I am new at this. Had tanks 40 years ago - but just got back into it last fall.
I have a Fluval Spec V that my betta has been in since last Sept. - but he likes to sleep next to the filter intake slots and it's tearing chunks from his fins. He has been doing this the entire time, but when he was younger and had shorter fins, it was less of an issue. Now he has long fins, it is really tearing him up. I tried blocking it with some thin filter material but it blocked the flow to much and I worried about burning the pump up. I tried getting a fake plant and floating it near the inlet but he would wiggle in there and hang on the slots anyway. After the latest big chunk missing, I moved him to a 2 gallon plastic Critter Keeper till I come up with a better solution. I took out everything in the tank that he could possibly get hung up on other than the filter slots - and it was still happening, so I think that has to be what is doing it.
I am wondering about a Spec III - but looks like it has similar slots - but if the flow is different, maybe he would not be so apt to "hang" out on the slots. However, I wonder if 2.6 gallons is really enough for a betta.
What I do like about it is that it takes the same filter and inserts as the Spec V, so I could swap the bio rings, or maybe even the filter sponge, and maybe help the cycle along.
I'm also considering trying to figure out how to do a sponge filter, and setting up a 2.5 gallon standard tank, if I can come up with some sort of light for it.
Where I want to put the tank is on a piece of furniture that would work best with less than 5 gallons, but I'd try 5 gallons if I have to. (I would get a regular 5 gallon tank or a mini bow or something)
I'm going to the Aquarium Store in the big city near me tomorrow to see what I can come up with.
I have a 10 gallon I am not using, but I don't have a solid piece of furniture to put that much weight on.
My questions are -
1) is 2.5 gallons (or 2.6 for the Spec III) enough for a betta, if decorations are kept to a minimum
2) is it hard to find a decent light for low to medium plants for a 2.5 gallon? My local pet store has a glass tank for $12. It has a rim, so not sure about a clip on type lamp. It looks to tall for all the "desk" lamps I already have.
3) do sponge filters work well enough for one fish and a couple plants?
I'm assuming that if I go with a 2.5 or the 2.6 Fluval Spec III, that I would only put the betta in, and not the nerite snail. I can leave him in the Spec V or put him in the 15 gallon... but wondered if the snail should go in with the betta for clean up.
I'm ok with doing water changes, if a 2.5 could go unfiltered, but I do want the best for the betta. Figuring planted and filtered would be best for the betta. The Fluval Spec III is more square, and I wonder about a betta preferring a regular 2.5 gallon since it is longer and not square.