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Discussion Starter #1
I'm setting up/acquiring 2 aquaria for bettas I'm expecting to arrive this week. I was planning to buy a mini bow 2 on sale but I ended up with the 5 because I figured it would be healthier for the betta and it was on sale as well.

I also bought 2 Aqueon submersible 10w heaters, one for my existing 2-gal acrylic tank and the other for this 5 gal.

I already have gravel, decor and broadleaf silk plants from previous setups.

A few questions:
- Are there possible issues with this equipment that I should know about? Things like light bulb melting thru lid, heater konking out or not heating water enough, filter issues etc?
- Does the 5 gal mini bow cycle on its own or will I need to change water frequently?

I do plan on running the 5 gal for a couple of days in advance, "sans fish". I already have a betta in a 1-gal cube; I change his water 50% every second day. Would adding some of the "dirty" water to the new tanks help with cycling or should I not bother?

Finally: With a 5-gal and one betta, should I add a second "cleaner" species such as a cory shoal or other bottom feeder fish, or invert, or am I ok with just the filtration and water changes?
 

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I've found that the Aqueon Bow's light base will break even with the most gentle of handlings. I went through 4 of these tanks and I had the same issue with 3 of them. I currently use them as containers to age my water.
If you put fish in the tank you'll be staring a fish-in cycle naturally. You will have to monitor your water parameters with a test kit to keep safe levels of ammonia that won't be lethal to your fish.
Running the filter for 2 days does not prepare your water for your fish. Yes, they will be ok for a while but proper water changes need to be made in order to keep the water quality at it's best.
If you decide to cycle, which I strongly recommend, there's a lot of information online about it... and you can ask the nice forum members for advice.
Personally, I wouldn't add any other fish in a 5galon. I have 2 bettas in 5 galons and they love having the place for themselves. It's really not that much space once you add gravel, decorations, plants, equipment, etc.
 

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The tank scratches easily, so watch out!

I haven't had a problem with anything other than how the light is positioned with the filter. The filter will grow algae, I put foil over it sometimes. The filter is strong so you should baffle it as well.

This tank cannot support other fish with a betta, territory and filtration is too small. After the tank cycles you may add shrimp bit not a whole lot at once.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've found that the Aqueon Bow's light base will break even with the most gentle of handlings. I went through 4 of these tanks and I had the same issue with 3 of them.
Hmm... somehow that doesn't surprise me. It was my least favourite feature of this tank - old-fashioned bulb, and why couldn't they have used LED? So I was thinking either find an LCD clip-on lamp or use an external gooseneck desk lamp if/when the existing light breaks. Thanks for the heads-up!

If you put fish in the tank you'll be staring a fish-in cycle naturally. You will have to monitor your water parameters with a test kit to keep safe levels of ammonia that won't be lethal to your fish.
Running the filter for 2 days does not prepare your water for your fish. Yes, they will be ok for a while but proper water changes need to be made in order to keep the water quality at it's best.
Yes I've been reading up on cycling and on reflection I'd rather not risk the lives of my new bettas. I have two old "betta bowl" plastic habitats, I could use them temporarily while cycling the new tanks. Having used betta bowls before I'm pretty familiar with frequent water changes. ;)

If you decide to cycle, which I strongly recommend, there's a lot of information online about it... and you can ask the nice forum members for advice.
Thanks! I've been reading threads on this forum and they've been very helpful.

Personally, I wouldn't add any other fish in a 5galon. I have 2 bettas in 5 galons and they love having the place for themselves. It's really not that much space once you add gravel, decorations, plants, equipment, etc.
True. I was wondering if, in the slightly larger tanks, some sort of cleanup species like an algae-eating snail might be needed.

I'm still getting used to the idea of bettas needing "real" filtered/heated fish tanks, after being taught since childhood that they could be kept happily in any transparent receptacle, including wine glasses and flower vases. :oops: It's been years since I kept a fish tank and I'm a bit out of the loop it seems. I'm looking forward to getting into it again.
 

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I've thought of this tank, but honestly I found I could get a standard 5 gallon standard glass, with a hood for less.

I have the Aqueon 10w in a 3.5 gallon and I find that mine keeps the water in the 80's F, which is a little higher than I'd like, but it works for now. I have one in a 5 gallon and that temp is at 75F. It's possible a different unit would give different results.

Eventually I'll upgrade, but they're working fine for me now.
 

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True. I was wondering if, in the slightly larger tanks, some sort of cleanup species like an algae-eating snail might be needed.
That's a common myth. :) These types of fish are never needed. They simply add more to your bioload, so you have to do more cleaning. Algae is always best dealt with by you. Many algae-eating critters won't even eat most types of algae - the really annoying ones like hair or BB algae you usually have to deal with yourself. :)
 

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I have one of those. The filter is a little strong.
 

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I have a few of those tanks. Not had issues with them, although the filter is in an awkward position in the tank, poor engineering. Would not put more than just your betta in it- the tank is smaller than you'd think once you add all the stuff.

I wish they had made the feeding lid bigger in both the 5 and 10gal aqueons though. All my guys like to be hand fed or at least 'shown' their food so I usually have to lift up the entire hood to feed them.

If you ever decide to upgrade to a 10 gal, fyi I would not get the aqueon 10gal. Go with Topfin-much better feeding lid and hoodlight setup.
 

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Their light fixtures are horrible! I had the 1 gal, left it on for prob 6 hours and melted the top, plus the light was yellow/orange which was lame. Get the marineland crescent 3 gal, comes with a huge whisper filter and white LED lamp.
 

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i have noticed the light on my 2.5g minibow has gone AWOL once. the switch didnt work for the light, i didnt do anything and it fixed itself o_O.
 

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I have one of those. The filter is a little strong.
I found this too, but if you play around with the water level a bit you can eliminate the surface current, which is nice. I found that careful arrangement of plants also helped to reduce the flow a little.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Update

I set up the tank 3 days ago. I added a 10w Aqueon submersible heater and made a baffle for the filter outlet using a cut-out section of a water bottle (as per the sticky thread here). Filter is silent and seems to run smoothly so far.

I've been keeping the light on all day every day, turning it on when I get up and off when I go to bed (8 am - 10 pm) and so far it's working fine.

My new bettas are delayed by the sender and I don't have/plan to get any other stock for the tank, so I'm working on a fishless cycle until they get here. Ammonia is dropping slowly.

I have no idea when to expect the bettas at this point, but I will add one to the tank once it gets here (assuming the water tests ok). I have another 2-gal filtered tank that's waiting for its "tenant" as well. It has a moss ball to keep it company for now. ;-)
 
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