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Old 07-29-2014, 10:54 AM   #1 
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Question Gravel Troubles

So I've been thinking about getting a betta for a while now and I've been doing a lot of research. I don't have a lot of money so I was able to get a used 10 gallon from my aunt. It hadn't been used for years and it was pretty dirty. Cleaning the actual tank itself wasn't too hard, I just used some warm water and vinegar. However I'm not sure what to do about the gravel and decorations that my aunt had in her pile of old fish stuff that she gave me with the tank. I tried rinsing the gravel with warm water but I'm not sure if it's really doing the trick. So I guess my question, should I just rinse the gravel a couple more times and then use it for the meantime (and buy new gravel when I can afford it) or should I trash the gravel right now?
(also if I were to have some live plants in my tank would I need a different type of substrate or...?)
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:07 AM   #2 
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Location: Either Philadelphia or Pittsburg pa
Live plants do require special substrate but you can always just change the substrate later, boil the gravel for 5 min, for the decor run a pair of stockings over it, if it snags you can't use it, if not rinse it as well as you can with water then scrub with vinegar and/or baking soda (not kidding)
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:38 AM   #3 
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Location: Oklahoma
Bettas certainly don't need gravel - you could wait until you save up for some that you know will be clean and in the style you like.

If you have live plants that you stick in gravel, like stem plants, regular aquarium gravel isn't going to do anything other than hold it down. You would need root tabs in the gravel to help the plant grow. There is gravel that is more suited for plants such as Eco Complete and Seachem Flourite which retain nutrients better. Your best bet is to stick with cheap, easy plants that don't need nutrient-rich gravel or specific light, such as water wisteria (can grow floating or stuck in inert gravel), anubias, java ferns, and banana plants.
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Old 07-29-2014, 02:53 PM   #4 
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Live plants (depending on the plants used) can do perfectly fine in regular gravel with some root tabs under the gravel to provide nutrients. However, if you are planning on a planted tank, I would just start out with something like Eco-Complete. Its a pain in the behind to change the substrate. Gotta take everything out ans start all over pretty much.
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Old Yesterday, 06:10 PM   #5 
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okay thanks! :) I think I'm going to just get some new gravel and save myself the trouble (plus I can get a different color then) and just use silk plants for now.
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substrate, used aquarium

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