Originally Posted by turtle10
Hmm then I will just go the planted tank route. Right now the bottom of the tank is gravel with a thin layer of sand. Is this okay or should I redo my tank and start over using the steps from the link?
Also any other recommendations for Betta safe plants?
Here're the plants I'm using:
Brazilian Pennywort, Hornwort, Amazon Frogbit, Mexican Oakleaf, Golden Creeping Jenny, and after purchasing my shrimp I will also have java moss, guppy grass, hygrophilia(sp? lol), Ludwigia, and Anacharis.
I also got some "betta bulbs" from petsmart that has lotus plant bulbs in it. :)
If you want something really pretty but a tad expensive some tiger lily is a good option. (but like I said, most places don't sell it below 5 dollars.)
If you need any recommendations on where to get your snails or shrimp cheap I have some great links for you. They're really good helpers in getting your soil ready and aerated!
If I were you I would get rid of over half the gravel.
I would empty the tank (keeping the plants heated and submersed. maybe in a vase or something) and put a half inch of soil with a quarter inch sand cap and just that little bit of gravel left over for aesthetics.
The plants can use the soil for the extra nutrients they might not get for your tap water or your fish since some plants are a tad healthier with minerals like iron, calcium etc that's found in the soil.
Originally Posted by DormDrax
Then again... sometimes Betta's don't seem to care about water conditions changing.
Drax I really just wanted to get out of the vase I had him in and pretty much just threw him in the 10Gal tank which was alittle warmer. Never had any issues... then again I may have just been lucky and Drax just happens to be the perfect starter Betta haha.
Regardless of water adaptation, ammonia buildup is deadly to all fish.
I would never recommend just throwing something in.
But that's just coming from someone who has had personal experience in hastily buying a betta and trying to cycle a tank for him. He got sick and died.
Just because some are hardy doesn't mean all are and it is never the safest to run under assumptions and chances if you want to have a little guy for a nice long while.
Betta(and all other fish) can become burned by the ammonia and their immune system can be heavily crippled leaving them open to parasites, disease, and infection.
This is why constant 10-50%(depending) water changes and accurate readings of the chemicals in the tank are important when making sure your tank is hospitable for your fish if it is not in a stable and established cycle.
((which plants just so happen to do almost instantly, without too much worry or hassle))
Turtle, keep in mind you'll still have to keep up 75-80% water changes for the first two to three weeks in your planted tank until the root system in established etc.
But once the tank is established you'll only have to do a water change anywhere from once a month to once every 6 months depending on how much you have stocked the tank and how many plants are in the tank to meet the demand of the stock inside.
My three gallon will be 80-90% planted, along with floaters, it will have 1 betta, 5-10 red cherry shrimp, starting with 7 rams horn snails, and 5 malaysian trumpet snails. The fish is likely to eat and chase half my shrimp to death, but the multiply like rabbits. :) they will take care of any extra food and help decompose it for the soil where the plants will get extra nutrients they need to flourish, the mts will burrow, and the ramshorn will eat decaying plant matter.
All, including the betta, will supply the plants with ammonia while the desk lamp with the 15 watt CFL with 6,500 Kelvins will provide the fake sunlight they need for photosynthesis.
Check out Oldfishlady's posts. She's a mega expert on all of this and has helped me every step of the way.
I also have a thread keeping my progress on what was originally going to be a 2 gallon setup until I bumped it up to three gallons. PM me for the link if you want that one too. :) haha.
There is also a "post pictures of you planted aquarium here" thread where a lot of the members have a walstad set up.
I'm sure if you PMed some of them they would have no problem answering questions related to their setups and what worked best for them.
Hope this is helpful.
((I'll also be starting a new thread for my 5 galllon set up as well and the 10 gallon setup. The 10 gallon setup will replicate Weathertop from Lord Of The Rings and will be very interesting to see from start to finish. Well, at least I think it will be hahah)