New 5.5 Gallon Betta Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017, 03:55 AM Thread Starter
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New 5.5 Gallon Betta Tank

Hi all, this is my first tank in quite some time, and I remember finding forums very helpful back when I had them before, so decided to join up.

I wanted a tank for my beside table, which limited me size-wise, but I've kept lots of betta before (a female sorority and several individual males) so a smaller tank with a betta was just fine by me. Working at a pet store gave me my choice of them too, and while here in New Zealand we don't have the same high quality fish as overseas, there's still the odd gem coming in.



I just bought the boyo home today. I've been feeling sorry for him in his display cube for weeks so I couldn't leave him there to sit on the bottom any longer. He's a dragon veiltail and the photos don't do him justice. Can't wait till his fins get to peak condition; I bet he'll be a wee stunner. He's very active in the tank so I think he's quite happy to have all this space now.



The tank is a Imagitarium Platform 21 (21 litres, so roughly 5.5 gal), which must be a new tank to the market because I canít find any info about it online at all. Its a nice little tank. It's filter is literally silent which I'm not used to. I actually miss the trickling noise, it used to put me to sleep lol. Other than that my only complaint was the heater compartment in the filter was too small for the smallest heater work sells (the top with the dial is too big), but I just filled that compartment with EHEIM Substrat Pro since the filter only came with sponge and a carbon cartridge. The LED lights have a moonlight and normal setting. Not sure how good they'll end up being but don't think they'd be simple to replace aside from getting rid of the top platform that holds them altogether.

It's still cloudy after planting, since I used Flourite Black Sand. It took quite a while and a lot of water changing to get it clear and then planting stirred everything up again, though the photos make the clouding look worse than it actually is. I've got an indian almond leaf in there, which I'm thinking of breaking up into smaller pieces once its waterlogged. Got a few little smooth river stones holding stuff down atm, not sure if they'll be staying. Really happy with my three pieces of driftwood's positioning though!



Plants include; anubias nana (which is small right now and pretty hard to see in the photos), dwarf sagittaria, echinodorus parviflorus and broad leaf java fern, and I think some kind of ludwigia which is sort of just filler stems, don't know if I'll keep them or not. No idea what the other ground plant there in the big bunch is, so a suggestion on what that is would be awesome.

Not sure if its possible to add anything else to this tank? We can't get freshwater shrimp here. I have had MTS before and never had a problem with them, would it be worth getting a couple with the sand? Also wondering if its worth adding Flourish Excel...
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017, 02:47 PM
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Nice aquarium. Looks like a Fluval Edge. I'd look for amano shrimp for cleanup(algae) along with the snails. Nerites look nicer, MTS are alright, they're seemingly unobtrusive in my Spec V.

Don't use excel, it's mainly an algaecide. Dunno what kind of all-in-one fertilizers you have down there, but look for one, then dose extra iron.

Don't ask for advice. Ask for information, gather lots of information from different reliable sources. Then use the information to make your own advice.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FishRFriendz View Post
Nice aquarium. Looks like a Fluval Edge. I'd look for amano shrimp for cleanup(algae) along with the snails. Nerites look nicer, MTS are alright, they're seemingly unobtrusive in my Spec V.

Don't use excel, it's mainly an algaecide. Dunno what kind of all-in-one fertilizers you have down there, but look for one, then dose extra iron.
It does! I think its a touch smaller than the Edge, yes? Other tank makers are obviously trying to copy the design lol.

We can't get the shrimp unfortunately, which sucks because I'd love some in this tank. It's illegal to import them. Also can't get Nerite Snails. Snails we have are MTS, Mystery, Ramshorns and Apples.

Okay good to know. We have Seachem and API products at work. I think there is a couple of other plant-related products, I'll have a look when I go to work later today.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017, 04:59 PM
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It does! I think its a touch smaller than the Edge, yes? Other tank makers are obviously trying to copy the design lol.

We can't get the shrimp unfortunately, which sucks because I'd love some in this tank. It's illegal to import them. Also can't get Nerite Snails. Snails we have are MTS, Mystery, Ramshorns and Apples.

Okay good to know. We have Seachem and API products at work. I think there is a couple of other plant-related products, I'll have a look when I go to work later today.
Ramshorns are pretty, never had em myself so I dunno if they become a pest and get all over the place. Apples get ginormous, and Mystery are kinda big tho smaller than Apples.

