View Full Version : Bookshelf Aquarium by Petco with "divider" for two Bettas. :)

08-02-2010, 06:20 AM
Hey there, I have four of these tanks from Petco and it is called the bookshelf aquarium. I am only done with three of them at this point. I have planted real plants, am using fertilizer pellets and just started a DIY carbon dioxide kit with sugar and yeast. So far the water parameters are doing pretty well. Just wanted to share some pics. I have planted crypts, mini swords, different stem plants, some moss balls thrown in for a jungle appearance. :)

Let me know what you think. The ones that are more sparsely planted just need more time for me to find more plants. As you all know, this is an ongoing process. :)

The first pic shows how I divided the 6.6 gallon tanks using a black clipboard that I cut to the size of the tank. So each betta has 3.3 gallons. It may not seem like a lot but they do not seem unhappy. They have a lot of plants to play with and the ghost shrimp (you cannot see them in these photos) seem to keep my bettas entertained.





08-02-2010, 06:21 AM
The crown tail below had a bacterial infection with his dorsal fin (the one on his back?). It was COMPLETELY gone and his back was entirely white as if the color had leaked out of his body. I took him to the fish pet shop and they gave me some antibiotic bath treatment. He is healing up really well. His fin is growing back rapidly.



08-02-2010, 06:26 AM
Looks good, plenty of room for both bettas. You said you used a clipboard so I guess both sides have their own filtration? Or is there room for water to go through?

08-02-2010, 06:33 AM
To answer you simply, "Yes" each side now has their own filter. I have an AZOO filter on each side.

Before having this site up I was using macrame canvass which allowed water and circulation to go through both sides. I had an Aqueon 10 gallon filter on one side and I used a clear tube to run the filter under the gravel and to the opposite side of the tank. This way the water was forced to circulate on both sides. I thought it was pretty clever on my part. But my fish could see each other through the macrame canvass and were always ready to fight each other. I decided to use something solid. Now they are much more peaceful. I was afraid they would be too stressed out and not live too long.

I thought they would calm down but they were always at it with each other.

08-02-2010, 07:29 AM
Those look really nice. Kinda makes me want to set one up, but i'm i've pretty much sworn off bettas now.

08-02-2010, 11:29 AM
That is great!!! I love how you cut the tree thing. That looks awesome.

Glad you saved your betta! He seems to be doing much better. Those tanks look really great!

Lady Hobbs
08-02-2010, 11:48 AM
Great setup. Looks nice.

08-02-2010, 12:01 PM
Lookin' good thumbs2: . That tree thing cut in half adds a nice effect. I hope you have more luck with that bacopa plant than I did. None of mine would ever root correctly and it always ended up floating. The stuff pissed me off enough that I gave up on it.

08-02-2010, 03:20 PM
Really nice set-up! Nothing beats a nice planted tank.

08-02-2010, 10:37 PM
Lookin' good thumbs2: . That tree thing cut in half adds a nice effect. I hope you have more luck with that bacopa plant than I did. None of mine would ever root correctly and it always ended up floating. The stuff pissed me off enough that I gave up on it.

Thanks, Sun. I have an aqua-scaping kit. Here is the link to where I bought mine on ebay for only $30. I have seen them for nearly three times more on other websites.

I just use the tweezer looking tool to poke the stems in the grown and they do not float. Once in a blue moon I get some of the other stem plants coming up but so far the bacopa has not. It is growing fast too. I keep snipping the top and simply insert the trimming back into the grown.


08-02-2010, 10:45 PM
Those look really nice. Kinda makes me want to set one up, but i'm i've pretty much sworn off bettas now.

Really? Why is that? I used to have tropical fish with one betta and every time I walked into the room the fish all ran to hide behind the rocks and plants. But the betta was always happy to see me. Bettas remind me of happy friendly doggies that hope to get fed every they see me. :hmm3grin2orange:

08-02-2010, 11:22 PM
I've just gone through to many of them, bad breeding stock etc. So I'm just kinda keeping away, at least for now. I might later decide to keep them again.

08-03-2010, 02:11 AM
:shrug: I may not have had enough light or something; I never did see too much growth on them. This was on my 10 gallon tank. I normally tried putting up a nice mound of gravel around them, but they always shot up in a week or so

08-03-2010, 02:33 AM
Nice tank.Have you a full tank shot?

08-03-2010, 02:58 AM
Your tanks look great - the tree decoration is inspired!

08-03-2010, 05:27 AM
Very nice betta setups! It is very nice to see some properly kept bettas...sadly its a rare thing these days :22:

08-03-2010, 05:42 AM
Nice tank.Have you a full tank shot?

Are you referring to a full photo of the entire tank? Just the first one in my original post. I will take more. I took these photos in a bit of a hurry. I will take some better ones soon.

08-04-2010, 01:08 AM
Iíve been eyeing one of those bookshelf aquariums myself. Iíd like to consolidate my 2.5 gal betta tanks together. What do you think of the tank itself?

