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Old 10-28-2012, 04:04 PM   #1 
starmiss
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Question trying to find proper lighting... first planted tank

Hey everyone!

i'm diving into the world of planted tanks! this will be my first planted tank, so any help and advise is welcome!

this is the tank i'm going to be using. it's currently sitting with no fishing in it, cycling it... i intend to have a single betta (male/female not sure yet), and maybe a few ghost shrimps later on once the tank is well established and they have enough plants to hide in (my previous experience w/ betta & ghost shrimps was not good - didn't give them enough places to hide and they became expensive fish food :[ )

3.5g top fin tank... came with a filter, although the water current seems a little strong for a betta i may be switching to another type (any suggestions??)... i've got a small underwater heater (7w) that has been consistently keeping the tank between 75-80f. this tank came with a LED lighting system that can change colors (i think it's tacky) and i will likely switch to something else.

http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInUS%2FNo


just needed some advise on lighting.. from what i've read on this forum and other planted tank forums, LED lights don't seem to be recommended/are not good for growing plants. i spoke w/ a rep from a local fish store (not a chain like petsmart or petco) and he said that my best bet would be to get a small table lamp w/ a 13w bulb... has anyone had any experience w/ this kind of set up?

if i was to switch to a table lamp, then i wouldn't be able to use the current hood that came with the tank... for fishy safety, does anyone have any suggestions on how to set it up so that no one tries to escape and hurt/kill themselves?

also, would anyone have any advise on what kind of plants would be best suited for this type of tank? i really like the "jungle" overgrown type of look. i really like the look of the water wisteria, crypts, anubias, and moss floor covering type of plants (like dwarf baby tears)... i really hope that this tank with the proper lighting can keep those type of plants.

i'm really hoping to create a nice environment for a betta - i'm going to attempt to find a betta that desperately needs out of a tiny cup and give him/her their own paradise :)
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Old 10-28-2012, 04:11 PM   #2 
starmiss
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in regards to the filter, i was thinking of replacing it with this one

http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInUS%2FNo

it seems to have gotten decent reviews, specially from betta owners who have used it.

any thoughts on this / or has anyone had any experience with this filter themselves?
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:31 AM   #3 
Aus
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Quote:
also, would anyone have any advise on what kind of plants would be best suited for this type of tank? i really like the "jungle" overgrown type of look. i really like the look of the water wisteria, crypts, anubias, and moss floor covering type of plants (like dwarf baby tears)... i really hope that this tank with the proper lighting can keep those type of plants.
Dwarf baby tears needs pretty high lighting - it's getting leggy in my 10 gallon, and that has very decent lights that keep all the other plants very happy..


All the others sound great for this type of low tech setup, though I find wisteria need ferts as it has a really high iron requirement compared to some - the rest are basically happy to live on fish poo.

In my little 3.5 gallon, I have:

Susswassertang -- I LOVE this stuff and so do shrimp. It's pretty and grows like mad, and is great for boring corners. Keep it away from strong filter flow, though, as it breaks up pretty easily.

Java moss & peacock moss -- brilliant, the shrimp willl adore them and they are pretty.

Java fern - tie it to a nice bit of mopani. I have two fairly large bits in my 3.5g and the fish loves the wood as sort-of caves, the shrimp love the gunk that grows on the wood, and it produces tannins which bettas like.

Anubias -- grows -very- slowly but also great for tying to the mopani

Crypts - need root tabs unless you have an NPT, but seem to do okay without them. Ignore 'crypt melt' - they look dead after being moved to a new tank, can take weeks to pick up. Don't panic if they all wither a bit. Be sure to buy smaller varieties, too - some get huge!

Elodea - I love this dainty plant, I really do, but it grows like a weed.. I have to chop mine in half and plant the cuttings, three weeks later I have to do it again. It fills in any gaps beautifully, the fish love it and it gets a bit tall without blocking ALL the other plants from view, kind of wispy.. Plant the stems sideways to get a pile of new stems really fast.

With those, and maybe some moneywort, small plants like that, you can make your little lush jungle and have it be very low maintenance too.


Good luck with the new tank, make sure to post pics!
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