Small tank for betta - Spec III? Under 5 gal? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: midwest
Posts: 125
Small tank for betta - Spec III? Under 5 gal?

I am new at this. Had tanks 40 years ago - but just got back into it last fall.

I have a Fluval Spec V that my betta has been in since last Sept. - but he likes to sleep next to the filter intake slots and it's tearing chunks from his fins. He has been doing this the entire time, but when he was younger and had shorter fins, it was less of an issue. Now he has long fins, it is really tearing him up. I tried blocking it with some thin filter material but it blocked the flow to much and I worried about burning the pump up. I tried getting a fake plant and floating it near the inlet but he would wiggle in there and hang on the slots anyway. After the latest big chunk missing, I moved him to a 2 gallon plastic Critter Keeper till I come up with a better solution. I took out everything in the tank that he could possibly get hung up on other than the filter slots - and it was still happening, so I think that has to be what is doing it.

I am wondering about a Spec III - but looks like it has similar slots - but if the flow is different, maybe he would not be so apt to "hang" out on the slots. However, I wonder if 2.6 gallons is really enough for a betta.

What I do like about it is that it takes the same filter and inserts as the Spec V, so I could swap the bio rings, or maybe even the filter sponge, and maybe help the cycle along.

I'm also considering trying to figure out how to do a sponge filter, and setting up a 2.5 gallon standard tank, if I can come up with some sort of light for it.

Where I want to put the tank is on a piece of furniture that would work best with less than 5 gallons, but I'd try 5 gallons if I have to. (I would get a regular 5 gallon tank or a mini bow or something)

I'm going to the Aquarium Store in the big city near me tomorrow to see what I can come up with.

I have a 10 gallon I am not using, but I don't have a solid piece of furniture to put that much weight on.

My questions are -
1) is 2.5 gallons (or 2.6 for the Spec III) enough for a betta, if decorations are kept to a minimum
2) is it hard to find a decent light for low to medium plants for a 2.5 gallon? My local pet store has a glass tank for $12. It has a rim, so not sure about a clip on type lamp. It looks to tall for all the "desk" lamps I already have.
3) do sponge filters work well enough for one fish and a couple plants?

I'm assuming that if I go with a 2.5 or the 2.6 Fluval Spec III, that I would only put the betta in, and not the nerite snail. I can leave him in the Spec V or put him in the 15 gallon... but wondered if the snail should go in with the betta for clean up.

I'm ok with doing water changes, if a 2.5 could go unfiltered, but I do want the best for the betta. Figuring planted and filtered would be best for the betta. The Fluval Spec III is more square, and I wonder about a betta preferring a regular 2.5 gallon since it is longer and not square.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 12:43 AM
Wannabe Guru
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: New England
Posts: 1,116
dont put betta in a tank smaller then 10g, some people on this site might cry and tell their mommy.

all depends i say a 2.5g is just the right size for one betta and couple plant.
5g will be great.

sponge filter
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 04:39 AM
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Location: DC area
Posts: 3,053
I can't comment on the tanks you mentioned as all I have ever used for bettas are minibows and with them I change out the filters and bulbs that comes with them. I do think a sponge filter would be fine tho, and probably a good idea since your guy likes to cozy up to a filter.

I prefer 5 gallons for a betta, but I've used 2.5g's in the past and the fish seemed fine, but I do think they prefer the extra space. It's not that they're swimming crazily around, but they do like to patrol their territory often.

When I first started keeping fish it was bettas in unfiltered tanks. You can still put plants in there if you use ferns, mosses or anubias and just attach them to some decor. But doing 100% water changes was a real pain each week (more often in a 2.5g) and once I cycled my first nano tank I never went back.

I think a nerite would be fine even in a 2.5g with a betta. They are pretty small and don't produce alot of waste and they are worth their weight in gold at cleaning up an leftover food the betta may miss (does't happen often with bettas tho!) and eating algae.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 01:38 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Posts: 486
I see 2g recommended as a minimum a lot. I have a Deep Blue Vetta 5 (just under 3g), and I really love it. The shape is just right for the Betta swimming style.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: midwest
Posts: 125
I ended up buying a betta log to put up by the slots. I think I will take some thread and try to tie it there so it won't float away. I'm thinking it will still allow plenty of flow, but will give the betta a place to rest that is even better, and it will also physically block him from getting to the slots. Should not interfere with the water flow.

I looked at the Spec III and it looks to small to me, after having him in the Spec V.

The store sales person also said I could raise the filter up so it covers some of the slots and that would cut down on the flow some, so hopeful his fins would not get stuck in the slots.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 04:39 AM
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is there a way to put some pantyhose over the slots?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 04:51 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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I don't know how I would attach it.

I like having a betta - but this will be the last one with long fins!
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