Setting up small (2.5g) betta ponds

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Jnx, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. Jnx

    JnxValued MemberMember

    I've had success (meaning they lived years, were active, built nests, etc.) in the past with bettas in bowls. I know, I know, be patient.... :) I've recently restarted with two plakats, and after researching more fully, am less ignorant. In the past I did frequent partial and weekly full water changes, using well water with a tap water conditioner. I will have to continue doing at least frequent partial water changes in the 2.5g ponds, until I get a small filter/waterfall/fountain set up, but....

    I never used aquarium salt in the past, should I now?

    If so, how much, and how often, as it won't be cycling?

    And, should I use Fluval Aqua plus (which is what I've been using on the two new guys),

    Or, Tetra Easy Balance plus,

    Or some combination of both?
    I am also establishing a small number of plants and snails in each pond,
    and will be building sleeping spots.
    Thanks in advance for your expertise, everyone!
  2. UnkeptSpoon50Valued MemberMember

    Ponds? Interesting..... As for conditioner I don think it matters. I have had great success with Stress coat+ because it does more than just condition water. I don't think salt really matters with bettas, and as for cycling, I use quickstart from API. If you don't have a filter however, cycling as far as I know requires one. I have a biowheel for my 3 gallon, and It provides the biowheel for the bacteria to populate and the activated carbon too. So, get a filter, and fast! I also have a betta tank that has just activated carbon. As for snails... skip them, they either become a problem or get too large. Go with ghost shrimp or cherries, bettas usually get along with them. My only plant is elodea densa, which provides lots of oxygen.
  3. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    Even with a filter on those tanks you're going to have to continue doing frequent water changes. 2.5 gallons is quite small and the parameters can go south in a real hurry if you don't keep on top of it. All the filter is going to do is remove larger particles and convert ammonia produced by the fish into nitrates. The nitrates won't have anywhere to go so you'll have to remove them, plus the nitrogen cycle and the fish rely on minerals in the water which will have to be replenished by water changes.

    Don't use salt. Bettas are freshwater fish and salt will only cause stress. There are some uses of salt but very few and there are side effects to be weighed against any benefits.

    Bettas certainly love plants but you're not going to be able to fit much in 2.5 gallons. What are the dimensions of your tanks? You may want to go with floating plants (frogbit, red root floater, even duckweed would work) because bettas like to lurk and feel secure from above:) You could also try something like Golden Pothos draped over the side with the roots growing in the water. That plant will eat nitrates and also provide a bit of a resting spot for your betta without taking up too much of the available room.

    I'm ok with snails. In that size I would recommend a bumblebee nerite because they stay very small, have a very low bioload and won't reproduce.

  4. OP

    JnxValued MemberMember

    Thank you!
    The Fluval conditioner contains a stress coat agent and slime coat replacer. I haven't had any success finding a filter that fits the ponds, so my plan is to set up a filtered waterfall (low volume, and baffled).
    Tell me more about activated carbon? It sounds like that may be a reasonable solution. As for snails vs. shrimp, I already have snails (whoops), with a plan to move them if they get too large(though one is a zebra nerite, that should be okay, right?), and a resource nearby that may want them as feeders if they get too numerous, as well as back up bowls with algae from my orchids (the plants, not the bettas).
    As for plants, I am starting cuttings from peace lilies and pothos, I have some frogbit started for cover, and am using Sarracenia as a jumping barrier on the low lip of the ponds.

    Okay, so no aquarium salt, thank you. (It was recommended to me, and contains directions for freshwater fish.)
    Frequent water changes are no problem, I use the old fish water to water plants, which works well, they need new water just as often. :). I plan to change a gallon every other day, what would you suggest, would that be sufficient?
    Lol, and here I already have pothos started, thank you! What about spider plants, have you ever tried those?

    The ponds are 20" long x 15" wide x 6" deep. Long-ish and shallow, with irregular curvature.

    One of the ponds (Unfinished!), with a record in the background for scale.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  5. Coradee

    CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

    Interesting idea, I'd be concerned about the Bettas jumping out though are they going to have a lid or covering of some sort?

