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Old 02-28-2010, 02:17 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Question New Here.. 5 gallon tank with plant question

Hello, I'm new to the forum. I have a 3-4 year old male betta living in a heated 5 gallon aquarium, gravel, filter, treated tap water, silk plants, and an acrylic pillar decoration that I sanded sharper edges off of. He gets fed the betta pellets about every other day and occasionally freeze dried shrimp. He's fairly large (3-4 inches) and highly active and spunky (he flares back if you put your hands on the side of your face as if you're flaring at him). He used to live in a 1/4 gallon bowl with a plastic plant for a year, then he upgraded to a 1 gallon bowl for a little over a year, now he's in his 5 gallon bachelor pad. I figure I'm doing something right if he's survived this long *knock on wood* seeing as I could never keep fish for more than a month prior to him.. Perhaps he's just a fighter!

Anyway, my question is.. I have about 3 medium sized silk plants and 4 small silk front plants in this aquarium with 2 of the larger ones in front of the filter to break up the flow.. but I've thought about getting a live plant. Would it be too much to put in a piece of java fern? I'm concerned about the java fern from a pet store possibly carrying contaminants, snail babies, etc.. What are the odds of this? Or would a betta bulb work? I don't have a problem with algae either, he gets more of the morning sun/ambient sun than direct light.

I'll post pics of his set-up in a bit, if I can get some better ones.
Edit: Here's a link to his aquarium set-up

Last edited by sperham40836; 02-28-2010 at 02:24 AM. Reason: Picture addition
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Old 02-28-2010, 02:40 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
You could definitely go for a live plant, though you might want to replace one of your silk plants with it instead of adding one to them. I recently swapped out my fake plants for live ones and am enjoying them a lot more. And if I didn't know any better, I'd say Roy Cherry does too.

I don't have a Java Fern myself, but I believe they have to be tied to a rock or driftwood and not planted into the substrate. As far as contaminants and snails go, I haven't had a problem with the several plants I've purchased - I just wash them before I plant them, maybe a quick inspection. And finally, about betta bulbs: I've tried them, but to no avail. And from what I've read about them the majority end up molding and not sprouting, so an already grown plant might be in your best interest.

Also, greetings.
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:53 AM   #3 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Texas
Hello and welcome to the forum. I would rinse the plant really well. I wouldn't want snails either.
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Old 02-28-2010, 12:14 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Savannah, GA
Adding another live plant wouldn't hurt a thing.. the more plants you have in your tank the better your fish likes it. These fish are meant to live in rice patties in asia where there is tons of cover.. not in tanks with one tiny plant like I've seen in other people's tanks (not yours.. yours looks really nice).

Java fern is a great plant.. easy to keep and slow growing. You can plant it in the gravel or tie it to a rock or a piece of driftwood.

As far as snails make sure you rinse the plant really well and look for snails.. you should easily be able to see if you have any snails or snail eggs in a java fern.
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Old 02-28-2010, 12:51 PM   #5 
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Those white ribbons (if they're real i cant tell) arent aquatic plants. They will die. Get rid of them or take them back or plant them in a pot and put in by the window.
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:04 PM   #6 
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All the plants in there right now are fake silk plants (to help prevent fin damage), so no worries about any of them rotting. I might go look for a real plant after spring break (since Sperham the betta will be going to the petsitter for a week in his half gallon bowl)..

Thanks for the compliments and advice! I'll be sure to rinse any plant I get very well first!
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