Decided to upgrade ALL THE THINGS! Advice on plants and terra cotta plants needed!
So after getting a new 10 gallon I decided instead of creating a sorority, I would get split that one and get another 10 (or a 20) to split as well for my boys, who will hopefully love the upgrade from the 2.5g tanks they are in now! I am debating planting them, but my Petsmart only has semi aquatic plants. The lfs is over an hour away, and that leaves me with ordering plants online. Anyone have any advice on this? Are there any good places to order from? Also, a lot of users on here seem to use terra cotta pots for decoration, but I am nervous about putting just anything in my tanks! Would the standard pots from Lowe's etc be good? What type of cleaning would they need beforehand? I've ordered a few small pieces of Mopani driftwood for additional decor. One of my guys recently turned fin biter, so I'm hoping to add as many interesting things as possible for him to deter from this disturbing new habit of his!
I'm upgrading my filters from the Tetra Whisper series to Aquaclear 20's, and have ordered a couple of ViaAqua 50 watt adjustable heaters with thermostat built in.
although, I'm at a loss for what kind of lighting to use, I have a screen cover for the tank but should I look for a hood? Any recommendations?
This sounds very similar to my tank! I have a 20 long divided four ways. As for the dividers themselves, I definitely recommend the plastic mesh/book binding homemade ones that are popular among members here.
I don't have terra cotta pots in my betta tanks, but I do have them in my pond and I can tell you that any ordinary one will be just fine and makes a fine fish cave! I just rinsed mine off before placing them in the pond as they had some dust on them from sitting on the hardware store shelf.
For plants, I've heard great things about Planted Aquariums Central website and will actually be ordering some from there later this week as I'm redecorating my tank and want some more plants. I don't suggest ever buying plants from pet stores unless it's one of those rare, actually knowledgable fish stores or something. Usually they sell plants that are in poor condition or not even aquatic plants. I got lucky with some of the ones I purchased but I'll definitely be ordering from now on! Also, you can use the coupon code BETTAFISH if you order from the site I mentioned for like...$3.00 off I think?
I have four pieces of Mopani wood in my tank, and it looks lovely especially if you attach plants to it (this can be done with either cotton thread or fish line). Just boil or soak it first if you don't want tannins to leech into the water.
I have that same filter, except I have the 30 gallon model I think because it was on sale or something when I bought it. Mine seems to start leaking a lot for random reasons but I think that's just user error...heh!
Lighting entirely depends the plants you want in your tank. Personally I go with the low light, easy beginner plants as I have a black thumb. I'd love to see pics of your tank when it's finished! I'm sure your boys will love it. (:
Like Badjer said http://www.plantedaquariumscentral.com/ is a very commonly used aquarium plant store. I've used her for 3 orders. And with the coupon code 'BETTAFISH' you get 10% off your order. (wish I would have know that the first 2 times I've ordered), however, she is very professional and will usually toss in extra plants with your order. I've only have one disappointing order where my anacharis was nearly brown but I blame transport for that, not her.
So I ordered a few plants, and they came today! The website you all recommended is great, unfortunately they were out of java moss which is what I was really hoping for! I got some water wisteria and java ferns, which look great. I've got phase one of the tank planted, with some terra cotta pots. The driftwood I ordered just shipped today, so I may need to rearrange as I could only find one small pot and had to get a big pot for the other side! The bigger pot's drainage hole seems large enough for a betta to fit through, would you suggest plugging it with something like a sponge to prevent fin damage? I scraped my fingers through it to try and rub off any rough edges, but short of sandpapering it the roughness is still there. I still need to make a divider, Michael's for craft mesh is on my to do list :) The filter isn't quite finished cycling, another few days and it should be good to go. My heater came today, and so far the ViaAqua brand seems vastly superior to any of my other heaters!
anyway, here's a pic of the progress so far :)
That's a great looking start! I would also suggest aquabid.com or going to other forums such as plantedtank.net to purchase some decently priced plants. The forum at Aquatic Plants Central also has quite a few members selling. There are some members in the main tropicalfishkeeping.com forum too.