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Old 08-28-2011, 09:59 PM   #1 
walle
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Question Newbie Questions

Hi everyone!

My roommate and I just decided we wanted to get a betta! I just ordered a tank and heater from Amazon, and I wanted to make sure they're good ones and ask a few questions!

The tank I bought is a Marineland 5-gallon hexagonal acrylic tank with a top-mounted filter that includes a BIO-wheel. I know 5 gallons is enough space for a betta, but is this a good filter? Will I need to cycle this tank or will the BIO-wheel do it on its own? Do I need to cycle the tank? And how often will I need to do water changes with this tank?

The heater I bought is a Hydor mini heater for 2-5 gallon tanks. Is this a good heater?

Thank you in advance for your help!
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Old 08-29-2011, 12:10 AM   #2 
Dozzem
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Welcome to the site! (I bump for you :3)
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Old 08-29-2011, 05:58 AM   #3 
Tikibirds
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I have that tank but I don't have the filter running. I found my fish's tail stuck in the intake part of the filter. I turned it off and he swam away.
It's a good tank and the lighting is nice and bright, but the filter's outflow is a bit strong.

If you cycle the tank, then there are less water changes but you don't need to cycle it as long as you keep up with the water changes. one 50% and one 100% change a week. Im not really sure how the bio wheel works or what it does exactly...
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:27 AM   #4 
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Panty hose tied around the bottom of the filter tightly may help keep the fins away. Be aware that these heaters don't have temperature controls, so the water temperature will change when the room temperature changes.. so just keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't get too warm.
I can't be of help when it comes to cycling since I use smaller containers for mine and do frequent changes.
Best of luck! And welcome!
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Old 08-29-2011, 11:00 AM   #5 
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5 gallons is a good size for a betta. You don't HAVE to have a filter, but if you don't you will need to do more water changes. Like Tikibirds said, you don't want one that has a heavy outflow because disrupts the water surface too much. (Bettas need to come to the surface for air, so they don't like a heavy current in the water)

That heater might be fine depending on the room temperature. Just make sure you get a thermometer so you can carefully monitor the temp in the tank! 76 is the minimum for bettas, I think. I have a 50w pre-set heater in my 6.6g tank now, and it is keeping the water right at 76 so I am probably going to get an adjustable one. I moved it closer to the filter, which is supposed to help, so we'll see. But if you can get one, I definitely suggest an adjustable heater.

You don't have to cycle the tank before adding your fish, but if you don't, make sure you at least let everything run for a day or two (filter, heater, etc) after filling the tank and adding water conditioner, before you put your betta in. You should probably also get a water testing kit so you can check the water parameters - ammonia most importantly.
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Old 08-29-2011, 11:49 AM   #6 
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+1 To all the wonderful advice given o:

To add a little more about the heater.....I use them for my 2-ish gallons; I wouldn't recommend them for anything bigger, and only in the smaller tank if the room they are kept in has a fairly warm/stable temperature as they are not adjustable/can't be turned off/and only heat a few degrees above room temp.
I attempted one in a 5 gallon a couple of years back; it hardly raised the temp two degrees and my room was fairly warm and stable.

I highly recommend a 25-50 watt adjustable, submersible heater. In my five gallon I currently have this, and when I had my larger tanks set up I used the same brand. They may be a little more on the pricey side, but they're good quality and I'm very happy with mine.

As for the cycling....no, you don't have to cycle before getting your fish, as stated previously, but regardless, so long as you have a filter running, your tank will go through a cycle(you can very easily just turn the filter off/remove it if you'd rather just do the slightly more frequent weekly changes and not bother cycling though).
http://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm
^ A neat little page that explains the cycling process. Take a look and you can decide if you'd like to mess with it or not. ;)

I wish you the best of luck with your future new fishy friend, and cookies to you for doing your research and getting a properly-sized heated tank! :) And, as always, feel free to ask if you have any further questions of concerns.
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Old 08-29-2011, 04:03 PM   #7 
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Thank you all so much for the advice!

Now for a few more questions:

Which of these three heaters (all 50W) would you all recommend the most:
A. Hagen Fluval M Submersible Heater
B. Aqueon Pro 50 Submersible Aquarium Heater
C. Hagen Fluval E Electronic Heater

And how do you do a water change? Where do you put your fish during it?
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Old 08-29-2011, 04:43 PM   #8 
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The Aqueon personally; I'm rather fond of the brand, they make good stuff.

It depends on if you cycle your tank or not. If you cycle your tank, you'll want to get a gravel siphon(fairly easy to use; instructions are provided)for partial changes to suck up all the poo and such that falls into the gravel(though you don't want to actually use it in the gravel until your cycle is finished and stable, but it still makes taking out water a lot easier). If you cycle and do partial changes, you only need to take out a percentage of the water(25-50%)and, therefore, you can leave your fish in throughout the process.

If you don't cycle, just scoop your betta up in his cup(or other small container)when you do a 100% water change, then accumulate him back in to the fresh water.
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Old 08-29-2011, 05:33 PM   #9 
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Your tank will end up cycling irregardless. If you have a filter, and you run it constantly (which you need to do, otherwise you shouldn't have a filter at all), you will start to get bacteria in the filter, especially since you have a biowheel. Just make sure you test for ammonia (and preferably nitrates and nitrites) so your fish stays safe during the process. If you don't have a test kit you will need to do daily 25-50% changes until you can have the water tested at your local fish store or you can pick up a test kit. Keep in mind that strips do not work as well as the test kits with droppers. Good luck!
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