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Old 01-15-2012, 12:14 AM   #1 
kesomon
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Newbie seeking filter/heater advice

Hi helpful folks. I'm gathering materials to put together a tank for my first betta, and I'd like some advice. Thusfar, I've got a 2.5 gallon glass tank, a couple plastic plants and decorations, some gravel, a thermometer that sits on the bottom of the tank instead of stuck to the glass, and a little net.

I know, lots more to get.

Anyways, I've been searching and researching appropriate filters and heaters, and I'm just getting so many conflicting reports. However, to my best findings, it seems that the filter I want is a Red Sea Art Deco Nano Filter. Problem: I can't seem to find anyone who has them in stock! Either they're superbly popular, or they just don't make them anymore.

So, Question 1: In your opinions, what is the best small (and preferably cheap) filter system for a 2.5 gal. betta tank? I want one that'll keep the water clear without creating heavy currents, as well as be small enough that it doesn't intrude on the tank space and look ugly and imposing.

In addition, I've been looking for a heater that is unobtrusively small, preferably adjustable, preferably cheap. My findings indicate that either the Elite Submersible preset mini heater, 25w, or the Hydor mini aquarium heater, 7.5w, are suitable, but I'd like to know what the more experienced folk here think.

So, Question 2: in your opinions, which of the two heaters I mentioned is the better, or is there an even better warming device out there that you just have to rave about?

Thanks to the folks who bother to help little ol' me. I'll sit here twiddling my thumbs for a while. :3
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:18 AM   #2 
Sakura8
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Hi kesomon and welcome to the forum. :)

How are you with noise? One of the best filters for a small tank is a small sponge filter or a small box filter. However, because they hook up to airpumps, they make a pretty loud bubbling sound that can get annoying after a while. Otherwise, a very good small internal filter is the Hagen Elite Mini Filter. I've seen it at Petsmart before. It's very small and is rated to filter up to 3g. It doesn't include carbon or biomedia but it does have sponges inside that are good for mechanical filtration and for cultivating bacteria.

Generally, you want to look for an adjustable heater. Preset heaters can be very unreliable and there may be times during your fish's life that you will need to turn up the heat beyond 78 degrees. Unfortunately, most adjustable heaters aren't as unobtrusive as the ones you mentioned. Again, Hagen Elite has a good 25w adjustable heater but you will definitely need that thermometer of yours because it doesn't have a thermostat that you can read. You just twist a dial until it turns on. Penn Plax Cascade also has a good 25w heater that I use for all of my small tanks.


EDIT:
I bought my Hagen Elite Mini Filter from Amazon.com for half off.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...00_i00_details

Hagen Elite 25w (says Preset but it's really adjustable)
http://www.amazon.com/Elite-Submersi...6604860&sr=1-4

Cascade 25w heater
http://www.amazon.com/Cascade®-Heat®...6604968&sr=1-1

Last edited by Sakura8; 01-15-2012 at 12:23 AM.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:30 AM   #3 
kesomon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakura8 View Post
How are you with noise?
Ha, I knew I forgot to list something. I don't have a problem with noise, but less noise is better. I'll take a look in my local Petsmart for that Hagen filter tomorrow, as I was going there anyway to swap a decoration and buy another plant.

I'll admit that the heater problem has me a bit baffled. People label them as preset or adjustable or what have you, but then go on to say that there's no clear way to tell how hot it's getting. That doesn't sound very adjustable to me. lol.

I'm a little leery of looking at any heaters 25 watts or over, because I've read reports and I'm worried that if I get something that powerful, it'll just overheat the water. I did note that someone on another heater-question board mentioned a 10w heater from Marina, and one from Aqueon that's apparently new, but I haven't done checking on those yet.

Ah, new-pet-owner jitters. Such fun.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:32 AM   #4 
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Hm, spent too long typing, missed the post edit! *investigates links* thanks for those. :3 I think I'll still look in-store, just to examine them hands-on, but for money-saving online might be the way to go. (I dread the packages showing up at the door though. Invites suspicion from disapproving parentals.)
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:36 AM   #5 
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I know for certain I've seen the filter in Petsmart but I've only seen the Hagen Elite heaters and Cascade heaters in tropical fish stores and in a pet store that has a local chain near me. I think AquaClear has a 25w heater too.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:40 AM   #6 
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Looks like I've got a lot more research to do. Thanks Sakura8. :3 And anyone else is welcome to add their opinions.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:41 AM   #7 
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You're welcome. Good luck!
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Old 01-15-2012, 08:58 AM   #8 
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I've used both hydor 7.5 w heaters and Marina c10 10 w heaters in my 2.5 gallons. They both work great.!

I noticed aqueon came out with a 10 w heater for small tanks too, but haven't tried that one yet.

The only issue I've noticed with the hydor one is it bows after awhile and the suction cup won't hold anymore. Mine have been in use over two years now with.no issues. I just switched them out for the marina ones due to wanting to try a new type.

I use Tom aquarium submersible mini filters for.my tanks. They work pretty well, but its up to each betta whether they like it or not. They don't always work out for heavily finned bettas.
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Old 01-15-2012, 01:59 PM   #9 
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I was watching youtube videos about tank cycling last night and I saw someone give a demo of cleaning a Tom filter. It looks decent, though maybe a bit too big for my little tank; my tank's only 8 inches tall, and doesn't have a cover, so that adds up to 6-7 inches of water depending on the amount of gravel I use if I don't want the occupants jumping out a window by accident. I'll have to check the store and see for myself.
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:36 PM   #10 
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I'm new to bettas too, so not much help except an adjustable heater is worth the price.

I have spent probably over $150 on a 5 gallon kit plus deco plus additives and other accessories and the fish cost me about $6 for 2!
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