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Old 09-02-2011, 07:55 PM   #1 
titusthebetta's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: PA
Good Aquarium Starter Kit

I've been doing some research on smaller tanks that would be good not only for my dorm room but also for me as a first time fish owner. Ideally my tank would be between 2-2.5 gallons, and I'd really prefer it to be in a kit instead of trying to build a tank on my own. I've reduced my search to some of these tanks: Petco 2.5 Gallon Desktop (here); Petco Hex Freshwater-2 gallons (; and an Aqueon Mini-Bow 2.5 gallon (here). Except I wouldn't have the divider in.

This would be for one betta, and I was wondering if anyone has used/uses these tanks or if someone has another tank to recommend for a newbie within the same size restrictions.
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:41 PM   #2 
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I like my Petco Hex very much. The Hagen Elite 25W heater is a really good match for it as well.
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:55 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Kingston, Ontario
Hi :)
First of all, I have no experience with these tanks so this is just my 2 cents on them. I can't even see the 2nd tank listed, but I'd go for a 2.5 gallon instead of a 2. Not much of a difference, but still a difference. I'll point out some pros and cons of both tanks that I see by looking at them for you, until someone that's had these can offer advice :)

Petco 2.5 Gal:
It's taller than it is long though, which isn't usually a good choice for a betta- they prefer swimming side to side, not up and down, and it'd take them more time to get to the surface for air. It has a lid, but I can't tell if there's any holes for air, I'm sure around the filter is some space though. The reviews say the filter is effective and silent, which is a good thing.

Aqueon Mini-Bow:
This tank is longer than tall, has a secure lid with vent holes. You'd have to remove the lid to clean the tank. The filter seems to take up a lot of the surface area of the aquarium, and the way the lid is you wouldn't be able to get one that hangs off the side if you chose to in the future. I know this aquarium is acrylic, you'd have to watch that because acrylic scratches really easily, the first tank probably is also acrylic though :p I recommend reading the petsmart reviews online, they are quite helpful and I always use them, since the petco site has no reviews for this product. One person said the light is too close to the filter and resulted in a harsh algae bloom, you'd probably want to watch use of the light in that case. Here's the product page:

Hope I was of some help :)
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:15 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Newfoundland
Don't really have much to add, just that no matter what kit you buy, odds are you'll have to purchase a heater as well.

I'd suggest one of the Kritter keepers or something similar and just piece it together. For something that size a filter wouldn't be required, and you can just add decor you like. Some gravel/marbles, some fake plants, a little hidey hole, and a heater.
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:27 PM   #5 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: nj
HI :)
i actually just went out and got a new tank.. i got my betta 3 weeks ego. and like a lot of ppl i was told that .5gallon was fine..WRONG!..SO i said to my self ehh ill get 1 gallon starter kit... he seemed ok in it but still looked kinda small..So today i went out and got this : Top FinŽ Aqua Scene 2 Desktop Aquarium Starter Kit and 2 live plants( i had the plastic onces in and i think my boy got caught on one and got a little hole in his fin)
He seems to love the live plans and the extra space..
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Old 09-03-2011, 07:28 AM   #6 
Join Date: Feb 2011
The mini-bow tanks can be a pain and almost always need an addition to the filter to reduce flow speed. From what I've seen they perform very well with the included divider on the 2.5 and 5g versions since the filter blows straight at it.

I've been considering getting a 5g kit and anchoring plants in the divider after cutting a "mouse hole" in it for a fish to go through, since the bulb is more to the right this could make the unit a two-zone tank.

Generally, to be honest, a glass five gallon kit will last longer, be more reliable and won't need special components. And usually costs under $30.00 instead of the $50 or so that most minibow 5g sell for.

I have a glass 5 and a minibow 5... I use the glass one.
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:37 AM   #7 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Dartmouth, NS
You can find people selling small tanks on local classifieds for really cheap. I was contacted by a fella responding to my add about an acrylic tank (which I couldn't get after anyway) and he was selling it 5 gals with filter and gravel and everything for 15$. I couldn't belive it!! And I have seen glass 5 gals in the freebie section before too.
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