Oh no -- confession time
I didn't get the tank or filter today. I did go to the hatchery, and talked to Eric, the owner, about the concerns I had with the betta and pleco. They are in a 5.5 gallon tank. I was concerned that the ammonia was still at .25. I wondered if the small sponge filter was adequate to filter the tank, with the addition of the pleco, and especially since the sponge filter isn't pulling a lot of water through it -- the flow is turned down by the gang valve to accomodate the betta. Also, the flow rate (I thought) may not be adequate for the pleco's aeration needs -- he can't get air at the top like the betta can. So, I thought -- bigger tank with more filtration!!
Eric said I was feeding the pleco too much, so I'll cut down, which will cut down on the waste too, and said I was worrying too much about the other stuff, like aeration. But really, they are getting along fine, basically ignoring each other, with the betta "making a face" at the pleco once in a while. (Well, I make a face at my husband once in a while too!
) So the betta and pleco really don't appear to need any new arrangements or anything, so I'll adjust the feeding and see what happens. I did use Bio-Spira, so hopefully the tank will finish cycling uneventfully. I've been pulling out a gallon of water a day for a pwc
I think my husband was a little disappointed when I didn't come home with a new tank! We do have a place to put this big tank -- in the dining room, but we've been remodeling for the past few years (!) and the dining room is empty now, and collecting various junk! So we really need to furnish it before we stick a tank there. Then we'll most likely be able to fit in a bigger tank than a 15 high! At the hatchery I was looking at so many nice fish! It would be nice to take time to plan, and not just stick the pleco in a 15 high with some tetras because that's all I have room for now. I saw some long-fin rosy barbs, some dwarf praecox rainbows (stunning!) and some rummynose tetras that interested me. So my big tank will happen, and I'll still keep everyone's filter recommendations in mind, and in the meantime I will enjoy my bettas and pleco. Oh, and to "console" myself for not buying a big tank, I got another betta!