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Old 10-07-2010, 12:12 AM   #1 
kinderwaffle
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Need Help Setting Up A Tank

Hi there!
I've had my betta fish for almost a year now, his name is Pintsize. He lives in a fish bowl.



I've been playing with the idea of getting a tank for him. I'm looking for a 5 gallon, haven't found one yet.
I also wanted to add live plants, but I have no idea how to CARE for one.
How do you clean the tank with live plants?

Is there a way to build a self sustaining kind of ecosystem that requires very little maintenance?
I've love to add plants, and any kind of other little critters that we need.

I've never used a filter before, so I have no idea how that works too... like how clean does a filter keep it? How often do you need to clean it? etc. (I'm used to cleaning my bowl every week lol)

Anyways, any advice would be greatly appreciated, as well as maybe a list of other supplies I should be sure to look into - filters, heaters, etc. And the specifics of it.
Thanks!
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:46 AM   #2 
Waterbottle2
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Hi and welcome. I think what you are looking for is a "cycled tank" it makes it alot easier because you do alot less water changes. When it comes to doing water changes with live plants you only do like a 25-50% water change so you dont take the plants out.

Walmart has really good tank setups for cheap. Petco has a special 1dollar per gallon so you could get a 5-10g for 5-10bucks

When it comes to plants they make it ALOT easier because they eat the ammonia (poisonous waste) your fish produce =)

When buying these plants I cant stress this enoguh -----be careful!---- alot of the plants they sell in those tubes (which i find are the best option because no snails on them) alot of the tubed plants aren't aquatic

Here is a list of aquatic and non aquatic plants mislabeled as aquatic :)

avoid these

plants not to buy:
- Kyoto grass
- mondo grass
- brazil sword
- lucky bamboo

Mondo Grass
- Brazilian sword
- kyoto grass (?)
- lucky bamboo
- dracaenas


Peacock fern

Look for
These include wisteria, hygrophila (labeled as compacta), and Java fern (labeled as tropica fern). Water spride
Theres also christmas moss, anacharis, crypts, hornwort, ambulia, ludwigia, vallis
java moss java fern, amazon swords, anubias

I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than me can give you more info soon
goodluck!
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:51 AM   #3 
Waterbottle2
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also some live plants like java fern and amazon swords are easy and just need gravel/substrate and lots of light. Moss is usually easy because it requires low light
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Old 10-07-2010, 09:59 AM   #4 
firefly0101
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I know that you might be able to find a ten gallon starter kit at a pet store. I just bought one from Aqueon, and it's amazing. It comes with pretty much everything, except for gravel, decor, water and fish.

You'll need one pound of gravel per gallon, but I cheated with mine, and used 8 pounds instead of ten. :P

The clip on filters are great, there's a cartridge on the inside that you have to replace monthly, (when you notice that the water flow from the filter is weaker then usual)

Setting it up is the fun part!
:D
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:31 PM   #5 
kinderwaffle
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Thanks for the help guys!

As for plants, what happens when the plants start to decay and stuff? (if they do)
Is there a sort of creature that can take care of all that nasty dirtiness? or is that just taken care of by manual cleaning?
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:48 PM   #6 
TigerLily
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Just a tip, but when you go to buy plants, it helps to look up their pictures and scientific names before hand then write them down. Many of them have a couple of different 'common' names, and having a scientific name to look for and an idea of how they look helps ensure you get what you really want.

Java fern and java moss seem to be some of the most common plants recommended for beginners. I recently picked up a java fern for my five gallon, and so far it's doing great. My betta loves to swim around the leaves and explore.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:49 PM   #7 
Alex09
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If you want the plants to significantly help in absorbing ammonia and such you would want fast growers such as amazon sword, wisteria, and hygrophila. Slow growing plants such as java fern and anubias will also help but at a much slower rate. A plant only grows as much as it can absorb (ammonia, nutrients etc). Keep in mind that you wont be able to create a self sustaining system. You will still need to do weekly (or bi-weekly at most) partial water changes. The closest one can get to a self sustaining system would be a walstad tank in which people do maybe 2 water changes a year. However, this method is not for the faint of heart and would be better left for experienced plant keepers.
A Planted tank will also need light. Depending on the type of plants you have the lightbulb included with the aquarium hood may or may not suffice. The light will be need to be kept on for 8-10 hours a day.
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:17 AM   #8 
Waterbottle2
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When plants first go into your tank many,many of them will look TERRIBLE brown leaves and look rotting. Just remove the leaves and DONT worry they are just getting used to your water this cane ven take months. Soon nice green leaves will sprout :)
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