That all looks like sound advice, thank you
I'm not sure if the filter I was looking at has a temperature sensor, but that is definitely something to check for; I don't think it would be good necessarily to have it a constant-on heater, since I'm sure the temperature in the house will fluctuate somewhat as well...
yeah, not very practical w/o the sensor, but they are sold, and i've seen them at petco. I tried to time one of these on a timer against our summer room thermostat (80 day / 68 night) and it was major cat & mouse.
I am a bit confused, though, if I have more plants, why would I need a stronger filter? I was under the impression that plants reduced the need for filtration (by a tiny bit, admittedly, but..)? Am I missing something, or can you clarify?
right, I'm kind of mixing the concept between circulation and filtration. Even if the plants are doing all of the filtering (with the help of beneficial bacteria in the gravel and on everything else), you may discover that it is easier to have some circulation, filters rely on and create their own circulation. circulation will ensure even distribution of nutrients, and, even if the plants are doing all the work, it will circulate the water through the plants to aid in this. Its basically a way to keep the water 'even' throughout the tank.
Agreed, you don't want the betta blowing around, so there has to be a balance. But circulation will also help distribute the waste into the filter and more evenly over the substrate to the roots and to keep biological wastes from settling on the plants.
I don't know that particular filter, so, it may be fine. As you get more plants, the plants themselves cut down on the water circulation by buffering it, thus, necessitating a filter rated for higher circulation to compensate in order to maintain the same given level of circulation.
I don't think the speed of the water leaving the tank is terribly traumatic, but the water re-entering the tank, despite my efforts to account for temperature. I've gotten better at pouring it over my hand to reduce the flow buffeting my fish around, but he's a halfmoon betta, with the outrageously long fins to go with it, so there's a certain element of "it's going to happen," I think...
Oh, I saw him in your profile, very handsome! The point of pouring in very slowly is because of the differences between the water coming into the tank and the water already in the tank. These are hopefully very slight differences but they will still be detectable by the betta, and will cause him to have a degree of stress. Agreed, however, that if they match exactly, its no problem, but they will never match exactly and if you're changing more than 30%, those changes will be magnified. The hope is to spread it out over time, giving him time to adjust and not feel the change as much and enjoy the fresher water rather than 'worry' about a change.