So I planted my 5 gal tank last Thursday. Since I'd had a few failures in the past, I didn't completely convert it to a NPT. I left two of his big fake plants, and put in some wisteria. I used Miracle Gro Organic Potting Mix as my substrate, and gravel as my cap. I have a 6500K lightbulb for it too.
The plants are doing well, one has clearly grown a bit more, some others look like they may be growing new leaves.
Now I just had a few questions since I want to make sure I'm doing it right this time...
1) Do I need to put any CO2 thing in the tank?
2) When do you need to prune the plants? Also, what's the best way to do it?
3) One of the plants has some leaves that seem to be disintegrating. Should I be worried?
(The substrate got really kicked up when I was adding water when I set it up, so a lot of the plants and other stuff has a fine coating of dirt. I rubbed the dirt off most of the plants today because I didn't want it to affect the plants' ability to absorb light. When I rubbed on that leaf, it just fell apart totally.)
4) Is tannis (I think that's what its called) leaking from the soil a problem for my betta?
(I didn't know about soaking it to get rid of tannis until after I was finished with the tank. I did remove basically all the larger wood chips from the soil before I used it for my tank.)
5) How long until the Ammonia spike stops?
(I've been changing out about 1 1/2 gallons of water from his tank daily to make sure that it doesn't harm him.. and also to deal with the tannis.)
I think thats all the questions I had. If this goes well, I'll consider adding more plants and making it a real NPT. For now, his PVC pipe decorations will stay :P