only to find out that it's not even a whole filter. It's just the sponge and pipe.
What more do I need to buy and how would I even go about setting something up now?! I'm getting really annoyed, not to mention frustrated and considering just scrapping the whole darn thing altogether. Why can't they just sell a WHOLE SPONGE FILTER?!
I'll check back on this in a little bit, I'm going to just go give up for a while. Getting this tank ready to cycle is starting to look like too much of a darn hassle, and I'm tempted to just do water changes all the time instead. At least THAT is straight-forward. :/
Getting a tank cycled is as much hassle as waiting a month for the bacteria to naturally occur. It's the natural order of things - it's really that easy. Well, it's easy if you have patience...
It's NOT a this or that scenario. Whether you do daily water changes or not, the tank will become cycled as long as you don't actively prevent the cycle by over cleaning. Before you get all mad and frustrated, spend some time learning about what it is you want to do. The cycle is not magical - it's as straight forward as it comes.
As for the filter, sponge filters come in 2 parts - the sponge and the air pump. They don't always come together because of how highly customizable they are. You can choose whatever size air pump you want to run the filter.
Since you are here on the forum, I would suggest asking some questions to get a better understanding of things before you go spend money. $200+ is a ton of money to spend on a betta tank.
That is a whole sponge filter - all you have to provide is an air pump, an air stone, and airline tubing. A check valve probably wouldn't hurt either. It's pretty simple :) You can check on YouTube for some tutorials of how to set it up - i searched for "sponge filter setup". There are quite a few videos on there. I hope that helps you - don't give up, it's overwhelming for every newbie :)
And after I clicked "post" there were 4 other replies ahead of me haha Sorry for repeat info
I realize that cycling is going to take time. What I'm frustrated with is, if you need all that stuff with the filter, why doesn't it already come with it? I've spent $200 due to needing somewhere to put the tank (not on the floor), the tank itself, the hood, heater, sponge (which is apparently all I freakin got), dechlorinator, API quick-start... basically, I'm trying to get everything but the fish, and it's racking up and making me feel like I'm doing everything all wrong. :/
The initial investment of money is considerable compared to the cost to maintain, so that's understandable. At the end of the day, I think you are doing the right thing getting what you need first. Too many people buy the fish first which puts unnecessary pressure on you the keeper, adding to the level of frustration. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In the long run its worth doing right the first time
Well...you could have priced everything out before you bought it, lol.
Retail aquarium supplies are going to rake you over the coals. Always check Craigslist and classifieds first. You can always find someone with a fairly new set up that is already tired of it.