5 gallon betta tank

Discussion in 'Cat and Pet Forum' started by Laurelin, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,965
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    Yeah I know... multiple tank syndrome is setting in bad again. :eek:

    So I dropped by petco to pick up some stuff for the 10 gallon and I impulsively grabbed a 5.5 gallon too. It's going to be set up for a betta, maybe a couple shrimp.

    My main question is that it has no hood and bettas are jumpers. What's a nice looking, easy way to make a cover for the top of the tank? Also, lighting? I want to set up a tank along these lines: 6 Gallon Hex NPT - El Natural - Aquatic Plant Central

    They have really pretty bettas at petsmart. :eek:
     
  2. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    6,403
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Two dogs, three cats
    Location:
    Central Texas
    I can't answer your questions at all. Basically I'm completely useless to this thread.

    But, I just wanted to comment (after reading the link), I didn't know you could put actual topsoil in a fish tank, I thought it had to be gravel. How do you clean it, if you use topsoil? Just change the water without vacuuming the bottom?

    And also, thanks, I'm starting to get fish fever. :p
     
  3. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,965
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    Most I've seen put a layer of topsoil and then a layer of gravel over that.

    I'm still pretty new to the whole low-tech planted tank idea (just bought the low tech 'bible'). I know Shai has a few planted tanks if I recall correctly.

    I have major fish fever, lol.
     
  4. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,940
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Dog, 1 cat, 2 lovebirds, fish galore
    Location:
    B.C.
    TBH I think it would be more worth your while to buy a cover to fit the tank. As far as I know, there is no simple, quick-fix option that will provide cover AND lighting without hassle while remaining aesthetically pleasing. There are certainly options to provide cover and lighting but I have not seen any that look that great and didn't come without some time and energy put into construction lol.

    Some people swear by topsoil, others avoid it like the plague... I have never personally used it for several reasons, but if you are interested in using it there are some websites with good explanations and step by step instructions. You have to be REALLY careful with topsoil because it can have things added to it (fertilizers and crap) that are deadly to fish and especially shrimp...

    Also be carful with the betta shrimp combo. I have certainly heard of people doing it successfully but I think you would be taking a big risk mixing the two because bettas are big time predators and all of the ones I have kept in my community tank showed wayyy too much interest in my shrimp for them to stay there lol.

    I am so glad you are going the planted route with a low-tech set-up... I loves me some more planted tank keepers :D
     
  5. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    6,216
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yeah I do but mine are mid-tech to be honest. I just got my 2 29s and the 10g back up from the move...the 90g is going to be down for a while yet while everything gets situated, the spare 10g is just a quar tank, and the hand-me-down 50g just arrived today and I'm telling myself it doesn't exist til the house is painted :p

    I don't know what to tell you on the lid -- depending on the dimensions of the tank, you could use a piece of cut-to-fit plexiglass, or even a piece of frame glass from a HobbyLobby type store. Or you could use bigger surface plants like water lettuce to discourage jumping.

    As for the soil thing...yeah people do it but by the time you get soil you know won't contaminate your water, cap it with gravel, get it out of the water column (because some will get in the water column), etc. IMO you are better off getting a made-for-aquarium-plants soil like ecocomplete or fluorite. For a 5g you're not going to use much anyway...the soil thing is really only a money-saver if you're planting a large tank and you're looking at several bags. Plus with soil, every time you decide to rearrange a plant in the tank you're going to be kicking that soil into the water column.

    For a little tank like that I would consider using a fluorescent desk lamp. You could get some nice lighting from some of the small CFLs, just try to keep your light temp somewhere in the 6500K neighborhood for plant growth.

    Sort of rambly, sorry, not sure what info you all do/do not have
     
  6. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,965
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    Would you use seachem flourite for a substrate? I'm not set on substrate yet. I'm really just trying to research more and it will be a few weeks before I start setting this thing up. And where would one find a hood for a 5.5 gallon tank? I'm guessing a 5 gallon hood would fit?

    I've done the betta/shrimp combo before with my past two bettas and they did okay. Although my larger betta did end up eating the shrimp. But he was very big (one of petco's 'king bettas'). My crowntail wasn't very large and didn't ever show much interest in the shrimp.
     
  7. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,965
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    Ok, it's 16" long by 8" if that helps.
     
  8. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,940
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Dog, 1 cat, 2 lovebirds, fish galore
    Location:
    B.C.

    I use fluorite and really like it, it has grown plants really well for me. Buy the tablets for it and plant them too though, they made a big difference imo.

    I would check craigslist. Take the dimensions of your tank and look for something that would be the same or close enough :)
     
  9. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    6,216
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I believe that's the standard 5g dimensions so you could be able to pick up a lid at most major pet stores that carry them. I know the 5g I nearly bought a year ago (stopped myself...barely...) came with a fitted piece of glass in the bottom of the tank that was to be used as the lid.
     
  10. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,940
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Dog, 1 cat, 2 lovebirds, fish galore
    Location:
    B.C.
    And I suppose for the shrimp thing it would also depend on what you were keeping... When I was keeping CBS and Golden Bees it wasn't worth it, the shrimp cost a ton more than the bettas :p
     
  11. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    6,216
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    *jealous of your fancy shrimp*
     
  12. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,965
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    You have more willpower than me! It was so cheap so I just had to grab it. lol I looked for a hood at petco but the smallest they had was for a 10G. I'll try petsmart and see what I can find.

