Planted Betta Tank, 6 Gallon
So, I'm acclimating a little betta fry that will go into my QT for the moment, but eventually will go in the 6gal I recently acquired from CL. Which means I need to get started putting this tank together. LOL Like with my already-set-up tank, I'd like it to be decently planted, with the plants providing a lot of the filtration. I also want to have a lot of this tank be DIY.
On thing I'm worried about is lighting this tank. It needs a lid, but it's hard to come by lids for 6 gals, so I want to use the one it came with. However, the one it came with does not have built-in lighting, and black plastic covers about 2/3s of the top, which makes lighting choices difficult.
I also want to do a DIY filter for this tank, pretty much a small sump, so that the only thing that would be in the tank itself is the overflow, and the heater and the filter could be in the sump. Now, because of its size and location, I can't have a sump set below it. What I'm thinking is a cross between this nano reef sump I found via google, and Uarujoey's version of a sponge filter (at the end of the post). My idea is to tank the nano sump idea, but instead of just filter floss , having the bottle be set up so that there's ceramic media in the bottle, and mechanical filtration sitting in the container above it. And holes would be punched so that it would just need to be removed from the sump, a sponge slapped on the end, and an airline added and it would be ready to be placed in the tank in an emergency. And the heater would go in the little sump. What do the more experienced folks think of that idea? What size powerhead/pump should I be looking at for it?
I can't drill into the tank. I just don't have the tools, and I don't know if the glass of the tank is the right type for drilling anyways. So I would need to do a PVC overflow that siphons over the rim of the tank. What size piping should I be looking at? I've watched Uarujoey's pvc overflow tutorial a couple times and he mentions that views should use a larger diameter pipe than him... But he tends to focus on large tanks that require lots of filtration. An overflow for a 6 gallon tank doesn't need to handle nearly the same volume of water.
I'm not quite sure on decorations for this tank... Those will likely come last, as other things pull together. Because of where the tank will be sitting for the moment (which won't be it's final location, but just where it will be until I can get my multi-tank stand idea together), I know I want some sort of background blocking the back of the tank. And I think I may end up wanting to block part or all of the sides too. Again, not really sure what I want to do with that.
So, that's where my thoughts are for now with this tank. Will post a picture of the lid in a bit, so people can get a better idea of it.
And some pictures!
Here's the lid that came with the 6 gal. The part furthest actually opens up for feeding and maintenance.
And the future inhabitant...
In his/her store cup:
Getting acclimated (I had his drip so slow that it took about 4.5 hours!):
Swimming around his/her temporary digs:
First off, progress on the tank setup. I have a container for the sump, and the heater and pump are on their way. And I was able to find a container for about the same as I would have paid for my original idea, but it's shorter (and not too short), wider, and holds more water. :D This makes me much happier.
I also had another idea for the tank. IF I can get my 2.5 gallon hex fixed (I have ordered some acrylic welding agent, so I'm going to need to wash it out and see if I can find a spot to get the welding agent INTO the crack), I think I might want to do a tiered system, with the hex being a shrimp tank, the water overflowing into the main tank with the fish, the water from the main tank overflowing into the sump, and the sump pumping into the hex. Here's what the three look like together:
I might see if I can get a friend to build a riser for the hex, or a new base completely (which I would be very happy with), in order to increase the height difference between it and the main tank.
Either way, I'd likely get it started with just the main tank and the sump, then add in the hex later. That way I can get it planted and get the fish in faster.
Still need to get the pipes and everything else needed in the sump (mechanical and bio media), plus decorations. I think I want to make a large pvc clay cave, but first I would need to find out if my friends would actually allow me to bake it in their oven. Also, anyone have any advice on customizable not-permanent picture backgrounds? I know for a solid color the go-to is water-based acrylic paint. However, what about pictures for the artistically-challenged?
And as for the future resident of this tank... He gave me a scare this morning! But it seems that he was fine. Someone on a betta forum I'm also on suggested that he may have just been slow to waken, and some bettas get pale while they sleep. It was early morning!
After that scare, I decided to redecorate his tank. I took off the custom-fitted lid, and replaced it with double-thickness binder cover that I had cut air slits in, and weighed it down with aquarium rocks in each corner. I grabbed a desk lamp, replaced the bulb in it with a daylight CFL, and situated that above it, and switched around some of the decor. Took out the silk plant, grabbed the pot I was using for a cave and several others, used the largest of the set of pots as the new cave, and put some of the plants for the tank I'm working on in them. There's also one that's just floating on the surface. lol He seems to be enjoying the changes, swimming all around and exploring.