So I've been stalking this site up and down the last few days and am starting to feel like a betta betta owner (Yes, I love lame puns) every second. Even my fish seem happier. They're always dancing when I greet them. I usually dance with them.
So I'm looking at plant life for when I get their 5 gallon. I would like to go for some natural plants, but I've seen a few people saying PetCo will try to pass off regular plants as aquatic plants, and they end up releasing harmful chemicals into the water. Definitely want to avoid this! Names, I need names! I'm looking more into floating plants (lilipads are fine, right?) for the live ones, am I going to need to do anything special to keep them alive?
If I decide to do any live plants that actually go into the sand, is sand and gravel ok? Or do I need soil? And what's your opinion on ghost shrimp? Do you think they'd breed while my betta are small, so they can have an adequate shrimp food source when they grow up?
Gosh, I feel like a noob all over again after writing that. Guess I'd better go stalk the site some more... In the meantime, I need names of plants, opinions, ideas... the more colorful the plant, the betta!
you don't have to do soil and a top layer, though if you go that route you should have extra happy plants. Some plants can just float freely - duckweed for example - and as a bonus its supposed to be super easy to grow.
In my small gravel tanks I've had good luck with swordplants and banana plants and Marimo mossballs. These are all pretty low effort - a little LeafZone and that's all the extra attention they get or seem to need.
In the filtered tank, hornwort seems to thrive, as does my water wisteria. (Both of which I've tried in the small unfiltered tanks with no success)
Things to watch out for: Dracenae and lucky bamboo - though you can keep the bamboo in the tank as long as its leaves are out of the water.
Awesome! I think I'll actually do a planted tank now. I like the idea of having a great oxygen flow in this tank. I have a filter, of course, but I'd like to have it on the lowest setting because of the current. *Writes down all plant names* I can't wait to go to PetCo now lol.
Thanks but I'm afraid it's not my work- found it on google! I wish I could paint like that, though. Maybe with some practice!
On the ghost shrimp: although it is easy for the females to get pregnant, I believe that raising/giving birth to the baby shrimps in most tanks is quite rare. If you want shrimp that breed easily, especially in a planted tank, go for red cherries. :)
My shrimp have all loved lacefern, java moss, susswasstertang and elodea to hide and play in. :) Java moss is definitely their favourite!
I'm with you and a complete novice when it comes to plants. I purchased many a short while back, several different types...and only the wisteria survived. Fortunately, the wisteria seems pretty hardy, and I just let it float. The cuttings also root out well, so it's pretty easy to grow. I don't use any special lights or anything, just the normal overhead lights in my bathroom for 12 on/ 12 off for my fish. No fertilizer or aeration (my tanks are 20 gals, cycled with a well-sponged filter).
One thing, SOAK THEM IN SALTWATER FIRST (I soaked them for a week, but only in plain water)...unless you don't mind snails. I am now having issues with a pond snail eruption because of these plants... :P So, that's a pain, but I can definitely recommend the water wisteria as being pretty idiot-proof. :)
Other than that, much more knowledgeable people have already commented here and can give you more information. :)