  6. OP

    JnxValued MemberMember


    They will look something like this when set up. This is an 8 gal. with water lilies, frogbit, banana plants, and an iris growing directly in it, with a peace lily in the vase. I was ill-advised and ignorant, and have three comet goldfish (all under an inch and a half) in there. I know the comets will have to be rehomed.

    I plan to build orchid (plants) growing areas directly up to the edge, with moss overhanging, but not touching, the water, as well as some overhanging stone for shade and cover. I think this should dissuade them, but I did buy screen in advance. I had one female, years ago, who taught me about jumping. She was unharmed, but certainly scared me straight. I have never had a male do it, but that means nothing. :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  7. codyrex97

    codyrex97Well Known MemberMember

    That's pretty! The 8 gallon isn't a bad option either. Cozy little home for a Betta! I know mine appreciates all 10 gallons of water it gets to swim around in! keep us posted and I'll keep an eye on the thread. You're getting good advice. Good luck!
  8. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    I had the same concern about jumping but it seems you've covered that. Those ponds are really cool! I was picturing the 2.5 gallon I had a betta in once. Yours are nice and have lots of swimming room for the volume! Can't wait to see them set up and planted:)

    Out of curiosity, where did you get such cool containers? Did you make them yourself or did you have to special order?

    Thirdly, please start an orchid thread in the gardening section!!!
  9. OP

    JnxValued MemberMember

    Thanks! Woe to me that I didn't find this forum first. If I had, the 8g would have been slated for betta. That's what it'll be when I rehome my ill-advised comets.

    Thanks! I really think they'll like them!
    I got them at Lowe's, the 2.5s were only 11 bucks a-piece! The larger one was just under forty dollars.
    I wish I had made them myself, I'd be unstoppable!

    ...and double-take... there's a place for me to prattle on about orchids? :D
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2016
  10. codyrex97

    codyrex97Well Known MemberMember

    As well as one to show off your bettas when you get them!
  11. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

  12. UnkeptSpoon50Valued MemberMember

    Turned out pretty nice, but I think that they are gonna jump one day. Glad to help :)

    You really need some sort of HOB filter with a reasonable amount of room, and some filter floss on top for it to work, but, if there is a way you can have the probe be in the water, the Aquaclear filter will make the waterfall for you. You could have a hidden filtration compartment or something, maybe a downhill addition in which the water flows, is sucked up by the filter, and waterfalled down, could be interesting. For plants, as long as you have the right light, and they still give the betta space(remember, gravel and plants significantly decrease water vol.), should look cool when done;) Good luck!:;betta2

    On second thought, this filter might work better for your betta, . it will provide less flow. I know the instructions are bad, and you will want different pre-filter sponges. Also, MAKE SURE you read Rum Springa's review, will answer some important questions, like where to put black knob and where everything goes, as well as what each part does.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2016
  13. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    Rather than a HOB, what about the in-tank Repto-Filter? They come in different sizes and with or without the decorative fake rock to hide it in and make it look like a waterfall!

  14. UnkeptSpoon50Valued MemberMember

    Very true. Repto filters are great
  15. OP

    JnxValued MemberMember

    Thanks, everybody, for the filter advice. I've been experimenting.

    Unfortunately, every filter I've tried or looked at would not fit. Either they required too much depth, or they didn't fit over the lip of the pond. I did find one small reptile filter, designed for 1-5 gallons, that was promising, but when installed created a veritable whirlpool, even on the lowest setting. Poor plakat did not enjoy that.

    So, at this point, I am doing 75% water changes minimally every third day.

    I'll post a new thread with pond pics later today.
  16. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    This might sound completely weird, but have you considered making your own miniature canister filter? Then all you'd have in the pond itself would be 2 tubes that run over the sides and to your filter.

    Alternatively, if you can find a tiny container that would fit inside it's relatively easy to build an air pump-driven internal filter! The smallest ready-made one that I've seen on eBay and Amazon is called the XY-168. It's very cheap;)
  17. OP

    JnxValued MemberMember

    That sounds great! I will definitely look into that, thanks!
    My other fall back plan is some sort of cobbled together waterfall- sounds like I could integrate the two.

  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