Advice please :) - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Advice please :)

OK so I recently upgraded my betta to his 5g tank...and I've been playing with the idea of adding some live plants other than his moss ball...Truth be told, plants scare the crap outa me...God knows they never fare well in my care....but I've never tried aquatic plants....and I'm willing to give it a go....nothing crazy...just a few...


My tank kit came with a 9W florescent 6500k bulb, it's pretty bright but there will be no natural light getting to my tank where it's placed.

So question #1 ...is this adequate enough lighting and if so, what kind of plants would do well with it?

I've seen them advertised as low, moderate or high light...but I honestly haven't the slightest clue as to what kind of light my set up gives lol.

Question #2 Plant ferts...The only occupant is currently my betta...is his tiny bioload enough to feed the plants (again maybe 3 varieties at most) or would I require some kind of fertilizer? Of course I want the plants to do well...but I also don't want an overload of nutrients left over that would likely cause an algae problem (or so I've read lol). OR for a lightly planted tank would getting him a tankmate snail or two be a better choice? OR BOTH...you tell me!

Question #3 (sorry guys but you're dealing with an ignoramus here! ) If I do go the tankmate route...is vacuuming the gravel weekly still recommended...wouldn't that get rid of the snail's and plant's 'food'...or should I feed him a little something extra recommended by the pet shop?

OK...I think that's everything for now...LOL Thanks guys!!!! Oh by the way...the substrate is just plain white gravel....as stated the tank is new and of course uncycled...haven't found a proper filter baffle yet and I'm considering leaving it unfiltered and just monitoring the water hoping the plants will help out a little in that dept....we'll see, cuz I really would prefer a filter....

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by mermaid77 View Post
OK so I recently upgraded my betta to his 5g tank...and I've been playing with the idea of adding some live plants other than his moss ball...Truth be told, plants scare the crap outa me...God knows they never fare well in my care....but I've never tried aquatic plants....and I'm willing to give it a go....nothing crazy...just a few...
Don't worry, I have murdered every terrestrial plant I have ever looked at, but for the most part my aquatic plants thrive. After all, you never have to remember to water them. :)


My tank kit came with a 9W florescent 6500k bulb, it's pretty bright but there will be no natural light getting to my tank where it's placed.

So question #1 ...is this adequate enough lighting and if so, what kind of plants would do well with it?
It's fine for low-light plants - java fern, anachris, java moss, ambulia, cabomba, ludwigia, hornwort, anubias, wisteria, pennywort, bacopa, some crypts, vals...there's heaps of options. :)

Question #2 Plant ferts...The only occupant is currently my betta...is his tiny bioload enough to feed the plants (again maybe 3 varieties at most) or would I require some kind of fertilizer? Of course I want the plants to do well...but I also don't want an overload of nutrients left over that would likely cause an algae problem (or so I've read lol). OR for a lightly planted tank would getting him a tankmate snail or two be a better choice? OR BOTH...you tell me!
Personally, I'd just see how it goes. If the plants look to be flagging, I'd add a little liquid food (Seachem Flourish is my preference for the plants listed above, rather than root tabs, as they are water column feeders). If they flourish, leave things be. :)

Question #3 (sorry guys but you're dealing with an ignoramus here! ) If I do go the tankmate route...is vacuuming the gravel weekly still recommended...wouldn't that get rid of the snail's and plant's 'food'...or should I feed him a little something extra recommended by the pet shop?
As I said, the plants listed feed from the water column rather than the substrate. Vacuuming once a week/once a fortnight won't do them any harm. I just probably wouldn't be so rigorous in it, and don't vacuum too near any plants so you don't uproot them. :)

OK...I think that's everything for now...LOL Thanks guys!!!! Oh by the way...the substrate is just plain white gravel....as stated the tank is new and of course uncycled...haven't found a proper filter baffle yet and I'm considering leaving it unfiltered and just monitoring the water hoping the plants will help out a little in that dept....we'll see, cuz I really would prefer a filter....
The plants will indeed. :) If you can't find/build a baffle, try just getting a sponge filter. :)

Life.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
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Bombalurina THANKS SO MUCH!!!! I was so hoping that Anacharis and Anubias would be OK for my lighting...I really appreciate you taking the time answering my questions!!! Sponge filter eh...? Hmmm....definitely gonna look into that...my betta HATED the current filter...but he loves resting under it shut off LOL...spends a lot of time there actually!

Here he is in his still plain looking new home...See what I mean? LOL
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Morgana ~ Female Cambodian VT
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 03:11 AM
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I'm not really a fan of non-natural tanks, for the most part, but I don't think it looks plain at all. :) I love the lush look of those big silk plants.

Tip: black sand or gravel would make that gorgeous red betta really pop. :) It also makes plants look greener.

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 04:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks and tip noted! I was torn whether I'd get white or black gravel to begin with...I'm going for a full change of scenery once I get the plants! To be honest I'm not a big fan of the fake look either...lol I've been admiring all the pics posted on here of everyone's NPT's....GORGEOUS!

Morgana ~ Female Cambodian VT
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 04:04 PM
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I'd get black sand. It looks very natural and makes your betta stand out.

Flame - Red and Blue Veiltail Male
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 05:01 AM Thread Starter
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Oh I do love the look of sand...however I just have one newbie concern. When I performed the first vacuuming with the gravel, I notice it suctioned up a lot of the smaller gravel bits...isn't it much more of a hassle when it comes to vacuuming sand...? I would assume a lot would get suctioned through...or doesn't it?

Thanks :)

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 05:43 AM
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It's quite different from looking after gravel. With gravel, you dig the siphon right in. With sand, you just hover over the top of it. You do get a small amount of sand, but it separates easily from the dirt in the bucket, so once you rinse it you can tip it right back in.

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 05:59 AM Thread Starter
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Got it! I appreciate the input! Thanks! :)

Morgana ~ Female Cambodian VT
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 10:58 AM
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And your light: 6500 K is absolutely perfect! That is the color temp (in kelvin) that u want to grow plants successfully... It would still only be for "low-light" plants tho (u would need High-Output T-5 fluorescents ~T5 HO Lights~ for "high-light" plants, just fyi) :)

Ooh, and post pics when u have it all set/planted up!! :) Good Luck!
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