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Old 11-30-2010, 09:08 PM   #1 
Crazykat
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Substrate for plants

Hi,
I'm completely new here and to the world of fish in general! I've been doing research for several months and I'm going to get a betta for Christmas. I want to make sure I do everything right. So, I've got my 2.5 gallon tank, filter, and heater, as well as the conditioner and some aquarium salts just in case of emergency. My question is, if at some point I want to plant the tank, do I need a special kind of substrate, or does the regular petstore gravel work? Sorry if the answer is completely obvious, but I have no idea how underwater plants work.
Thanks a lot!
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:24 PM   #2 
Buddha
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you can use normal gravel. however you will have to add root tablets to the plants every so often and use some sort of liquid plant food. If you ever plan on going with plants in the future i suggest you use a natural color of gravel. you must also consider lighting for plants. you can use a gravel called eco-complete or one of simular composition. if this is your first tank and first go at it, i wont try to discourage you from going with real plants, but its not as easy as you might think. get yourself some nice silk plants (no plastic cause its hard on betta fins) and learn from there. water changes and proper water perameters will be the first thing you need to wrap your head around. once you feel comfortable with that then do the research on live plants before you just buy em. Petco / Petsmart do not sell true aqautic plants and should be avoided (unless you find a "anubis nana, banana plant, moss ball) those are the only ones i have seen in petco/smart that were true aqautics
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:33 PM   #3 
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if you are thinking about going planted this post will be a virtual holy grail
http://www.sudeepmandal.com/hobbies/...ed-tank-guide/
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:49 PM   #4 
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Wow, that link is awesome. I bookmarked it for further reference. Thanks!
Thank you too Buddha, I really appreciate the advice. I actually don't want to plant right now (one thing at a time, starting with the fish itself), but I do want to have the correct materials in case I do want to plant at some future point. I'm a college student with no job, so I've got to be thrifty. That's crazy that Petco does that, as I was actually looking at some of their plants, and they all seem to indicate they're aquatic plants. Very good to know that there's some sneaky going on there.
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:57 PM   #5 
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I stumbled upon that thread while researching planted tanks and it has taught me just about all i know about planting (its so comprehensive there isnt much else to learn other then c02 and high light tanks)

as for petsmart there is a reason the tubes aren't filled with water
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Old 11-30-2010, 10:11 PM   #6 
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well I agree petsmart doesn't have a big selection of plants but I bought mostly all my plants there and they have become huge! they are very healthy and very pretty too. guess it just depends on where the store is located?
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Old 11-30-2010, 10:20 PM   #7 
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Yeah, I will definitely do a lot more research before I do any planting, I just want to keep all my options open. Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly, I was kind of dazzled by the fish, but it looked like the plants were in little pots in a tank? I just joined a freecycle group, so maybe if someone has a free tank to offer I'll try planting at some point with no fish. I don't have a petsmart near me, but the Petco seems to do pretty well by their bettas, compared to some of what I've been reading. I'll probably get one from there. Thanks again for all the insight everybody!
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Old 11-30-2010, 10:31 PM   #8 
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Some of the tube plants petco sells ARE aquatic. The ones I know of for sure are:
- Java fern (labeled as 'tropica fern') - This plant is almost indestructible. Low light (both of mine survive with just ambient room light), no ferts, co2, or anything fancy needed. Doesnt need much more care than a plastic plant really...
- Hygrophelia Corymbosa (labeled as 'compacta') - An absolutely BEAUTIFUL plant. Fast grower. is more demanding of light and nutrients.
- Wisteria: another easy plant. Probably will benefit from more light and nutrients.
- Anubias: similar in care and hardiness to java fern.

I might go back to a planted tank... only using anubias and java ferns
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