5.5 gallon Planted Betta Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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5.5 gallon Planted Betta Tank

Hello all, I'm getting ready to set up my 5.5 gallon planted betta tank.

It's a standard rimmed glass aquarium with a glass lid like this one: https://www.amazon.com/All-Glass-Aqu.../dp/B0002AS20S

I plan to use clip on desk lights with daylight LED or CFL bulbs like these found at Walmart: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Mainstays...luded/44782714

This will be a low tech tank so I don't plan to have any CO2 and high intensity light plants.

Do you guys think I'll need 1 or 2 to make sure I'm lighting the whole tank enough for lots of low light plants?

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 07:18 PM
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I think one lamp will be sufficient, however, I wouldn't use the one from walmart. I used one in the past and the tension on the arm didn't stay stable for very long. It became a huge annoyance, haha. I like these from Ikea.

Can't wait to see the progress.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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I think one lamp will be sufficient, however, I wouldn't use the one from walmart. I used one in the past and the tension on the arm didn't stay stable for very long. It became a huge annoyance, haha. I like these from Ikea.

Can't wait to see the progress.
That's an awesome lamp, I wish I lived even remotely close to an IKEA. I'll see if I can find something similar that will either be delivered or available in my area.

Thanks for the heads up on the Wally World light, I'll definitely start a tank journal when I get all my stuff in.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 01:28 AM
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I think one lamp will be sufficient, however, I wouldn't use the one from walmart. I used one in the past and the tension on the arm didn't stay stable for very long. It became a huge annoyance, haha. I like these from Ikea.

Can't wait to see the progress.
That light looks really nice. Does it have an on/off switch?
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 04:48 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tip on the walmart lamp, stopped by to check it out, it couldn't even support its own weight without a bulb!
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 01:25 AM
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Definitely invest in a timer for your lights, its less than $10 and guarantees that you will have more stable growth and less algae issues. What are you planning as far as substrate and plants? Check out my thread when you get time, you may get some budget lighting ideas haha

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 03:12 AM Thread Starter
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I will definitely use a timer, I have one on my big tank. I have black flourite (rock not sand) for the substrate.

What's the link to your thread, I'd love to check it out.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 03:27 AM
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I will definitely use a timer, I have one on my big tank. I have black flourite (rock not sand) for the substrate.

What's the link to your thread, I'd love to check it out.
Awesome sounds like a good plan. Maybe do some crypts? They grow slow but should do just fine under lower light. My thread link is in my signature - "Twin 2.5s"

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
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Awesome sounds like a good plan. Maybe do some crypts? They grow slow but should do just fine under lower light. My thread link is in my signature - "Twin 2.5s"
That's pretty cool!

I plan on some driftwood and rock hardscape, I believe I'll have some Anubias nana or something similar and some kind of very short plant that I haven't decided on. I want a frogbit type surface plant, and some Java fern.

There may be some room for crypts in there as well.

I plan to HEAVILY plant the tank, as I am going to try (and likely fail) to have some cherry shrimp in there first, then add a betta after the shrimp have had some time to explore and maybe have 1 round of babies.

Any recommendations for plants they can hide well in, I'd be all ears.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 07:07 AM
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Hi Smoosh,

Just a heads up, if you go with lamp, make sure it's not too close to the tank water. It can affect the temperature of the water, specially you'll only have 5 gal tank. Sudden increase and decrease of your temperature can be harmful to your inhabitants.

But aside from that, your plans sounds good to me! Good luck
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Smooshface View Post
That's pretty cool!

I plan on some driftwood and rock hardscape, I believe I'll have some Anubias nana or something similar and some kind of very short plant that I haven't decided on. I want a frogbit type surface plant, and some Java fern.

There may be some room for crypts in there as well.

I plan to HEAVILY plant the tank, as I am going to try (and likely fail) to have some cherry shrimp in there first, then add a betta after the shrimp have had some time to explore and maybe have 1 round of babies.

Any recommendations for plants they can hide well in, I'd be all ears.
I've found that arranging hardscape to form areas of the tank that the fish cannot easily access is key for shrimp. I had a stable population of over 300 shrimp in my 20 gallon for 6-7 years that at various times had rams, angels, a female betta sorority and fancy goldfish in there with them and although you rarely saw more than 10-20 of them in the open, if you turned over the driftwood in the corner, there were a ton of them. Plants can help, but IMO do not really stop a hungry fish. Just choose the plants you like visually! (I am partial to a dwarf hair grass carpet )

Why would you fail at the shrimp? lol

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Smoosh,

Just a heads up, if you go with lamp, make sure it's not too close to the tank water. It can affect the temperature of the water, specially you'll only have 5 gal tank. Sudden increase and decrease of your temperature can be harmful to your inhabitants.

But aside from that, your plans sounds good to me! Good luck

Yep, the plan is to get about 8 - 11" between the light and the water, I'm aiming for low light. (I also have an 800 lumen LED bulb at 5000k that I plan to use for the actual light. The hardest part has been finding a lamp that gives me the height I want.

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I've found that arranging hardscape to form areas of the tank that the fish cannot easily access is key for shrimp. I had a stable population of over 300 shrimp in my 20 gallon for 6-7 years that at various times had rams, angels, a female betta sorority and fancy goldfish in there with them and although you rarely saw more than 10-20 of them in the open, if you turned over the driftwood in the corner, there were a ton of them. Plants can help, but IMO do not really stop a hungry fish. Just choose the plants you like visually! (I am partial to a dwarf hair grass carpet )

Why would you fail at the shrimp? lol
That's a good idea! I'll have to make kind of a hidey hole for my shrimp to live in, maybe I can make an entire corner side of the tank the hidey place so that I can see them on the side when I look in!
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-29-2017, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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I'll be building a new thread when it gets time to start my tank journal, but here's a quick look at my hardscape. I need to put my black background on the tank, but I thought I'd show it here. These are horrible camera phone pictures but there you go.



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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-30-2017, 03:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I ended up buying an "architect's lamp" from Home Depot that is just about perfect. It's a stand instead of a clip on, so it's hanging out pretty high over my tank, but easily adjustable, and since it uses screws to tighten, it can hold its weight nicely.

I'm pretty happy with the hardscape, I have a few places I want to add some more substrate, and I am still trying to figure out if that's the best place for my heater behind the tree. It's invisible, but blocks out some of the best background planting places, but it's so BIG on this tiny tank. I maybe should have gone for a smaller round heater instead of a large flat one, we'll see.

My next big question is what is a good plant to use for bettas to rest on, you know, big leaves that they can take a lazy Sunday nap on?
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-03-2017, 06:31 AM
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My next big question is what is a good plant to use for bettas to rest on, you know, big leaves that they can take a lazy Sunday nap on?
I would go with some variety of crypt or dwarf tiger lotus. Also is there any way you can go with a HOB filter on this tank? That internal one takes up a ton of room in a small tank and will be harder to shrimp proof

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