Hello, and thanks for reading. Sorry this is a bit long.
I have been lugging around an old broken gumball machine for the past 3 years in hopes of one day converting it into a betta tank. I pulled it out and cleaned it up a few days ago, and have broken it down and stripped it of unnecessary parts.
I now have an empty base, a glass fish bowl that meets the dimensions of the original acrylic gumball bubble, and a lid.
I have everything worked out including an external heat source that will be attached to the bottom of the glass bowl via suction cups and housed on the interior of the base as to not been seen. I have run the power cord through the bottom of the base in the back as well. I tested the heat source and it keeps a stable water temp of 78 degrees, allowing for up to 4 degree temperature rise when the light is on or when the house is warmer in the winter time.
The problem I am faced with now is filtration. I know that betta fish are pretty versatile where filtration is concerned, and if weekly full water changes are done it is possible to keep one without filtration, but having kept a 50gal freshwater tank for several years I do not personally feel comfortable running ANY tank without a filter. So I have come to the masses for advice.
Initially I did not want any cords, tubes, etc entering the top of the bowl, as I felt it would detract from the aesthetics of the gumball machine theme. I now, however, do not care so much if I have an airline tube hidden by a plant or two. As long as the creature within is happy and well cared for. I also thought that if I change my mind and want a goldfish or frog, a filtered setup would better accommodate.
So, I've spent the day researching and surfing the web and decided to ask advice about two different filtration options for this small tank. (Larger tanks seem so much simpler where this is concerned) Obviously I would need a filter with a low level current for any one of my fish/frog options. The one that seems most appealing is the Lee's Round Under Gravel Bowl 2 gal
filter, minus that ugly plastic plant. The other option was the Penn-Plax Smallword Pump & Filter Kit.
Both have their pros and cons in my eyes. But I am unfamiliar with either of these products and would hate to purchase one and regret it. Of course I plan on cycling for a couple of weeks before ever adding a live creature, to make sure the filter was doing it's job.
Also if anyone has any advice on lighting options I'd love to hear it. Initially I was just planning on affixing a battery operated waterproof LED
unit to the inside of the lid via velcro for easy battery/bulb/fixture changes. But if I'm going to have the air tubing for a filter anyway, then there may be a better corded lighting option. (The lid is only about an inch deep and 4 1/2 inches in diameter.)