Reddit reviews XY-2831 Air Pump Sponge Filter for Aquarium, Tank Size 10-Gallon (1-Pack)
We found 66 Reddit comments about XY-2831 Air Pump Sponge Filter for Aquarium, Tank Size 10-Gallon (1-Pack). Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.
Sponge filters provide both mechanical and biological filtrationProvides the ideal location for bacterial colonization.Does not trap fish fry. Suitable filter when breeding and spawning Discus, Dwarf cichlids, guppies, and killifish.Dimension: 5"L x 1.8"W x 5.5" HMax Tank Size: 10 Gallon
Bettas really shouldn't be kept in bowls. There is no filtration so they are being poisoned by their poop. There isn't enough water so they cant swim and their waste is more toxic quicker. They are also tropical fish and should have a heater to keep the water around 78F.
I know you are on a budget but I STRONGLY recommend getting a much larger tank. Right now Petco is having a $ per gallon sale so you should pick up a 10 gallon tank (I don't think the 5 gallon qualifies) for $10. Get a good heater (The one thing you shouldn't skimp on...don't want any cooked fish) Also pick up a sponge filter like this and a cheap air pump. If you want some cheap lighting you could do desk lamps with normal light bulbs. This pretty much covers the essentials of what you need to buy. On a side note though if you buy any plants don't buy plastic as they will rip your bettas fins to shreds insted pick up some silk plants.
Also I would recommend reading up on some basic betta care and this quick overview Also read up on the nitrogen cycle and some general information
hiya, don't feel too bad, it's hard to get it right from the start with so much bad information everywhere.
A 2 gallon tank is a massive upgrade, so well done! I wouldn't mess around with the pH too much, unless it's very high. Stable pH is often better than a somewhat low or high pH.
As for filters, in my experience, a small sponge filter (1, 2), powered by a good airpump (like this one) is a good option for smaller tanks on a budget. You can also see if you can attach it to the air-thing aleardy in the tank. Be sure to also get a check valve and a regulator valve. With the regulator valve, you can decrease the amount of bubbles.
The two biggest challenges with all-in-one setups for shrimp is light (not enough) and waterflow (too much.) Shrimp really require live plants to thrive, and those plants need enough light to grow. It's hard to judge from pictures, but that tank's light seems like it MIGHT be adequate for low light plants. Shrimp also require very low waterflow. High waterflow will blow them around (they're tiny and light swimmers compared to fish) and they will easily get sucked onto the intakes of most filters. The tank you linked would need some modifications to be suitable for shrimp: at the very least it will need sponges or pantyhose covering the inlet and outlets, and the flow will need to be turned down to the lowest setting, probably.
So, it might work. But if you're interested in shrimp specifically, you might as well spend a small amount extra and build a custom setup that is tailored to them. You'd need:
I think all of that will run you roughly $75, give or take. Obviously, more expensive than the all-in-one, but it would result in a tank that would be easier for a beginner to succeed with.
You'll also need to get some non-equipment essentials, like subtrate for planting in, a test-kit for monitoring your water, and obviously food, and a petri dish for feeding is highly recommended.
Then you can get into plants and stuff. Whew! Sounds like a lot, I guess. It is, but it's worth it, and shrimp are definitely a good place to jump into aquariums.
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.
Okay, I'm going to save you from a dead fish here, alright?
Water contains a few chemicals for treatment to make it safe for us to drink, one of them is chlorine, in that same family...there is also chloramine.
These burn the hell out of fish's gills. Its dangerous.
Get yourself a bottle of seachem prime. Its a dechlorinator. This will make it safe your fish to even exist in the water.
Second, read about fishless cycling
Since it sounds like you're getting the betta soon. You can read about fish in cycling
You can use that handy dandy bottle of seachem prime dechlorinator to also detoxify ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate for about 48 hours per dose. ONLY PRIME DOES THIS, not any other dechlorinators.
You see, filters on fishtanks contain a happy little bacteria colony that takes fish waste (Ammonia) turns it into a harmful nitrite, then turns it into relatively harmless nitrate. It keeps your fish stress free and also, if those toxin levels get to high--it kills them/ or makes them susceptible to disease. You can check the levels with this test kit
Bettas enjoy low flow in their fishtanks because they aren't the strongest of swimmers. I recommend a sponge filter. They also like their tank between 78-80 degrees. So a good heater is a MUST.
Buy a sponge filter for your tank when/if you get another betta.
I use this one with the tetra brand air pump in my ten gallon and I am very happy with the results.
