how to start 3 gallon bowl - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-05-2020, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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how to start 3 gallon bowl

Hello , I am a saltwater reef guy that has become interested/obsessed with starting a 3 gallon “nature style “ betta bowl . I have been watching “MD fish” on You Tube and want to copy his setup. Should I use RODI water? Do I need a heater ? Do I just add substrate and plants right from the start? how long before fish is added ?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-05-2020, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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also do you guys buy plants online or at local fish stores? I want some dwarf hair grass , monte carlo , java fern and lemnophilia are these pretty common ? I want to give my business to my local store if possible. Sorry for so many questions. straight newbie here
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-15-2020, 01:15 PM
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Give this site a chance. I've learned quite a bit from him.

https://www.2hraquarist.com/pages/planted-tank-101
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7.5 Cube - shrimp tank
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-16-2020, 03:10 AM
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Definitely not goldfish! Goldfish get huge and need 30+ gallons. Honestly, putting any fish in a container under 5 gallons is pushing it, so I'd look for a 4-5 gallon bowl if you can find one. Otherwise, make sure to stay on top of water changes.

I'm not super familiar with the person you're referring to on YouTube, but many people (including me) have done dirted bowls/nano tanks with great success. Look up "Foo the Flowerhorn" on youtube, he has videos that give a great breakdown of the process. The key is to cap the soil with at least 1 inch of gravel so that it doesn't dirty the water column, and wait at least 1-2 months for the aquarium to balance out before adding livestock.

For a betta tank, you won't need RODI water unless you've got some crazy tap water. If your pH is between 6 and 8, you should be good. Plants tend to prefer a slightly lower pH, but soil tends to decrease pH, and many commercially available substrates do this too. Betta tanks do need a heater, but you can get some pretty small ones at your LFS.

Many fish stores will stock the plants you mention, but if they don't, online is also a good option. Be sure to research the lighting and co2 requirements of each plant you're interested in, as there's quite a range. If you're planning on going co2, I'll let someone else chime in, as I have zero experience with co2 setups. But some great plants which require only moderate lighting and no co2 are: dwarf hairgrass, sagittaria subulata, vallisneria, anubias, hornwort, cryptocoryne, and many stem plants (hygrophila, rotala, etc)
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-16-2020, 05:59 AM
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Here's my betta bowl setup, pictured below.

3 gallon bowl. Heating pad underneath used from about mid October till end of April to keep temp mid to upper 70's (summers are hot in my neck of the woods!). While bettas can handle temps below 70 it's not something they prefer.

Water changes every 4-6 weeks. I keep tabs on nitrate which I have yet to see above 6ppm. But I feed 3-4 pellets of Bug Bites per day. Feeding is key. Plant growth is equally key.

I use RO water on all my freshwater tanks, but for a betta probably not required. My kh is 1 and gh is now 7. I did run for a bit with 0 kh when I first rescued this guy. His recovery was remarkable from the Petco tub he had lived in for 6 months at that level (pH typically around 6.2) but it was probably the Bug Bytes and clean water not ph.

A goldfish needs way more space and filtration than a bowl can afford. But that's my opinion. :-)

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-24-2020, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bella Smith View Post
Nice setup. I think I would stock a betta in my 3-gallon bowl because I want to put it in my kitchen.
I picked up 2 more 3 gallons from Wayfair awhile back. It's hit and miss as far as stock. The big sturdy bowls are not exactly Petsmart cheap. :-)

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-24-2020, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max_clare View Post
Definitely not goldfish! Goldfish get huge and need 30+ gallons. Honestly, putting any fish in a container under 5 gallons is pushing it, so I'd look for a 4-5 gallon bowl if you can find one. Otherwise, make sure to stay on top of water changes.



I'm not super familiar with the person you're referring to on YouTube, but many people (including me) have done dirted bowls/nano tanks with great success. Look up "Foo the Flowerhorn" on youtube, he has videos that give a great breakdown of the process. The key is to cap the soil with at least 1 inch of gravel so that it doesn't dirty the water column, and wait at least 1-2 months for the aquarium to balance out before adding livestock.



For a betta tank, you won't need RODI water unless you've got some crazy tap water. If your pH is between 6 and 8, you should be good. Plants tend to prefer a slightly lower pH, but soil tends to decrease pH, and many commercially available substrates do this too. Betta tanks do need a heater, but you can get some pretty small ones at your LFS.



Many fish stores will stock the plants you mention, but if they don't, online is also a good option. Be sure to research the lighting and co2 requirements of each plant you're interested in, as there's quite a range. If you're planning on going co2, I'll let someone else chime in, as I have zero experience with co2 setups. But some great plants which require only moderate lighting and no co2 are: dwarf hairgrass, sagittaria subulata, vallisneria, anubias, hornwort, cryptocoryne, and many stem plants (hygrophila, rotala, etc)
Betta tanks/bowls doesnt need a heater necessary

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-25-2020, 03:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by victorusaconte View Post
Betta tanks/bowls doesnt need a heater necessary

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The problem with short statements like this is that they are very misleading.

It is actually quite important to pay attention to temps. Irregardless of whether you have a heater in the tank or not.

Bettas definitely prefer temps in the mid 70's. The farther you deviate from that the more bettas are surviving rather then thriving. :-)




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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-25-2020, 11:47 AM
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First of all, there's not a single word saying its not important.

Second, you temperature range is wrong. In fact, bettas have a pretty narrow ideal temperature range the most optimal being 78-80 F.

And to conclude, the problem today is not short answers, but the knowledge you have to interpret what you read on the internet and how much time u spend studying your fish or any enclosed ecossystem u have. Also, if u are acquiring all information u need from forums, u are in the wrong path.

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Last edited by victorusaconte; 10-25-2020 at 05:37 PM.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-25-2020, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by victorusaconte View Post
The problem with missing school is that you cant interpret sentences.

First of all, there's not a single word saying its not important.

Second, you temperature range is wrong. In fact, bettas have a pretty narrow ideal temperature range the most optimal being 78-80 F.

And to conclude, the problem today is not short answers, but the knowledge you have to interpret what you read on the internet and how much time u spend studying your fish or any enclosed ecossystem u have. Also, if u are acquiring all information u need from forums, u are in the wrong path.

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Lol! Such anger. If you had only put this much into your original post!!

You original statement was indeed very misleading and void of information.

That was the point of my post as there are many who frequent this forum that don't understand the nuances.

And thanks for correcting my generalized preference to a very specific optimal temp range. It's information like that that helps. :-)

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