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Cycling/setup questions

269 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Pony
I plan to buy a 5.5 gallon soon, and I face the daunting task of my first aquarium cycle. Thus far my tanks have been too small to properly cycle. I know someone else made a topic about a 5.5 gallon but I hate hijacking threads.

I want to have a planted tank, and I would assume that I would get the dirt and plants in there and whatnot as soon as I set my tank up, correct? And they would just be in there through the cycle?

What is the bioload of a 5.5 gallon? I plan to have one betta in there, but I would like some ghost shrimp or cherry shrimp. Maybe a snail, but I hear they're messy. Would the betta eat any baby shrimp, or would I remove them myself? Any other good tankmates?

Also, would this be an acceptable filter?
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1 - Yes, just add the plants in and have them in there during the cycle.

2 - You can put a betta and one or two small snails (like nerites) or a couple of shrimp, but some bettas will eat shrimp - adults and babies. That's about all you could put in a 5.5 gallon. I'd do nerites over shrimp just because of the eating factor. If you don't overfeed, the snails don't have that high of a bioload.

3 - That filter is fine. You may need to aim the spray bar at the glass to minimize the current. Some bettas like current, some don't. Three of mine don't mind some current, two of them get all stressed out about it. Not everyone would agree, but I'd recommend this filter over that one just because it's easier to baffle the outflow by just sticking a sponge over it. It's a decent, small filter if you're looking for an internal one.
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Oh, and would this be an alright gravel vacuum?
Yep that's a good one!
Awesome, thank you! I'll read through the reviews on both filters to see the pros and cons of each. Both seem decent. I would prefer one that's on the quiet side, since the tank will be by my bed.
I'd say the one I linked would be quieter, since it is fully submersed, but honestly I have never used the TOM filter or seen it in action, so it could be totally fine. More or less, filters are filters and it comes down to personal preference. There ARE some bad ones, but the one you linked isn't a bad one so it would be fine :)

One caveat is that I'm using the Aqueon one in the center compartment of a 3 way divided tank, and I also have a filter (Tetra Whisper 10i) in each of the other two compartments. So, theoretically, this filter could not be working at all and I probably would never know it. But I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't be effective.
Hey there, just poking in because I have been using that exact TOM filter in my 3 and 2.5 gallons for awhile now and I'd highly recommend them, personally. Works really well, incredibly quiet (I honestly can't even hear it unless I really strain, and one is in my bedroom, too), very little current when you use the spray bar and keep it set to the lowest flow setting (both of mine are aimed towards the back glass). I haven't had a single problem with them. Just my two cents! :)
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