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Old 02-24-2011, 11:19 PM   #1 
RiverStoneBetta
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Live Plants for a Betta Tank?

After the tragic loss of Flynn Fishy, I've decided on two things:

1. I'm getting a female betta
2. I want live plants if at all possible.

This is my first foray into the live plant realm of fishkeeping, since I had assumed that live plants were fragile and nit-picky about water conditions. My father told me otherwise, saying that plants are an awesome part of fishkeeping, and are hardier than I thought. So here I am asking for advice.

I have 5.5 gallon tank, heated (78 F), filtered (mechanically, chemically, biologically) and plenty of natural sunlight. Fine gravel substrate (smaller than a pea), water pH at 7.6, moderately soft.

I've done a bit of research and what I keep coming to is hortwart, anacharis, java moss, and java fern. Any other plant species that would be good in this setup? I have a piece of sealed bogwood to attach plants to if necessary. Would a live plant be acceptable in these conditions?
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:32 PM   #2 
Alex09
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Anubias! A beautiful plant that like java fern is low light and hardy.
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:36 PM   #3 
appledust
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Does your tank have a hood light? If so, you'll need to know the light temperature of the bulb. There are "daylight" bulbs that you can buy at most stores that are 6500k, and that's the least you'll need for plants, I think. Incandescent bulbs are usually 2100k or something like that. All my tanks have fluorescent tubes which are 8000k.

Otherwise you'll need some kind of fertilizer if your substrate isn't fertilized. There's one called Flourish by Seachem, which I've used. There's also Flourish Excel, which is the same thing with an additional CO2 supplement, I think. I haven't used it but I plan to eventually.

I hope that helps :)))) Everything else about your planned set up sounds great!
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:39 PM   #4 
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Hey, I just realized you were in that other thread where we were talking about Aqua World. If you get your plants from there you will NOT be disappointed :) Definitely go to the Gravois one because they have even more plants than the Ellisville one!
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:42 PM   #5 
RiverStoneBetta
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I've heard anubias too. I'll talk to my LFS about it too. They have a huge aquatic plant section

EDIT: @Appledust - Yeah, that's who I was planning on going to. The Gravois location is a bit further than anything else, but if you keep giving it praise like that, I might just go anyway. =]

No hood light. The lighting for the tank is ambient light, although it get's it's fair share of sun light. And before anyone asks, it doesn't affect the temperature in any way. I closely monitor it. Amazingly, no algae blooms either. It's probably the cleanest tank I have.

Speaking of algae, I've heard that hostelry secretes something that keeps algae from establishing a foothold in a tank. Can anyone confirm that? Because, I might put some in my ten gallon with Quinn and the Cory cats. (That sounds like a band, lol)

Last edited by RiverStoneBetta; 02-24-2011 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:46 PM   #6 
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Hm, well I've had no experience with this so I can't flat out confirm it, but I'm decently sure you won't be able to keep plants without a light over the tank for them. The reason you haven't had any algae is probably because the tank doesn't get strong enough light.
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:53 PM   #7 
RiverStoneBetta
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I was afraid of that. Problem is, I don't know where to find a hood that will fit the tank I have.
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:08 AM   #8 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverStoneBetta View Post
I was afraid of that. Problem is, I don't know where to find a hood that will fit the tank I have.
I couldn't afford a lighted hood for my 20 gallon long so instead I placed two lamps on either side and got two flourescent light bulbs with about 800 lumens at my local hardware store. They cost me about four dollars each. Most aquarium lights are about 700 lumens, so pick a lightbulb that is around that. I am not sure how the plants would react if you went over 1000 lumens though.

Sorry if this was confusing, the hardware guy explained it to me in a science-y way lol.
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:11 AM   #9 
RiverStoneBetta
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Even if I could get just a florescent strip light on the top, the cover is just plexiglass. It would probably throw off my water temperature if it's that close, right?
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:14 AM   #10 
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Even if I could get just a florescent strip light on the top, the cover is just plexiglass. It would probably throw off my water temperature if it's that close, right?
I don't think so, that is pretty much how close the strip light is in both my 10 gallon and 20 gallon high and they have proper hoods. Fluorescent lighting doesn't generate very much heat, so it should be fine.
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