Buy tank separately, filters, heaters, and lights that come with tanks tend to be low quality so buy separately. I'd say go with 10 gallon for two reasons.
I buy all my supplies on amazon cause i have prime and it's cheaper, i'm a college student so cheapness is everything. This is a good cheap filter and this is a good heater i also recommend a digital thermostat cause it's easier to read the temp rather than squinting your eyes to see the tab thermostats.
Sponge filters are the best for shrimp. It's only $2.81 cents shipped.
Here a amazon link where to buy it:
Here a youtube link about it:
But you do need an air pump for it.
The shrimp will glaze off the sponge and it will help encourage breeding.
I would not recommend no filter unless your tank is heavy planted but water movement is beneficial to spread out nutrients/co2 to plants.
Finally at work so I can give some links, lol
Here's a cheap sponge filter, I love these for bettas because they have a gentle flow and no mechanical intake for the betta to get sucked into. The bacteria will live in the sponges so make sure to never clean them with tap water or else you'll kill them! You'll also need an air pump and some airline tubing to get the filter going. I've used all of these and it's a pretty simple and cheap setup.
To actually measure the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels, you'll need a test kit. I know some people and stores use strips, but they are hilariously inaccurate. You can have levels of 70+ ppm of nitrate (which is usually deadly) and the strips will tell you that you have 0 ppm. The liquid kit also lasts a lot longer! Your tank is cycled when ammonia is at 0 ppm, nitrites are at 0 pmm, and nitrates are at 0-20 ppm.
To make it easier to clean his tank, you can use a siphon. It sucks up the water for you, all you need is a bucket/tub to catch it in. Makes cleaning a lot less hectic!
Just a side note, Betta are actually tropical (and cold-blooded fish), so they need a heater. This is good for a 10 gal, it's what I use :) You can also get a glass or electronic thermometer to make sure the water is staying at the recommended 78-80 F. If you already have a water conditioner this is optional but Seachem Prime is what I use as it binds and neutralizes low levels of ammonia.
Here's the sub caresheet/wiki, and here's a guide to fish-in cycling (which basically just means cycling the tank with a fish already inside). I know this is a lot of info/expenses all at once but if you ever have any questions you're always free to PM me! I'm happy to help to the best of my ability. I'd recommend getting him a 5 gal or bigger ASAP, and with clean warm water his fins will be healing in no time :)
Good on you for taking the poor guy!
First, the spots don't really look like ich. Ich is more like the fish has salt grains sprinkled on them. The spots on the this guy look like either fungus or bacteria. Also, from the picture, it looks like he has some pretty bad fin rot and he's very pale.
I see an air pump, is it hooked up to anything in the tank? I don't see a filter, but you can use that air pump to set up a sponge filter.
The tank itself looks to be ok, although a very odd shape... I'm thinking it's probably 2.5-3 gallons which is alright for a betta (though 5 gallons is ideal)
Honestly, if there's no filter or bubble stone, I'd do a 100% water change, rinse the gravel really well to get any detritus out (judging by the state of the tank, I'm sure there's a lot...). Until you get a filter, you should do 50-75% changes every day. Look up fish-in cycling as well. I'm sure we have a link in our wiki. Scoop the little guy into a holding cup while you change the water, then slowly acclimate to the cleaner water. With his compromised immune system, too much stress may be a death sentence.
Like I said about the spots, it looks like a fungus or bacterial infection. Bacterial is more common and would fit with the MO of fin rot, so I'd start with that for treating. Any antibacterial would be good, but get him in clean water first.
Can you take a pic of the heater?
As far as buddies go, a single snail or a few shrimp would be fine with him. Nerite snails are one of my favorites. They eat all kinds of algae, lay eggs that don't hatch in freshwater, come in lots of colors, and stay relatively small. DO NOT do a mystery snail, they get huge and produce a lot of waste. Ghost or amano shrimp are good choices. Shrimp are much more sensitive to water quality though, so make sure you get the tank fixed before adding anything.
Finally, definitely get this test kit. You'll need it for cycling and is much more accurate and cost effective than strips.
You could get something like this, or even something half that size, and then a super cheap air pump. Sponge filters are air driven. But yeah, for ten or fifteen bucks you could easily have a good sponge filter set up. They are great for shrimp and most serious shrimp breeders use them.
If the filter is not adjustable, there is a good chance it is stressing them out. Bettas are generally very resilient. Don't give up on Bettas yet, it sounds like you are doing everything quite well.
