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Old 01-21-2013, 09:12 AM   #1 
Hollthulhu
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Setting up New Tank.. How To?

So, I am buying a 5.5 gallon kit from Petsmart (link) and I am really interested in planting. I have NEVER planted before, so I'm pretty clueless, but since I have lots of time to establish it, I figure I should get started by making sure I pick up what I need at the store when I go.

Do I really need soil (I have read mixed opinions)?
What plant suggestions for beginner?
How many should I try to get?
Masimo okay to have too?
Do I need All-Natural Decor?
Suggested bulbs or what I need to look for on package (supports max 15w)?
Food and other supplements I will need?
Lastly,
I am doing a fishless cycle w/ raw shrimp. Should I add the plants in before or after the cycle?

Thanks for answering all my questions! If I forgot any important things, let me know them too!

Last edited by Hollthulhu; 01-21-2013 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:47 AM   #2 
shellieca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollthulhu View Post
So, I am buying a 5.5 gallon kit from Petsmart (link) and I am really interested in planting. I have NEVER planted before, so I'm pretty clueless, but since I have lots of time to establish it, I figure I should get started by making sure I pick up what I need at the store when I go.

Do I really need soil (I have read mixed opinions)? I have gravel in all of my tanks.
What plant suggestions for beginner? I have swords, water wisteria, hornwort in my 5.5
How many should I try to get? Depends how planted you want your tank & the size of the plants you purchase. In my 5.5 I have, I think, 3 swords, 2 water wisteria & a sprig of hornwort from another of my tanks. I also put in a silk plant because my real plants were new & not as big as I'd like.
Masimo okay to have too? Yes, I have one in two of my tanks, thinking of getting a couple of more for my other tanks including the 5.5.
Do I need All-Natural Decor? Decor is your preference, just make sure its Betta safe, no rough edges & not holes too small for an adult Betta to swim through.
Suggested bulbs or what I need to look for on package (supports max 15w)? I have no special lighting on my 5.5, whatever came with it is what I use.
Food and other supplements I will need? I use a VERY small amount of Seachem's Flourish & Flourish Excel with my weekly water changes.
Lastly,
I am doing a fishless cycle w/ raw shrimp. Should I add the plants in before or after the cycle?
Decorate your tank completely, some BB will establish on everything in your tank. You can make revisions to you decorating later on if you should choose to.

Thanks for answering all my questions! If I forgot any important things, let me know them too!
. . .
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:56 PM   #3 
Hollthulhu
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Thanks a lot! You are super helpful and informative, Shellieca! :)
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:09 PM   #4 
whiskandbowl
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I'm new to planted tanks, but I'll try my best

Do I really need soil (I have read mixed opinions)? If you want it to be a true NPT, yes. But, soil is not necessary for some plants.

What plant suggestions for beginner? Anubias, java fern, java moss, marimo moss balls

How many should I try to get? With gravel, as many as you want. It's a bit more specific if you want to do a soil based tank- at least 75% should be stem plants

Masimo okay to have too? not sure what you mean. Marimo moss balls? Yes. they are awesome and impossible to kill

Do I need All-Natural Decor? You don't have too, but I think it looks nicer

Suggested bulbs or what I need to look for on package (supports max 15w)? You need a light that gives off 6500k. I got my light in the household lighting section of WalMart. It just said "Daylight Bulb" and had the kelvin rating on the package

Food and other supplements I will need? I highly recommend getting Prime water conditioner, stress coat, aq salt, and frozen foods for your betta.
If you have your plants in gravel, it's a good idea to get fertilized (root tabs or liquid) With a soil based tank, plants get their nutrients from the soil


I am doing a fishless cycle w/ raw shrimp. Should I add the plants in before or after the cycle? I think this would depend on whether you do a NPT (soil) or not. With a soil based tank there is no need to cycle, as the plants take care of the ammonia as they grow. In a tank with just a few plants, I think cycling would be a good idea. Not sure on adding plants before or after,

Thanks for answering all my questions! If I forgot any important things, let me know them too!
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