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View Poll Results: Is substrate needed for a betta tank?
Yes 15 40.54%
Nope 22 59.46%
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:22 PM   #51 
finnfinnfriend
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My wild bettas like the peat moss I put on the bottom. I cover this also with a massive amount of leaf litter. This emulates their natural habitat and I find they often spend a lot of time moving through the leaf litter hunting down food.

My wilds don't like bare bottom tanks. I never get a rich a colouring as when I use a dark substrate like peat moss.
I wouldn't put wild bettas in a bare bottom either.
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:26 PM   #52 
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Well mine are grown out in bare bottoms, and I have a pair I am looking at selling kept in a bare bottom tank at the moment. But generally I like to use a substrate and leaf litter in my permanent set-ups because I feel it offers some enrichment for them.

Bare bottom just feels too sterile to me. However, in smaller and uncycled tanks, I can see the advantage when it comes to cleaning as I used to keep many splendens tanks that way.
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:29 PM   #53 
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What is your definition of smaller? Like less than 10 gallons?
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:31 PM   #54 
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Well the tanks I kept like that were 3.5 gallons. That's as small as I went for a permanent home for my bettas.

10 gallons for me is not really small.
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:34 PM   #55 
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Well the tanks I kept like that were 3.5 gallons. That's as small as I went for a permanent home for my bettas.

10 gallons for me is not really small.
What would you recommend for a domestic betta in a 5 gallon?
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:40 PM   #56 
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Well for me, it would depend on whether you are going to be doing regular 100% water changes or not.

If you were going to cycle it, I would definitely have a substrate. But if it is uncycled, I think it would get tedious having to rinse the substrate all the time because this is where all the feces and uneaten food is going to get trapped.

Really the use of substrate is a personal choice. It's not going to have any dramatic impact on the health or longevity of your betta.
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:45 PM   #57 
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Why would you definitely have a substrate if you were going to cycle?
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:49 PM   #58 
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Because I like the look of it more than a bare bottom tank.
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:54 PM   #59 
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Oh okay. Did you see any differences in the splendens you kept in bare bottom vs. with substrate?
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:56 PM   #60 
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Not really. Mine never seemed bothered at all.
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