Here are some options:
Again, don't give up! Bettas are awesome. You will dial everything in soon enough and be back to feeling great.
20ppm nitrates is just fine btw.
I've kept Bettas on a budget before- there are some things that you really do need, and some things you can do ugly and cheap. The trouble is that you're starting with two and have limited space, a bad combination. I'd suggest you really try hard to rehome at least one, but proceeding on the idea that you're absolutely determined to keep both, I'll lay out the least expensive way to get things done in my experience.
To pick up now:
-Dechlorinater/water conditioner: In your grandma's days, there were fewer additives in water than they are now, and not all of them gas off when left to sit out. If you absolutely can't afford even a tiny container of prime, which can really help in small tank situations because it temporarily neutralizes ammonia- then pick up a cheaper water treatment. Most pet stores carry generic ones, or API is $4 and change on amazon. Can't emphasize enough how much better prime would be though. The smallest bottle should last you for a couple months, so don't worry too much about volume.
-If you can do it, Petco's dollar/gallon sale is the best value you're likely to get on a 10G, as mentioned. Failing that, check your local thrift stores. I think a 10G would be ideal for you if you can make it work- it'll be cheapest and the least amount of maintenance, if you use dividers. Here's a way to make mesh dividers for it yourself from things you can pick up at any craft store, for a couple bucks total (you can also make lids out of the same material). I've made these before and as long as you measure them right, they work fine. If you absolutely can't get or fit a 10g, you bare minimum need about 3g per betta in separate containers or you'll be courting ammonia burns and finrot super quickly. Bowls aren't ideal, but if you're doing a temporary setup they may be easier to find. Be creative if you have to- you want something with horizontal swimming space, rather than vertical (avoid anything taller than it is long), but there are all kinds of odd glass vessels at your average salvation army. A ~3.5 gallon spherical bowl is going to be 12" in diameter. Anything with flat sides, measure and calculate the rough volume in cubic inches, then convert to gallons. Whatever you get, clean it thoroughly. If you use bleach, let it sit out in the sun for a few hours before filling it with water.
-Hides: Cheapest part. In college I had a Betta setup with a half-buried coffee mug and some silk plants from Michaels in it. Grab a couple mugs at the thrift store or throw in your least favorites. You want ceramic not plastic or metal, minimal or no paint if possible. Bury them halfway in the substrate. Craft store silk plants are inexpensive and are fine in a pinch, just boil them first. You want at least some that reach up to the top of the tank, to give them cover at all levels.
-Substrate: Whatever's cheapest is fine. A 5lb bag of imaginarium sand will run you $5 or so at petsmart. If you have a local fish store, they may sell gravel or sand in bulk for cents to the pound, so you could call around and ask. Whatever you use give it a quick rinse before adding it.
-Here's a $10 adjustable amazon heater. If you're doing two 5 gallons, get two 25 watts. A 10 gallon divided, get the 50 watt. A heater goes a long long way to keeping your fish healthy- once you need to start buying medicine your budget is blown. You won't see many non-adjustable ones for much less than this, and they're less reliable since they heat at a constant rate regardless of water temp. Get a cheap glass thermometer with it, they're in any big-box pet store.
To pick up soon:
-Filters and pumps: Sponge filters are the way to go in small betta setups for sure, and they are extremely cheap online. Here's one for $2 for a 10G; here's the one I use in my 7G for $4. Make sure to carefully read the guide on cycling before you put a filter in, because things will get less stable before they get more stable, which is why in your situation I'd be vigilant about water changes (see the caresheet for frequency) and put off the filter til you can afford an API test kit. Because things can spike so so fast, it's really not advisable to run through a fish-in cycle blind in any small tank. You'll pair it with an air pump, this one's $7.
-API master test kit: This is the most expensive thing on the list, which is the only reason it's under later. API also makes test strips, but they're $10 for a pack of 25, wheras the master test kit has far far more uses in it for $20 and is much more accurate. Knowing your water parameters is good any day, but essential once you introduce any kind of filter.
Altogether I think you could get this kind of absolute barebones setup done for around $30 up front and $30 later if you play your cards right, less if you find a home for one fish. It'll still require elbow grease to put together, though.
If you go filterless try using a wood diffuser, they put out finer bubbles than the regular kind, which should cut down on the flow. Also go for the smallest air pump you can find, this will probably make the biggest difference.
I have this bubble filter, and if you put the spout above the water the bubbles pretty much pop on impact with the water.
I don't think it's the size of the bubbles that really matters, I would be more worried about making a choke point, if the bubbles start to build up, you're not going to be moving any water. But i've never tried putting something on the outflow of mine.
Can't say for certain if that will be good. It might create too much current. I've had good luck with https://www.amazon.com/XY-2831-Sponge-Filter-Aquarium-10-gallon/dp/B0056XVF82
I would suggest a couple of things. I'm a cheapskate at heart, so take what I say with a grain of salt. A 10G tank is a perfect starting volume, but I think you can do it with way less up front cost.
First, I'd hold off on the CO2 kit until your tank gets established and you determine that CO2 is needed. For a 10G tank, you may find that a DIY kit is fine. I personally got a CO2 setup, but only because I found this one on clearance for $5 (http://www.amazon.com/Nutrafin-Natural-System-Activator-Stabilizer/dp/B00026058Y). It's essentially a commercial version of the standard DIY kit, and it bubbles for 2-3 months per charge.
Second, you may want to stay away from the HOB filter. I've got about a half-dozen of them around the house, but I have found that I really like the sponge filters way better, especially if you want to keep your cherry shrimp babies from getting sucked up. They do an excellent job with biological filtration, and if you just squeeze/rinse one of them out each time you do a water change, it will do a decent job at mechanical filtration as well. Can't beat the price either. http://www.amazon.com/Aquarium-Biochemical-Sponge-Filter-Fish/dp/B0056XVF82
I think your fish selection is great, but just wanted to note to you that Glowlight tetras are "moderately difficult to breed", so if you'd like a nice sustainable colony it may be worth checking out some of the livebearers. Nothing like buying 5 fish and then having 30 in a few months... I'm currently raising Endler's guppies. The males really make the tank pop, and they stay small so having 20-30 in the tank isn't too much bioload.
For plants, I think you've got the right idea with starting with some HC and then add more later. I'd also search around a bit and see if there is a local aquarium group. Trading is way better than buying... after going to my local Aquatic Plant Club monthly meeting I always walk away with 5-7 plants that I didn't have before. Your job will then be to grow like crazy to bring more back to the group for the ever-present "new guy" to get started.
For 3D supports, you may want to check out using "egg-crate", or lighting diffuser. It's dirt cheap from Home Depot and will hopefully keep the water/sediment from stagnating underneath your mountains.
Hope this helps, I'd try to spend as little as possible until you identify areas that need improvement.
like this? - https://www.amazon.com/XY-2831-Sponge-Filter-Aquarium-10-gallon/dp/B0056XVF82
do you think i'll have any luck finding something like that in the retail pet stores or should i just get it off of amazon?
The first link is the just a little larger than the second, They both use an air pump. And I forgot to say I use saltyshrimp gh and kh as the remineralizer. Most tap water is fine for ghost or red cherry shrimp though.
Sponge filters are great for biological filtration! I'm cycling with a small corner sponge on my 10gal with pond snails. Unfortunately, sponge filters are crap for actually pulling old food/poop/dead plant matter. You'll have to stay on top of vacuuming the bottom of the tank during water changes. It gets very, very messy.
As for the actual sponges, see if you can find the two-sponge varieties such as this one here. That way, you can clean one sponge at a time and not worry too much about crashing your cycle. I would also recommend getting a larger pump than recommended for the size of the tank - I use a Whisper 020 (rated for 20 gallons) and it still doesn't have much pulling power, so detritus as mentioned above. But the bubbles vented from the top of the sponge filter disturb the surface quite a bit. I had to replace the mesh topper with a glass lid to keep the lights dry, or keep the water level at 75% filled. Boo.
Another thing to consider is the noise of an air pump. HOB filters hum and make waterfall-y noises, canisters are almost completely silent, and the air pumps hum and buzz no matter what you do. Some things to think about. Good luck! :)
I would reccommend this baby to add to your filtering capabilities. All you need is an air pump and tubing to drive this and it's inexpenseive (though a bit big) for a nice filter. Currently have three of these running (two as secondary filters one as primary) and they've been handling it well. This will stir up the water as well as filter it.
To me (knida new, I keep shrimp) that sounds like a lot of fish in a 10 gallon... Also, I've heard tetras can nip at the betta. Have you experienced this?
