The best plant for your money is Java Moss.. its cheap, grows like a weed, and needs hardly any care (aside from cutting to keep it from over taking your tank LOL)... its great tied to a piece of drift wood or a rock... same for java fern.
yeah, just been and bought a little peice of driftwood with some java fern, looks quite nice not sure whether to add anything else as i dont want to clog the tank up with to much rubbish and leave no room for the fish to move
I think a rule of thumb is leave 2/3 of the space open for swimming.. usually at the front of the tank. But some like their tanks heavily planted and others like it really sparce.. its a matter of preference.
ok so ive decided to go with a betta for now to help mature my tank, dont want to get neons if they arent gonna be able to handle the conditions. still going to leave it another ten days though to let the tank mature, currently got 2 plants in the tank now, the temperatures at 26, is this suitable for a betta? and also my filter is flowing which i hope wont aggravate the betta i get too much , the ones i saw in a shop were individually in tanks with other neon tetra's with a bit of current in them so maybe they are used to it...
anything else i need to think about?
a) A 5 USG tank is a bit small for neons and they could rediredt their energry towards bugging your betta.
b) Neons, and all tetras for that matter are shoaling fish. They prefer to swim in large groups (hundreds in the wild) for security. They socialise with each other by nipping and chasing one another around. It has been observed that when kept in groups smaller than 6, shoaling fish attempt to school with other species in a ditch-effort to blend in. Not only is this stressful for them but they will treat 'target fish' just like another neon, nipping and chasing them relentlessly.
c) You will overstock a 5 USG even if you go with the bare minimum of neons.
I think your good. 26 is like 78f I believe so that is a perfect temp. Make sure you test your water before adding your fish to make sure your ammonia is 0 your nitrites are 0 and your nitrates are 5-20ppm
Make sure you acclimate your betta slowly to the tank. If you don't have the fish food yet make sure you get a varied diet of pellets, blood worms and brine shrimp (preferably frozen)
yeah im taking daily tests checking for ammonia, have test strips for other things but im waiting on an api master kit to turn up for better results, there is ammonia present at the moment still but hopefully this will go down if it is cycling correctly...
im also waiting on some seachems prime for conditioning, i was using tetra aqua safe, but i think there is ammonia present in my tap water so prime seemed like a better option.
also once i feel the tank is ready and go and buy the fish , do i need to do a water change and anything else before hand? and once the fish is in how frequent and how much water should i change? or will this be dependant on results from ammonia tests etc?
really looking forward to getting one now, saw some in the shop yesterday which looked awesome, some purple males i think with long fins.
You shouldn't have to do a water change before adding the fish if you prams are good (no ammonia or nitrites and 5-20ppm nitrates).
For a 5 gallon cycled (which I believe your tank is about that much) I would do 1 30-50% change a week plus some vacuuming during the change.
Some ghost shrimp would be good but make sure you get a cave for them to hid in away from the betta in case he bothers them. Just make sure what ever shrimp you get are freshwater and not saltwater shrimp.