Our first tank!

  1. Prince Powder Well Known Member Member

    Hello everyone I'm new to the forum and new to fish keeping. My husband was recently bitten bye the betta bug thanks to his co workers and we now have a few bettas in individual bowls around the house. As is so often the case, I have become the bettas' primary caretakers. However I'm new to bettas and I've never started a tank from scratch before, so I'll have several questions I'm sure. After some persistence I was able to convince him to do away with the bowls and get a real tank for them. We got an AWESOME deal on a 14 gallon tank kit (tank, hood with light, power filter and heater for only $40) and we're looking to divide it for the bettas. I've already read the posts regarding how to divide the tank and I look forward to starting that DIY project next week or so.

    But to the point!
    My question is in regards to the power filter. I'm aware that bettas are not fond of strong currents and the filter (an Aqueon 10) does not come with flow control. I've read you can tie a sponge around the inflow part to reduce the flow but my question is what sponge to use and how much of the inflow tube do I need to cover? Do I place the sponge so that ALL the vents on the inflow tube are covered or will that slow it too much and damage the filter? Also what sort of sponge do I use? I was thinking of using the AZOO Oxygen Plus BioFilter 9. It's the kind of sponge you would use for a sponge filter and I found a site where I can get just the replacement sponge for only 99 cents plus the cost of shipping. I'm not concerned about shipping costs as I plan on getting more than enough stuff from that site to make up for the $6 shipping fee. However, none of the fish shops in my area carry sponge filters so I'm not sure what they look like or how dense they are, I'm basically looking at a picture on a website but it looks like it might work. I was going to use a plastic zip tie to hold it on. If any of you are familiar with these sponges I would like to know if it would be suitable or if some other type would be better.
     
  2. Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member

    Hello Prince Powder and Welcome to Fish Lore. :sign0016:

    When you place a sponge over the intake tube, it will not slow down the current. However it's still a good idea to cover the intake tube where the slots are to prevent your Bettas from being sucked to it, and to prevent fin damage. Too, it will add more surface area for good bacteria that your tank needs to cycle. Only rinse it in siphoned tank water as you do your filter media. Never use tap water for rinsing your filter media that you depend on for the biological filtration. I use Aqua Clear sponges for this. Slice an X in the sponge and slide it on. Cover all of the slots. Size Aqua Clear 20 or 30 works well for small filters. Too, you can always adjust them if they happen to be a bit big.

    To slow your current down place the sponge on the outflow area of the filter. Where the water re-enters your tank. I'm not familiar with the filter you have mentioned and the sponge. I do know Aqua Clear makes wonderful sponges and they come in many different sizes. Any type of aquarium sponge that fits in the out flow area will do. You can treat this sponge the same way, using it as surface space for the good bacteria and rinse it in siphoned tank water.

    You can see an example here, white (ish) colored sponge/foam:
    http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=3923&rel=1

    You can also use filter floss (100% poly pillow stuffing or 100% poly quilting batting material (no chemicals added of course) that you can find in the craft section at WalMart. It comes in a big roll. Reasonably priced.

    Nice to have you on board! I hope you enjoy the site. Tons of great information here and many friendly people. I hope you can share some photos with us somtime!

    Ramble all you want! :)
    Happy Holidays!:;shat
    Ken
     

  3. bolivianbaby Fishlore Legend Member

    Welcome to Fishlore! Excellent advice from Aquarist48.

    Bettas are addictive.:;bmu
     
  4. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    :) Welcome to FishLore
    Congrats on the upgrade. We'd love to see pictures when you get the chance.
     

  5. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    Hi, welcome to FL! How awesome a wife you must be, to do all this for your husband. Make sure he knows how lucky he is. ;)

    I want to commend you for doing all of this research and making a great home for your bettas. We would love to see pictures. If you don't already know about cycling, the link in my signature should help. :) Good luck!
     
  6. critter_fritter79 Well Known Member Member

    Welcome to Fishlore:;hi2 Good luck with your tank...would love to see some pics when you are done!!!
     
  7. uprightandlocked Well Known Member Member

    Welcome to Fishlore! Their is great advice above for you. Once upon a time I was in your shoes just starting, too, and these people have helped me so much!

    If you're interested in a different filter (perhaps even more than one filter for your tank if its possible) I would suggest the Azoo Palm Filter. It has an adjustable flow and is a smaller filter so it doesn't cause a lot of turbulence in the water.

    When I divided my 10g tank for two bettas I discovered that the side of the tank which did not have the filter developed a film on top because the surface doesn't circulate like it does on the other side of the divider. This can be helped by regular water changes which would disturb the surface, an air stone, or individual filtration for each divided section.

    This is what I do in my 20G Long ... each of the three sections has its own filter.

    Please let us know how your progress comes along! How many bettas do you have? What are there names? We love bettas here and can't wait to meet yours!
     

  8. Prince Powder Well Known Member Member

    Thanks for the welcome everyone!

    I'm not 100% new to fish keeping. My father inherited a 50 gallon tank from my brother many many moons ago that he had stocked with a few Oscars, a Jack Dempsey, a couple of Plecos, and even a turtle who all lived happily together for several years until an unfortunate heater accident occurred involving my young nephew. :( My father would generally take care of the day to day stuff like feeding but I did the water changes and gravel cleaning for him...you know all the FUN stuff. However when we got the tank it was already established so my main concern is with starting a new one from scratch.

    Aquarist48 I'm familiar with the Aqua Clear sponges. The site I was looking at before has the 20 available but they don't seem to carry the 30. I'll check out the sizes next time I go to the store and see what size I need then order it online since it's generally a heck of a lot cheaper. I might even look into getting a larger one and cutting it so I have a piece to put over the intake valve and also one to put inside the filter near the outflow.

    Meenu I'm really not that great of a wife but I try to be a good mommy. I just know my husband well enough to know that if I don't take the initiative with these little guys now they won't get the care they need later. He tends to be a rather impulsive collector of just about everything, but he soon gets bored with stuff. Rather than wait till he gets bored (and the fish suffer for it) I'm taking over now. His friends that got him into bettas in the first place have all been keeping them for years. Many of them were/are breeders so they keep their fish in bowls rather than tanks and they've just become so accustomed to the work involved with it that it no longer seems like work to them. Since they don't really see it as work, they didn't think the work involvement was worth mentioning to him.

    Uprightandlocked I'll look into getting a second filter if it seems needed. I was planning on keeping the surface a bit agitated by placing an air stone in each compartment or perhaps cutting a tiny hole in the dividers just big enough to snake a bubble wand through and using a bubble wand to make a wall of bubbles across the entire back of the tank. I already have the siphon for cleaning the gravel and changing the water and plan on doing that every other week (or weekly if needed) once the tank is cycled.
     
  9. fishtroy Well Known Member Member

    Welcome to fishlore!
    It is always nice to know that bettas have found their way into another persons heart. :D
     
  10. agabr123 Fishlore VIP Member

    welcome and congrats on your first tank!