I have this one, and a whisper 10 air pump. Standard air tubing and a check valve that I tbh haven't installed yet. My tank is ~5 gallons and the sponge filter doesn't put out too much flow for the animals--a betta would be very happy. There are corner ones that are more discreet than the stick on one. But for the stick on one debris doesn't get trapped and decay in the area around the little weight.
i was tired yesterday and hadn't read the post fully (betta issues of my own) and had thought you meant you needed a filter that wasn't a submersible (i have a filter of sorts on my 10, along with a 20) id recomend something like http://www.amazon.com/XY-2831-Sponge-Filter-Aquarium-10-gallon/dp/B0056XVF82
i have one of those on my 10, and i just rinse out the crap every time it needs it, works wonders
you can still run the bubbler but you may need to branch the tubing to do so (tubing is normally pretty cheap)
That’s really unfortunate:( I hope he recovers. If you’re in the market for a new filter now, I definitely recommend a sponge filter, something like this. They’re probably the lowest-risk filter types and are often used for breeding delicate fish fry. I’ve seen plenty of people get away with using normal filter gear with bettas, but horror stories like yours have convinced me it’s the safest option for my boys.
Best of luck to you and your Betta. Don’t feel too bad - it’s not your fault that crazy shit like this happens sometimes. I hope he pulls through.
I bought a 8 gal long from a local store last week, it cost me 30 bucks, 5 gal long was 25. I'm (Canadian) in Korea atm. That being said, you can get a 5 gal for 20~30 bucks shipped to you. Petsmart has a 10gal for 15 bucks That being said, mine came with a lid, I don't know if yours will, but you can make a cheap wire mesh/plexi lid for ~5 bucks at home depot, I'm not a fan of glass lids since I'm a clutz.
Heaters will also run you about 20~30 dollars for a good one, but you can get them cheap for about 10 bucks or so. Adjustable ones are great because they shut off if it gets too hot in the summer.
Lights: don't think too much on it. You don't have to get one that fits perfectly, and you don't need a professional aquarium lamp from the get go. You can pick a reptile lamp for under 10 bucks if you get them on sale. Unless you're going for a planted tank you don't need to spend 60+ bucks on lights and you don't need Co2. Hell, a desk lamp suffices.
Filter: bettas love slow water, I'd get a sponge filter like drysider said. pump is about 10 bucks, filter is 10~30 bucks depending on brand. air pump example Sponge filter example
Thanks! This is the one I have: XY-2831 Air Pump Sponge Filter for Aquarium, Tank Size 10-Gallon (1-Pack) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0056XVF82/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_pBX1CbWXB0562
Do you own the established tank or are you getting it from a buddy? If it's yours, just run the old filter in the new tank for a couple of days (just make sure you don't have chlorine in the water) and then pop it back in the old tank. As other commenters have mentioned, it's valuable to always have one or more of these running so you can jump start a new tank at a moment's notice:
XY-2831 Air Pump Sponge Filter for Aquarium, Tank Size 10-gallon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0056XVF82/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_w25.ybB5CGHHZ
I have this one in my 10g. Should be easy for you to run a splitter and have one on each side of the tank.
Might be worth mentioning sponge filters. Tetra Whisper air pumps on Amazon run about 7 bucks and the sponge filter itself will run you all of 3 bucks and you don't have to worry about replacing cartridges or anything so that's really nice and easy for beginners!
I would recommend Seachem Stability, too! Great way to help a tank get cycled faster which is a great thing when you're fish-in cycling.
This is a pretty nice small internal filter. Unless you want to go with a hob style oooor maybe you are into the sponge filter world
The rams are both male I think that they are fully grown. The kribs might be a pair. They were bought at the same time and one has grown bigger and has way more red on her stomach then the other one. I've had the eel for about 2 months and my method of feeding of feeding him is to wait until lights out, melt a cube of blood worms in a zip lock bag and dump it in. Most of it gets eaten by the barbs and tetras but a good amount hits the substrate which the eel probably eats. The eel is about 5 inches. The barbs are still juveniles. Also, I'm running this filter http://amzn.com/B0056XVF82
Should I still get a aquaclear?
Never seen that before but it seems kind of redundant. I'd go with something like this
That is the style sponge filter I always see breeders using and they seem to know what they are doing. Easy yo clean too just squeeze it out in old tank water.
I have one of these that works fine too and I can alternate cleaning the sponges so I don't upset the bacteria too much.
Aquarium salts can help with fin rot. Macaryn Two is also a good choice. Be careful with aquarium salts though. Don't dose every time you do a water change like normal medication.
Also, I second the sponge filters. You can get one for a 10g one (which I'd recommend because the more filtration, the better) for like $5 on amazon. Plus you'd need an air pump which are also relatively cheap.
I used this.
SEACHICKEN usually kept his distance from it but I guess he kinda just went to investigate. It's been in there for a few weeks.
