Mara's Planted Tank Project 2017 - Suggestions? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Mara's Planted Tank Project 2017 - Suggestions?

Hi guys,

So it's always been a bit of a dream of mine to have a planted tank. My Fishy is feeling kind of down and, barring diseases, I'm hoping a bigger tank with more organics might make him feel better.

I'm going to make a checklist of things to get along the way as my way of planning everything. I might also put the prices as a mental note, cause I'll be buying a little here and there out of every paycheck.

I'm totally new to all of this, so please, if you have tips or suggestions, feel free to share! I could really use some ideas for a couple items.


[ $59.99 ] 20 Gallon Long tank - maybe?
[ $39.99 ] 20 Gallon Long Aquarium stand - this one will probably put tank on the bottom though, I'd be worried my giant 75 dog would run into it and knock it over. Maybe will add another tank with some other fish in the future to the top one?
[ $20.99 ] Heater - Hydor 100w Submersible
[ ] Filter - ?? Suggestions please!
[ ] Pump - ??
[ ] Lightbulbs - ?? HELP?

[ ] Organic potting soil - no idea? I could use some suggestions! Preferably something I could buy online or at a pretty common store, i.e. Wal-Mart or Lowe's Hardware.
[ $19.99 ] Cap - This maybe?
[ ] Hard scrape - I'm not really sure.. I like the look of Chollo wood, but there's some nice driftwood on Aquabid.

PLANTS
[ ] Naja grass
[ ] H. corymbosa
[ ] Rotala indica
[ ] Echinodorus bleheri
[ ] Microsorium pteropus
[ ] Vesicularia dubyana
[ ] Limnobium laevigatum

Maybe some additional livestock? Snails or shrimp? What would be good for a planted tank?
Also, what's a good procedure for making sure plants/scrape is safe for the tank?
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 07:12 PM
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Filter... I have two sponge filters rated for 20G on my 20 Long. I use the Tetra Whisper Air Pump 40 on for both, but they are connected. If you can't sleep well with noise, these are not the air pumps for you. As a light, I have a 30" Finnex Stingray for my tank. Love it!

I've never used organic potting soil, someone will have to give you advice on that.

ETA: I'd just get a 20g long at the $1/gal sale. Then get a 30" glass canopy.

For fish, you can have way more than just snails and shrimp, if your Betta will tolerate it. Pygmy Cories, Danios, Livebearers, etc.

(Typing fast on my iPad, sorry.)

The Males~
Lucifer, Gabriel, Titan, King, Finnegan, Fin-again & Ricky.
Lucifer & Gabriel are my only non-rescues...

The Females~
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Last edited by ThatFishThough; 02-08-2017 at 07:15 PM.
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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 09:08 PM
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Second the $1/gal sale! I made my own lid, so I can't help you there.

I have two of these on my 20L : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
They're only $9 each for the 15gal if you have a prime account, I replaced the filter cartridges with my own media. They're really quiet, I have another right next to my bed and all you can hear is the water falling, when your water level gets too low.

I have this light and it works awesome for me: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I have hornwort, java moss, anacharis, anubias, swords, java fern, etc that are doing great with it.

I've never used potting soil either, but the sand I use in my tanks is pool filter sand from Home Depot.

I prefer driftwood, but that's just a personal preference. For making things tank safe, I always boil my driftwood before adding it to the tank, if you're going to add any rocks and aren't sure they're aquarium safe you can sprinkle vinegar on them and if it fizzles they fail, I also boiled my smaller rocks too since I didn't know where they came from. For plants I just do a good rinse to get rid of any snails, but I know know my plant source and am not worried about catching anything from them besides pond snails.

In my 20L I have nerite snails, red cherry shrimp, corys, and platys living with my betta, you have lots of different options!
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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 11:41 PM
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Don't get the National Geographic sand. The black one I got raised my water pH sky high.


If there is Tractors Supply store near you, Black Diamond Blasting Sand 20/40 grit is supposed to be cheap and good. Many people use only sand as substrate.
Black Diamond Medium Blasting Abrasives - For Life Out Here
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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 06:57 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions guys! :D
@ryry2012 I do have a Tractor Supply near me.. and that is pretty dang cheap. I think I'll go with that!
@halleyana Okay! So I think I'll go with that light. I wonder if this glass canopy would go with it well? There's that strip of plastic in the center I'm wondering about... how wide is the light?

& Boiling scrape before putting it in.. got it!
@ThatFishThough I would LOVE to have more critters in the tank.. mine's pretty feisty though. :lol

And the $1/gal sale... sounds like a great deal!
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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 07:16 AM Thread Starter
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Dang it, it looks like I can't edit the thread. I'll just repost my checklist.

[ $20 ] 20 Gallon Long tank - Wait for the $1/gal sale at Petco
[ $25.99 ] Hood - 30" Glass canopy
[ $39.99 ] 20 Gallon Long Aquarium stand - this one will probably put tank on the bottom though, I'd be worried my giant 75 dog would run into it and knock it over. Maybe will add another tank with some other fish in the future to the top one?
[ x ] Heater - Hydor 100w Submersible
[ $11 ] Filter - Sponge filter x2
[ $10.61 ] Pump - Tetra Whisper Air Pump 40
[ $42.99 ] Lightbulbs - Nicrew LED Aquarium Light, 28-36"

[ ] Organic potting soil - no idea? I could use some suggestions! Preferably something I could buy online or at a pretty common store, i.e. Wal-Mart or Lowe's Hardware.
[ $7.99 ] Cap - Black Diamond Blasting Abrasives
[ ] Hard scrape - Driftwood

PLANTS
[ ] Naja grass
[ ] H. corymbosa
[ ] Rotala indica
[ ] Echinodorus bleheri
[ ] Microsorium pteropus
[ ] Vesicularia dubyana
[ ] Limnobium laevigatum

I'd love to do a java moss wall as well as the backdrop of the tank!

Also, what do you guys think of these? They're so pretty!

Last edited by marabriscoe; 02-09-2017 at 07:25 AM.
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 07:26 AM
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Go for them. They are a blue version of Red Cherry Shrimp.

The Males~
Lucifer, Gabriel, Titan, King, Finnegan, Fin-again & Ricky.
Lucifer & Gabriel are my only non-rescues...

The Females~
Karma
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marabriscoe View Post
@halleyana Okay! So I think I'll go with that light. I wonder if this glass canopy would go with it well? There's that strip of plastic in the center I'm wondering about... how wide is the light?
The light is about 4.25" wide, here's a pic of it on my 20L if that helps (pardon my feet)
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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 01:33 PM
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Organic potting soil - You should find one without fertilizer or anything else. I heard soil with sand cap can be messy when you pull out plants and vacuum clean. You can go all sand substrate. Many people do that. I have a 5.5g with sand as well.


Black Diamond Sand - You have to rinse it well.


Shrimp are supposed to be very sensitive to water parameters. I'd wait to get them until the tank is cycled, fully matured, and heavily planted. You don't want the betta to snack them.
Those blue shrimp are so pretty! Don't forget to upload come pictures if you get them


You should check craigslist every now and then. Sometimes people offer good stuff at cheap price. Once I saw someone giving away a 85 gallon tank with stand. They looked clean and in good condition. The ad was removed within a few hours. Someone got lucky. You might be able to find a nice used aquarium stand.
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 07:52 PM
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Substrate, Black fluorite is really great!
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