Hi everyone, I'm setting up a tank for my very first betta and I want to make sure he'll be comfortable in his new home. I plan to try to find a halfmoon that strikes my fancy on Aquabid (I'd like a color a little different than the typical pet store fare and I've been obsessed with window shopping the gorgeous fish there and on ebay). Because I know I'll be spending more than if I stopped at the local Petco, I'm also obsessing a bit about doing this as well as possible.
The tank I'm using is a 5g bow front (thus the reflections in the photo--I don't actually have two heaters in there!), with a few live plants and a piece of drift wood that is big enough to lean against the back of the tank and create a cave-like space under it for hiding out. I plan to baffle the filter but haven't bothered yet because the tank will probably take a couple more weeks to cycle (I tried to jump start it with some gravel from my established tank and a few swishes and squeezes of the filter, but we'll see). I've got the heater set at 82 to help the cycling process but that will be an appropriate temp for the betta as well, correct? My water is soft, pH 7.4, and I've got a master test kit to make sure the water quality stays where it's supposed to be.
Is the aquascape I've set up appropriate for a betta? I know the bettas require open space at the surface to breath, so I'm wondering if floating plants are at all appropriate? I've got watersprite in my other tank, so I could easily move a small one into the tank and keep it small so as not to cover all the space, but would it be better without?
Thanks for any opinions, I adore my other tank (bloodfin tetras and zebra danios) and my obsession seems to be expanding because I've decided I NEED one of these beautiful fish to keep me company in the kitchen