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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi you guys, I was planning on starting a 5 gallon tank for either a male wild betta or a breeding pair and I was wondering what type of filter I should use? Sponge or just regular carbon filter? And which kind? I would like something local that I could possibly get supplies or replacement filters locally like from walmart, petsmart, or petco. Thanks :D
 

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It depends on whether or not you want live plants. I wouldn't do a carbon filter with live plants as the carbon will remove nutrients from the water that plants need. A bubble filter is ideal as it produces less water movement than a power filter. I no longer use power filters with my bettas; I now just use bubble filters. You also could go filterless with enough live plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was only doing silk plants. A bubble filter? Could you possibly explain that further?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Do you think a carbon filter will be ok though?
 

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For silk plants a carbon filter would be fine. I have other problems with carbon, but that's another story.

A bubble filter is an air-driven filter (as opposed to a power-driven filter like most carbon filters). The force of the air being driven upward pulls the water and small particles into a sponge. They are generally cheaper than carbon filters in the long run because you have to keep buying cartridges for the carbon filter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh ok...thank you so much for the advice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That Youtube video was awesome! I might end up doing that if I can't find a filter I like. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok so I have a few questions if I decide to go this route...when do I need to replace the sponge? And what should I use in my bottle? I have seen several different things, so what would you recommend? And how big of a bottle should I use for a 5 gallon tank?
 

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I've never actually replaced the sponge. You don't need to. It will destroy the colony of good bacteria on it.

Because I have a small tank like you do, I used a little squatty bottle. I honestly don't know how to describe it any better. It's like half-size, and I found it at the grocery store. I wish I could remember the brand. I had to use a dramel tool to drill the holes, and I got it wrong a few times. My best piece of advice is to get a lot of bottles because accidents happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Getting a lot of bottles is no big deal haha and just to make sure a standard water bottle should be ok for a 5gal right? For the middle though, what is that stuff? Could I get it at petsmart? And any sponge is ok to use right, or should I get an aquarium sponge?
 

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when do I need to replace the sponge?
Like mentioned above, its not necessary but if you want to clean it rinse it in the aquarium water (the one you will be cleaning), and not with fresh water to help keep the bio load in it.

when do I need to replace the sponge? And what should I use in my bottle?
Rocks work pretty well. I like the fine rocks. I also modify it a little with Plastic Canvas (Michaels), to keep the sponge in and also add one of the million hole air stones to make for a nicer quitter bubble. You can add packets, (moms panty hose stuff) of carbon if you'd like too, but its not necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Like mentioned above, its not necessary but if you want to clean it rinse it in the aquarium water (the one you will be cleaning), and not with fresh water to help keep the bio load in it.



Rocks work pretty well. I like the fine rocks. I also modify it a little with Plastic Canvas (Michaels), to keep the sponge in and also add one of the million hole air stones to make for a nicer quitter bubble. You can add packets, (moms panty hose stuff) of carbon if you'd like too, but its not necessary.
Rocks? Really?!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

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Getting a lot of bottles is no big deal haha and just to make sure a standard water bottle should be ok for a 5gal right? For the middle though, what is that stuff? Could I get it at petsmart? And any sponge is ok to use right, or should I get an aquarium sponge?
A standard water bottle might be a little tall. I have the shorter water bottles in my 10 gal. The stuff in the middle of mine is AquaClear bio-media. The sponge I bought was the Aquaclear sponge that I cut in half. I found all of that stuff at Petsmart. Make sure you use an aquarium-safe sponge. Most kitchen sponges already have some kinds of soap in them that's why you should never use them inside your aquariums.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks thekoimaidan and bettasusa!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I do have one quick question though, my sister had a betta but after he passed away she decided that she didn't want the tank anymore. It came with an air pump for an air stone; its a 3 gallon tank. Do you think that the air pump would be ok to use for the filter for my 5 gallon?
 
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