2 days ago my friend got 2 bettas for his daughter not knowing you cant put them together until i told him, so i agreed to take one. i had been considering an aquarium anyway. so i went to walmart, got a 2.5g tank, gravel, plants, food, and water conditioning tabs. set it all up and put my betta in. he seems to be doing well, swims around and all. so heres my questions-
1. heating, my room temp is about 68 so i guess i have to buy a heater, pretty much know that already. but is it safe heat a plastic 2.5g tank?
2. lighting, my tank has a nice 3 setting light on it. at night can i/should i turn it off? it would be completely dark in my room and idk if this matters to a fish.
thank you for your time and answers btw my betta's name is Leviathan or Levy for short, hes dark blueish with some red and i think considered "crowntail"
Welcome, and welcome to the world of bettas :) Watch out, you'll soon get bitten by the betta bug lol.. and if you upgrade his tank, you will have to use the 2.5 for another ;)
A heater is ideal, as the temp would be a few degrees+ cooler then the room temp.. 78-82 is ideal for bettas (and plants). A 25 watt adjustable is good for that size of a tank, and should also be fine in a 5 gallon tank. Can go up to a 50w adjustable if you do want to upgrade in the near future to a 5g - 10g.
Generally, the plastic aquariums are fine with heaters- the submersible ones with suctions holding to the side is what is used the most and preferred. I don't believe anyone has had a heater melt their tank, unless it was just a freak accident, a heater too hot, improper placement, or a plastic container that was not meant to hold fish/heater.
It is recommended to turn off the light at night to allow the fish to get some much needed rest, such as us. Turn off the tank light a while (10+ minutes) before lights out in the room to give them a bit of time to adjust and slow down for the day.. in the morning if the room is naturally light then you can just turn on the tank, or turn on the room lights for 10+ minutes before the tank light as to not startle them.
For planted tanks you will want a specific light, as well as only an 8-12hr day cycle so the plants get their needed light, yet not too much.
Keeping a light on 24/7 will eventually wear down a fish and could cause stress, as they won't get as deep of a rest as their bodies need.
A live planted tank (which you can do in a 2.5) is fun, interesting and can be challenging, but the rewards of keeping it up is very good- a healthier tank overall, a healthier fish. A tank with live plants require less cleaning, depending upon how many plants you have.
A 10 gallon set up can actually run about the same price as a 5 gallon- generally in the $50-60 range for a complete set up. A 10 gallon will allow a more stable cycle, more room to decorate and can add in a few betta safe fish such as cories, or platies, guppies, tetras, etc. It's an option I would look into if you have the space for a 10 gallon, as even if it's $10 more, you would get more out of it.
The tabs should be fine, usually easier to use the liquid drops, as they tend to work instantly when swirled in tap water.. something to consider.
Good luck to you! Feel free to ask if you have any more questions.
Living here, you did a good thing getting a heater XD Adjustable heaters are great as well, since you can turn them down once it gets warmer. You won't regret that purchase.
I would agree with wolfiegreen and use the filter. I have a filtered 5 gallon and 2.5 gallon. It really does help keep the water in good shape for longer. Once you baffle it, you won't even notice that the filter is working. Baffling will also help your new betta buddy breathe air from the surface, as the water surface will be much calmer.
That's a good idea. If you feel like you might need the filter, try it out after a while and do whatever works better for you. You don't NEED the filter like you need the heater, so the choice is yours.
The only difference when you don't have a filter is more frequent water changes. At least in a unfiltered 5 gallon, you don't have to do as many as in a smaller tank. You shouldn't have to do any 100% water changes either. (Unless of course you have a mass die-off of Anacharis like I did D: )