Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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RrCoX22 08-21-2012 11:30 PM

Thinking About Getting Some Fish For the 1st Time!
I've never had fish nor owned any real needy pets. I think I plan on getting a simple tank/bowl to start, I'm keeping it small as this will just be going on my nightstand, nothing bigger than 2 gallons. I was thinking about getting this bowl/tank as I think it looks nice: Desktop & Nano Aquariums: Zoo Med Laboratories Betta Condo

I understand filtration is key to oxidize the water and remove toxins/ammonia and turn them into nitrates. I pretty sure a tank this small still should have a filter correct? The problem is I want a filter than makes no noise, not a little noise, DEAD SILENT. After research it seems I would need an internal filter or a sponge filter. Like these: Aquarium Filters: Whisper In-Tank Filters


Hydro Sponge Aquarium Filters -

Do these still make noise as it looks like air is still pumped into the tank with these? Other options?

Far as fish, I may go with a male Betta or two females and see if it works, but would prefer to get 2-4 non-Betta fish for this tank. Is this too much? I would like fish that stay small that don't grow over 2 inches.

So curious with some of these questions and the process of water (hard/soft out of a faucet) and how conditioner, etc. work as well?


Olympia 08-22-2012 06:34 AM

Hi there! Welcome to TFK.
Sadly, that size of tank can only hold a lone male (or 1 female!) betta. You generally need 10 gallons before you can start getting into other fish. You can find all you need to know about caring for betta fish in this sticky.
Betta Care Sticky.
Don't get discouraged that you can only have one, they are loads of fun and such great little guys, I have 5 now. :-)

Kim 08-22-2012 06:49 AM

First off, welcome to the forum!

Quite honestly, I wouldn't recommend setting up anything under 5 gallons for a first tank. The little 1 gallon tank you posted is not going to be able to support an cycle, will need 100% water changes every few days (this can be quite tedious), and isn't big enough for really anything other than a few snails.

Because you won't be able to establish a cycle (check out this great link if you haven't read up about the nitrogen cycle: ) a filter isn't going to do much except agitate the water a bit. Also, the ONLY filter for smaller tanks I've ever known to be completely silent is this one: Canister Filters: Rapids Mini Canister Filter at Foster & Smith Aquatics (I used to have tanks near by bed and also hated filter noises while sleeping!).

As far as fish are concerned, you could house a single betta (male or female) in any tank over 2.5 gallon (although like I said it will be difficult to impossible to establish a cycle in anything under 5 gallons which makes frequent 100% water changes necessary). Housing multiple female bettas together isn't recommended in anything under a 10 gallon due to territory issues.

Without knowing your water parameters it is hard to recommend other fish. I would at least test for pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate before buying fish. You will also need a good water conditioner that removes chlorines, chloramines, and heavy metals to condition the tank water. Most people simply use conditioned tap water for their tanks.

Hope this helped!

Kim 08-22-2012 07:00 AM

Oops! I forgot to add that you will also need a heater for any tropical fish (bettas included!!). This is also an issue with tanks under 2.5 gallons because most heaters either won't fit or won't function properly in a tank that small. I would strongly recommend buying an adjustable heater with a thermostat- the little heating pads and pre-set heaters just don't work and tend to result in fluctuating temperatures and stressed/sick fish.

thekoimaiden 08-22-2012 01:51 PM

Welcome to the forum and the hobby! Let me point you in the direction of our tropical fish profiles. You can search by name by clicking on the link in the upper left hand corner, or you can click on the shaded name of a fish or plant to see the profile (like goldfish or anubias). They come with pictures and care information including temperature, tank size, and food requirements (if there are any).

If you're looking for a non-needy pet, then a fish tank of that size isn't going to be a good idea. Anything under 5 gallons needs at least two water changes a week. A better setup would be a 29 gal or 20 gal tank. It is large enough to be relatively stable. Contrary to what most people think, smaller tanks are more difficult to care for than larger ones. Changes happen slower in larger tanks, so you have a time to notice it before any major damage is done.

As for your fish and filter selection, if you do go with a 2 gal tank, you can forgo the filter. It won't do anything but push your Betta splendens around. The only fish I know that can live in a tank that small would be a Betta splendens. The common small tropical fish need tanks around 20 gallons or more. Having a tank of this size would enable you to have two schools of fish. A substrate fish like the bronze cory and a tetra like the Pristella tetra.

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