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Old 08-27-2011, 12:02 PM   #11 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Hmm I think I might try a live plant or two then. Next question, I have read that you can have or not have substrate(i think that is what you call the sand/stones/whatever on the bottom) What do you betta experts recommend.
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Old 08-27-2011, 01:19 PM   #12 
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: East Bay, California
You're correct, substrate is the gravel/sand/soil/etc. Usually it's a personal choice. I met a guy who had completely bare tanks, and while I'm sure they were easy to clean, they're weren't very welcoming to look at. Some folks like sand because it's fairly easy to vaccum up any waste - it basically sits on the top. Gravel is nice because of the wide array of colors and different sizes. Some folks even use glass stones. If you did have a larger tank that you were going to cycle, substrate is a place for your bacteria to grow too. The type of substrate you choose can be based on the type of plants you'd like to get too. I have gravel in all of my tanks, but the stem plants I have do really well in gravel. Plus, all of my tanks are 10gal and over so I'm not an expert on the smaller set-ups. I'd say gravel is the most popular, but I'm sure you'll get a lot of nice opinions on this topic.
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Old 08-27-2011, 03:12 PM   #13 
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: British Columbia, Canada
One word of caution about sand - ir can develop pockets of deadly gas which can kill your fish when released. Therefore precautions must be taken when using sand - stirring it on a regular basis from what I'm told. That's not to say sand is bad - just that you should research further before making a decision :)

For what its worth, I like gravel rather than the bare tank look. As flowerslegacy says, it's a place for good bacteria to grow and gives rooting plants something to hold on to.
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