    I think fluorite would be a safer bet, honestly. Can you use it in a low-tech setup? What's ya'lls usual setup like for your planted tanks? There's SO much conflicting information out there.

    ETA: Here it is. :)

    [​IMG]
    newtanks by Summer_Papillon, on Flickr

    I figure this is a better cure for the 'want new pets' phase I'm going through than bringing home a puppy. :lol-sign:
     
  13. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,940
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Dog, 1 cat, 2 lovebirds, fish galore
    Location:
    B.C.
    Haha they were totally awesome - I wish I had the money to get back into cool inverts. CBS seem to be way more popular but tbh I much preferred the GBs - way 'friendlier' and stood out so beautifully from the plants :)

    I would go ahead and use fluorite - I really liked it. Also, for cheap lighting that works like a charm, I got 2 Phillips 9w for $14 (only used one in the tank) from Canadian Tire, though I am sure most big hardware type stores in the US carry them too. I will get the exact type I bought because they have worked awesomely. If it were me I would put in a DIY C02 system :D But if you don't want to do that I would consider injecting liquid C02 because you may have problems with algae.

    I did a planted 5g tank around this time last year with fluorite, that lighting I told you about and DIY C02.... It can look so awesome if you invest a bit in it :D
     
  14. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,965
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    Can you elaborate a bit on the DIY CO2? It sounds like a good option but to be honest is just so intimidating to me for some reason. If you inject Co2, how much and how often do you need to do that?

    Also, plant suggestions?

    ETA: Would Seachem Excel work?
     
  15. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    6,216
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My DIY CO2 is basically a yeast reactor -- you can google plans for them...they are everywhere. Basically two bottles (three if you want a bubble counter), water, sugar, yeast, and air tubing. I ran mine into my HOB filter, but there are a lot of ways to integrate depending on your setup. Adding a touch of Flourish Excel (liquid CO2 or similar) works too.

    ETA - the bottle reactors pretty much run themselves...I would have two and set them up to run about 3 weeks each, and stagger the switch so there wasn't a major spike in production (switch a bottle, week and half later switch the other, week and half later switch the first, repeat).

    Plant suggestions depend on whether you want to do CO2, what lighting you end up with, with substrate you end up with...or you can pick a couple plants you really like and chose the rest based on those...
     
  16. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,965
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    Well for substrate it will be the fluorite for sure. I'm still digesting the CO2 reactors. I think a DIY doesn't sound too bad at all. That's definitely a possibility. Excel is another possibility. Can it work on it's own or do you need a CO2 system as well? Just curious.

    Lighting is still confusing me a bit to be honest.

    I'm also about to ask a really dumb question- if I am using a glass top for the aquarium, what would you do for a filter? I was going to use a HOB filter but I wasn't sure if the glass tops allow for that or not.
     
  17. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    6,216
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well the glass top should have a gap on one side of the tank...only being held up by three sides. If the gap is big enough, you can use a HOB filter there. If the lid seals the whole top you won't have sufficient new air coming in contact with the surface of the water for gas interchange.

    If you dose liquid CO2 you don't need to do the DIY gas CO2, and vice versa.

    I've seen no noticeable difference between Eco-Complete and Fluorite, so whichever you can find more readily. The Fluorite does take a while to clear (there are a lot of fines) but once it does it's not a big deal. I think both come in natural, red, and black (and maybe other colors) now...back when I got my Eco-Complete I don't think Fluorish came in black yet, and I wanted black...
     
  18. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,965
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    Hm...

    If it was your tank, what filter would you use? I've only ever really used HOBs and I'm a creature of habit. I like the look of the glass top better than a hood but a hood might be easier. I thought it would be easier to get lighting for the plants if it was a glass top though.

    I was trying to remember what the other substrate I've heard recommended and Eco-Complete was it!

    This thing's going to be fun. :D
     
  19. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    6,216
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'd use whatever I already owned lol.

    Either HOB or sponge would be fine. Even a small sponge filter could look pretty big in a tank that small though. With either filter, I'd want one with variable circulation rate, if shrimp or Betta were the goal, as it wouldn't take much to get a lot of current going in there.

    Glass top would be more versatile for lighting, yeah. It just depends on what's in your are and what you want to spend...I'm sure there are made-for-5g hoods out there set up for plant-supportive lighting, but I don't know what the price tag would be, if you know what I mean. More than the tank.

    I love setting up new tanks... :) Just talking about this is eating away at my resolve to leave my spares empty for a while...
     
  20. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,965
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    Do ittttt! :p

    I'm only here to help.

    Yeah I was thinking a HOB would be best. This thing is pretty little (how do people set bettas up in 1-2 gallon tanks?). I think the heater is even going to look pretty big in there.

    The tank was only $14 so definitely will be the cheaper part of this whole thing.

    Do you know of any place that might have plant friendly hoods for a 5 gallon? If you get just a standard that comes with the basic 'aquarium light' or whatever they call it, can you get a decent light to fit that? The ones I've seen that have decent wattage look too big.
     

Share This Page