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Old 09-01-2010, 11:41 PM   #1 
Arowan
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Recommendations for Beginner with Live Plants?

I'm interested in replacing my silk plants with live ones in my betta's tank... I've been looking at the "Walstad Natural Tanks" as a template.... I believe it's somewhere around 2gallons (a critter carrier I bought, in comparison to other betta tanks in my dorm hall that are around 1-gallon, this one looks about twice as big) I have been browsing around online, but there doesn't seem to be much advice for a tank of around this size... Which plants would be best for it's space, and easy enough for a beginner to take care of? Also, I'm working on a semi-broke college student budget, so cheap plants are preferred :) Also, is a heater strictly necessary, for a tank of this size? Temperature regulation doesn't seem to be an issue, as there is no air conditioning in this dorm. I was thinking, that if I get a small lamp, that that should help keep things warmer during the day, and provide light for the plants, as well... Many of the articles I have read recommend shrimp or snails added to the tank... if so, how many should I get, for the size of tank I have? And what kinds are best for betta fish? How long, roughly, will the process take to set the tank up so I can put my fish in? A couple articles mentioned letting the soil sit in a few inches of water for several weeks, which has me rather confused. (Actually, the entire soil/substrate part has me scratching my head...) I'm limited in space, and other than his original cup, this 2-gal is all I have to keep him in. Sorry for all the questions, and any help would be appreciated :) Total Aquarium Newbie (I at least know to do water changes, and not use marbles, and to feed him freeze-dried worms, and to add aquarium salt...) -Arowan

Last edited by Arowan; 09-01-2010 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:56 PM   #2 
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If you havent already been to www.tropicalfishkeeping.com then check it out. It is the mother site to this site and you use the same username and password to this site on that one as well. Heres a link to the plants section http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/aquarium-plants/ Read Byron's posts to keeping plants. they are stickyed so they are at the top. If you have more questions start a post and Im sure Byron or someone else will know exactly what you need to do.
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:03 AM   #3 
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Edit :Zeetrain beat me too it, oh well.

I'm going to link you to Byron who has several wonderful posts about the planted aquarium on the parent site to this site, called tropicalfishkeeping.com. You can log in with your user name and password from here if you end up browsing around other threads to view pictures.
Part 1 : http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...um-part-34861/
Part 2:http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...um-part-34859/
Part 3:http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...um-part-34858/
Part 4:http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...um-part-34862/

If you google Nano tanks you might find some too. Mostly saltwater comes up, but you might see some freshwater ones. Or just google 2 gallon planted for some pictures for ideas.
I'll let you know that plants can add up after a while. Java fern and moss can be cheap-ish I've seen them both around $4 at my discount fish store. Moss balls are around $8 near me. Most anubias plants run around $6-8 a piece.
I do not advise you to go and buy the plants petsmart sells in the little tubes. Most of them are non aquatic plants that will die and rot in your tank.
I would not recommend any other tank mates as 2 gallons is too small. Although, live plants usually are accompanied by snails. =/
If you are looking for a larger tank walmart sells the Hawk eye 5 gallons for $25 with free shipping I believe.
It would be very hard to heat that tank. Using a light that produces heat for a heat source is a very bad idea. As when you shut it off at night, which plants do need, you are taking away that heat source. Bettas can thrive at room temperature, but they are just not as lively as they would. They are cold blooded animals and used the heat to help metabolize, so lower heat can cause health problems. I'm not sure what the best brand of heater for a tank this small is. I recommend one that you adjust the temperature on and has an internal thermometer to do so. You should still keep an eye on it and adjust it as needed for the correct temperature as the two can be slightly off. I think the Hydor Theo 25 watt is possibly small enough, but I am not sure. Tanks that small are very hard to regulate. Also most fluorescent lights do not give off a lot of heat. A fluorescent light with a 6500k rating is recommended for live plants. Byron goes over that in his little posts.
Now I'm done typing a novel, hope this was partially helpful.
I hope someone else can give you better plant recommendations too. I'm just getting started on planted aquariums and am learning myself. :)
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:06 AM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drift View Post
Edit :Zeetrain beat me too it, oh well.
That just shows you how good his info is.
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:20 AM   #5 
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Yes, I read all the stickies... Just no room in this teeny dorm room for a bigger tank (i live in a 2-person closet x_x) So, ok, I thought the lamp-heating was a bad idea, but it's still good for lighting, no? And thanks for the advice about the plants at petsmart... where, then, would be a good place to buy/order them? There's a petco relatively nearby, that has a super supply of fish related items, due to it's proximity to a college campus that only allows fish in campus housing... Would buying the plants in the big tanks be best? And after I posted this, I do believe my tank is actually a 2.5gallon :) That seems to be what this size of critter carrier has...
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:23 AM   #6 
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They have plants in these like tube things at petco and I have had success with them. Some of the small swords are nice and Im a fan of compacta (Hygrophila Corymbosa Stricta). Theyre not too expensive and sometimes have sails. ive never bought theyre plants out of a tank though.
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:25 AM   #7 
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How would I make sure to get rid of any snails on the plants, before I add them to the tank? I've heard over and over how quickly they can overtake a tank...
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:27 AM   #8 
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Originally Posted by Drift View Post
I do not advise you to go and buy the plants petsmart sells in the little tubes. Most of them are non aquatic plants that will die and rot in your tank.
Just re-read this and I agree but not entirely. Check out what they have and if you like one then go home a research it. If it sfully aquatic then get it. thats what I did.
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:28 AM   #9 
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You could get a flourescent light for lighting. That should be fine, they also save on electricity I believe and can be bought anywhere. Java moss, java fern, and moss balls can thrive in very low light. Possibly Anubias plants too. I believe Petco does sell all three of them. I would research low light level plants with the power of google, write all of them down and take it with you to Petco so you don't get conned into buying a plant that's not going to thrive in your tank. Some Petco employees are very knowledgeable though. :) My Petco had some Anacharis that died on me, Anubias, Java moss on a coconut (makes an awesome cave), and java moss/anubias plants attached to driftwood. Make sure you don't get anything that doesn't fit. :)
I've never ordered plants/fish offline. I have a fantastic local place and save on shipping that way. :D
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:30 AM   #10 
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OK, guess i'll have to try this out sometime... Thanks for the help :)
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