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I'll probably be going to Walmart or Petco for tank supplies later on, so I'm wondering, is 50 watt any good for a 5 gallon tank? And what kind of common brand that's not too expensive would be good? Do most heaters turn off and on by themselves to regulate the temperature steadily?

Two more questions: do filters such as the one that comes with the 5 Gallon Hawkeye come with bacteria in the filter? Or will we need live bacteria from somewhere to get them?

Are all conditioners a liquid bottle like Prime? I thought they were machines like filters, but I'm not sure.
 

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You can actually probably get away with a 25W. Hydor Theo and Eheim Jagers are both good ones. You'll have to establish your own bacteria - I believe there is a sticky on this somewhere in the forum. Tetra SafeStart can help get things kick started, but you'll still need to go through the cycling process.
 

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I have the Hawkeye 5 gallon tank from Walmart.
I am putting a 25 watt Hydor Theo that I ordered from Foster & Smith - this particular heater does turn itself off and on and you set what temp you want the water at. Some heaters don't.
I also snagged a thermometer to go in the tank as a double-check.

You'll have to add the bacteria in. I'm trying Dr Tom's per a suggestion on another post on this board (found it at Foster & Smith too and due to temperatures along my shipping route I ordered it from F&S thinking the happy bacteria should survive the trip - extreme heat/cold can kill it).
**Edited to say you don't HAVE to add the bacteria in - but for tanks I've done in the past I prefer to. I think if you get a good bacteria starter it just helps jump-start your tank cycle and makes life easier on your fish since the good bacteria is in there to start breaking down the fish waste. Still have to monitor closely though and be ready for extra water changes in the beginning if need be. I plan to put the bacteria starter in the day I put the fish in.

Water conditioners are liquids you put in the water to remove/treat the chlorine and other chemicals in your water, so they don't kill your fish.
Not sure what you mean by a machine - unless you've come across reactors, skimmers, UV sterilizers and all that fun stuff while researching tank supplies. Those are other things entirely ;-)
 

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I'll probably be going to Walmart or Petco for tank supplies later on, so I'm wondering, is 50 watt any good for a 5 gallon tank? And what kind of common brand that's not too expensive would be good? Do most heaters turn off and on by themselves to regulate the temperature steadily?

Two more questions: do filters such as the one that comes with the 5 Gallon Hawkeye come with bacteria in the filter? Or will we need live bacteria from somewhere to get them?

Are all conditioners a liquid bottle like Prime? I thought they were machines like filters, but I'm not sure.
Others have answered the filter/bacteria issue. I'll try to help on the heater. The wattage of a heater for tanks will determine how fast the heater will heat up the tank. Please do not consider a preset heater some don't even have a thermostat they are on all the time an the tank temperature will vary with the room temperature. You can put a 200W heater in a 5G tank if it physically fits. You won't harm the fish. The larger the watts the faster a tank will come up to the set temperature.
 

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Yes don't consider a preset! I went against some good advice to try and heat three tanks on a budget so I bought 3 hagen c10 heaters they were small and I only have 2 gallons. They are rated to get the tank to 78 but the majority of the week it's been 74 and once 76. Yes they are ok but I will be buying them good ones slowly. No presets.
 

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I too agree with getting an adjustable heater,the others just seem too dangerous.If you have an adjustable heater 50W would be fine in a 5 gallon.A great product for adding beneficial bacteria is Seachem Stability.And Seachem Prime is a really great water conditioner.
 

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A general rule of thumb is 1 watt per liter minimum

R
Yup. Five watts/gal, I always say ;-)

Excellent advice from SalsaMom. Will you please remember to tell me all abuot how Dr Tim's One-and-Only works for you? I track these things. Thanks.
 

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Yup. Five watts/gal, I always say ;-)

Excellent advice from SalsaMom. Will you please remember to tell me all abuot how Dr Tim's One-and-Only works for you? I track these things. Thanks.
Can do Hallyx. I believe you are the one that tipped me off to the Dr Toms anyway.
The videos and articles on his website were interesting.
Hopefully the Betta tank will go smoothly. I've never done a tank smaller than 20 gallons!
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Everybody goes for Safestart because it's easy to come by. But Dr. Tim Hovanec developed Safestart. Now he sells his own improved product for about the same price.Thing is, you have to buy it online or order it by phone.

You know you could have used seeded material (media, substrate) from your cycled tank to kickstart your 5g Betta tank. I understand some fastidious keepers don't like to do this, considering it risky. May I ask, what was your rationale?
 

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Hallyx - I don't have any other tanks up and running right now or I would have seeded the new betta tank with stuff from an up and running tank!

In the past we've done saltwater and community freshwater tanks.
Haven't had a tank at all for about 7 years.
We've never done one as small as this 5 gallon either. I've always done bigger tanks because I find them to be more stable water-quality wise, and more forgiving of mistakes.

I think this little betta tank will be enjoyable. It's actually making me wonder about setting up our old 20 gallon again.

Check out my post with the pics of this new betta tank and let me know what you think.
I'm not sure about the filter...maybe whatever Betta we pick will like a little current. If not - I'll baffle it - if that's still too strong I'll find a sponge filter.
 

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Your profile only admits to one year's experience. But, when you say things like this, you betray your depth of experience.

We've never done one as small as this 5 gallon either. I've always done bigger tanks because I find them to be more stable water-quality wise, and more forgiving of mistakes.....I think this little betta tank will be enjoyable.
And this:

...maybe whatever Betta we pick will like a little current. If not - I'll baffle it - if that's still too strong I'll find a sponge filter.
That's so hard to explain to a newby. It's easier to just say no....current.
 
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