you keep up on the water changes. Only my 10G and up gets filters due to lack of places to plug it in. In the long run a cycled tank IS better but uncycled is doable. Is it the marineland hex? I do beleive you can do live certain plants with the light it provides - then you don't need a filter

Isn't 5G too small for anything other then bettas? I though tetras were schooling fish..
Yes that is the type of tank I have. It's filter is a special type just for that tank in which I mean that the lid is built around that filter. And I was told I could have a small school in the five gallon I have.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:58 PM   #8 
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lol, they sure tell people the craziest things these days...
even if the tank can hold the bioload of a school ( usually 6+ ) of tetras (I've seen 2in+ ones) the amount (or lack of) space in there is unethical :(.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:58 AM   #9 
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To be clear, only a cycled or heavily-planted tank can provide 0.0ppm ammonia and nitrite all the time. The former requires a filter. Even if it were inconvenient, those methods would be preferred.

You still have to do a weekly 50% pwc to remove DOCs (dissolved organic compounds) and to remineralize.
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:13 AM   #10 
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I have the marineland hex 5 and it is my favorite tank. The design and gentle flow make it the perfect enviroment IMO for the price, plus I am a firm believer in the bio wheel. Replacement pumps are cheap.
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