Top Fin 5.5 Gallon Mod For Betta

Iamstupid
  • #1
I’m new, so I’m not sure if this is the place to share this. Please delete/move if not appropriate!

Long story short:
*Got a Top Fin 5.5 gallon starter kit from Petsmart
*Realized too late that it might not be ideal for my want for a betta/planted aquarium (inadequate lighting, crappy filter)
*searched the internet for what people did to upgrade this tank
*found nothing
*did my own thang

What I did:
Easy part: Ditched the filter and switched to a sponge filter (advice I got from some lovely folks on this forum); current is much more appropriate for a betta fish

Harder part: Made a DIY glass lid, as there were no lids I could find that would fit the 5.5 gallon tank
*ditched the old lid, which included a terrible 2 inch LED light and no place for any sort of upgrade
*attached a much better clamp light

Anyway, nothing too crazy, but definitely an improvement, in my opinion (ignore the bad photo lighting):

67024665-6538-465E-B425-AA9B23D60D9F.jpeg

Tank is currently cycling
 
stella1979
  • #2
I think you did a perfect job for a betta! Looks like the fish will have lots of swim-throughs, a cave, and nice broad leaves near the surface. The only thing I would add is some floating plants to offer some shade and a place to hang out. I have water sprite floating in my betta tank, as I'm not a big fan of tiny-leaved, messy floaters like duckweed. Wisteria is pretty easy to find and another stem plant that does just fine floating. My betta loves hanging out in the roots and leaves.

Edit: You're in the right forum to show off your new tank. Everybody loves a new build. Congrats on a job well done.
 
Lorekeeper
  • #3
Love the new tank!

If this is a first, or even fifth or sixth scape, congrats! Looks like a betta wonderland.

I actually have pretty much the same kit, but I ended up using it for a reef. You can't say a ton of good about Top Fin, but they make some pretty good kits, especially while on sale!

+1 to Stella. Some floating plants would do wonders. Personally, in small betta tanks, I think duckweed can be great for nitrate and phosphate reduction, as it can act like an algae scrubber once it gets established. That said, some find it unsightly, so some floating water sprite, or even better, anacharis, would provide comfort and keep your water quality doing pretty well.
 
Iamstupid
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Oooh thank you for the suggestions! I didn’t think of floating plants; that would be cool looking!

I’m gonna have to check out my LFS tomorrow to see what they have!

How much would your recommend I add (in terms of coverage)?
 
Lorekeeper
  • #5
Depends. With duckweed, you're going to have almost 100% surface coverage until you remove some, if it does well in your tank.

With any other stem plant (anacharis, water sprite, wisteria) you can just look for a few stems spread throughout the tank. It's more to make the fish feel less vulnerable and exposed while at the surface of the tank.
 
stella1979
  • #6
Lorekeeper is right, duckweed or anacharis are both better for keeping nitrates down, but I find wisteria and water sprite to be prettier and easier to maintain as far as mess goes. Are you fertilizing? I'm not super familiar with most plants, but wisteria grows like a weed with light ferts. After it grows a bit, you can trim it just like you would if it were planted, then throw the trimmings right back in the tank to grow into new stems. Before you know it, you'll be trying to give the stuff away.
 
dwarfpufferlover
  • #7
Very nice,
I just upgraded my 5.5 top fin as well, so it's nice to see yours.
The lid was the hardest part for myself as well. I somehow ended up finding one that fit. cheers to a cycling tank.
 
Iamstupid
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Very nice,
I just upgraded my 5.5 top fin as well, so it's nice to see yours.
The lid was the hardest part for myself as well. I somehow ended up finding one that fit. cheers to a cycling tank.

Thank you!

Ugh I couldn’t find a lid anywhere; that would have made things easier (although, this lid cost me $11 to make, so it was cost effective at least haha).

Where did you find your lid?
 
dwarfpufferlover
  • #9
Thank you!

Ugh I couldn’t find a lid anywhere; that would have made things easier (although, this lid cost me $11 to make, so it was cost effective at least haha).

Where did you find your lid?

I was worried about it for a while and panicked then I read the perfecto brand by marineland 16" works. Only without the plastic piece in the middle though .

Did you see anything you wanted to stock yet?
 
stella1979
  • #10
Hmmm, I'm a little unsure, but I think my 5.5g qt is a TopFin as well. I also hated the filter and the lid, so also use a sponge filter and a Marineland glass lid. This one... the 16".


It fit perfectly right out of the box. No worries about the plastic center piece.
 
dwarfpufferlover
  • #11
Hmmm, I'm a little unsure, but I think my 5.5g qt is a TopFin as well. I also hated the filter and the lid, so also use a sponge filter and a Marineland glass lid. This one... the 16".


It fit perfectly right out of the box. No worries about the plastic center piece.

I’ll give it another go and see, messed with it for a while and it wouldn’t budge for me
Same one from dr foster too.
 
stella1979
  • #12
I’ll give it another go and see, messed with it for a while and it wouldn’t budge for me
Same one from dr foster too.
Strange... The lid sits a little higher than the aqueons I have on other tanks, but fits well. I'm not sure what you mean by messed with it and it wouldn't budge. Are you trying to remove the plastic piece? Or, is the lid just not fitting? I'm not sure if I got this across before but my lid is intact. I did nothing to it, it just worked. I'm sorry you're having trouble. I just don't get it... I'm pretty certain that the tank is a TopFin and it's definitely a 5.5g. Just set it up with the glass lid about 6 months ago, but perhaps specs have changed?
 
dwarfpufferlover
  • #13
stella1979
It won’t fit with the plastic piece on, I just have the panels on the tank. For some reason the plastic sticks out 1-2mm more than the glass either way I move the panels. I’ll give it another shot or knife it off
I got sucked into the sale they were having...
Sorry if things got off topic for your postead:

Edit: I do have an Aqueon 5.5 but I like the top fin better, less trim and more viewing of fish
 
FishMich
  • #14
Where did you get your clip light from, Staci? The tank looks fantastic!
 
Iamstupid
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Where did you get your clip light from, Staci? The tank looks fantastic!

Thank you!

I got this light from Amazon:


It wasn’t exactly what I wanted; but it was within my budget and would fit my tank, so I went for it. Super happy with it so far!
 
FishMich
  • #16
Thank you!

I got this light from Amazon:


It wasn’t exactly what I wanted; but it was within my budget and would fit my tank, so I went for it. Super happy with it so far!
Thanks so much! The reviews look great. I love how it looks on your set up.
 

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