New ADA Mini M Betta Tank Equipment Questions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-17-2015, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Southern Louisiana
Posts: 2
New ADA Mini M Betta Tank Equipment Questions

Hi! I'm new here and new to planted tanks. Please help me chose items for my first tank setup.

I bought the ADA Mini M 5.5g tank but that's the only expensive item I can afford. So for now, it means no expensive high lighting or CO2.

I think I'll buy the Up Aqua Aqua Sand for its hardiness/resistance to turn to mud and because I don't want too many nutrients to contribute to algae in my low to low medium light tank. Is that substrate a good choice? Any better recommendations?

What affordable (the cheaper the better) LED lighting should I buy for my 14" tank? I want some low and medium light mosses, ferns, and some stem plants. I love swords and crypts. Will these thrive or even survive in my setup with my lighting and no CO2? I checked out the Finnex Fugeray+ but have concerns about too much light for mosses and ferns. What other lights, no more expensive and preferably cheaper, would you recommend?

I am planning the tank as much for a half moon Betta as the plants. What very, very quiet or silent and dead slow filters would you recommend for a 5.5g tank? I need a cheaper one but I prefer reliability over finances if there's a conflict. I want what's best for my fish and plants after all.

I had a Cobalt Neo Therm 25w on a previous Betta tank but I've been reading on forums about them exploding. Is this limited to larger models? I'd really like a shielded heater because past bettas tended to rest on them, and I don't want them to suffer any burns. So any suggestions?

Is there anything else I need to consider?

Thank you.

Looking forward to growing planted tanks with you!


PS - I'm thinking about Tropica tissue culture plants because I can't stand snails or worms, and I fear introducing baddies into my tank. Anyone have reliable sources for other clean plants so I could save money?

How many mosses, stem plants, etc. would I need for a 14L x 9D x 10H tank? Is driftwood recommended for newbies?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-17-2015, 07:50 PM
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Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
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Hello and welcome to TPT.

First, hardscape- since you mentioned that you're a newbie and that you would like to save some $, I would suggest simple. Either none, or one piece. One piece of driftwood or one piece of rock. Placed off centre.

The betta you want has fragile fins so nothing rough. Could you find a nice big piece of rock maybe the size of two or three fists? In the neighborhood?

If you decide on wood, I would recommend Mopani I because it is smoother for the betta. Will need to be prepped though, so search the forum for prepping wood.

Plants- the swords can get big but there are smaller specimens available through Tropica. Even then one would dominate half the tank. I have one in a Mini M, see here. Crypts would be more to scale and would be fine in low light.
Daisy's Mini-M

Mosses would be fine too, I recommend spiky over Christmas, I find the form of spiky is nicer. Weeping is good too. Java moss is fine, but if you want compact growth you'll need to provide good light. The moss can be glued to the wood or rock. In this case, weeping moss attached to the upper portion of the wood/rock is pretty nice.

A small tank is harder to scape, so even if it's hard to choose, I would suggest sticking to less plant species. So, maybe a moss, a rosette plant (sword or crypt eg), and a group of stem plants. Then plant multiples of each depending on size.

For lighting, you have waaaay more choices than I do here, so I'll leave that to my US counterparts to suggest on, same with filtration.

However, for dead quiet filtration, you may want to consider an internal filter or a sponge filter fitted to a power head (vs air pump).

Hopefully, this helps you to get started.

Daisy Mae V
According to my husband, I have a habit of jumping right in!
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-17-2015, 08:29 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: south eastern PA
Posts: 4,109
I'm a big fan of sponge filters but not all are. I use
jardin mini cylinder sponge filter jardin mini cylinder sponge filter
tetra whisper air pump (for up to 10g) tetra whisper air pump (for up to 10g)
and wrap the air pump in a towel/rag/blanket to muffle it. If you reduce the air flow with the little pressure knob that whisper includes with their pump the bubbles are not that loud. I use the sponge filters on most of my tanks now.
I also have a azoo palm HOB running on my husband's betta tank, it comes with a pre-filter foam you can stick over the intake but its not a tight fit so I tied it on with fishing line to make it stay put.
This filter was highly recommended by a member on another (betta specific) forum but I have not tried it yet. My only concern with this is the many slits to intake water, with a betta its best to cover the intake to prevent fins being sucked in and shredded.

No input on LEDS

I'd stay away from any heater that has reviews of explosions, fish cooking, or paint pealing. I've used a few heaters in my betta tanks:
Aqueon 50 watt (pre set but there is an adjustable version of aqueon too)
Ehiem jagar 25 through 75 watt (adjustable)
Hydro Theo's 25 watt (adjustable also has high wattage options)
Truaqua's 100 watt (adjustable-its in a 6g and does not over heat the tank)
I also have used Cobalt blue mini therm 10 watt heaters goes up to 20 watt (constant on style) with azoo micro temp controller to keep it from cooking fish

The colbalt mini I only read reviews of cooking because it does not turn off (not preset or adjustable), hence the use of a temp controller.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-17-2015, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Southern Louisiana
Posts: 2
Thanks Daisy Mae and AquaAurora for the great info and suggestions. This will be so helpful in setting up my tank.
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