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Old 06-13-2011, 11:49 AM   #1 
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Join Date: May 2011
Advice on... everything

Ok, so, Ive had bettas for a while, in REALLY bland tanks. Like a fake plant here and something lame over there, but seeing the things on this site make me want to hide because they are beautiful! So many plants and no need for fake plastic decor!!!
I want to know, because I've never had a planted tank or silk plants or anything, how to make my 10 gallon more pretty, because right now it's so lame and dark :(. I wanna make it BEAUTIFUL like the ones I see here.

I don't know what kind of rocks/substrate to use to have plants (i haven't tried real plants because my catfish goes biserk and rips things out of the rocks) but I want to try it with my 10gal betta tank.
Right now, I have it divided with a filter and no heater. Boy on one side, girl on the other. Im wanting to undivide it and get a few girls (5) so I will be happy once and for all. So, help me out! TELL ME EVERYTHINg.

(my room stays at 80, not because its just hot, because I choose to have my fish feel good!)
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:57 PM   #2 
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Location: Pennsylvania <- amazing guide on plants by pewpewpew, a very knowledgeable member of the forums.

Substrate can be anything you want, really, save for big marbles or jewel kind of stuff. All of my tanks just have natural looking gravel and my plants are doing just fine. Many people though use dirt, sand, etc.

If you're just waiting for someone to come along and tell you everything and how to do your tanks, take some initiative and do some searching on the forum. There's plenty of stickies and helpful posts about everything and anything on here. :)
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Old 06-13-2011, 05:50 PM   #3 
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so I just typed a HUGE thing for you, and guess what my POS computer does?

Ill retype, but ughhh itll be the shortened version!! >:((((

...after dinner >_<
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Old 06-13-2011, 06:24 PM   #4 
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Maybe you could think up what style you would like? (As obvious as that sounds.. it's much easier to browse when you know what you want to center it around!)
I'm more of someone who likes to make their tanks as realistic/simple/clean as possible.
My 10 gallon tank has your normal tan/brown rocks and live plants. I also have a nice looking rock decor and a small clay pot.

In hopes to switch to a darker dirt/sand like bottom and more live plants..but that'll come in time and better lights.

If the room your tank is in is set around princess and fantasy you could make that a jump point and do white plants and blue gravel with heck..unicorn decor here and there. (SO tempted to put one of those pink/white unis in my step-dads 40g. He has a volcano and other dark themed objects LOL)
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Old 06-13-2011, 06:40 PM   #5 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Sorry for the shortened version :’c I worked hard on what I wrote and it took forever, ughhh!

In short:

Get a natural colored gravel, they look nice! Lots of places have it, in many different kinds. Opt for two or more bags, theyre usually 5lbs each.
In a sorority, youre going to want LOTS of cover, which means shorter plants as well as very tall to stay safe at each height. Consider, too, getting a few very small terra cotta pots and hiding them out in the gravel.

I suggest getting a large piece of nice driftwood, but make sure its HARDWOOD and not something from your stream or backyard, as these will rot. Look for Mopani or Malaysian Driftwoods, which are sold in many places. Get a nice big one with interesting points if you can, so it can be a centerpiece for the tank’s middle. Many LFS as well as chain stores sell these types. Please do not get something made for reptiles, as theyre sometimes treated with things not meant for fish tanks.

Put the wood in the tank’s center, with the interesting bits jutting out.
I suggest these plants for the tank:

Ludwigia repens:
This is a nice plant that can grow to be quite tall, which is great for the sides and back of your tank. It allows for cover and protection for the fish while they go to get air. Be careful of the type, as some kinds are VERY challenging to grow.

There are many many types of bacopa, so do some research and find what type suits your tank (in terms of light, temp, parameters), so it will live well in your tank. Some kinds can be tall, and should/could be placed around the sides and back of the tank, like above.

This is a type of bacopa (monnieri) that looks very nice in tanks. It needs a little more care than some, but it is interesting and beautiful. Put it in much the same spots as above, especially behind the driftwood, for good effect.

