I am looking to get a 10 gallon tank for my betta Bubbles and would like to plant it. Nothing very challenging, some java moss/fern, African water fern, Cryptocoryne lutes and wendetti, anubias, and hornwort. What of these could I aquire at petco? Can I just use gravel or sand? Do I need to get snails or do the plants already have them? Do these plants go well together? Can/should I get driftwood? Where can I get it cheaply? I don't want the tank to be boring or take too much work. Help a newbie out please
Could I also add some moss balls? I heard about a plant that bettas love to eat... What was it called? Is cycling any different with plants? Instead of using fish to cycle could I do snails? Any help appreciated
Last edited by Waldobubbles3; Yesterday at 10:01 AM.
Depending where you live, your Petco will have a different stock from others. Take a look around with a plant in mind along with others, so you know what to buy. As for substrate, you can use either, but sand is much more pleasing to the eye and easier to clean.
Some plants will have snails already on them, but it's not always like that. Any sort of plant that enjoys temperatures around 75F-ish and around the same amount of light will do well together. Driftwood is up to you, but they do release tannins into the water if not boiled, which can be pretty ugly if you don't like it. I think Amazon has some good deals on driftwood, you can also check out places like craigslist for aquarium decor.
Moss balls are optional, and will need to be gentled squeezed monthly. They don't do much, but they're very cute! Bettas do not enjoy any sort of plants, since their main diet are insects (bloodworms being the most known.) The idea that they enjoy eating a certain type of plant may be a excuse to not feed a betta for weeks on end, and only provide a root of a plant. Cycling involved the nitrogen cycle and allowing "good" bacteria to settle into the filter media and converting ammonia and nitrate to nitrites, while plants simply slow down how much ammonia builds up. Plants are in no way a replacement for filtering, but they do help! Using snails to cycle may be harder, but since they're alive, they do produce waste, so it should work. Personally, I would use a creature-less cycling method since it makes it so that no creatures can die from an accidental ammonia spike.
Depending on what plants Petco has at the time all of these plants would do well in a 10 gallon tank. However There is a place here in Lancaster PA. that ships world wide and guarantees their shipments to be live and healthy. www.thatpetplace.com
They always have a great selection of plants and yes most times there will be some bladder snails or at least their eggs that come with the plants. When I buy plants from Petco I never get any snails. ( I don't like snails and don't want them in my tanks)I have always gotten very nice plants from Petco, but then again I was able to see what I was getting.
Adding driftwood is a great idea but beware of this warning. when adding driftwood to a tank make sure you have boiled for many hours or have soaked it and changed the water each day for about a week. Driftwood contains Tannin which if not soaked or boiled will leach into the tank and make the water as dark as creek water. Both Plants and driftwood will lower the ph in the tank. My 10 gallon was setup with Fluorite substrate and natural pebbles. I cycled the tank before planting and adding driftwood and my ph was 7.0 Now that the tank is planted and driftwood added the PH at first dropped to 6.4 and after 3 months has leveled off at 6.8. Both levels are safe for the plants you have mentioned and your betta will also be fine in that environment.
To me Moss balls unless they are real, not the ones that come in cups or packages from Petco or Petsmart, are a waste of time unless you want them for looks. I have never seen a betta eat a moss ball. That 4-8 dollars could be better spent in plants or plant needs. In my planted tank I use Seachem flourish 5 ml once a week to fertilize my plants and I also use API CO2 booster. my plants are thriving as you can well see from the jungle I have created.
Honestly, Bettas shouldn't eat plant fiber EVER. Bettas are insectivores so their systems cannot digest plant fiber so eating plant fiber can cause serious damage to their systems. I do not know where you heard that bettas will eat a certain type of plant but it is not true. Your betta isn't going to go up to your plant and nibble on them. Bettas should only eat pellets, live food, frozen foods.
The plants you named sound perfect. Very easy, low light, and slow growing plants. The only plant that is a fast grower is the hornwort, but still a easy plant and could take over a tank. Regular sand/gravel is perfect for the plant selection because, most of the plants would feed from the water column for nutrients. The only plant that would need root tabs would be the crypts. With your set up you wouldn't need any fancy fertilizer, like dry ferts for example. All you really need is Flourish comprehensive supplement bottle. It has all your nutrients in one bottle like, macro and micro nutrients. I would dose once a week but, all planted tanks are different. Like I all ways say, start off slow with low tech planted tanks. I run mainly high tech planted tanks now and I love my hobby.
African water fern, despite it's name is not a true aquatic plant......
It is a true aquatic plant. It's scientific name is Bolbitis heudelotii. Most driftwood you buy come pre-treated all ready. If budget is really a issue. Go hunting for some and boiling for 4 hours to rid of the tannins and makes it aquarium safe. Tannins is not a bad thing, some people actually like the look and natural feel of it. Driftwood does lower PH slightly. I rarely buy anything from petco or petsmart. I mostly get my plants online. I'll link 3 great websites for plants and driftwood.