Ikea RANARP lamp with a 14 watt daylight compact fluorescent bulb
Substrate is pool filter sand and river pebbles.
Plants include several crypts, ludwigia repens and peruenis, susswassertang, java moss, bacopa, purple cabomba, riccia flutens, duckweed, frogbit, dwarf water lettuce, and an oriental sword.
Filter is a cheap sponge filter that I modified by drilling several pieces of driftwood out. I hollowed out the bottom piece to hide the sponge intake and then ran tubing up the long piece for the outflow.
Dosing with metricide (excel substitute), and NilocG macro and micro fertilizer.
I will probably just stock it with a small snail or some of the red cherry shrimp culls from my other tanks.
Sponge filter works great for me. I was probably a bit too careful, but Axies don't tolerate a lot of water flow. I don't think a canister filter would be too bad, but I just wanted to be on the safe side. I actually have a double filter, so i can clean one at a time, every other week.
I have this one, but the 20 gallon version.
Sorry I'm really bad at this, my first aquarium was a kit haha. This was one of the suggestions I got: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0056XVF82/ref=ox_sc_act_title_4?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1&amp;smid=A7SIQ2Y2T11UM
You said that the sponges themselves are filters so I'm assuming this is an in-water filter right?
I recommend checking out Craigslist if you are interested in a bigger tank and are only put off by the price. Lots of people sell second hand stuff for cheap. I was looking earlier today and saw seventy gallon set up with a stand, filter, and lighting for under a hundred in the Inland Empire.
If you are going small with first use equipment, a 3g is suitable for a single Betta and a non fish companion such as a larger snail or a couple of smaller shrimp (Ghost Shrimp are common and work well, but Cherry Shrimp are prettier if you can find them). I use this tank for a Betta, a large snail, and half a dozen ghost shrimp. The design is quite nice and the included air pump, filter, and lighting is sufficient for a small Betta tank, though you still need to buy gravel and decorations.
You mentioned frogs in your initial post -- African Dwarf Frogs are compatible with a Betta tank, but it can be a pain to feed them because their vision is terrible and a Betta is likely to try eat their food before they find it. If you don't mind that, they are pretty neat.
Bettas are aggressive to their own so you can only keep one per community except for female sorority tanks with 4 or more females. Unfortunately the females have the shorter fins and are less attractive generally. Also you have to avoid placing any fish that a Betta can mistake for a rival in the tank (i.e. fish with bright colors or flowing fins). So it's usually best to stay with non dangerous invertebrate like shrimp and snails in small Betta tanks. If you go for a larger set-up where there is more room, you can get fish like Neon Tetras who may provoke a Betta but can easily run away with enough room (a properly equipped 10g can hold a Betta and a small school of six Neons if you are diligent with weekly maintenance). Proving ample cover in the tank is also useful.
If you stay with going small, a Betta is likely hardy enough to deal with the initial cycle of your tank if want to start right away, just make sure you are diligent with partial water changes every three days while you do the first cycle (I stress it would be safer to do a fishless cycle). These fish are able to put up with being trapped in the small cups at Petco and Petsmart after all, not that they should have to. I would recommend you leave it at just the Betta at first to keep the cycle easier - the toxins from cycling will affect small shrimp and snails faster than it will affect the Betta.
I live in SoCal and my water stays at 74 to 76 without heating (windows closed at night) which is fine for a Betta, so I don't think you need a heater unless it gets very cold in your area at night.
Fake plants are fine, but go for silk versus plastic if you can. It's usually not an issue but plastic can tear up a Betta's fins because they are so ornate. Real plants help with water quality though and usually look prettier. Simple plants like Anarcharis or Amazon Swords should be under $5 at Petco or Petsmart.
Creating bubbles requires an air pump at the very least. You can get one sufficient for up to a 10g for only $7-$10 at Petsmart or Amazon. Creating multiple smaller (prettier) bubbles will require fitting the end of the tubing with an air stone or other bubble accessory (a bubble wand creates a backdrop curtain of bubbles against a wall of the tank for instance). However, Bettas flowing fins make it hard for them to deal with lots of current in the water so if you get a smaller tank you will want to have the bubble output isolated to one area so there's room for the Betta to get away. The same problem exists with filters; in smaller tanks the output can be too strong for a Betta and you may have to construct a "baffle" to break the impact of the filter's current.
