Three questions about starting a new tank after Betta died


Sadly, my daughter’s betta Corona (she got him two years ago at the start of the pandemic) passed away yesterday. I don’t know what he died from though he always seemed to suffer from recurrent swim bladder issues despite not feeding him a lot etc. . Over the past year, he’s almost died multiple times and I’ve been able to bring him back. He was a fin biter and just seemed fragile. We ended up doing almost daily water changes because that was the only thing that seemed to help. He didn’t have sores or anything like that. Just seemed weak until he couldn’t get off the bottom of the tank. :-( We had him over two years so he could have been aging as well.

She wants to get another one after our vacation the first of July. My question involves the new tank, since I’m not a fan of ours. Our local fish store recommended (and has a good sale on the Aquatop pisces bullet 5 gallon). Is this worth the money? I already have the adjustable heater to go with it.

My other question has to do with cycling. Since we will have over a month before getting the fish, it seems like it might be best to do a fish less cycle. But the local store kept telling me not to, that it was too hard and to just get the fish and do it.

So take a break and wait or start cycling now?

And lastly, I have ceramic rings and a sponge filter in her current tank. If we start a new tank now, should I use them to seed it? Or is there a chance of bringing some unknown bad thing into the new tank since I don’t really know how Corona died.

Thanks in advance for the advice.



Hi Ms. Brenda.
Welcome to the forum if you have not been welcomed yet.
My advice is far from the best, and you should get more opinions than me, but here are my thoughts.

you should definitely do a fish less cycle. This will reduce the chances of the betta getting any diseases or illnesses from the get-go. If you start cycling now, you can get the fish sooner. As for the Ceramic rings and sponge filter, you should definitely use both to help with the cycle of the new tank. If you didn't notice any signs of contagious illness on your old betta (R.I.P.), then it should be fine (I would recommend looking up signs of contagious illness to make sure there was nothing of that sort).


If you have until July, I would start completely fresh to be 100% safe and just do a new fishless cycle.

I have no idea why your store would say it is difficult. It is quite simple and inexpensive and only requires time, which you have now.

If you have the space to get a larger tank, the new betta would be happier and larger tanks are always easier to maintain water conditions in. If not, 5 gallons works for a betta.


Just throwing out a question you might want to look into. Can fish diseases survive that long without a host fish? If not, I would do what Passionfish suggests and seed with existing media.

Rose of Sharon

SIP, sorry for your loss! :(

It does sound like Corona was a senior citizen betta if you had him for two years. He was at least 6 months or older when you bought him, so probably nearer to 3 years old, which is normal for a betta life span these days, especially one with health issues. You did a great job with him!

And I agree with a fishless cycle, too, using the existing media. It's less stressful on the new fish, and bettas are so genetically weak these days due to over breeding.

I see that Amazon has that Aquatop tank for about 119.00. If it is more than that, or you are not happy with that, then just look around a little more. You may find one that is a bit cheaper but also high quality (Fluval has one called the Fluval SPEC that is 5 gallons and a really good tank, for example, on a reduced price through Amazon right now). But I totally understand you wanting to buy local in case of issues like broken glass, etc.

Hope this helps!


Thanks to everyone so far! I was so invested in this fish! (And it wasn’t even mine!) :) The local store has the aquatop for $88! But now I’m wondering if I should look at doing a 10 gallon and buying a more basic tank and the filter, etc separate….any suggestions?? It’s very overwhelming looking at the options.


I got a 10 gallon basic tank setup (tank,, lighted hood, little hob filter from petco for $34.00 came with a tiny hang on back filter and a incandescent cheap hood I don't like because the lights aren't really protected and it has a tiny feeding door, but I figured I could upgrade the lid and light later.
They sell the tank by itself for $9.99. The light and lid is where most of the cost is on a 10g tank. For a filter I just like a sponge filter on an airline, nice slow water, good for lazy fish.. and cheap.
Like I said the lid and lighting is most of the cost to where a 10g gets expensive, the fancy or cheap filters they come with are nonsense, but a really good cover to keep evaporation low, and a really good light for plants is indispensable and worth those costs if you are doing plants.

If you got equipment from a previous set up or maybe want to change the hood later, the 10g for $34-39 is the way to go for a beta. Decent room to swim, just big enough that it's pretty stable.

I personally think the "mini tanks" smaller than 10g that are "all in ones" are way overpriced for what they do and the space provided. There are some really nice ones though, however I've seen some that just don't cut the mustards pure junk.

I really liked the look and quality of the lifeguard full view 5g aquarium kit.
The fluval specV has a really quality light on it and good quality overall.

Aquatop Pisces 5 looks nice, I'd be apprehensive on how easy it would be to replace the lighting later on if it fails which is my main problem with most all in ones. If it's "incorporated" or removable and if there's an easy replacement. All of those $100 range 5g tanks have a good pump style filter area that would be easy to refurbish or repair and modify. Which I like some are hit or miss on the lighting and can be difficult to replace "nicely" if the lights fail or you want to upgrade.

Fishless cycle is the way to go, the fish store worker either doesn't know or lying to sell fish. You don't have to worry about a dead fish if you get lazy while waiting for it to cycle.

I'd agree if you had the betta for 2 years it was likely 6 months to a year old when you got it, and it likely died of old age. A lot of times the swim bladder issues are cause by pellet/dry foods. The swell up in the stomach and pressure the swim bladder or cause constipation and full of fillers.
If you must use them always soak them for a couple minutes in tank water before feeding. I don't think the fish died of anything besides old age though it would likely be fine to use the old filter media and even Jumpstart the cycle off of the old tank.

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