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Old 03-16-2012, 09:57 AM   #1 
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Sorzella's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2012
Natural VS artificial plants? New tank setup

Hello everyone,

I am new to this forum but I thought I should try to ask and see the answers I get.

I will be setting up a 6 gallon fishtank pretty soon.

The main fish will be my betta, Neo.

My sister had fishtanks for a while, she normally goes with artificial decorative plants. Once she tried to have natural plants, but her tank ended up coverred in algaes, so she went back to plastic.

I would prefer to have natural plants, but I am not sure what she did wrong. Any advice on having natural plants and avoiding algaes?

Also, I read a little about possible roommates for betta, here is what I was thinking of adding :

- 6 tetra neons
- 2 or 3 ghost shrimps to keep the bottom clean
- perhaps 1 snail... not sure
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:05 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Kingston, Ontario
That's weird.. plants should reduce algae by competing with it.
I'd start with a java fern, java moss, or anubias.. These need low light, 8 hours a day should be good.. They should do fine in just natural room light, do not place the aquarium in a sunny place though, this will produce too much light and algae will grow.

6 gallons is far too small for neon tetra. It will only hold your betta, and shrimp.. If you want to add more fish, you need at least 10 gallons of room :)
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:18 AM   #3 
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Plants do out compete algae, provided they have sufficient nutrients. If they run out ... they stop photosynthesizing and algae takes advantage.

The main problem people make, and thus leads to algae, is too much light and too long a duration. If you keep the light in balance with the nutrients, you will not be over run with algae. You will get some, no mater what, but it will be manageable and not out of control. With proper balance, you'll only have to clean the front glass to keep it clear for viewing.
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Old 03-16-2012, 02:27 PM   #4 
Draug Isilme
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Arkansas
^ Agreed. You really need to make sure you find that sweet spot with your tank in particular. There's a general area, but sometimes it takes a bit of tweeking with lighting and such to make sure you find that balance specifically made for your tanks needs.
Also, make sure you do your research with the plants you get; you wouldn't want to buy a plant that needs tons of lighting and care if you're trying to aim for low light/low maintenance plants.. Or get a low light plant that needs lots of nutrients from soil if you're aiming to just use rocks for substrate.... Make sure you pay close attention to kelvins with lightbulbs if you're going to use that instead of natural sunlight; if it doesn't say anything about kelvins on the package, don't bother getting it.
I've had algae try to take advantage of my plants. I was putting fertilizers, but I stopped and reduced the lighting. That way there isn't extra nutrients for the algae to feed off of and there's only enough light for the plants I want to grow- Save for iiiiiitty biiiiiitty patches here and there I've managed to find the sweet spot ^.^ It took the algae taking over my microsword to convince me enough was enough ;__;.. poor microsword... but yeah, you definitely don't want to give algae the edge!
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