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Old 04-25-2012, 03:19 PM   #1 
Shadyr
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"Beta Bulbs"

Has anyone had any luck with these? They sell them at Petsmart and Petco. It's a little back of three supposed random bulbs of water plants. For $2.99, I picked up a pack and planted them in my tanks, but I was wondering if anyone can report that they have do indeed grow A) at all B) actual water plants!
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:46 PM   #2 
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"Betta bulbs" are generally just bulk Aponogoten and/or Lilly bulbs... The problem being Apono can grow anywhere from eight to twenty inches and Lilly bulbs need lots and lots of luck to grow after being baked dry in a store.

For many reasons I advise against buying either. The main problem with the aponogoten is that they are a heavy foliage plant with low rigidity in the leaf. They will flow to the side and can tangle around your betta as well as clog the filter intake.

In larger tanks they can be a fun plant to grow since they will reproduce by making little plants along a stem, but also your aponogoten will end up all dying off for a couple months at a time - normal to their life cycle.

If you're ready for plants I'd advise spending the same $2.50 on some live Wendtii (cryptocoryne). Almost always a couple at Petco and they survive direct shipping fairly well. Be gentle with their roots. They prefer fine gravel of less than five millimeter diameters. When planting or transporting Wendtii try to keep their exposure to air to an absolute minimum, even avoiding it completely by having the Petco people push the bag down in the water to transfer them from the tank then taking that bag and pushing it down in your aquarium when you plant them. The best thing about wendtii is they come in many varieties but all like the same soil and water conditions.

If you're experienced with plants and have 3mm or finer gravel you can go for Anubias Nana, its a plant that stays low to bottom and grows with a horizontal runner. Some betta like to nuzzle-under to sleep and there is a risk of having it uprooted - finding a long narrow rock to tie on with pure cotton will keep it down, be gentle on the plant. Nana is a slow growing thick leaf variety that likes rock depth of up to two and a half inches. Don't bury the runner, just the roots. Again be gentle with the roots.

Dwarf Hair Grass is a very nice rear/side "plant" for use in aquariums and once it is settled in and rooting you can keep growing starts off the sides. I've used this in two tanks and keeping it neat is as simple as a razorblade on a stick. (keep inquisitive flare-at boys out of the tank for that) It propagates nicely and you can plant it dry or wet by using a credit card to wiggle a groove or by putting it in against the sides/back and piling substrate against the roots. Its not got a lot of biological value to the aquarium and needs only about 3/4 to 1 inch of substrate. It will not easily support a NPT but makes a nice variation from large stem plants.

Last but FAR FAR from least is Java Fern. You can get this in the dry-shelf gel plants and just clean it off and drop it in. It really doesn't mind being a free-floater but if you plant it make sure there will be room for it to get light. Java will rise and fall with your lighting cycle each day but is a plant that will survive dark shade AND 24hour lighting just fine. Cutest thing about java fern is it responds to many aquarium pharmaceuticals by propagating from its own leaf tips. You can also gently tear it apart and let it float free to get more plants. -- I like letting it turn into a giant tumbleweed in my sorority then battering it about when I do siphons.

All four of these plants will provide you with much more enjoyment and keep green year round. Betta love plants, they seem to be wired for it. You can make a Betta happier instantly with even a three leaf sprig of java fern.

Last edited by Thunderloon; 04-25-2012 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:03 PM   #3 
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They don't say exactly what they are, of course

My tanks are unfiltered, so that part isn't a worry. If they look to be getting too big, if indeed they grow at all, I'll remove them.

I think I might have a Java fern already...cause it does appear to have rootlets growing near the tips of a couple of its leaves

Opinion on Moneywort? Possible Java fern is in with Chicory, my delta. I gave Ghost a Moneywort over the weekend. (I'm an addict, I see something cute and buy it if it's only a few dollars)
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