Ok- I really have read LOTS of WONDERFUL things on this forum- thank you so much!
But- my dear Fred (my tiny (1.5" nose to flared fin) new CT betta-rescued from store in water so rank I couldn't tell what color he was (really!)- plus he was SO little!) is not the only one swimming at this point! (MY HEAD!! LOL)
I'm in the process of setting up my tank- (Fred doing ok in a holding 1gallon + bowl but I know that's not a forever situation- he's much better now than on arrival, but am trying to get things set up ASAP for him).
I know I need to do certain things and have specific questions at this point:
Tank: Tetra Water Wonders, glass, 6 gallon (got it for $40 as it seemed like a good deal (?) given that the filter was included (compared to other setups) and it was large enough to split into two 3 gallon setups later).
Would like to ultimately split this for two bettas- good idea or no?)
Have added gravel & silk plants so as to not hurt fins, etc.
Also added a betta log for happiness sake.
Planted some Betta Bulbs (?-live plants)- nothing so far (planted yesterday! ha!!)
Filter: Came in kit- Whisper 10i (takes M filter) (quiet, but seems to be huge for this size tank?) Can see silk plants waving- betta log careened a bit but seems to be stable with one end up against the glass at this writing.
Using Bettasafe to condition water (hey, just starting out- know that there's likely better but again this was a mercy buy).
He's getting Hikari Betta Bio-Gold pellets (wouldn't eat Wardley offerings). 2 pellets 2xday, and occasionally skip a day.
Filtered tank has been running since running since yesterday- but have not added fish yet.
Don't really want to get zebras to cycle tank, etc.- I have enough pets and Fred was a mercy acquisition! lol (one more betta would be fine if I split the tank, but have to hold off on building a 'school o' bettas' right now! lol)
1) Should I add aquarium salt or not?
(how much for 6 gallons). Can do the math based on what I've read (seen anything from ~1 tsp to 1 T for this size recommended) but advised or no?
2) Bet it needs baffling- will look into the aquarium sponge effluent baffle or water bottle baffle for the effluent. (thanks for the stickys!)
My question- what about the intake?
Am worried that Fred will get sucked up like a vacuum.....this filter seems like a horse for the size of tank.....
Will I burn out the filter motor if I block the intake with aquarium sponge?
3) Went to local fish store- who recommended putting a hard ceramic like beads into the filter for a bio filter (looked like stringable cylindrical beads) & not rinsing them thereafter (just tank water). Looks like there's room for them in the filter- good idea or no?
4) Also recommended adding a biosponge to the gravel for 3 months to establish the good bacteria. Again- good idea or no?
5) Heater: know I need a 25 W adjustable- Hydor or Elite?
(best places to get these? - just using Amazon for illustration)
The store says that they'll do free water tests (if I want to run them in there) or I could just get a kit (have seen the recommended kits here and feel comfortable with them if needed.
When should I bring Fred over to his new digs?
I presume after the heater arrives (and I set the tank to....?) - but how long thereafter (after temp stabilizes, cycling considerations, etc.)?
How often should I be changing water with this setup?
Pics of everything available if requested!