Need a crash course on how to manage a big (for me!) tank

  1. G

    Gwebs New Member Member

    I've been fairly self-sufficient googling all of my fish questions to this point but I think I need some more help this time. My real question is how do I deal with having a 5 gallon tank? I'm assuming it will need some more care/supplies than my current smaller tank.

    Cue backstory:
    I bought my betta fish, Harold, this February and ever since he has been my trusty companion. This guy is a total champ, enduring lengthy bus rides to and from college, an incident with a castle decoration with a window slightly smaller than his body, and my horrible personality. I really just want the best for the little guy (please don't admonish my actions too much).

    He started out in a 1 gallon tank (which looks painfully small at this point) and moved up to a 1.5-2 gallon tank I found laying around the house. With it, I added a 20 watt betta tank heater and a small Tetra Whisper filter. He absolutely adores his heater and has turned into a little couch potato lounging by it all the time. On the other hand, he absolutely hated the filter. I think despite its size, it was too big and blew him around too much.

    The other day I was walking the dog and came upon a good sized tank a neighbor was throwing out. I took it home with me, checked it for leaks, and cleaned it out as best I could. I figured it was 2.5-3 gallons but upon measuring, it seems to actually be 5.

    Is it too big for my current heater and filter? I'm thinking this tank will be too big for my current simple weekly water changes/tap water conditioner regimen so I believe I'm finally going to give in to all the jargon about cycles and nitrogen and airstones and whatnot.

    Thank you for any information you can offer me about moving up in the tank world!
    Gwen :;hi1
  2. Aquaphobia

    Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Honestly? Bigger tanks are easier than small ones in my experience. The greater volume means that parameters don't get out of whack as quickly and are more forgiving:)

    Your 20w may be enough, you'll just have to try it and see!
  3. BluMan1914

    BluMan1914 Well Known Member Member

    If you think he likes the tank he is in now..he is gonna love the 5g. If he is getting blown around by the filter, just baffle the outflow DIY style. Also check the filter and see if there is a way to adjust the flow. A 25 watt heater is fine for a 5g, I just suggest that it is adjustable. If possible, try to do 2 water changes a week.
    Please, if you havent, learn about how to cycle a tank, it is probably the single most important aspect of this hobby.
    As everyone else will say...bigger tanks are easier to take care of.