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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I’m thinking about getting a Betta fish and I have a few questions if you’d be willing to answer them. I’ve been doing some research on set ups and there is just too much info out there so I thought I would ask instead.

I’m thinking about getting a 10 gallon possibly a little more tank and would like some suggestions on tanks and filters, or even any all in one systems. Any tank I get will have a lid even if I have to make one somehow. I’m looking at a hang on back filter but it has to be quiet as it will be going in a bedroom. The filters I’ve been looking at are:

  • Marina slim 15
  • Aquaclear 20
  • Aquael versamax filter
  • Aqueon quiet flow

I’m thinking of instead of using cartridges I would customize it and use sponges and bio media instead. Any suggestions on how to best do this? Or if there are any other filter options. A sponge filter would be no good as the air pump would be too loud.

I’ve decided on a Eheim Jager/tru temp heater I’ve used them in the past and they‘ve been good.

I’m wanting to do a natural tank with live plants/driftwood and if I can get my hands on some, Indian almond leaves. I think I’ll use Anubias species, Java fern, Frog bit, Hygrophila, Vallisneria and Cryptocorne plants. Maybe not all of these, is there anything else you can suggest?

I’ve looked at foods to get and I can buy online:
Fluval Bug Bites - are the tropical fish ones okay? All I can get here are the flakes.
NorthFin Betta Bits
New Life Spectrum
I can’t get frozen food as my folks wouldn’t let me keep it in the freezer.

Oh and any light suggestions would be great also. I’m not located in the US so anything would have to be compatible with my country. There are several LFS I also have access to. I’m trying to do as much research as possible before I commit.
Thanks in advance.
 

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Good for you for doing your research ahead of time! Are you planning to get just one betta fish? Or are you looking to do a community tank? With a 10 gallon tank, you are going to have some options! You could divide it in half and get two bettas, or you can leave it 10 gallons and just have one with lots of room! I will warn you: we have had reports that some of the long-finned males stress out if they have too much space, this can result in a fish that is never out, turns into a chronic fin-biter, etc. If you are going to leave it undivided, I would recommend going for a female, a plakat, or a giant.

I use the Marina slim filter (the 10) and for the most part it is pretty quiet, but sometimes the lid rattles a bit. I keep something on top of the lid to keep that down. Other than that, I've been very happy with it. It is easy to customize your own media: it has three sections; I use one for bioballs, one for a fine filter media and one for a course filter media. I did not use the carbon media that came with it at all (although I recommend saving it in case you need to use it to remove medication). I've never used the other ones, so I don't know how quiet they are. I picked up my filter media from my local fish store. There are lots of tips around for customizing your filter. Honestly, I just did a search on youtube for customizing the style of filter I was looking at buying. I found tons of great videos that way.

The plant selection seems good. The only thing I would caution you about is getting valisneria and a floating plant like frogbit in a small tank like you are thinking. I keep vals and what I have learned is that valisneria grows big and it grows fast and it will cover the top of your tank quickly, especially in a small tank like that. Seriously, I started with three plants and I've sold at least 7 back to my LFS in less than a year; I've waited too long on a couple and pulled more than one that was well over 3 feet. Don't get me wrong, it is a great plant, it's super easy, and all-in-all one of my favorites that I have tried. But it isn't going to leave much room for a plant like frogbit.

You definitely don't need to get frozen food, although it is a fun treat. When you are looking at food, I recommend looking at the ingredients to determine if it will be a good fit for your fish. Bettas are carnivorous, so you want the food to be high in protein and low in plants. The first 5 ingredients are what you want to look at; one of them is going to be a flour of some kind that serves as a binder. The other 4 you want to be as much fish or insect-based as possible. The more of those ingredients that say whole fish (whole salmon, whole krill, etc), some kind of insect or insect larvae, or fish meal, the better quality food you have. I recommend pellets if you can get them, because it is a little easier to get the right amount and they don't foul the water as fast; but there is nothing wrong with feeding flakes if that is what you want to do/have access to. I do recommend getting a couple of different brands, to make sure your fish is getting a variety of foods and a balanced diet. For example, I feed Omega One Buffet, Fluval Bug Bites, frozen blood worms, mysis shrimp, and daphnia. Raj gets the Omega One pellets every morning and in the evening I rotate through the other ones.

