Thinking of re-scaping, suggestions? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
whiskandbowl's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: PA
Posts: 249
Thinking of re-scaping, suggestions?

I really don't like how my 6.6g NPT is looking. I didn't cap it with enough sand when I set it up, so sometimes the dirt escapes during water changes and makes a mess. It's not very aesthetically pleasing and definitely needs some rearranging.
I'm fed up with the driftwood, it's still leaking tannins and I've had it in water since late December 2012/ January 2013

Also, I'm having major algae issues even with reduced light (less than 8 hours a day) and I stopped dosing Flora Pride (I started because my plants weren't looking that great)

I've noticed that my growth seems to be plateauing; I used to have to cut and replant the ludwigia about once a week, and I haven't had to in about 2-3 weeks now. It's very stemmy, and doesn't look as nice as the pics I see on here, and on plant selling sites.

This is when I first set it up, to get an idea of the hardscape. There are 3 lava rocks on the right side, I was hoping the java moss would attach, but alas, it didn't

This is the tank as of yesterday

As far as plants, I have...
anubias (I forget, I think it's a coffelalia? There's another one in there, I think it's an anubias nana)
java ferns
java moss
ludwigia repens
crypts, I know I definitely have a crypt wendtii, no idea what the large ones in front are
marimo moss ball

More stem plants like bacopa or cambomba?
If I do rescape, do you think it would be easier to start with new soil/sand, or try to salvage the old stuff?

Ferrets: Wesley, Percy, Owen. RIP Bandit
Fish: Pip, Logan, UnNamed DTHM
Bird: Kita- Sun Conure
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 10:55 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: texas
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you could take out the driftwood and put all the plants on one side and maybe get some more lava rocks and make a cave! also I think a background would be great! Since your fish has some light colors (from what I can tell) A black or dark blue background would make him pop!!


3 males: Mardi (OHM) - Mason (HMPKCTEE) - Maddux (HMPK)
1 female: Mercedes (Undecided again) Maybe VT or Delta
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 10:58 AM
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From a design perspective, if you want to keep the hardscape as you have it, I would put a really striking large plant in the center, then move all the tall plants in front of the driftwood to the back.

However, it looks like you could make the driftwood the focal point--maybe set it at an angle in the center, put a patch of very low "ground cover" type plant in front of it. Then take those tall plants from the front, and bunch them together at the side where the rocks are now. Then you could move the moss ball to the lower end of the driftwood, and stack the red rocks at the back left, behind the driftwood, for some pretty color contrast. Alternatively, you could pull the rocks entirely and put a pretty red plant back there. I think it would draw the eye along the length of the tank and really look nice.

If your growth is plateauing, you may want to use some fertilizer tabs before you rescape, or simply start over.

Let us see pictures, whatever you decide to do!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 11:41 AM
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Location: Tennessee
Posts: 1,106
Your driftwood is freaking me out, I keep looking at it and it looks freakishly like you have a dog in the tank. :P I'd take the driftwood out or rotate it to a different side or cut it in half to get a different look. You could use the lava rocks with a piece of slate rock and make a cave, it looks nice and then you could cover the rock with java moss or some kind of moss cover. Although the way the driftwood looks like a dog to me - I bet you could sell it and make a good bit of money off of it if you dress it up right when you advertise it - then use the profit to buy something else to use.

Fertilizer and white cap on top of the substrate for the plants makes the plants and fish seem brighter. It reflects the light a bit better and they get a bit more light. I enjoy the white (light) alot since we put it in a few weeks ago. I've got a patch or more in all my tanks with cories now, then used the rest for a 5 gallon I re-did because my beloved Marbles passed away. We got the Super natural sand not fine but small granules and i LOVE it, it's not to fine and settles perfectly but also doesn't settle to the bottom of the substrate stays on top nicely. it didn't matter if i dumped it straight into a full tank of water, it settled to the bottom with no cloudiness at all.

Also - for the bottom substrate floating up and muddying your water, since we have plecos in a few tanks and the 6 inch pleco likes to swish his tail and make a mess in the big tank, we put the plastic craft cloth (that people use for dividers) over the dirt then put the cap on top. That way if he goes on a digging spree then we don't have to worry about waking up to a completely dirt muddy tank, so far it hasn't been an issue at all. If and when we need to put root tabs in, I'll just lift one corner in the back and shove it under.

Feel free to send that moss ball my way :P I want one of those for all my tanks to cover the driftwood.

Last edited by peachii; 05-28-2013 at 11:43 AM.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 11:47 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 490
Because you have that algae problem, it might be better to start with new substrate, but only if you drain the tank and clean the inside well. There will still be some algae on the plants, but this will remove most of it.

It sort of looks like cyanobacteria algae. Do you have an idea what kind it is?

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
whiskandbowl's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: PA
Posts: 249
Haha about the driftwood looking like a dog! I'm thinking at this point I might take it out and just use the rocks. I'm not into super scaped tanks, I really like the messy look...kind of like this:

or this

I've been meaning to get a background, just a plain black one, but it just hasn't happened LOL

Re: algae, I thought it was hair algae, but I'm no expert in identification. I googled a pic of Cynobacteria algae and it look a LOT like what I have (reference pic from google:
EEP, after doing a quick read from, it sounds like a complete tear down will help get rid of it! I did slack on water changes a few months ago, during school- I was really busy, stressed, etc etc. I wonder if that helped cause it...the more I read the more it sounds like Cynobacteria algae, that explains why I can't get rid of it, why my snails won't touch it, etc

Ferrets: Wesley, Percy, Owen. RIP Bandit
Fish: Pip, Logan, UnNamed DTHM
Bird: Kita- Sun Conure
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