I'm starting this journal to keep track of my progress and as a way of inviting knowledge from the community.
Here are details from the start..
My betta was purchased from a local pet store as a gift for me on the 31st of December, 2014. My partner hid him from me until he surprised me on the morning of the 2nd of January. He was kept in the original cup from the LPS, and he said he checked on it, making sure he was active and giving him light a couple times a day.
I decided to name the betta Mulder and that I'd begin the learning process of being a live-planted tank owner. Low-tech appeals to me the most. I want the middle road of the "most natural" and most agreeable maintenance.
Mulder got a 100% water change (tap water that was sitting out 24+ hrs plus Seachem's Betta Basics) into his gallon bowl that same day. The next day, I bought a java fern from a different LPS and that is held onto a rock by a rubber-band in the bowl. I'm feeding him Betta Bio-Gold pellets about once a day and he took to them within a day or two of getting him into the gallon bowl.
Three days later, on the 5th, I noticed his slime coat trailing, so I changed his water, 100%. That seemed to help the trailing stuff right away. I'm going to assume this was him getting used to the different water parameters as I haven't seen this trailing since.
On the 9th, I noticed a big spit blob at the top and I did a 90-95% water change. He only made one more bubble nest during the first few weeks and hasn't again since. Since I won't be breeding, I'm only looking to these bubble nests as indicators of stress or contentment. I'm going to assume he got stressed with the transfer, was marking a territory, and has been neutral enough to not make any since. "Neutral enough" being probably not very content considering he's in a 1gal. bowl but not stressed because of "adequate" lodging.
I bought Seachem Prime sometime in the week after the 9th and started using it instead of the Betta Basics for my water changes.. more on this soon.
I have to go for now, thank you for reading.