I have the heater on one side with the filter on the other, both pressed against the divider. I don't know if it does anything but I have the outlet of my filter facing the divider in the hope it'll help spread the heat of the heater.
The divider we used is a Penn Plax 20gal cut to size. It's clear but my mother sewed some large-pored sponge onto either side to break the line of sight, I've also attached some moss pads to one side in the hope they'll spread across and create a moss wall.
I wanted to do the compartment in the centre of the tank as well but my sponge filter was too big and it'd have taken up sooo much space. If you get a stand-alone sponge filter I'm sure you won't have a problem using the compartment - I think it's better, to be honest; it means you can stuff it full of plants if you're using clear dividers and break up the line of sight if you feel you need to.
ohh that divide sounds awesome! What did your mom use to sew the moss? I really want a moss ball for Honeycomb's tank, which is an already an old established tank (10 gallon). i have NEVER had live plants and really want a good beginner plant.mHow do i take care of it? what affect will it have on my water? I rarely have the light on in the tank, as it is by a window(yes i know, bad idea..) and i clean it every week. i have heard that sometimes critters can hide in the ball and show up in your tank later? Is there any other plants you recommend? Sorry about changing the subject and all the questions i just want some live plants my betta will be happy with and require low matinence(no fertilizer or plant food needed, no trimming leaves-if its possible). I also like the look and how they do not reproduce quickly(from what i have heard).
Mum used fishing line to sew it :D We have a reel of the stuff and it has proven to be endlessly useful!
Moss balls are AWESOME! They don't require much if any artifical light - as your tank is near a window the natural sunlight should be more than enough. They'll need to be taken out and squeezed + rerolled each time you do a water change as they have a habit of getting covered in debris. They also need to be turned whenever you do a water change as they are spherical so you don't want one side constantly in the dark or it'll go brown.
Marimo moss balls are actually a species of algae so you may find it helps keep "pest" algae down by competing with it - depends on how many moss balls you buy though. Marimo moss balls grow about 5mm a year.
Critters can hide amongst the moss ball and with most other plants, too. More often than not these are harmless but it's always worth quarantining your new plants before adding them to the tank. The length of quarantine depends on your own personal preference, some say a week some say two. My quarantine time varies depending on who I bought plants from (if it's someone I've shopped with before and trust the quarantine time is less). Quarantining can be achieved by having the plants in a different tank with regular tap water (no conditioner). Some critters will survive chlorine which is fine, these will likely be seed shrimp, cyclops and other copepods that are harmless to your fish (some like to hunt them).
Planaria (flatworms, arrow shaped head) and detritus worms (thin, hair-like worms that squirm around all odd like) can also come in on live plants. These are harmless to bettas but are more annoying than the smaller microfauna that can call plants home. Detritus worms should fade with time (regular tank maintenance helps keep numbers normal, they're always present in an aquarium and help breakdown mulm and debris in the tank's substrate) and planaria can be removed using a turkey baster.
Other easy to grow live plants that don't grow overly quickly are java ferns, java moss (always recommended!!) and anubias; java ferns and anubias should be attached to objects, their rhizomes cannot be buried or they'll rot and the plant will die. Floating plants are things like duckweed (which can grow very quickly but is easier to remove if you find you have too much; please make sure it's legal to own where you live and make sure you don't dump excess duckweed down the drain - put it in a composter if you can as it can become invasive); duckweed adds a wonderfully natural touch to the aquarium that bettas appreciate as it also filters light.
Java moss has a habit of growing upward so if you find it gets too tall you may need to trim it a little, chances of it growing at such speed though are slim as although it will thrive in a "low tech" set up it can be quite the slow grower. Other mosses like willow moss are also gorgeous and easy to keep but java moss is the most readily available and you can get large chunks for a low price.
All this talk of live plants makes me want to start another tank! D'oh! Hahah.
I have a million plants in my tank/s that I never fertilize. I just make sure I never vaccum the substrate too clean, and usually make sure there's a few snails in each tank to fertilize the plants naturally. these include, but are not limited to
Giant baby tears
... I even have some kind of underwater clover...
Most of this stuff is in a widowside 2 gallon Jar with 4 feeder minnows, all is left floating :)