How to: Natural Planted tank - Page 8 - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #71 of 662 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 10:48 AM
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OK... I bought my organic potting soil last night and I'm going to be ordering plants,snails, and shrimp today/tomorrow. Yay! I was trying to find someone who would have all I need... not going to happen, so my question is. As these plants & livestock arrive, how do I keep them until everything arrives and I'm ready to set-up the aquarium(s)? Just float the plants in a bucket or something? What about the shrimp & snails?

OFL... am I understanding this right. You dirt the tank, add plants, do the water changes as you described... when the tank is clear, then you add snails and shrimp. Then wait a while(few days?) then add the Betta? Sorry to be so anal... just want to make sure I'm doing it right.

I have to confess... my OCD took over. Petco got a new shipment of Bettas and I bought 4!!! I do have 2 - 5.5gal and 2 - 2.5 gal tanks just waiting to get the supplies and get going!

Again, thanks so much!
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post #72 of 662 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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I add all livestock the same day I set a soil based tank up. Snails, shrimp and fish.....As long as you started out with enough of the right species of plants and don't overstock with fish-the plants will take care of any byproducts produced by the fish/livestock-along with some partial water changes.

By overstocking-I mean lots of fish...not snails or shrimp...

To keep the plants until ready-any container of water will work-add a heater and lights-You can also use this container to hold any livestock you have too. Shrimp and/or snails-keep them in smaller containers and float them in the bucket or tank you have the plants in-Make 25-50% water changes every couple of days and keep the light on for at least 10 hours/day.

Look forward to reading and seeing pic on your new Thread-once you get your soil based tank setup...Be sure and point me in that direction so I can follow your thread.

You will really enjoy the soil based tank once it has matured-I know I did-once I got over the idea of putting dirt in an aquarium....lol....

Ask all the questions you need.....We are happy to help anyway we can...
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post #73 of 662 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 03:04 PM
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Thank you so much! That really helps!

I really like the soil that I got... think it will work out just great. I started sifting it this afternoon, but need a smaller screen... too many twigs, etc were falling through. Will stop at Lowe's and get that this afternoon. Have my orders just about ready to purchase... will definitley keep you posted. Again, thank you!
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post #74 of 662 (permalink) Old 11-20-2012, 07:47 AM
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OFL can you please tell me how to trim plants without killing or hurting them,how do you know what part to cut?

i went out last night and bought a bag of miracle grow organic choice potting soil and a bag of play sand. im goin to redo my tank into a planted one in a few weeks time when i can get proper lights and plants

could you also tell me what wouls be the best type of plant for a beginner like myself to use as a grass carpet for the foreground,i love the look of grass in tanks
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post #75 of 662 (permalink) Old 11-20-2012, 09:06 AM
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I loved this post, THANK YOU! Although I've had a lot of problems with ammonia in my planted tank.

Just keep swimming.
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post #76 of 662 (permalink) Old 11-20-2012, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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To trim stem plants-pinch or cut them back at any leaf point
Rosette plants-pinch back dead/dieing/unwanted leaves as near to the crown as you can.

Grass like plants-like sags, vals, microsword, chain swords...etc....trim like you cut grass.


To plant Stem plants-remove the lower leaves from the cutting and plant the stem or place a heavy object on it to hold it down until it roots and anchors itself.

What I use for my lawn....Echinodorus tenellus(pygmy chain sword) this seem to work well with the soil based low-mod light tanks.
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post #77 of 662 (permalink) Old 11-20-2012, 02:14 PM
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I'm ready to place my plant order, but am not sure how many bunches of each to buy. For instance... when ordering a bunch of Cabomba caroliniana is says 6+ stems. I believe I'm to plant one stem at a time, so would one bunch of this plant be enough for 2 - 2.5g tanks? 3 in one and 3 in another? I'll be having other plants also, but just wondering if this would be enough of this plant. Hope I'm making myself clear...

Thanks again!
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post #78 of 662 (permalink) Old 11-20-2012, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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In soil based tank-it is important to start out with enough of the right species of plants.

I like to recommend at least 3+ different species of stem plants-even in the smaller tanks. This is because not all plants will do well and by having several different species-ensures at least one-heavy feeding-fast growing stem plant will help to keep the water safe.

In a 2-2.5gal tank-3-4 stems of 3-4 different stem plants and a rosette-along with the all important floating plant-like water lettuce. Once the soil is mature (about 3 months) and starts its life underwater-you can remove some of the stem plants to allow more room/light for the rosette and other plants.

You know the system is doing well when you need to trim 50% of the stem plants within the first 7-10 days of setup.
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post #79 of 662 (permalink) Old 11-20-2012, 04:56 PM
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thanks for the reply old fish lady, i currently have a 14 gallon aqueon tank,i think its like a 10 gallon of the same brand but with 4 gallon added higher on top,not longer in width.

i am going to buy all my plants at the same time.. like many other newbies im not sure how many of each plant i need for my tank..


my plan is to put my beta in a 5 gallon bucket with heater and water. take out all my fake plants and gravel from my tank and give the walls a scrub with a clean toohbrush,then ill add the soil and sand, ill fill the tank 3 or 4 times till water is running clear through my filter,then ill take out all water except up to an inch above my soil.. the next day i will do my planting and then refill all the water, on the third day ill add my beta and heater back into the tank..


i allready have frogsbit in my tank now and its doin well so i dont need any floating plants.. but i need everything else..

is it possible to tell me how many stem plants i need total and how many rosettes,im not sure what rosettes are, and how many low growing foreground plants? i am goin to put 2 small moss balls in also as i think they look cool..



also would it be possible to point me in the direction of a good place to buy plants online maybe,my lfs has snails all in their plant tanks and i heard petco plants can sometimes find it hard adjusting to life in a new tank since they are kept in plastic cylinders in the stores.
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post #80 of 662 (permalink) Old 11-20-2012, 09:30 PM
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Once again... thank you so much Oldfishlady!

I was at a LFS and they have MTS! They said to stop by whenever I'm ready and they'll be happy to give me as many as I need! LOL!

I'm getting there bit by bit! So excited, Can hardly wait to get all my supplies!
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