First of all, let me thank everyone for making this such a valuable resource to newbs like me. I'm sorry for jumping on here and asking questions that have undoubtedly been asked ten times over. I've found a lot of information online to be rather confusing, so I figured that I would post a couple of questions here.
My girlfriend and I got a veil-tail male named Kumo a few months ago. We picked him out at Petco because he was chasing and flaring at a spider who was running around on the shelf next to his little cup. Much like many bettas when they first come home, he didn't eat anything for the first couple of weeks. Now he is a healthy and happy part of our family. He's been living in a 2 gallon tank with an undergravel air pump, heater, and a live plant for the past few months. It's nice and warm, and receives regular partial water changes. He's been pretty happy with this setup. But I know that he would be happier in a larger space. He deserves some room to zoom around.
My girlfriend's sister gave us her old 5.5 gallon tank. It previously housed a betta for several years. It also has a couple of decorations that will be good for him. So here come the questions. This tank doesn't have a filter of any kind. I have the pump from the 2 gallon aquarium. It doesn't really count as a filter. It's just a six-inch piece of plastic grating with a tube and an airstone. In theory, I could move that setup over to the 5 gallon. But I doubt that would be very effective. What do you recommend in the way of filtration/air pumps for a betta and a live plant or two? Obviously, I'll be heating this tank as well. What is the best way to go about setting this tank up prior to moving him in? Will setting the tank up with a pump and a plant help prepare it if I run it for a couple of weeks? I didn't really establish a nitrogen cycle when he originally moved into the 2 gallon. Obviously, nothing like that has been completed with 5.5 gallon as there is presently no filter. Does just an air pump require a nitrogen cycle? Will a simple air pump work with a 5.5 gallon?
Thanks in advance!