Considering plants - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Considering plants

Okay, so this has branched from another thread...

I've got a 5 gallon tank and a 10 gallon tank set up already with regular tank gravel. I'd really like to get some real plants but know absolutely nothing about them. If I got some, could they grow in the gravel already in there? My CT is in my 10 gallon and my VT is in my 5 gallon. Both tanks have mini fluorescent lights. I think they're 6000 or something like that. I'd have to look on the package. I would really like some decorations for the bettas to hide in/play with as well as help naturally stabilize my tank.

I'd love to be able to get some snails and/or shrimp at some point, but could this be done without a soil tank? I'd love some of the floating moss balls, and some stalk plants. I basically have no idea what I would need to do. I've read the sticky, but as it's for a soil based tank, I haven't been able to gain much from it. I've got a friend who has a 20-30 gallon (we're not sure and she can't remember exactly) long tank that I will be getting in the next week or two. I could start a soil based tank with that, but I'd really like to do something with the tanks I've got now.

Last edited by MidTnBetta; 10-24-2012 at 04:51 PM.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 06:52 PM
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You absolutely can have a variety of species in a gravel tank! Anacharis is probably the cheapest and easiest to find. Anubias is almost impossible to kill and has almost no light requirements, so that is another good, easy to find one. Marimo Moss balls are my favorite, again, requiring only the most minimal light and care.

If you haven't changed your fluorescents within the last year, you will need to do so for some of the more challenging species to make sure your tank is getting the right light spectrum. Fluorescents do not put out the right spectrum after about a year, even though the bulb is still putting off light.

Remember that the tank your fish lives in is his or her's whole world. Ask yourself this question, and answer it honestly: would you choose to live there?
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 12:05 AM
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Plants are awesome, and it's never too late to add them! All three of my tanks are planted, and although having plants doesn't mean you can neglect regular maintenance, the do help with the water quality. My betta tanks (as opposed to my guppy tank) has Elodia (which may or may not work out due to water temperatures), Java Moss, Java Fern, Water Sprite, Hornwort, Water Wisteria, Dwarf Baby Tears, and Green Cabomba.The guppy tank is a bit larger and has a couple crypts and an Anubias in addition to the plants I've already listed. They seem to grow equally well in sand and gravel, but I've never had a soil substrate and dose with Flourish (Comprehensive, I believe) once a week. The tanks all also have a thriving, although well-regulated, pond snail population; I used to have ghost shrimp as well and they thoroughly enjoyed the plants in a gravel substrate, but that's about the extent of my knowledge on shrimp.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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The lights I'm not worried about. I just bought them a couple days ago actually. I went and looked at the package and it says it's an Aqua Culture Mini fluorescent bulb that produces 600 luminescence (?) The 5 gallon only has room for one light bulb, but the 10 gallon has 2 light bulbs. I'd probably put the plants in it and use one reg aq light and one plant light. Would that work or would it confuse the plants? It will probably be a couple of weeks before I can get some plants in the tanks though. I really would love to get some moss balls as my CT is really playful and I think he'd probably think I'd gotten him a new toy. lol
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 08:54 AM
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I'm guessing you meen 600 lumen? If so, that is how bright the light is. The more useful number is the wavelength of light in Kelvin; what's generally recommended for plants is 6500 Kelvin (K), which is roughly the wavelength given off by the sun. I'm not sure about using colored lights, but I know that plants can use the energy from colored light to photosynthesize so long as it isn't green.
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