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Old 02-07-2018, 03:46 PM   #1
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Question Getting back into the hobby- input please!

It looks like I may be getting back into the hobby after 20+ years of not having a tank. I feel like I will have to re-learn everything.

I started off with the idea of getting a betta for my desk. I bought this really cool glass bowl mounted on a piece of driftwood like I had seen in Bali recently... and then when I started reading about bettas, I saw that most sites recommended against using bowls. I've now scrapped that idea, which kinda bums me out because the bowl looks really cool. When I realized a bowl was not going to be the right choice, I started thinking about a 3-5 gallon tank to put on my desk... Then I looked at a 10G, then a 15G... You know how it goes, right? (I do remember this progression from the first time I had tanks so many years ago! )

So, I've come to these 3 options, and I wonder if any of you have used them or like one of them in particular:

Fluval Specter V (5 gallons)
This would probably be great for a betta, plus a couple of shrimp or catfish to help keep it clean. A simple, affordable kit. $80

Marineland half moon 10G aquarium
This would probably also be good for a betta and maybe a small group of mid-water schooling fish. The rounded shape of the front does look very nice, and it's a little more vertical than horizontal in shape. $99

Aqueon 15G Column Deluxe Kit
This is a tank and stand combo that I saw at Petco. I like the size of it, and the vertical column shape is cool, but it is definitely going to be at the high end of my size range. It gives a few more options for those fish that like to hang out mid-level and school a bit. $150

One thing I need to consider is temperature. I'm notorious for not running my heat or air conditioning very much. In the winter the temperature in my place might be as low as 67, in the summer it might be as high as 82. (I'm simply more comfortable using fans or wearing layers than I am using dry electric heat that messes with my sinuses.) This is going to have an influence on my tank, and I'll likely need a decent heater. What fish would you recommend that are hardy enough to potentially stand a little bit of temperature fluctuation? It shouldn't be too dramatic if I'm using a heater, but you never know...

Hopefully, some of you can weigh in regarding the 3 tanks I'm considering, and maybe some fish choices for getting started.
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Old 02-07-2018, 05:08 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome.

Unless you are trying something very specific (doesn't sound like it) I would eliminate the tall 15 right there.you really want width and depth over height. While I have nothing against marineland I dont like curved tanks at all. This pretty much leaves fluval, whish really wouldn't be my first choice for eiteher, but I see them built into absolutely stunning mini ecosystems. Has a light and As I understand very viable filtration system

As for heaters this should not be a problem the keep that volume warm with as little as 50-100W.
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Old 02-07-2018, 05:17 PM   #3
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Yeah, I don't have any real specific "wants" at this point, except that it all started with the idea of a betta for my desk. I read some Amazon reviews of that Fluval Specter V, and it seemed pretty positive overall.

When you start looking, it's hard to resist getting a tank that is "just a little bit bigger."

Maybe I should just keep it simple with the betta, get the 5-gallon, and resist the urge to go bigger right from the beginning.
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Old 02-07-2018, 05:27 PM   #4
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With the 5g you will still need to add a filter, lights, and a heater. A desk lamp could serve as a light. Not sure but you might be able to fit a heater in the filter area of the Fluval Spec 5. Versus the the tank, the integrated tanks are a bit more aesthetically pleasing versus the stand alone tank + equipment.
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Old 02-07-2018, 08:09 PM   #5
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I wouldn't rule out finding something used. I recently bought a used setup and paid about a quarter of what it would have cost new.
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Old 02-07-2018, 08:49 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Fresh2o View Post
With the 5g you will still need to add a filter, lights, and a heater. A desk lamp could serve as a light. Not sure but you might be able to fit a heater in the filter area of the Fluval Spec 5. Versus the the tank, the integrated tanks are a bit more aesthetically pleasing versus the stand alone tank + equipment.
I think the Fluval 5 gallon comes with most of that, and if what I read on Amazon reviews is correct, a heater fits in it nicely. Here's a link to the product page: Spec Aquarium Kit | 10516 | Aquariums &*Furniture | Fluval
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Old 02-07-2018, 09:10 PM   #7
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You could probably pick up a 5g with a small HOB, lid with lights and heater on Amazon for $40
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Old 02-07-2018, 09:22 PM   #8
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You could probably pick up a 5g with a small HOB, lid with lights and heater on Amazon for $40
I've looked locally (as someone else mentioned), and haven't found any small setups. One of the main reasons I looked at the Fluval setup (on Amazon) was because they mentioned how quiet the pump, etc. are. Since I plan to have it at my desk, that's a big selling point for me.

If I could find another 5 gallon setup with similar reviews, I'd compare it to the Fluval brand. Right now, I don't know of any other 5 gallon setups that compare to it. The 10 gallon Marineland is the next closest thing I've found.
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Old 02-07-2018, 09:41 PM   #9
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You could get a 5g with a hood and light. But a small heater for cheap and a filter like this

Aqueon Quietflow E Internal Power Filter, 3 gallon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XW2B39Z..._iI7EAbP5GPPK2
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Old 02-07-2018, 09:45 PM   #10
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I've personally used this on my sons betta tank and it's quiet

API SUPERCLEAN 10 INTERNAL POWER FILTER Aquarium Internal Filter 1-Count https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NMUXAI4..._qM7EAbCWJ6AJG
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