I thought it would be beneficial to not only newbies but also seasoned betta keepers if we all shared the products we use or have used in the past and sort of rated them by how effective they were, how much they cost, availability, etc.
So here goes: I'm rating everything on a scale of 1-10 (10 being best)
-I used Top Fin Betta Bites as a 'base pellet' and I love it. I've never had problems with constipation or sinking. Its cheaper then the Hikari Bio-Gold and you get more. I get great color out of my fish even if this is the only thing I feed. Rating: 9
-For treats I use the Top Fin Freeze Dried Blood worms.. they are ok but like any FD food you need to rehydrate it. I also have problems with them getting so mushy I can hardly pick them up to feed. They're cheap and available at petsmart but I would go with a different brand. Rating: 5
-The best food hands down I feed is live brine shrimp.. if you can find these pick up a bag (1 scoop fed all 4 of my fish with leftovers and only costed $1). I haven't tried frozen but I think that would be second best. Rating: 10+ (live food) and 10 (frozen)
-I use whisper in-tank filters in both my 10 gal and my 2.5. I really love this type of filter. Its quiet, easy to care for, cheap, and really easy to baffle or buffer the flow (some even have flow adjustments). The only draw back to having it in the 2.5 is it takes up a good amount of space. Rating: 8 (because of size and general lack of manual flow adjustments)
-I love my eclipse 3 filtration.. its hidden under the hood, also easy to buffer and maintain. Rating: 10
-I use topfin submersible heaters in my 10 and 3 gal. They work really well but don't have temp settings.. just low to high settings. Rating: 8
-For my 2.5 and 1 gallon tanks I use the Hydor Mini 7.5 watt heater. Its really the only heater available for little tanks and it is small and discreet. I don't like the fact that you can't adjust it. I've found that it usually runs on the higher scale (like 82*F). It is pretty cheap.. running about $12 depending on where you go. Rating: 4
I used to use top fin betta water conditioner and I found that it makes the water cloudy faster and seems to expire (after a certain time crystals start to develop in the bottle). Rating: 1
Sea Chem Prime is the best IMO. It is highly concentrated so a bottle basically lasts forever (if you have small tanks under 50gals). It also is said to remove chlorine, chloramine, and ammonia as well as detoxifing nitrite and nitrate and adding a slime coat. Because it takes away ammonia it isn't the best water conditioner to use during a cycle. Rating: 10
-My minibow 2.5 gal is a great little tank. It does come with an incandescent bulb that gets hot but this can be changed. The newer filtration takes up less space and they come in all sorts of colors for the "creative" tank designer. They are space effective and aesthetically pleasing and still provide the full tank benefits (ie cycling, less water changes, light, filtration). You can sometimes find a deal but they usually run about $50 new. Rating: 7 (solely on the incandescent bulb)
-I also have an eclipse 3. I like the in-hood filtration bc gives you more tank space. The light is fluorescent so it doesn't get so hot. The hood door opens up over the filter so it does make it harder to feed and usually you have to take the hood off altogether. They usually run abou $50-70 but you can sometimes find open box deals and sales. Rating: 8
So what do you use?