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Old 02-06-2014, 08:29 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Aug 2013
I want to have a planted tank but where to start?

I've done a lot of reading about this, and there seem to be a quite a few (too many) options to consider when beginning a planted tank. I currently have 2 female bettas left from the only sorority I've ever had that are currently living together with a separator, and they are both about 3 years old (the older fish died off). I have a medium sized apartment, but not too many places where I could put a medium sized tank (5-15 gal) and absolutely nowhere that I could have a larger tank.
I would like to know If there is any practical way to start a planted tank with a 5 gal tank and two female bettas. Right now they are sitting on a shelf next to my desk in my office where I can keep an eye on them, and their doing well. But everything is plastic, and I just can't help but wonder if they would thrive better in a more natural planted tank. I want to have them for as long as I can, and give them the best quality environment to live in as I can, (and I don't know if their just getting older but a while after I split them up because I was down to 3 bettas they don't seem as active or playful). I just have no Idea where to start with a planted tank, and I heard that they can be fairly tricky to get just right.
I would like to know what your opinion is on a 5-10 gal planted tank. I know the smaller the tank size, the bigger the risk when it comes to water quality. I also would like to know how (if possible) to create a planted tank specifically for bettas. I'm not sure if I'll ever try a sorority again, but I'd like to give my current bettas a nice home.

Are there any plants that bettas specifically like to nibble on? Are snails a good addition? And what kind of gravel/sand/soil is best suited to bettas?
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:18 AM   #2 
Join Date: Nov 2013
I started a NPT on Jan 3 and it's going strong. I used 1 1/2 in wet potting soil, no ferts added, in a 5 gal Hawkeye tank with filter and flor light from Walmart. I added 1 in play sand on that and so,e gravel on the sand. Added a garden rock and wood that I attached moss. Added several plants, fish, oto, snail and water. Plus an adjustable heater and thermometer. I tested and changed water every 3-4 days until parameters were all good. Ammonia 0, nitrates 0, Ph 7.6. The plants have really grown as have the snails multipied since they come in on the plants :< That's a whole different thread. Getting rid of the darn snails. Bettas are carnivors and don't eat plants. Use a good fish pellet that float or frozen brine shrimp. My betta prefers micro pellets at present. The regular ones were too big.

Now I test water every 5th day and change 20 percent. Cycling should be finished. I swish my filter pad out in the water I removed just to remove any detrious and put it back in. I also have a sponge on my out port to cut down the water flow that was way to vigorous for my betta.

That's it. Easy peasy. Plants are growing like weeds (hah) and the cycle goes on. Plants living off fish waste and cleaning the system. Ain't Mother Nature grand?
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:03 AM   #3 
Suresh S
Join Date: Nov 2013
@cowgirlsue1 are tempting me...before I start researchig on this...please post pics of your tank !!
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:36 AM   #4 
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Location: South Carolina
Cowgirlsue1, I would love to see a picture of your setup! Did you buy a separate light for your tank? If so, which one?
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:39 PM   #5 
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Here's my tank...having a tough time with pics. .all the plants have been growing for about 4 1/2 weeks

Last edited by cowgirlsue1; 02-07-2014 at 07:44 PM. Reason: add
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:49 PM   #6 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Sorry about those pics. It's been a fight.
This is a 5 gal Hawkeye with Fl light, planting mix, sand substrate, heater. DT betta Kwei-Li; oto is somewhere. Plants in front have grown like crazy. I put moss on my rock and wood. Lots of duck weed and wisteria floating. Sponge on filter to cut down current.
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:59 PM   #7 
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Location: Northern California
Are the bettas in the 5 gallon now? Just start replacing your fake plants with live. One of my 55 gallons was all fake plants at one time and is now all live plants. I just kept the gravel i had and i have just standard fluorescent lighting with a 6500k bulb. I kept to easy, low light plants such as Anubias, Java fern, amazon sword, sag, and anacharis. For a small tank like yours anubias would be great. And bettas love their large leaves to rest on or under. Tie them to a piece of driftwood or rock. They don't need to be planted. I floatthe anacharis to provide a bit of shade for the anubias.
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planted aquarium, planted tank

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