Q: I want to buy a small aquarium kit (clueless)- what would you recommend? I have two mutt bettas- 1 in a one gal with a under-gravel filter (dirty- I disassemble & clean every 3 wks);1 in a bowl. Saw your thoughts on the Explorer- how about Eclipse 3, 6 or a Mini-Bow (2.5, 5)? Donít want to hurt my boy with a too-strong filter!
A: You know what I would recommend? I would recommend NOT buying a kit. I would instead suggest you create your own betta paradise and put it together yourself. This way you have any option you want and you are not stuck with whatever the manufacturer of each kit has come up with. God knows some of them come up with lame ideas, such as betta bowls with a filter (great) but no cover (bettas WILL jump), or filters that are too powerful and CANNOT be regulated with a flow control (cuz they, like 'forgot' to add one !!).
Bottom line is, I declare that manufacturers should never put a betta kit on the market before first getting my blessings LOL. I mean, how dare they put it out there without my permission?? ;). Should they have checked first with me, I would have fixed their booboos right up!
Meanwhile, you and I are going to do a little virtual shopping: I'll tell you what to buy, you put it in the cart and (my favorite part) pay for it LOL. This is what I would chose if I were you. For each betta get:
Once you install the tank and the filter, you will make sure the flow is reasonable and test it before adding the betta. After you add Mr. Betta, you will carefully observe his body language. If he seems to be able to swim comfortably around, without fighting, or going sideways or being sucked against the intake LOL, then you are OK. Otherwise, keep playing around with the filter flow until you achieve the perfect balance. You want it as high as possible to maintain proper filtration BUT not so high that it disturbs the betta. One way to do this is to start at the lowest setting and increase water flow gradually until you can see the betta is starting to be affected by it, then decrease slightly from that position and check every day for a while to make sure betta is still happy with the way you have it set-up.
Voila my dear, you are in control when you stay away from pre packaged kits. Be smart and with a little help from your friend Faith, you'll get by ;).