Originally Posted by mepxx
Ive been looking into upgrading my tank and adding some live plants to it. I have one betta fish and will soon have a 5 gallon tank. Ive been reading a lot about aquascaping and never realized how much went into it, but i really want to give it a shot. I read that you have to add CO2 and have proper lighting and add fertilizer etc, does any of this affect my betta?? This is also going to be my first time cycling the tank when i get it, should i add the plants after the process? Im going to buy a sponge filter (I would also appreciate brands for this), does the filter affect the plants at all?? If there are any plants for beginners that are pretty easy to take care of, please let me know! Thank you!! :D
Hello and Welcome to the Forum!
It's great that you're getting a five gallon tank as they are so much easier to maintain and aquascape.
You don't need CO2 at all unless you get into more high-tech plants. If you don't have a light already, this one is great. Eight hours of light is plenty; more and you might be inviting algae.
You can add plants right along with your Betta if you do a fish-in cycle. I prefer to do a 25% water change when Ammonia or Nitrite reach .25ppm but you can do 50% at .50ppm as suggested in the link below.
For plants, if you have rooted plants (Swords, Cryptocoryne) you do need root and, IMO, Iron tabs. Swords, especially are heavy root feeders. There are several small Swords that won't get too big for a five gallon.
If you have Anubias, Java Fern, Moss, or floating stem plants, it is nice to have Seachem Flourish Comprehensive which feeds through the water column.
These are easy beginner plants: Swords, Cryptocoryne, Anubias, Java Fern, Moss, Narrow Leaf Anacharis, Guppy/Najas Grass. The Anubias and Java Fern have rhizomes so you don't plant them; instead, you anchor to something.