Join Date: May 2014
Location: North Shore, Oahu
Marineland Portrait Betta Tank
It's been a couple years since I've had any tank at all, and about 5 years since I've had a truly planted tank. (Anubias don't count.) I have pretty much no floor space, but I've declared a small corner of our table to be for a betta tank and I'm going to do a low-light set-up. My first problem was... when did they start only including LEDs in every single kit available?! Oh, and part of this game is budget.
After researching around on kits vs piece by piece, I found the Marineland Portrait with great reviews on its glasswork, and it was on Amazon for $40, free shipping! (Seriously, if you're reading this now, go get one. I'm still waiting for it to arrive, but $40 glass tank? I couldn't believe it.)
So far my set up will be-
.Marineland Portrait (5 Gallons) Tank + Filter
.Hydor 25 Watt Heater
.Aluminum Clamp Light w/ 10-13 watt 6500k Compact Fluorescent Bulb
The general idea for my scape will be a riverbank/ravine style with a mixture of rocks and driftwood. Not doing anything fancy with plants, considering vals, crypts, java fern, anubias, mosses, whatever is looking happy at the aqua store.
My first big question is about substrate. In the past I had always used black sand, but I want to get away from that and the mess and headaches, and do something with a little bit of oomph for the plants.
*Edit: I just took a few minutes and read up on cycling with ADA Aquasoil and I'm liking that route. It also seems to be one of the few products that comes in smaller sizes, since I don't need 20lbs of dirt. Anyone have strong feelings either way about this one?*
Second question is about my lighting. I am going to suspend the clamp light over the tank (working on a few different ideas to keep it functional, but provide a certain aesthetic) but I am not sure at what height. If I go with the lighting I mentioned (or tell me that's totally ridiculous and do something else) how close to the actual tank does it need to be? Keep in mind the Marineland Portrait has a glass lid, if that affects anything. The LED bar it comes with flips up vertically, so if its in the way I can very easily just adjust that.
I am so stupid excited about this tank. Any other advice or comments are really appreciated.
Last edited by tlriot; 10-08-2016 at 09:05 PM.
Reason: Added info