One option that works well for small Betta tanks is to use a sponge filter. Sponge filters are powered by the movement of water from your air pump; rising bubbles force water to move and that draws surrounding water through the sponge to replace the rising water. The sponge will mechanically filter your water, and the bacteria for the nitrogen cycle will colonize the sponge to do the biological filtration. Cheap sponge filters go for under five dollars on Amazon, like this one, and they can fulfill your bubbling and filtration at the same time.
The second one is much smaller than it looks online, I was worried about size but it fits with ~2 inches to spare on either side on the side wall of my 10 gallon. It's just wider than my hand, and shorter with the telescoping tube down all the way.
As for the air pump, I'm like 99% sure it's the tetra whisper 10 gallon, but I'd need to find the box to be sure. I have it ran to a splitter that also allows me to adjust the airflow through the pumps like this.
You'll also want a couple of check valves, they basically ensure water won't backflow into the air pump and fry it out if the power goes off. They're basically little plastic cyclinders you connect the air tubing to, air can flow one way but not the other.
If you run a HOB with it, I'd just do one, probably the first link since the HOB would provide the circulation in the tank. You might want a smaller one though, that one's about 3 inches in diameter and takes up a good chunk of the back corner of my tank. I planted around it to make it less noticeable, but might be a little big in a 5 gallon.
Since I have shrimp in the tank also, I just swapped out the whole filter/fountain/light assembly and removed its holder from the glass. For lighting, I went with http://www.thatpetplace.com/fluval-nano-performance-led-lamp-aqualife-plant (cost a pretty penny in the store, but I have no complaints about the plant growth).
For filter I went with http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0056XVF82/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1 hooked up to a generic 10gal air pump.
Originally I used a tandem of the stock light and an IKEA desk light next to the tank. Had some issues with the initial glow fish and aggression, so moved them to a larger tank and now have Neon Tetras in the tank with RCS. Imgur link: http://imgur.com/a/7XBLh
In my divided tank, I have this filter with one of the intakes on each side. Then I angle the outflow into the divider to lessen the current and get water agitation on both sides. I never have the bio-film issue you see with some divided tanks, and both sides get adequate filtration. I have a 50w heater on one side, and monitor the temperature on the opposite side of the tank to ensure consistent temperature.
^That's ^why ^I'm ^here, ^I ^don't ^judge ^you. ^PM ^/u/xl0 ^if ^I'm ^causing ^any ^trouble. ^WUT?
A gentle filter, I find, is pretty much vital in any tank, whether it's 1.5 gallons or 20. Without one, you'll have to do water changes of much higher volume and far more often, and not only is it annoying for you, it can be more stressful for your betta to constantly have to be acclimated to new water. You can use a power filter and baffle it with something so it's not so harsh, but I recommend a sponge filter, they are gentler, quieter, easier, and a hell of a lot cheaper. I have a 4.5 gallon tank (Such a strange size, no?) and I use this with a tetra whisper air pump. I'm rather fond of the filter I have now, as it suctions to the tank wall and leaves more space for him to explore, and it's easier to clean the gravel. As for tankmates, it depends on the personality of your betta and what he works best with. Mystery snails are popular as they help keep the tank clean. Tetras and shrimp are also popular. You can only experiment. My guy works awesome with the snail in his tank, but others have had their snail mysteriously murdered. Experiment with it, see how he does.
For neos it's the same as for any average planted tap water tank, GH 6-9 dGH. If your tap water is too hard, it could be diluted, if too soft, reinforced.
5 gal is fine, sponge filter (I prefer like that) or Matten filter are fine because of being safe for babies, having lowest flow and shrimp could graze for microorganisms on their surfaces. Smallest HOBs (Azoo Mignon 60) could be fine too, intake should be protected by sponge, on slow flow settings.
Heater or no, depends on temperature in your room, if not too cold and it doesn't fluctuate much they could live without heater. If with it, the one that keeps temperature not higher than 76F (slightly below preset heaters) should be better. They could live with preset to 78F heater, but you could get non stopping reproduction all year long, and with each pregnancy ending with 24-26 babies it's really too much after few generations.
Soft water caridina requires cool temperature in summer, RO water with GH+ remineralizer, and pH lowering substrate.
XY-2831 Air Pump Sponge Filter for Aquarium, Tank Size 10-gallon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0056XVF82/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_PAIxwbQ1EP6QD
What country are you located in?
Petco has the dollar per gallon sale every so often. So, you could get a 10 gal for $10
Air pump tubing
Edit: this is just basics. Other things you'd need: a hood, a liquid test kit, Food- this one is just okay, cheaper in store to get Omega one pellets, absolutely need water conditioner- this one is very concentrated
Just to make sure I have this right is this a double sponge filter? It isn't listed as such but my common sense says it is.