08-04-2010, 08:32 AM
So far I have been quite happy with the tank. NEVER try to move it with any water in it. Drain it completely. I have nearly 3" of gravel in my bookshelf tanks so that is heavy enough. I do not want them to crack.

My recommendation is not to use any type of suction cup on them such as a thermometer that you would stick inside. I did this and it created a problem in every tank. There was some sort of reaction and it started to create this blotchy milk glass like effect on the plastic where the suction cup was and it started to bleed outward and spread a bit. It really pissed me off. I had the tanks for only about three weeks, I had five of them at the time. I have no car so it was a pain returning one of them at a time back to the store back and forth, back and forth..... The staff at PetCo was very apologetic. I thought I was going to have to defend myself and fight for an exchange but they did so without any hassle whatsoever. I was grateful.

Now I only have four tanks instead of five. If I had a bigger home I think I would have them all over the house. I have had these for about three months and so far so good. I saved my receipts in case there are any problems in the future with them.

I also suggest that you inspect them before you take it home. They will allow you to carefully take them out of the box and inspect them. At least in Chicago they do. Inspect for any deep scratches in the plastic. But do not pay too much attention to very small minute hairline marring on the plastic surface. I am talking about the type of lines you can see by the reflection of light such as overhead lighting. When you have the tank all set up and lit from the top it will not show. There is also a higher clarity with these tanks that I seemed to be missing with the standard generic tanks with the black bottom and top rims.

I hope to have them a very long time. I replaced the included filter with two AZOO filters. I also sawed a small section from the side of the plastic top/cover in order to make room for the second AZOO filter.

Another interesting feature about the tanks is that the light heats up my tanks to about 80-82 degrees which eliminates the need for a heater. So I would not recommend these for goldfish as it can be too warm for them. You can have goldfish but I would imagine you would have to eliminate the light and replace it with an LED light which does not create much heat. I keep my lights on for about 12 hours and by the next morning the temperature only drops down to about 78. I think this is acceptable and typical of what you find in nature, it is always cooler at night. Plus the change is very slow and gradual.

The light is 15 watts so that allows for roughly 2.3 watts per gallon. But since the light is so close to surface of the gravel (roughly 6 inches from top of tank to surface of gravel) I think you can get away with some moderate light needing plants instead of just using low light plants.

Probably the only annoying feature of the tanks is the lid that opens in order to feed the fish. It is tiny! It is so tiny that I sometimes make a slight mess when feeding my fish. When you add fish or capture them you will have to remove the entire light and the clear hood. So wherever you set up your tank make sure you have room to set the light and hood aside in order to keep your hands free. And although they call this a "bookshelf" tank, I recommend having at least eight to ten inches of elbow room above the tank so that you can do water changes, clean and maintain the tank. I learned this the hard way after setting them all at once and not allowing enough room for maintenance.

Last comment. I once scratched the outside of the tank and it was very visible. It was not incredibly deep but I was bummed, of course. I used some Novus acrylic polish and amazingly it "melted" away the scratch. This Novus scratch remover seems to work on everything better than my 60's modern acrylic furniture (which was my intended use for Novus in the first place). I use it to remove scratches from my aquariums and DVD's (my idea to use it on these things :hmm3grin2orange: ) and it does a great job. thumbs2: . DVD's that once stopped playing of froze now play with no problem after using this stuff. thumbs2:

I do not know how difficult it is to get replacement filters for the included filters since I switched them out and used an Aqueon. But I assume you can buy them at PetCo. Just ask a staff member.

The other thing I like about these tanks is that you can remove the black base bottom so that it looks like the aquarium gravel touches flush with the surface of a shelf or table. It kind of gives a modern minimal appearance. I really dig this look. But you can use the included "holster" that fits perfectly under the tank and it comes in black.

I think that about covers it. Let me know if you have any questions. :)

I sound like I should get a commission for touting these tanks. Petco, if you are out there and reading this I will be waiting for my check in the mail. :11:

08-04-2010, 02:44 PM
Thanks for the write-up! I didnít realize it was plastic. Is the light a fluorescent or incandescent?

08-04-2010, 02:51 PM
Nice! I have a 10G divided in half with the mesh (similar to needlepoint stuff) and they love it!! They flared for a week or so, but ignore each other now.

I heard that if they flare at each other for more than 2 weeks, it won't work with see through dividers.

08-04-2010, 03:47 PM
Thanks for the write up, very help ful and the tank looks great.

08-04-2010, 08:21 PM
Beautiful setup, your fish look quite happy!

08-04-2010, 08:39 PM
Nice! I have a 10G divided in half with the mesh (similar to needlepoint stuff) and they love it!! They flared for a week or so, but ignore each other now.

I heard that if they flare at each other for more than 2 weeks, it won't work with see through dividers.

Yeah, this was the case with me. I had the macrame dividers for about three weeks and they kept flaring so I made changes.

Oh and for the other poster who wanted to know about the lights, it is a fluorescent bulb that is 18" long.