Anubias will look lovley, and theyre EASSYYY to care for! Yeahhhh! There are many types, so find one that you like the look of. Anubias cannot be buried, so tether it to something instead with fishing line or string. Add to nooks and crannies on the wood for nice hiding and sleeping spots. It grows very slowly.

Java fern:
Like anubias, this is an easy, slow growing plant. It cant be buried and needs the same as above. Try tethering it to a river rock and burying the rock to make it look natural without killing the plant. Look for mature, large plants to put in the middle/sides of the tank or behind the wood. I got VERY large, beautiful ferns from

Java moss:
This is a great plant, which can make rocks and wood look natural and lush. Tie it to things with string or line and it will root in a few weeks. It will also spread in time all over the wood :D

Amazon swords:
Are a great focal point plant, though theyre tank busters. They can get very very big over time, with proper care (namely, co2, but without it, they have moderate and not scary growth :p) Consider getting a sword and placing it near or to the side (more in the front) of the focal point of the tank. It needs a deeper substrate, so opt for at least 2-3 inches, better yet 3-4. It will need root tabs for fertilization once a month J

Water wisteria:
This is a cute plant, I love it. It’s a little whiney sometimes if it didn’t grow up in the type of water you have, so prepare for some leaf-dropping. No big deal,though. Its attractive and flowery and provides great cover :D Try planting very near, in front of and around/in back of the wood.

These plants will require a fertilizer, so consider getting Seachem excel or Aqueon’s plant food. I like both! The sword would need root tabs.
Getting some cute terra cotta pots that are small is also a good option. Bury them part ways (though enough to hide in) for a cheeky and adorable effect.

I recommend a good bulb for this tank, opt for 6500K for good growth!
You can also find lots of these types of plants in silk. Keep an eye out for fake ones that look real and dot the tank in with them. Make sure theyre soft and safe.
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Old 06-13-2011, 06:41 PM   #6 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Oh em gee pardon how fugggllyy this is, but this is what was in my head X'D

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Old 06-13-2011, 08:04 PM   #7 
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What do y'all think about bamboo? I've had some ideas in mind...But I can't find my notebook where I put the ideas down. Maybe tomorrow at work I can redraw it. I'm always trying to impress my moms with my tanks, and my betta and catfish tanks aren't cutting it. Haha. She only likes the angel and Molly tank (WHICH BY THE WAY I AM TRYING TO GET RID OF BECAUSE I FEEL BAD FOR HAVING TWO MOLLIES AND AN ANGEL IN A 10 gal. So, if you're in Arkansas and want them....)
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:08 PM   #8 
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Id say dont waste the money on bamboo. It can only have its roots in the water, as if the leaves are submerged, itll die and rot, which smells awful.

It also makes it, if only partially submerged, look a little odd unless you have a specific theme, as well as inhibits you from using a lid, which isnt a good idea! :(
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:50 PM   #9 
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Location: Bluffton, SC
I just finished working on my tank today. It is a 10 gallon, natural look, but not everything is natural. I thought I'd share since I think it's similar to what you were looking for. It has about a dozen plants total: java fern, moneyworts, anubias, amazon swords, and water wisterias. It also has one plastic (safe) plant to baffle the filter intake, a betta leaf hammock, 2 small plastic decorations that provide tunnels and caves, an aquarium foam to baffle the filter outtake, and one large plastic driftwood-lookalike. The gravel is just the basic, natural looking gravel. The plants are all new so they haven't really grown in yet; it should look much fuller as the tank matures. I hope this helps you in designing your own tank.

PS: I love your doodle, PewPewPew.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:20 PM   #10 
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Heh, thanks /__\; <3

I like your tank, it looks nice! I love when people use wood or large stones as focal pieces, its such a good anchor for the eye. Itll grow in in a few weeks/months :D
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10gallon, beautiful, howto, planting

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