If you can get osmocote and grind that up you could dissolve that or just let it release on it's own into the water column and/or put it into your substrate for your macro nutrients. Otherwise you can buy the individual Nitrogen/Phosphorous/Potasium (NPK) from Seachem and figure out the dosing. Micro nutrients: Flourish (Comprehensive), and an Iron supplement API Leafzone.

Don't ask for advice. Ask for information, gather lots of information from different reliable sources. Then use the information to make your own advice.

Last edited by FishRFriendz; 02-02-2017 at 05:10 PM. Reason: And
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
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Well I couldn't find anything for marco nutrients at work today, so I'll have to keep looking elsewhere. Got some Flourish for micros though.
However, the betta seems to have become lethargic while I was at work. He's sitting at the bottom. He was so active all afternoon and during the night (every time I woke up I could see him swimming around lol), and with the heat today, which did bring his tank temp up a bit, I wonder if he's just hot and tired? It couldn't be ammonia build up already when he's just gone in there... I urged him into moving and he appears to still be able to swim fine. He just came up for an air breath then went back down now too, seeming quite casual. Not rushed and gulping for air. Fins, gills, body, all look fine. He just wants to stay at the bottom, like he's resting. My previous lot rested too but more up on plants. Maybe its a quirk? Will take a sample of my water in the morning in to test with work kit (my personal one is on order) just in case...
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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He died overnight. I don't understand what happened, he was perking up that evening. Water test for sure today, but if that is clear then I don't know what happened...
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 03:21 AM Thread Starter
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Water tests and water change today. All looking good, our naturally high pH is coming down too (now at about 7.4) so thats something. Added 5 MTS and they went under the sand immediately lol, so I think they are happy. Plants are growing too!! Photo to come.

We lost two of the other betta at work so I'm wondering if there was something amiss even when I bought him home. Will wait and see what we get in next batch and go from there.

As an aside, are there any other options for a 5.5g aside from a betta? Bearing in mind again that we can't get shrimp.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 06:17 AM Thread Starter
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Looking after a friends 3 dwarf chain loaches temporarily while she moves and redoes her tank. They are cute little guys! Shame they won't be sticking around. Water parameters still good too, which is excellent!

Plants are doing okay mostly (the only problems I am seeing is the dwarf sag is getting a touch yellow; would this be light or some other issue?), though I am having a combo minor algae issue on some leaves, along with a lot of "dust" clinging to them as well as roots and shoots. The algae isn't a biggie and the MTS are slowly taking care of it but the dust is a bigger problem, I'm guessing coming from the substrate. Can this dust stuff smother plants? All the plants are rooted now, and taking them up to wash them will only make more dust lol, so I'm not sure how to combat it.

Another betta is still on the waiting list.

Last edited by kiwihounds; 02-15-2017 at 06:18 AM. Reason: forgot something haha
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 06:34 AM Thread Starter
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Disaster! Tank lid shattered in my hands, and its leaking very slightly. Just when things were looking good otherwise...
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 02:53 PM
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Disaster! Tank lid shattered in my hands, and its leaking very slightly. Just when things were looking good otherwise...
How'd you manage to break the lid?

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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How'd you manage to break the lid?
No idea, I'd taken it off and put it aside after I got home from work to put a new plant in, finished doing that and when I picked it up it just shattered into pieces in my hands. Not sure if the entire tank is just poorly made now or what might of happened.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 09:47 PM
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No idea, I'd taken it off and put it aside after I got home from work to put a new plant in, finished doing that and when I picked it up it just shattered into pieces in my hands. Not sure if the entire tank is just poorly made now or what might of happened.
Or maybe you have Hulk hands. So the tank is leaking too? That sucks. Time for an upgrade.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 06:32 AM Thread Starter
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Or maybe you have Hulk hands. So the tank is leaking too? That sucks. Time for an upgrade.
Apparently it can happen with the thinner, small glass tank lids. Something to do with condensation water drying and heat or some such.

Just happy the disaster has been avoided. New tank lid acquired, leak fixed. I'm glad I work in a pet store some days lol. I'd love to upgrade but just don't have room right now.

Will post updated photos tomorrow most likely after a water change.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-22-2017, 03:59 AM Thread Starter
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Photos! Betta photos are out of focus but what else is new lol





His colours are totally not done justice either. He's a lovely lil apricot with a blue sheen here and there lol
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 08:01 PM
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Hi I bought this tank last week to and this is the only info I found when I couldn't it. So thanks.
I have a beta in it too.

How did you reduce the water flow of the filter? It's very strong.

Thanks
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