XY-2831 Air Pump Sponge Filter for Aquarium, Tank Size 10-gallon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0056XVF82/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_2lwRAb15PF8MM
I use this for a 5g. Dunno if you can use it in a 2g...
Try to get the sponge filter like this https://www.amazon.com/XY-2831-Sponge-Filter-Aquarium-10-gallon/dp/B0056XVF82
It creates better flow for your aquarium.
Like one of these guys. The sponge itself acts as the filter, housing the beneficial bacteria to keep the tank cycled. All you need is an air pump and the actual sponge filter.
Yes, I realize now that I should have refined my original post. As far as what I have going right now:
Lighting - Finnex Stingray; buying two clamp lights isn't going to be much cheaper than this at $44.
Filter - Sponge filter with the powerhead listed above. I'm not set on one for now because I'll see what's at my LFS and go from there, but I have one in mind.
Tank - standard 10g tank from LFS
Substrate - I plan on using either black sand or normal sand, whatever I can find, along with root tabs. I like the look of sand and from what I hear it's easy to use for rescaping, which I will probably be doing. I had dirt capped with sand in my last tank and it looked horrible after a while because it mixed too much.
Is Seachem Prime the typical dechlorinator? I saw it recommended somewhere and that's what I plan on getting. I'm also looking at getting these tools. I'm not sure how much quality differs but they're cheap and have some good reviews.
I plan on sticking with RCS and some snails for now, fish can come later. As for plants, I think I'm gonna go with some java fern and java moss. I'll see what else my LFS has and recommends.
I greatly appreciate the help by the way.
EDIT: I wanted to add that I'll only be using root tabs on plants that would need it, I know I'm not supposed to plant java fern in the sand. I was just reading about staurogyne repens and how it could work in sand and low tech as long as I use root tabs and fertilizer. Do you have any thoughts on this?
I use this sponge filter. I have been using it for months and my adult and baby shrimp love grazing and chilling out on it.
My only suggestion is use a very simple air powered sponge filter, they are just a couple bucks, your aquarium will be crystal clear and very happy.
those are the best biological filters for the buck and micro setups work awesome with them, here is an example from amazon
I use this one and it's pretty fantastic, just hook it up to a silent tetra 10 gallon filter and put it in the middle of the tank.
How do I know if something like this is good enough? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0056XVF82/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_CeJjzbYQ2M13S
This one https://www.amazon.com/XY-2831-Sponge-Filter-Aquarium-10-gallon/dp/B0056XVF82
I have gotten that exact same heater to work for me, so you are out of luck there
Would one like this work?
It should be good but maybe you should get this: http://www.amazon.com/Aquarium-Biochemical-Sponge-Filter-Fish/dp/B0056XVF82/ref=pd_sbs_petsupplies_2?ie=UTF8&amp;refRID=1V3G7JQJWAZ8VRNGXMPG
Something like this? http://www.amazon.com/Aquarium-Biochemical-Sponge-Filter-Fish/dp/B0056XVF82#
ok, something like this could work
Could work, keep in mind these are just examples and there are several brands out there that are similar in price and might have better shipping
But would you think a sponge filter like this would be good for a betta tank?
O wow! That is amazing! I hope mine looks half as good as yours lol. In response to the cuttlebone and catappa leaf in the filter, I didn't realize you could add things inside the sponge filters. I'll post a link to the kind of sponge filter I decided on. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0056XVF82/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=I2JDO6NECWVBL2&amp;colid=OAA927L82TRN
thanks! , I currently have 2 filters running, the sponge filter is here: Sponge Filter Link, and my other filter is a Marineland Penguin Biowheel 75, my light is the Marineland Advanced LED Strip Light, anywhere from $60 to $100 for 18", depends on where you look
Are these the same thing as that second one? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0056XVF82/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_U4xKxbATT321Q
Additionally, I should add: He lives in a 10 gallon tank which is heated (80°F) and filtered sponge filter augmented with Whisper 3i which he's had since I got him over a year ago from when he was in a smaller tank.
He typically gets 25% weekly water changes although over a month ago I was gone for about a week and a half so there was a bit of a lapse.
I switched to this corner filter and put Seachem matrix at the bottom instead of the ceramic rings for extra filtration since I have a snail and they're poop machines. This sponge filter is also a good option if you only have a betta since it takes up less space i n the tank. A lot of others on this sub have used it and seen good results from what I've read.
Here is the mobile version of your link