true :) I'm slowly building my tanks from fake to real plants, and I love the way they look (even though it takes a bit more effort to keep them alive).
btw; it doesn't take alot of plants to fill a tank; just time to let them grow (some can be cut and replanted so you have a bunch of the same plant.)
And alot of the plants you can get hardly need any maintence; about the same as any garden would, but without weeds to pull. (algae is enough for weeds.) :P
And on a unrelated note.
Someone told me to get a small crab or 2 to clean the gravel/soil of a planted tank; after the plants are more than sprouts. Since you cant really sift and clean the gravel after there's plants in there.
What do you think?
I'd be kinda worried about the crabs eating the plants...
You should clean it, actually. In any cycled tank you should have a gravel vacume so you can clean the gravel. If you go with sand you could always just use a turkey baster. I personally would be tempted to do a large sorority... I'm addicted XD. You'll also need a water testing kit, so when you cycle you can make sure that the levels stay stable.
With the plants you're ganna need some bright lighting for a tank that large. maybe roughly 80-100 watts, but you could do more! That tank will look beautiful if it is planted, and will be well worth it!
If you are planning on having enough plants that you won't have open areas of gravel to vacuum perhaps you should look into a NPT (naturally planted tank). They are tricky in their own rights, but really rewarding once they are done.
If this seems interesting to you, I encourage you to google "El natural aquariums" or "Naturally Planted Tanks." There is a forum that discusses the process. There is also a book on how to do it by Diana Walstad.
You'd probably want shrimp and snails over a crab. Most crabs being sold in pet stores are truly semi-aquatic and need places to rest outside of water. I believe they are also brackish which doesn't do well with a lot of other species of fish. I have ghost and red cherry shrimp in my tanks and they do a great job of breaking down decaying plant matter and scavenging uneaten food. They also eat a little algae from time to time. I also have nerite snails which are great for eating algae, and ramshorn snails which are great for both dying plant matter and some types of algae.
Ya; I've been researching plants and how to plant them and everything.
I keep changing my mind about what I'm putting in the tank. Angels and bettas are my favorite fish. So for the 45G I'm thinking 2 honey gourmai, 3 angelfish, and a zebra oto. And since I know for a fact that a betta - angel pairing would be disasterous I'm going to get a second tank; a 10G with 5 bleeding heart tetras, a crowntail betta, a sunburst platy, and 2 nerite snails. I made sure that even when full grown they would all have enough room and get along.
I also settled with easy to grow, high light required, plants; though I'm still trying to figure out how many watts/gallon high light is. Only going to sparsely plant them too; since I plan to let them grow quite big if I can, and I can always add more later. :P
In a ten gallon, you might want to rethink your stocking. Personally I disagree with the tetras. I've tried having fast schooling fish in a ten gallon with a betta. The school stressed my fish, and now that they're fully grown, while they fit fine in the ten gallon, I feel they need a lot more room now. Plus, I'm not sure how well one platy will be by his/herself. You could go with 5 or so platies and a betta :)
I had specificly picked the platy because it could be alone. :P
And honestly; I think my dad pulled through again; mustve been a fish guy at one point.
"Oh I think I have a 10 or 15 gallon kickin around somewhere."
If its a 15G I'll probably keep the tetras; but yea, I read somewhere that more than 1 school is bad for a betta.
Is there any other pretty betta friendly fish that can be by its lonesome or just a pair?
I really like discus; but they are HUGE and schooling. :P
lol, yeah, you could do that, though I don't think having males and females in a same tank (even divided) is a good idea. There have been members who had females and males in a divided tank, and came home to a less than ideal situation.