need help with my first aquarium setup AKA selecting tank size

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by kaitlin4599, Jul 21, 2015.

  1. kaitlin4599Valued MemberMember

    hello im not new to the fish hobby persay but havent had fish in over 5 years so i need a little help. ok so heres my situation. im buying my first fish tank and im limited on space and im having trouble deciding between, a 2.5 gallon tank and a 5.5 gallon tank due to size of space limit as well as budget limit, a 10 gallon starter kit which cost 50$ is something i can afford, im also not sure what fish would go well with a 2.5 gallon im mainly thinking betta fish and maybe tetras. i dont want a ton of fish in my tank just a few, heres links to the 2 tanks i have in mind which do u recommend and which would be good for a betta fish and maybe tetras, i plan on adding only one fish at a time so they can aclimate better. also if i buy the 2.5 gallon what size heater and filter would i need to buy?

    so heres the links


  2. CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to Fishlore :)
    If you can then I'd go with the 10 gallon, it would give you a few more stocking options, I don't know if the dollar per gallon sale (Petsmart I think) is still on but worth checking if budget is tight.

  3. f2002Valued MemberMember

    If budget is tight, I would also recommend looking on Craigslist. I got a 50 gallon tank from Craigslist for $20. If you're patient you can usually get great deals from people who are moving and need to get rid of stuff fast.

    As for brands, I've purchased a 20 gallon long Grreat Choice aquarium from Petsmart. So far it is doing pretty well. I think it went on sale because it only cost me $20 if I recall correctly. Maybe before buying you can call Petsmart and ask them when they will be having that sale again.

  4. kaitlin4599Valued MemberMember

    petsmart does have a 1$ per gallon but then when u factor in the cost of a hood and light and a filter and air pump a 10 gallon for 10 dollars isnt really worth it in terms of cost for other parts but ill keep my eyes open

  5. ToniaWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore, Kaitlin!!! Fishlore is an amazing place to come, ask questions and learn loads of information about fish and fish keeping.

    If you're not in a rush, I would check Craig's list. You can usually find whole setups pretty cheap. Don't worry about what substrates they have because that would be best being replaced. Look for the ones where they aren't trying to get you to take all their fish with the tank.

    If you decide on the kits from Petsmart, then definitely go with the 5.5 or 10. For the heater, look for one that is submersible, and that the temperature is adjustable. It doesn't look like the kit you showed comes with a filter, so you will want one that is rated up to 10 gallons for the 5.5 or up to 15 for the 10. You may also consider a sponge filter.

    The stock would pretty much be a betta if you plan to mostly shop at petsmart. Do not let them talk you into several guppies or platies or mollies. These fish require larger tanks. If you go with the 10, then you have a bit more choice. There are some micro fish that can live in a 10, but most require a cycled tank, so you have time to decide.

    Other supplies you will need:

    Prime water conditioner (this is one of the best, and worth getting)
    Tetra Safe Start or similar cycle starter if you wish to cycle the tank with the Betta in it
    Substrate, sand, gravel, etc (if you go with plants, i would suggest eco complete or fluval planted substrate)
    I would suggest plants because they are natural and help to convert some of the fish waste.

    Take a few minutes to learn about the nitrogen cycle if you haven't read this already, there should be a link on those words.
  6. BornThisWayBettasFishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to Fish Lore!!!! :D Good to have you here!

    Yep, I'd definitely go with the bigger 10 gallon if you can, although any of your options would work for a betta. A 2.5 gallon isn't going to work for any tetras I'm afraid, though.

    The above poster covered it pretty well though lol!^^
  7. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Hi, welcome to fishlore :;hi2

    I would not go smaller than the 5.5 for sure. My betta is in a 5.5 and I used to have 4g but it really only held 2.5g and just wasn't enough water for good parameters and I ended up changing out 90% a week. Also, "normally" bettas only make good tank mates with snails and maybe some ghost shrimp if they are large. I like the Aqueon submersible heaters as they are adjustable. I also like the Tom Mini Internal Filter 45gph with the spray arm for a betta, it is the perfect water flow and very inexpensive.

    Also with the kits you normally get less than average quality components. I'd buy each item separately if you can. Amazon has really good prices on most equipment in comparison to the pet stores out there.
  8. f2002Valued MemberMember

    I was just browsing and saw that they have Aqueon squariums at 10, 20, and 40 gallons for $1 per gallon ( ).
  9. ClearEyesWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks to you, I just did a store-pickup order of a 40 gallon tank. I don't know what I'm gonna do with it yet, but I couldn't pass up the price. :-[
  10. Theman1Valued MemberMember

    Craigslist is definitely worth checking out. In my area I see 10 gallon tanks with everything included for $15.00 alot. I got my 90 gallon with tank, canopy and stand for $70.00 on craigslist.
  11. MtnTigerWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore Kaitlin!

    If you will follow shayla1 suggestions you will be successful and happy with your set up.

    Keep us posted on your progress and good luck.
  12. f2002Valued MemberMember

    Ha ha I know what you mean. If I'm not careful my whole house would be filled with aquariums. It is so addicting. Congrats on the new tank!
  13. NylonFishNew MemberMember

    I recommend a 10gallon tank for starters because it's been working out for me. As I am also a new fish keeper.

  14. guppy5Valued MemberMember

  15. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    If you want any tetras, any kind at all, you can't go smaller than a 10 gallon. Ember tetras would be the best option for that size tank. But they'll be the only fish in it. If you want a betta, that betta alone will need to be the only fish in its tank.

    (also for the record, male guppies are fine in a 10 gallon tank, 3 or 5 of them do nicely alone in that size with regular, large water changes)

    Shayla gave you most of the info you need to get you started. Most important thing you'll need to know, though, is not to listen to the petstore employees. Their job is to sell you stuff, most of which you don't need/will cause you issues which lead to you coming back to buy more stuff.
  16. kaitlin4599Valued MemberMember

    new to the hobby have questions

    ok so im in need of a little help i am buying my frist tank kit and have narrowed my tank list down to 2 tanks a 10 gallon tank kit from petsmart here:  

    and a 5 gallon kit from petsmart here:  

    now i plan on adding a betta for now and possibly some tetras down the road i want to add one fish at a time to give the fish time to aclimate dont wanna add four fish at once because thats bad for the tank. now i have read the reviews for both tanks and there both 50/50 so here are my 3 questions

    #1 which tank do u think is better both are with in my price rance but space is limited so i cant go hhigher then 10 gallons although the 5.5 gallon would work since i dont plan on having loads of fish in it

    #2 would i need to buy an air pump for either of these tanks

    #3 what size heater would i need to buy for the 5.5 gallon as well as the 10 gallon depending on what i buy? thanks for taking the time to read this post
  17. CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

    I have merged the threads so it won't become confusing having two threads on the same subject
  18. kaitlin4599Valued MemberMember

    thanks sorry for making 2 threads i was half asleep up all night doing fish tank research
  19. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    I wouldn't buy either of those starter kits... The equipment that comes with both are underrated and you will probably end up spending more upgrading in the long run. It's better to buy everything separate. You don't need an air pump for any tank if you don't really want to. Your heater should be at least 5 watts per gallon.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  20. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    If you every want tetras in the tank, go with the 10 gal. You can't put much in a 5.5 gal other than bettas (only talking about fish here).

    You shouldn't need an air pump if you have a good filter. I would recommend not using that filter, and instead picking up an HOB filter. It'll help circulate the water better.

    For the heater, around 50 W should work for the 10 gal.

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice