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Old 10-23-2011, 06:49 PM
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Default 5 gallon betta tank

Yeah I know... multiple tank syndrome is setting in bad again.

So I dropped by petco to pick up some stuff for the 10 gallon and I impulsively grabbed a 5.5 gallon too. It's going to be set up for a betta, maybe a couple shrimp.

My main question is that it has no hood and bettas are jumpers. What's a nice looking, easy way to make a cover for the top of the tank? Also, lighting? I want to set up a tank along these lines: 6 Gallon Hex NPT - El Natural - Aquatic Plant Central

They have really pretty bettas at petsmart.
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Old 10-23-2011, 06:55 PM
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I can't answer your questions at all. Basically I'm completely useless to this thread.

But, I just wanted to comment (after reading the link), I didn't know you could put actual topsoil in a fish tank, I thought it had to be gravel. How do you clean it, if you use topsoil? Just change the water without vacuuming the bottom?

And also, thanks, I'm starting to get fish fever.
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:06 PM
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Most I've seen put a layer of topsoil and then a layer of gravel over that.

I'm still pretty new to the whole low-tech planted tank idea (just bought the low tech 'bible'). I know Shai has a few planted tanks if I recall correctly.

I have major fish fever, lol.
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:23 PM
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TBH I think it would be more worth your while to buy a cover to fit the tank. As far as I know, there is no simple, quick-fix option that will provide cover AND lighting without hassle while remaining aesthetically pleasing. There are certainly options to provide cover and lighting but I have not seen any that look that great and didn't come without some time and energy put into construction lol.

Some people swear by topsoil, others avoid it like the plague... I have never personally used it for several reasons, but if you are interested in using it there are some websites with good explanations and step by step instructions. You have to be REALLY careful with topsoil because it can have things added to it (fertilizers and crap) that are deadly to fish and especially shrimp...

Also be carful with the betta shrimp combo. I have certainly heard of people doing it successfully but I think you would be taking a big risk mixing the two because bettas are big time predators and all of the ones I have kept in my community tank showed wayyy too much interest in my shrimp for them to stay there lol.

I am so glad you are going the planted route with a low-tech set-up... I loves me some more planted tank keepers
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:30 PM
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Yeah I do but mine are mid-tech to be honest. I just got my 2 29s and the 10g back up from the move...the 90g is going to be down for a while yet while everything gets situated, the spare 10g is just a quar tank, and the hand-me-down 50g just arrived today and I'm telling myself it doesn't exist til the house is painted

I don't know what to tell you on the lid -- depending on the dimensions of the tank, you could use a piece of cut-to-fit plexiglass, or even a piece of frame glass from a HobbyLobby type store. Or you could use bigger surface plants like water lettuce to discourage jumping.

As for the soil thing...yeah people do it but by the time you get soil you know won't contaminate your water, cap it with gravel, get it out of the water column (because some will get in the water column), etc. IMO you are better off getting a made-for-aquarium-plants soil like ecocomplete or fluorite. For a 5g you're not going to use much anyway...the soil thing is really only a money-saver if you're planting a large tank and you're looking at several bags. Plus with soil, every time you decide to rearrange a plant in the tank you're going to be kicking that soil into the water column.

For a little tank like that I would consider using a fluorescent desk lamp. You could get some nice lighting from some of the small CFLs, just try to keep your light temp somewhere in the 6500K neighborhood for plant growth.

Sort of rambly, sorry, not sure what info you all do/do not have
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:31 PM
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Would you use seachem flourite for a substrate? I'm not set on substrate yet. I'm really just trying to research more and it will be a few weeks before I start setting this thing up. And where would one find a hood for a 5.5 gallon tank? I'm guessing a 5 gallon hood would fit?

I've done the betta/shrimp combo before with my past two bettas and they did okay. Although my larger betta did end up eating the shrimp. But he was very big (one of petco's 'king bettas'). My crowntail wasn't very large and didn't ever show much interest in the shrimp.
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:34 PM
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Ok, it's 16" long by 8" if that helps.
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
Would you use seachem flourite for a substrate? I'm not set on substrate yet. I'm really just trying to research more and it will be a few weeks before I start setting this thing up. And where would one find a hood for a 5.5 gallon tank? I'm guessing a 5 gallon hood would fit?

I've done the betta/shrimp combo before with my past two bettas and they did okay. Although my larger betta did end up eating the shrimp. But he was very big (one of petco's 'king bettas'). My crowntail wasn't very large and didn't ever show much interest in the shrimp.

I use fluorite and really like it, it has grown plants really well for me. Buy the tablets for it and plant them too though, they made a big difference imo.

I would check craigslist. Take the dimensions of your tank and look for something that would be the same or close enough
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
Ok, it's 16" long by 8" if that helps.
I believe that's the standard 5g dimensions so you could be able to pick up a lid at most major pet stores that carry them. I know the 5g I nearly bought a year ago (stopped myself...barely...) came with a fitted piece of glass in the bottom of the tank that was to be used as the lid.
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:37 PM
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And I suppose for the shrimp thing it would also depend on what you were keeping... When I was keeping CBS and Golden Bees it wasn't worth it, the shrimp cost a ton more than the bettas
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