Sorry this is a bit long. Let us know if you have any other questions and keep us posted on your journey!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the reply! It’s okay that’s it’s long, the more information I can get the better. I may not go for a 10 gallon but more likely between 5-10 gallons for water stability. I was looking at just keeping one male or female and although I think the fancy/marble/grizzle/metallic types are pretty to look at, I’ve been reading that they can be prone to tumors and other health problems because of the marble gene. So personally I would rather get a ‘less pretty’ betta that will hopefully be healthier. I was looking at getting either a plakat, HMPK, veil tail or possibly a delta tail. Something with a bit less finnage. I’ve read that plakats will usually only eat frozen or live food is this true? I’ve had crown tails in the past but I know they’re a bit more sensitive to water parameters and disease so I’d rather not. I think I’ll forgo the Val and just stick with the smaller species of plants. Is there a particular wattage of light I should look at getting? I know they like low lighting and the plants I want will like the low light too.
 

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I have a 5.5 gallon tank that has been really good for me. I have never kept plakats myself, but I have never heard that they will take only take live/frozen. They should be willing to eat any food that a long-finned betta will take (i.e. anything that you stick in the tank :LOL:). Usually it is only wild-caught fish that only go for frozen or live.

Lighting is a complicated thing, and I am definitely not an expert, so I would recommend doing a little research of your own. Or maybe someone a little more experty will come along and comment.. Here's the tips that I have: If you are getting low-light plants, pretty much any light will work. But if you are planning to keep a planted tank, I would recommend getting a brighter light than you think you need. That will keep your options open down the road: it is far easier to dim a bright light, than it is to brighten a dim light. Also, if you are going to get floating plants, like frogbit, they will do a lot to cut down on the lighting beneath the surface, and go a long way towards giving you a low light tank, no matter how bright the light above is.

I got the Hygger 14W 24/7 light and I have been very happy with it. I do wish that it was longer and covered the whole top of my tank to spread the light better (if you click on the link in my signature, you'll find pictures of my tank there). I would make sure you get a light with plenty of reds in it; it is also nice to have one with a built in timer.
 

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Welcome to the Forum!

What @KatieMR said. Also.....

1. I recommend Marina Slim filters.

2. I think, like Betta with the marble gene, etc. having health issues/tumors, PK only eating only live or frozen is an anomaly. Any Betta type or color can get tumors and eat only live or frozen food. I'm sure both happen but not as often as one would think. Owners who have problems are more prone to talk about it than those who don't.

3. If you can find lights comparable to https://www.amazon.com/Finnex-Stingray-Aquarium-Light-Moonlights/dp/B07RLY62X2 those would work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks for all the advice I appreciate it. I think I’ll go with the Marina slim filter cause I like that it’s self priming and I’ll just put sponge and bio media in it. Do you still boil driftwood to get rid of any potential nasties? I don’t mind the tannins. Also with plants how do you treat them for any nasties? Or I can just use tissue culture plants. I’m thinking I might just have half the tank covered in frog bit. Can I ask what’s the reason for having more reds in a light? Sorry for all the questions I just want to be as well prepared as I can be.
 

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Questions are why we are here! Ask as many as you like!

I personally boiled my drift wood; I have heard that fishkeepers say no to because it breaks down the wood faster. But it was worth it to me. Ironically, after boiling the wood, I did absolutely nothing to my plants, except look them over carefully and rinse them in conditioned water to get any duckweed off them. I bought my plants from Aquarium Plant Factory, which has a good reputation for not having nasties with their plants, and my local fish store. From my LFS, I did get a couple pest snails, that I was able to remove manually before they took over and a ton of copepods, which helped keep my fish fed for about a month. He loved those things so much!

Reds help bring out the colors in your plants. It will make the tank look more vibrant.
 
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