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Old 08-04-2012, 10:58 AM   #1 
jeffandcole
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How to care for real plants in a fish tank with a betta

Hi,

I have a betta and i currently have plastic plants but i have heard that the plastic can damage them so I am wanting to get some real plants to put in there my fish tank is 3 gallons and i have never had real plants in a fish tank so im just wondering how to take care of them

Thanks
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Old 08-04-2012, 11:56 AM   #2 
lvandert
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It's pretty easy all things considered. Buy a live plant, I recommend an amazon sword or wisteria, and quarantine it for 2 weeks in its own little jar of tank water. Make sure you have any roots buried in gravel or sand, most plants need a substrate to plant their roots. Once the qt period is over transfer them into your main tank, once again keeping roots under the gravel. If you have a hood with a light try to have as normal of light cycle as you can, they'll need the light.
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:03 PM   #3 
mattoboy
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Ivandert has pretty much nailed it all ^

But I wouldn't recommend amazon swords as beginner plants. I would try something like java moss, java fern's, jungle val, anubius, water wisteria, honeywort. There is a sticky on beginner plants in the aquarium in this section.

Also, you will need fertilizer. This fertilizer comes in 2 main forms - liquid or root tabs. Liquid fertilizer is simple and is just a certain amount you put in per how many gallons your tank is. I cant speak for root tabs because I have never used them.

Matt
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:15 PM   #4 
staffylover
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I have potted live plants in all my tanks and have done for some time. I have never had need for a fertiliser and have my lights on for about 6 hours a day
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:16 PM   #5 
MeganJo215
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Originally Posted by lvandert View Post
It's pretty easy all things considered. Buy a live plant, I recommend an amazon sword or wisteria, and quarantine it for 2 weeks in its own little jar of tank water. Make sure you have any roots buried in gravel or sand, most plants need a substrate to plant their roots. Once the qt period is over transfer them into your main tank, once again keeping roots under the gravel. If you have a hood with a light try to have as normal of light cycle as you can, they'll need the light.
Oops... I'm a newbie too, and I didn't quarantine the plant I put in my tank... I just got my betta and everything around this time yesterday. What should I do??
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:22 PM   #6 
battered
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Something really important to consider is having a good substrate. This can be accomplished in the form of root tabs or dirt. You probably want to go with root tabs in this case, if you don't want to redo your substrate. I'd disagree - amazon swords have grown like crazy for me planted in a dirt substrate. As long as you have a good substrate + adequate lighting, you're pretty much good to go for easy low tech low light plants. I'd recommend anubias, java fern, dwarf sag, anacharis, water sprite, crypts, floaters (dwarf water lettuce, hornwort, frogbit), etc...

I wouldn't recommend amazon swords because they'll easily overtake your tank; the leaves will literally be everywhere and block out the light to the rest of your tank. I made this mistake with a sword in a 10 gallon, and had to move the sword to a bigger tank. Same with water wisteria; extremely fast growth and will overtake a 3 gallon very easily.

Liquid fertilizers...in my opinion, they aren't as good as they sound. I used to dose micronutrients (Seachem Flourish), but I realized they never really made a difference. If your budget is limited I'd definitely invest in a good substrate as opposed to liquid ferts. Not really necessary for easier beginner plants in my experience.
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:22 PM   #7 
KukaaKatchou
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I didn't quarantine either ... whoops
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:30 PM   #8 
battered
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The quarantine period is not absolutely necessary but might help if you don't want hitchhikers or algae getting into your main tank. I've never had any problems not quarantining plants, but then again, I've never gotten plants from stores like Petsmart/Petco...
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:49 PM   #9 
MeganJo215
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The quarantine period is not absolutely necessary but might help if you don't want hitchhikers or algae getting into your main tank. I've never had any problems not quarantining plants, but then again, I've never gotten plants from stores like Petsmart/Petco...
Okay, where do you usually get your plants? And what kind would you recommend?
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:14 PM   #10 
Aus
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Look for LPS and LFS which do not keep fish in with their plant water.. great way to spread disease, right there.

Java fern, java moss and anubias all seem to grow perfectly well on just fish poo. They don't grow fast, so aren't so good at eating ammonia as the fast-grwoing stem plants like wisteria. Java moss may be the exception, I've read interesting research on how a clump of this moss really does improve water quality..

Anyway, with those plants you don't need extra fertilisers. All plants need light however, and I find most do better with a very gentle filter flow, although the ones mentioned above do just fine in still water.

I should also add that none of these plants can be planted in the substrate - they do best tied to wood or stone (or a tank ornament) as they'll rot with thier roots buried. This makes them very handy for lifting out of the tank if needed..
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