Planted Tanks in Dorm? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-25-2019, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Planted Tanks in Dorm?

I've wanted a planted tank for a while now but I'm a little hesitant since I live in a dorm. My success has been limited to a single marimo ball but I think that's due to the fact I buried all of my roots under gravel. Oops.

Does anyone have experience with planted aquariums in dorms? Will it be okay to leave a planted tank alone for a week at a time? Obviously, my bettas travel home with me but I won't be around to turn the light on and off in the tank.

(Also, if anyone has any plant recommendations I'd appreciate it).
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-25-2019, 01:26 PM
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Have you considered putting the lights on a timer?

I think you could do a planted tank if you know what you are doing, but it would be best to start out with low light/maintenance plants before you branch off to plants that may require comprehensive fertilizers and or CO2.
There are lots of plants that are great for beginners, my personal choices are different species of anubias, java fern, crypts, java moss, floating plants, amazon swords, and valisineria.

I have kept all but one of these plants, they were easy, but my water and lack of proper understanding had killed them. I recommend a basic route of fertilization through Seachem Flourish, Excel, and Iron.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-25-2019, 02:47 PM
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As mentioned by Lunatic, java moss, java fern, anubias, cabomba, anacharis, sword plants are ones that come to mind. For me, crypts will grow once I get them established, but establishing them is where I have a problem. Carpeting plants need a little work, but I've had pygmy chain swords grow with very little work.

As far as leaving them for a week, one of my experimental planted tank has a DIY CO2 setup and I fertilize using the PPS Pro method (fertilize every day) and I'm able to take a week+ vacation and not really have much of an impact on the tank. At minimum, you should have a light timer and the plants will be fine. Root feeders will only really need fertilizer maintenance once a month or so.

I wouldn't be afraid of trying plants.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-25-2019, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Alright, I probably will look into that this weekend then. No I have not since there is a small possibility the power will be shut down over break.

As for plants I would definitely go low light since the tank sits in the cubby on my desk. I do already have some Flourish tabs laying around from my previous attempt at a planted tank. Would you say I can get away with just the tablets or is the excel and iron necessary?
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-25-2019, 04:57 PM
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Some plants are easier than others, and some like higher or lower light.
While my tank was low light, the anubias were really easy.
Now I have better lighting, other plants are doing better.

If I were you, I would find a good online shop that sells aquarium plants, and have a good read. The best shops give details like light requirements, growth habits, water preferences (temperature, hardness, pH), and how to plant. Some do better with their roots in the substrate, others with their roots attached to rocks.

You can probably pick a couple to try, based on looks and suitability to your tank, light, etc.
And I agree that a timer on a light will help a lot.

Probably worth watching a few you tube videos about your chosen plants too.
The thing I have learned most from them was to not worry about a bit of ‘plant melt’ and to accept that some plants, no matter how suitable they may seem, just won’t be happy in your tank. But there will always be another plant that LOVES your tank.

70litre tank: (Kham) mature setup; betta, purple rasboras, amano and wood shrimp. Heavily planted.
22litre cube tank: (Tagawa); betta, 1 amano, yellow dwarf shrimp. Pond snails and 1 assassin. Heavily planted.
57litre cube tank: ember tetras, 2 amano, 1 nerite, pond snails, 1 assassin, doing his thing. Heavily planted.
200litre tank; honey gourami, cherry barbs, green neons, otocinclus, nerites, pond snails, amano. Heavily planted.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-25-2019, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caelth View Post
Alright, I probably will look into that this weekend then. No I have not since there is a small possibility the power will be shut down over break.

As for plants I would definitely go low light since the tank sits in the cubby on my desk. I do already have some Flourish tabs laying around from my previous attempt at a planted tank. Would you say I can get away with just the tablets or is the excel and iron necessary?
What fertilizer is required depends on what type of plants you are growing. The ones that need their roots buried in the substrate like Amazon Swords, Crypts, and Vals require root tabd and the swords require iron. The ones that can be floated, or tied to rocks or driftwood, like anubia, anacharis, java fern, or water wisteria need a liquid fertilizer because they feed from the water column rather then the substrate. Most of the plants will benefit from excel if you are not wanting to do CO2 injections, BUT I've learned that too much excel can cause anacharis to die so be careful if you use it and have that plant.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-25-2019, 07:13 PM
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You do not need Excel for low light plants. Better so spend you $$ on a water column fertilizer, which Excel is not, like SeaChem Flourish.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-26-2019, 08:49 AM
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Totally forgot about anacharis, that's a great plant as it grows like a weed!

I never had much luck with it though, seems it fares better when in cooler water than of betta liking.
The fertilizers are also just a recommendation, considering that you may want to expand your boundaries of plants, and such things will come in handy.

I have been keeping anubias in a moderately lit tank, and I am supplementing with Flourish every week or so, they seem to do just fine.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-26-2019, 11:23 AM
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Haha!
I just had to look up anacharis, because I’m not familiar with it.

- and it is Elodea. At least, I have always referred to it as Elodea.

Does that just show my age or something? Or is it because I’m British?

70litre tank: (Kham) mature setup; betta, purple rasboras, amano and wood shrimp. Heavily planted.
22litre cube tank: (Tagawa); betta, 1 amano, yellow dwarf shrimp. Pond snails and 1 assassin. Heavily planted.
57litre cube tank: ember tetras, 2 amano, 1 nerite, pond snails, 1 assassin, doing his thing. Heavily planted.
200litre tank; honey gourami, cherry barbs, green neons, otocinclus, nerites, pond snails, amano. Heavily planted.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-26-2019, 01:33 PM
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I don't have a lot of experience with plants, but maybe that's a good thing for this post! I've already killed a bunch of plants since starting my tank a few months ago but now I am at a point where things are not only not dying but are thriving!

I use vital tabs root tabs in the substrate and aquarium co-op easy green all in one fertilizer. Together these two things cost $32 which is pretty expensive in my opinion. That's why I didn't use them when I first got my plants and I have ended up killing more than $32 of plants. These things will last a super long time and the root tabs only need to be put in every 2-3 months and the liquid fertilizer is once a week so you'll be fine going home for a week. Like others have said get a light timer for your light, I got mine around Christmas time at Walmart for $2.

The plant that has been growing the best for me is amazon frogbit. I got mine from ebay. I love how it looks floating on top of the water and the roots grow down which is awesome for my betta to hide and play in! They grow so quickly I will soon have to start taking some out of my tank because they're getting a little bit out of control.

The picture below is from the day I got them and then 8 days later!
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