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Bill's Tank Journals: PANDORA

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Hi there:

My tanks are scattered throughout my house and office, and I thought it would be fun to share them one at a time. Each has some sort of quirk that makes it special to me or my family. Hope you enjoy!

Coming from the computer world, I have named each of my 12 tanks, to make it easier to refer to them in conversation. "Atlantis" is easier to say than "the-top-middle-20-Long-in-the-office-with the-multies"

Welcome to PANDORA


This tank is a 3-gallon Top Fin Bettaflo "Soothe" picked up from PetSmart. It belongs to my wife Teri, who wanted to take things in as weird a direction as possible.



The Bettaflo Soothe has a large center column mounted to an undergravel filter plate. A small water pump at the bottom of the column pumps the water upward and over the rim of the column to waterfall into the tank.


We made the following modifications:

1. Painted the back half black: I masked off the back half of the glass with masking tape, and brush-painted it with black acrylic paint.

2. Painted the center column black: I took out the center column and spray painted it with Plasti-Dip. This gave it a nice, even, rubbery coating that is inert when cured.

3. Added a mini LED light: The light that comes with this tank is fairly weak, and even though Teri didn't want live plants, she wanted some more creativity with the light. For $12 we added this off-brand multicolor LED light that suction cupped nicely to the inside of the lid:

4. Added a heater: We dropped in a cheap 5w self-setting heater, also from Top Fin, I believe. It tucks nicely away in the center column.


For decor, Teri did the following:

1. Mixed pink & blue gravel (yuck!) 😉

2. Added a silicone "alien flower" (which I sliced into two pieces with a bandsaw to spread it out)

3. Added some rocks for the back.


For stocking, Teri has the following:

1. The most gorgeous galaxy koi plakat betta I have ever seen.

2. A cobra endlers guppy

3. A blue swordtail endlers guppy




Recently, Teri let me replace one of the fake flowers with an Anubias nanji from Aquarium Co-Op to the tank, and aside from helping with water quality, it actually does look pretty nice in there!

Also, the betta has started changing color: more black is starting to show. I read this is a sign of a happy fish!



Maintenance involves a weekly 50% water change with a quick gravel vac. After the initial round of brown diatoms went away, we have had no algae trouble in the .

Teri feeds a variety, consisting of betta pellets and freeze dried daphnia, and I drop in some frozen bloodworms and spirulina brine a couple times a week.

So, while I personally wouldn't have jumped to make something this colorful and weird, it served to inspire me to think outside the box as much as possible when applying decor!


Hope you enjoyed. More tanks coming soon!

Thanks for reading,


Edited by Bill Smith
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Thank you for the nice comments! 

Yeah, I like the fact that this tank is not really a cylinder; it's a donut. The fish have to swim around the center section. Which, I would guess, makes it seem bigger than it is.

The betta does seem to like to go in circles, stop, look around, and move on.

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