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Old 12-02-2012, 04:26 PM   #11 
Chuckee
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You're right, there are good substrates out there. I guess I just like NPT's because buying potting mix and sand is cheaper :P I so use Fluorite in one of my tanks though.
I just plant mine in organic Sphagnum Peat or Moss. Is that bad? It makes my water brownish, but I don't mind.
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:34 PM   #12 
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Maybe if I'm feeling adventurous I'll head to chinatown because they have some nice fish stores.

also, bethy, I'll def look into that. Less messy when moving is a plus because my tank is going to have to be moved at least twice a year.

Also, say I brought my betta home for winter/summer breaks (well not if, obviously I will) will the snails/plants be okay for a couple weeks? I could try to leave the tank near the window so it'll get some light and I'm think that maybe the plants could feed the snails and the snails produce enough ammonia to feed the plants. But I don't know if that would actually work. Could come back to a messed up tank?
Checking out Chinatown is totally worth a try. Here in Minnesota, St. Paul has a large Thai community and there are three shops dedicated to bettas!

The snails and plants would be fine for a couple of weeks. You'll want to get a light timer so it'll automatically turn on and off without you being there. If you'll be gone all summer you may need someone to add water to the tank periodically.
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:35 PM   #13 
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I just plant mine in organic Sphagnum Peat or Moss. Is that bad? It makes my water brownish, but I don't mind.
No it's not bad, though it will lower the pH of the tank if you have a low GH(? I think). Also it needs to be replaced after a couple of years, if you want it to keep stabilizing your pH. I have one tank with a mix of 75% peat moss and 25% dirt. Although stupid me saw "organic" on the label of the dirt and I didn't check the fine print on the back of the bag, and it turns out it has fertilizer in it so I may have to redo the whole thing. It's got a sand cap but I think I need to add more sand, the peat moss still wants to float :P

Edit: I think you're only supposed to use Sphagnum peat moss, not Sphagnum moss that isn't peat.

Last edited by babystarz; 12-02-2012 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:52 PM   #14 
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thanks for tip about looking for glassware. I just Tupperware as a temporary home for my last betta, it wasn't exactly pretty but I'm sure glassware would look a lot nicer xD not that I'm really all too fussed with appearance. I'd rather have a happy fish.

Where is the best place to get plants. Am I best off ordering from a specific website, scouting aquabid/ebay, or looking to see what they have at my local petco? I want to get quality/healthy plants so they have the best chance of flourishing and a lower chance of my tank crashing.

Also, what about adding a semi aquatic plant to the top like lucky bamboo. I remember reading that since they tend to grow faster they can suck up a ton of ammonia. Is that a good or bad idea?
> It's what I do. I have an enormous round bowl from HomeGoods, and ever since, that's where I scout. I also think that some of their glass knick-knacks make wonderful tank decor. I'm averse to the ones they sell at pet stores because of how sharp the edges are. And my brother jacked the Dremel (he's working out of town, ATMo) so...

> Honestly, I would try to find some plants locally, before resorting to having them shipped. We have plenty of fish, pet, and aquarium stores in our area, so I have the luxury of looking around. Plus, we have a couple of pond stores around here, and some of the local plant nurseries have pond sections, so I have many options before the internet.

> I've never used LBamboo, but I do have plants hanging out the tops of most of mine. If your betta is a root biter, make sure they're not toxic, and I always make sure that none of the leaves hang over the water, always over the dry side. I've got Pothos, Wandering Jew, Heart-Leaf Philo and Arrowhead (Neo-something).
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:07 PM   #15 
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No it's not bad, though it will lower the pH of the tank if you have a low GH(? I think). Also it needs to be replaced after a couple of years, if you want it to keep stabilizing your pH. I have one tank with a mix of 75% peat moss and 25% dirt. Although stupid me saw "organic" on the label of the dirt and I didn't check the fine print on the back of the bag, and it turns out it has fertilizer in it so I may have to redo the whole thing. It's got a sand cap but I think I need to add more sand, the peat moss still wants to float :P

Edit: I think you're only supposed to use Sphagnum peat moss, not Sphagnum moss that isn't peat.
Hahaha! That's how I do it! If it's moss, I mix pea gravel in it, and then as thin a layer of sand as I can get away with, and if it's peat, I mix it with some sand, and then the sand layer.

I assumed that the moss was okay, because I had read that you could float it in your tank to lower pH, so I assumed it was non-toxic...
I basically plant my tanks much the way that I plant my regular houseplants: Moss for anybody who likes more air around their roots (read: brittle-type roots), but needs humidity and Peat for the ones who like their dirt (read: more, thinner and more flexible roots). I add Vermiculite if they need better drainage, but I see no reason to add that to my tanks.
Of course, there are specific plants that have special requiremnts, such as my cacti, some succulents and trees, but for most houseplants, the rules of (green)thumb are fairly reliable.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:37 PM   #16 
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Hahaha! That's how I do it! If it's moss, I mix pea gravel in it, and then as thin a layer of sand as I can get away with, and if it's peat, I mix it with some sand, and then the sand layer.

I assumed that the moss was okay, because I had read that you could float it in your tank to lower pH, so I assumed it was non-toxic...
Pea gravel is a good idea, I might have to pick some up to help weigh down the peat moss. And yes the peat is nontoxic, it also aids in ion exchange for water in addition to lowering the pH. I am trying MTS in the water and so far they're doing ok, but they also get calcium supplements.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:10 PM   #17 
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There isn't one right way to do this, so I would just learn from other's experience and decide from there what sounds the best for your tank :D Here are some pics of my tank that I just took. I just did a deep clean and put in a new filter so there are lots of little bubbles lol.

Also, my swords went nuts so that's about the only plant you can see. I really would like to get more small mosses and grasses.





Levi the Ham and Roku's butt...
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:13 PM   #18 
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Pea gravel is a good idea, I might have to pick some up to help weigh down the peat moss. And yes the peat is nontoxic, it also aids in ion exchange for water in addition to lowering the pH. I am trying MTS in the water and so far they're doing ok, but they also get calcium supplements.
Yeah, it really does help. Also, I didn't know about the ionic exchange, but that's good, too... right?

And... MTS?
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:14 PM   #19 
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Heehee!
Roku's Butt!

Levi's gorgeous
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:18 PM   #20 
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Thanks! He is my first betta :D And MTS means Malaysian Trumpet Snails
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