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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! I’m nearing the end of my nitrogen cycle and looking to add a male betta in the next week or two. I have a 6 gallon Fluval Edge tank. I am prepared to lower the water level if necessary for him to breathe better. I’ve been doing so much research as this is my first tank. My main source of information STRONGLY suggested an air stone for my planted tank. but I’m wondering how Bettas do with an air stone? Does this allow them to breathe from the water more, or are they required to breathe from the surface? Also, I’ve read some things about the betta having fun in the bubbles and whatnot but that seems to be an individual case basis... anyone with experience for this?
 

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IMO it's always a good idea to leave a bit of air at the top of a tank for a betta to breathe from, and blow bubbles nests in. In a well-oxygenated tank a betta may never come up for air, because they do still breathe from their gills like other fish. But I would rather give them the option, personally. You don't need much depth in the air layer, just a quarter inch or so.

If the tank has an area that isn't covered by the glass lid, that may be enough air access instead of needing to lower the water level. (I'm not very familiar with Fluvals, so this may or may not apply)

Some bettas like bubbles, others don't care, still others are bothered by them. It depends on the individual betta and also how strong the bubbling is. I'd recommend an adjustable valve for the air-line so you can try a few different speeds in case full-power annoys your betta. FWIW, the times I've had airstones/sponge filters in my tanks, none of my bettas cared except for when I had a way too powerful air pump going.

Also, if you have the budget and space inside the tank- instead of just an airstone, you might consider a sponge filter. Still puts out bubbles, but also collects Beneficial Bacteria for a stable cycle. You can run it along with a power filter no problem, or decide to have just the sponge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
instead of just an airstone, you might consider a sponge filter.
I recently added a pre-filter sponge to the end of my filter that is in the water. Is that what you’re referring to? I did notice a few more bubbles at the top of the glass but I wasn’t sure if that would be temporary or not.
 

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Not quite! A sponge filter is separate from a power filter, and it runs off an air pump. Basically, the bubbles created by an airstone (or other diffuser, it doesn't really matter) rise up through a tube, and suck water in from the bottom of the tube as they rise. This water passes through a sponge which acts as both mechanical/physical filtering and holds BB as well.

Here's a labeled image of a sponge filter (there are different designs, but the principle is the same):
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They're neat because there's no moving parts in the tank, just bubbles, so there's very little current created and they're safe for even delicate fish, fry, shrimp, etc.
 
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