I'll start off withe the planted tank question. I'm going to have a sorority and a divided 5 gal (For my guys) Both planted. I don't want anything to do with fake plants, it's too risky. Even silk plants can rip fins, they have plastic to support them, after all. My question is this: Can plants survive (Not necessarily grow, just survive) With gravel substrate? I'll be getting really basic plants like java fern, marimo balls, anubias, etc. And I really want gravel will it be okay?
Now I'll tell you about the heater. When my dad bought his 55g on craigslist the guy gave him a 25 watt heater. Yes, 25! It was really cold here this week for a reef tank (almost 70 degrees!) So he used it, and I told him that it was too small for that tank. He realized this and said it might raise a degree or two. It warmed up this week and I got to keep the heater, I put it in Neons tank (After is was cleaned off!) Since his is 2.5 gallons and Velvets is 1.5 gallons. I've heard the thing click on and off 5-8 times already! It's on about 50% of the time, I'd say (I don't turn it off, it automatically shuts off when the water is 82 degrees) In my dads tank it never turned off. Unfortunatly I don't have a thermometer, so I have to keep it off at night and school so if the heater malfunctions (Unlikely, but possible!) It wont cook my fish. This weekend my dads taking me to a new fish store and I'll get a thermometer then.
The water temp in my tank is probably usually in high 70s (75-78 degrees) But in the store my Bettas came from it was air conditioned, maybe down to 60 degrees in the water! 0.0 When I get a 5 gallon tank they will both be heated.