I've had a betta before, but I was previously ignorant to the care required for these fish. Pet stores have a tendency to advertise them as very low maintenance, indelicate pets. However, I bought a new betta roughly 4 months ago and have since been researching the proper care for him.
I currently have King living in a 1 gallon bowl with a heater, keeping the water at 78°-80° F. I am currently treating him for fin rot (his bowl had gotten much too cold in the last month without a heater) with 3/4 of a teaspoon of Aquarium salt with each water change. I have been changing his water every 2 days because in such a small bowl with no filter, his water gets cloudy quickly and I don't want him to get ammonia poisoning or anything of that nature.
Today I ordered a 5.2 gallon tank (10"x10"x12") because with his new heater and thermometer, he has even less space than he did before. I want to get him some live plants so that his home isn't so bland and boring for him, but I've been very apprehensive about it because of the cleaning process required and not wanting to constantly uproot plants.
So, my question is.. What is the best way to go about keeping plants in a 5 gallon tank? I currently use glass black marbles as flooring in his bowl. They're attractive and easy to clean thoroughly. From what I've seen, sand is the best environment for aquatic plants, but I'm not sure how to clean sand.
Also, what sort of filter would you recommend for a 5.2 gallon tank? I figure that if I get a filter, water changes could be reduced and keeping plants would be less of a hassle.
If anyone knows of plants that are easy to maintain in a betta tank, soil that is easiest to clean a tank with, filters that are betta/small tank friendly... I would really appreciate if you'd share. I'm trying to make my betta comfortable and I'm not sure where to start.