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Old 06-06-2011, 11:49 AM   #1 
cableguy69846
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New tank

Ok, so I have this 2 gallon hexagon tank sitting around, and thought I would try to plant it and have a betta in it. It is one of those PetCo kit tanks with everything in it. It came with an under gravel filter that I am not going to use. I will be putting a Hagen Elite Mini in it. It also has a 5 watt incandescent light that I am going to keep on it. The substrate is going to be potting soil with a black gravel cap. Not sure on plants yet, but I will be looking around. This is what I have so far. I painted 3 of the panels black to act as a background.

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Old 06-06-2011, 11:52 AM   #2 
bettafish15
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I don't really know if incandescents are going to make your plants grow, flourescent is better from my understanding :)
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:00 PM   #3 
cableguy69846
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I don't really know if incandescents are going to make your plants grow, flourescent is better from my understanding :)
Fluorescent is much better. There is no doubt of that. I really wanted to try this due to the fact that I have some plants growing under incandescent at the moment, and I wanted to try different plants. I am sure something will grow, it is just a matter of finding which one. If it does not work out, I will upgrade the lighting, and see what happens.
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:21 PM   #4 
Sweeda88
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I agree, you want fluorescent lights if you have live plants. Also, it shows off the fish's colors better. Make sure you get a heater! Bettas NEED warm water (78-80 degrees).
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:10 PM   #5 
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I agree with what everyone ahas said about the florescent light...Not only is it better for plants, but I think the florescent make the plants and fish look nicer.You may be able to find a light bulb that can fit in there..or.. you could try doing a mix of natural light...But then you have to watch out for algae... I would start off with some anubias, mosses and maybe some crypts or java moss.....When you use potting mix do you have to mix it with anything else? or do you just rinse it and then add it in and cap it..I am sort of wanting to do this with my smaller tanks but I am not sure exactly how to set it up...wouldn't potting soil cause my tank to spike in ammonia? definitely take photos once its all set up I would love to see it. :D

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Old 06-06-2011, 02:28 PM   #6 
cableguy69846
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I agree with what everyone ahas said about the florescent light...Not only is it better for plants, but I think the florescent make the plants and fish look nicer.You may be able to find a light bulb that can fit in there..or.. you could try doing a mix of natural light...But then you have to watch out for algae... I would start off with some anubias, mosses and maybe some crypts or java moss.....When you use potting mix do you have to mix it with anything else? or do you just rinse it and then add it in and cap it..I am sort of wanting to do this with my smaller tanks but I am not sure exactly how to set it up...wouldn't potting soil cause my tank to spike in ammonia? definitely take photos once its all set up I would love to see it. :D
I am thinking of doing a fluorescent light in the desk lamp I have. It may work better. And as for a heater, I am not going to run one until the summer is over. The other 2 tanks I have have done fin without them, especially when they room they are in averages 80-85 degrees in the summer. So that will not be an issue at the moment. I have some Apontogen growing under incandescent lighting, and it is doing really well. So I will see. I am probably going to start with some Java Fern on a rock or something like that. And as far as the substrate goes, I am not going to add anything. I am just going to cap it with black gravel and see how it goes. If everything fails, then I will do the necessary changes and I will make sure it is all stable before I put any plants in the tank. I will be taking pictures and explaining everything as I go. And I am going to see what I can do about a different light fixture. I will keep you all informed, and thanks for the feedback.
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:24 PM   #7 
Oldfishlady
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With soil based tanks it is important to start out with the right number and species of live plants or the tank may crash on you really fast.....Soil is a lot different than gravel since it is basically alive or will be soon...lol.....

The wrong lights is the biggest reason live plants fail so it is important that you start out with the right kind of lights....look for 6500k range bulbs to get best growth....the active growth of the right kind of plants is what keep the water safe for livestock

Plants-you want to start with lots of stem plants at least 75% of the floor planted with stems..add your other species of plants too and hard scape.......once the tank matures and stable (3mo) you can start removing some of the stem to give the other species room....you also want to have floating plants 20-25% water lettuce, frogbit, duckweed work well for this

In the first weeks to month you either need to start out with trumpet snails to help aerate the soil or poke the soil every couple of days until the stem plants send enough roots with oxygen into the soil to prevent anaerobic areas.....

Soil based tanks are great and care free once they are stable provided that you start out right......

Look forward to seeing your natural planted tank grow.....
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:48 PM   #8 
cableguy69846
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With soil based tanks it is important to start out with the right number and species of live plants or the tank may crash on you really fast.....Soil is a lot different than gravel since it is basically alive or will be soon...lol.....

The wrong lights is the biggest reason live plants fail so it is important that you start out with the right kind of lights....look for 6500k range bulbs to get best growth....the active growth of the right kind of plants is what keep the water safe for livestock

Plants-you want to start with lots of stem plants at least 75% of the floor planted with stems..add your other species of plants too and hard scape.......once the tank matures and stable (3mo) you can start removing some of the stem to give the other species room....you also want to have floating plants 20-25% water lettuce, frogbit, duckweed work well for this

In the first weeks to month you either need to start out with trumpet snails to help aerate the soil or poke the soil every couple of days until the stem plants send enough roots with oxygen into the soil to prevent anaerobic areas.....

Soil based tanks are great and care free once they are stable provided that you start out right......

Look forward to seeing your natural planted tank grow.....
Thanks for the tips. I am thinking it will be a few months before there are any fish or shrimp in it, but I will take into account what you told me. Would some anacharis be sufficient for the stem plant, and I am pretty sure I can get away with some duckweed as the floater. I am hopefully going to get it running this weekend. That is, if I can find some plants and decide on a hardscape. I will keep this thread updated.
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:27 AM   #9 
Oldfishlady
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Thats not that greatest plant unless you have had success with it before planted and have a good place to get it.....better stems....naja, hygrophilia's, rotalas, ludwigia, wisterias....are all good species..fast growing...low-mod light needs.....
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:47 AM   #10 
cableguy69846
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Thats not that greatest plant unless you have had success with it before planted and have a good place to get it.....better stems....naja, hygrophilia's, rotalas, ludwigia, wisterias....are all good species..fast growing...low-mod light needs.....
I have had success but I hate that plant as it easily comes uprooted and takes over a tank too quickly. I like Hygrophila difformis and Rotala rotundifolia. And was thinking of using one or both between this tank and my 10 gallon.
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