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Old 11-12-2012, 12:23 PM   #1 
laurenmekal
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how to get the look of a heavily planted tank with silk plants

i would love to be able to have a tank that looks like this


or this



but i do not want to use live plants so i dont have to risk messing up the balance of my tank.

is it difficult to introduce live plants to a tank that my betta is already in / would the upkeep be difficult? i am in college and have pretty limited funds / resources.
or would it be be better for the tank / cheaper to just attempt to get the look using silk plants?
this is my tank now

thanks for reading all my posts, im a newbie and i have alot of questions!
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:36 PM   #2 
Perseusmom
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Hi there you could do some beginner plants that are easy to care for like I have. I have a lot of Anacharis and some Hornwort and attached the Hornwort with a rubberband to and ornament and it looks great like a underwater bush. The Anacharis I just let float while pushing the stems down to the middle of the tank. Live plants are great for your tank the best thing you can buy for sure and my Betta loves to swim though them and sleeps in the Anacharis. I got mine from ebay if you would like the link let me know, the guy I got them from has great plants and he also treats for snails which do come with most plants. Its always best to QT any live plants for a week and check for any hitchhikers that might be hiding on the plants like snails.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:39 PM   #3 
laurenmekal
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thanks so much! i will definitely look into it. i dont want to stress my girl out more than i have to, i had to evacuate her through the hurricane and im going to have to take her home for thanksgiving and christmas /:
are the live plants from petsmart / petco good? thats pretty much all i have access to right now, i'd like to avoid buying them on ebay. if they are significantly better online though i could do it.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:50 PM   #4 
Perseusmom
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Your very welcome ! I have never bought plants from there but others here have and I think they are fairly nice plants. Just look for the greenest ones you can find that is always a good sign that they are healthy.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:11 PM   #5 
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I used to have that same little cave you have and I tied an anubias nana on top and some java moss to the sides and it was really cute. I didn't have special lighting or use any fertilizer and they did fine in my tank.

I second the suggestion for anacharis. I started with 5" to 6" pieces and now have strands 2 feet long or more! It's an amazing grower!
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:18 PM   #6 
SinX7
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9 easy plants for $28! I'm going to order it when I get my pay.

http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...46&pcatid=2146

Good luck! :D
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:26 PM   #7 
laurenmekal
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Thank you all so much! Ill definitely look online and browse the stores for some live plants (:
Once I have to take my betta home for Christmas break, how would I go about transferring the plants? I put her in a 3/4ths of a gallon kritter keeper type tank for the car ride so I can empty the 5.5 gallon. would I have to uproot the plants and put them in the smaller tank? Any suggestions?
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:31 PM   #8 
pittipuppylove
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I LOVE having live plants in the tanks in my dorm. It's really helped keep the water clean, which is really nice during times like finals week where I'm super busy and would have trouble doing more frequent water changes, and my bettas really seem to appreciate them. Here's a pic of the 5.5 gallon betta tank at my work (not technically mine exactly, but I've more or less told everyone that anything they want to do to with this tank has to go through and be ok'd by me first) - since I'm only at the office once a week, it had to be super easy to care for and low maintenence. It gets one 50% water change a week and the water perameters are still well within safe limits.

Just take note that this was the first day it was set up and hasn't grown in yet. The plants in here include hornwort (careful with this plant, if it isn't happy it will shed needles like mad - otherwise it's great), water wisteria, green cabomba, anubias, and compacta.

I got all of these at Petsmart, but you do need to be careful when getting plants from both Petco and Petsmart as they will label semi- or non-aquatic plants as aquatic. To keep the plants from messing with your water quality in a bad way, just remove any dead plant matter so it doesn't decay and release toxins. When I have to move my tanks (all four *sigh*) I just drain most of the water so that the roots and substrate of the tank are still wet. No need to uproot anybody

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Old 11-12-2012, 01:33 PM   #9 
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You can't be uprooting the plants, so get some that attach to decor/rocks/driftwood instead and don't need to be planted in the substrate. 3 best for a small tank are java fern, java moss and anubius nana. Just use some super glue gel and stick them on anything you'd like.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:09 PM   #10 
paloverde
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Hi, just adding to all of the great advise that has already been posted, if you don't already have a 13 watt cfl, screw in bulb in the hood, now would be the time to get one. Also if you can add a backing to the tank it helps to add a bit of visual depth/contrast / helps the eye establish a vanishing point.
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