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Old 11-04-2010, 10:11 PM   #1 
akjadestar's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Alberta, Canada
Cycling??? // anddd live plants?

Okay, so it's official, my teacher is finally letting me have our sick classroom betta... since I posted he's gotten worse, but I'll open an emergency thread about that when the time comes. Okay, so for now... My 10 gallon is coming together good, I've got the substrate... nice tan, and fine gravel with a bit of dark river rocks and glass stones on top as a decoration... I have my filter which works and I think my heater works too even though I submersed it fully when apparently I wasn't supposed to. And I got a handy dandy digital thermometer which I think will be nice and accurate. Okay, so I've got the substrate, filter, (hopefully) heater, and thermometer down. And I have food and water conditioner and light bulbs and all that too. So then, I need mainly plants and decorations. I haven't had much luck finding really nice caves in any stores but I asked my dad and he said he would make me one of those cool PVC caves... And then I might buy a floating betta log but that's about it...
Okay, so plants, the big part. I really really wanted live plants in this tank. I went to Big Als today though, ready to splurge on them, and suddenly wondered if there's types of live plants that are bad for bettas? Suprisingly at Big Als they didn't have the most common kinds like Java Fern or Anubias... anyways, the one I saw that I liked the most Alternanthera Reineckii, a nice orangey red one. Then there was Micrathemum Umbrosum, and hydrophila anguotifolia. and of course, if I do get lucky and find Java Fern or Ruffled Sword or Pennywort, I know those are good and I'd SO get some. I also want some kind of floating plant that I would put in the cave and the floating log too... So yeah, and also, this isn't totally necessary right now, but I was also kinda curious about ways to decrease the flow of filters because I think it might be a bit too rough?
AND, I actually think I forgot, CYCLING! I know absolutely squat about it, so a whole tutorial on cycling with either ammonia or fish food would be amazingggg... and, I mean, should I cycle first since I might not get to go to Big Als again for a while? AND, haha do I need to put anything in the water for the plants, AND can I just stick them right into plain old gravel?

So... full tutorial on fishless cycling, betta safe plants and plant care, and filter flow controlling? Thaaaankss... (:

Last edited by akjadestar; 11-04-2010 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:53 PM   #2 
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:40 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: San Francisco
Some cycling websites:

General information about cycling/nitrogen cycle:
The Nitrogen Cycle

Info on how to do it (fishless vs with fish cycling)
Aquarium Cycling For Freshwater

This is of course with the assumption that you're using water conditioner since the chemicals in tap water will kill the beneficial bacteria you're trying to grow to create the cycling. SeaChem Prime seems to be a favorite conditioner of folks here, despite it's smelly nature. I use Tetra Aquasafe myself, though I'm also looking at something called Fertilizer 0-0-5 & Water Conditioner myself since I'm also thinking of a planted tank and it would be nice to have both fertilizer and water conditioner in one bottle.

Plants wise, I think almost all plants are betta safe. I really haven't heard of any that will harm a betta. I'm planning on planting Wisteria which is supposed to be a nice beginner plant that can be planted floating or rooted in the gravel. There are fertilizer tablets out there that you can put under the gravel by the plant roots, but I haven't found any at my local pet store.
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:57 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Currently East Coast
There's a sticky thread about cycling here in this sub-forum. =] it's near the top. =] The easiest method is the shrimp method just plop it in and forget about it! =] No stress. =] If you want you could also add a product called Tetra SafeStart after 2 or three days of the shrimp being in the tank and it'll help it cycle quickly that way.

Though I have to say, with the right floating and stem plants, the right amount of light and (possibly, if you want to) a nice fertilizer you wouldn't have to cycle your tank at all. The plants would eat up the Nitrate and Ammonia. =]

That's my 2 cents though. =]

Before you buy any plants you REALLY oughta check out this site's plant guides to see what the plant is and what it requires to grow. They sometimes sell difficult plants in stores or plants that aren't even actually aquatic and you might end up wasting your money if you don't look into it first. =[

The site's got a great guide to all sorts of plants! =]

Good luck with your new boy and his tank set-up! =] Your plan is pretty much my exact plan and I'm still taking it by ear now that my first tank broke so take everything I say with a grain of salt until it's verified by more experienced members. :] <3
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:27 PM   #5 
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Alberta, Canada
OK, so I was thinking, that I may not get the betta until after I cycle the tank and everything, and I mean, the bettas not DESPERATE, I think it always loses a BIT of weight over the weekend and it's fin has somehow mended, anyways... I WAS gonna wait but today a ton of moron guys in my class were dumping so much food into the water you couldn't see the surface and then laughing about it, and once it either floated to the bottom or the goldfish ate it, they'd dump more in. They'd also knock on the glass where the fish were. So I decided I have to take the betta, and I feel bad for the goldfish but one of my friends might get to take it, and it's tank... and if not, I'll clean it's tank sometime during lunch and see if I can get the filter to work (: Anyways, So, I decided I just can't wait to finish cycling or buying my plants and whatever. So I thought I'd temporarily put in in a two gallon bowl with a big silk plant. But I couldn't find the silk plant, and the little tulip I have in there is hardly enough... so... I don't want to waste my money on an expensive silk plant I know I'll never use again, so instead would it be fine if I got some silk flowers or plants from the dollar store and cut them into smaller pieces? And this is just a temporary home, right now in there I have lime green gravel with blue and brown glass stones, and a tall skinny tulip decoration... And I'll put in a bit of aquarium salt, of course, water conditioner, and my mini heater. Just until I cycle my tank (; Which of course, will have to wait until I find the right plants. I want to get Java fern, wisteria, lotus, ruffled sword, and pennywort. And then I can cycle, which apparently can take up to two months! I hope the little guy hangs in until then... and now that I think about it... maybe I should buy a plant from the pet store if he'll be in there that long...
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