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Discussion Starter #1
In less than a week I have had to start another 5.5 gal. tank for a baby Blue Mustard Gas. Being raised from a Spawn that Ma Betta had a couple of months back. It may be awhile until he arrives but his tank will be ready and waiting. For now it will grow into a Nano tank with just plants. There is more substrate coming next week and also a glass canopy, instead of the hood that is on there now. Plus I ordered a Finnex Sting Ray 16 " for the lighting.
I had gone out and bought dark Fluorite which when I opened the bag turned out to be Red. Not only was the bag mislabeled But the product was nothing but mud very little substrate. Needless to say I tried it. (wish I had just thrown it out, which I did today.) It ended up being filler in the driveway. (I need to fill a pot hole.) All this even after I washed it and it ran clear. I will never recommend any one to use it. I would have been better to just use potting soil. At least that would have settled down.

Anyway I set up the tank, and got the plants I had bought into water before they died. (no reason to everything I bought.) I cleaned up the filter and got all that red crap out of it and washed off the heater. So I started this thread as a step by step of setting up a planted tank. I'm starting out with White sand (once again) I will put Plant tabs close to all the plants. The substrate will be between 2 and 2.5 inches deep. Good enough to root all plants. I have 4 Amazon swords in it right now 2 small ones clumped together for left side mid ground planting, and 2 medium sized that I'll plant in the back under the filter discharge. I have 1 Rosette sword which I'll plant to mid ground on the right side I'll be looking for Java Fern and Asian water fern and a nice piece of drift wood and some nice size colored rocks. I have a plan in my head what I want it to look like, and I hope it will look nice in a 5.5 gal.

I also have drawn some plans for a 40 gallon that I would like to get and get started on for an Australian rainbow tank and also another 75 Gal. African cichlid tank. My grand daughter is coming this weekend she is excited to see how her tanks are coming along. ( She claims all the tanks in the house as her's ) She sends me pictures of the 10 gallon we set up for her at her house, Her daddy says she really takes care of the tank and fish. When it's time to clean it she has daddy help taking the bucket away. (she fills it but a 5 year old carting a bucket through the house( That's an ugly thought)) LOL

If anyone has some ideas in the aquascape let me know.

https://www.bettafish.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=963842&stc=1&d=1562166038

https://www.bettafish.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=963844&stc=1&d=1562166038
 

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awesome! how exciting! thats great she has a tank and already a responsible pet owner! Thats going to be a great new home for the mustard gas!
I can't wait to get another tank which id better hurry while sale at petsmarts still happening. I got a Nicrew submersible 8w 15inch stick light that sticks to inside of the lid i was habing trouble finding the glass top last month and go figure now I see them everywhere for 16inch
I've discovered Vegas has really hard water so my first plants added were ludwigia and anubias. Betta loved the ludwigia and anubias started propagating. I got 5 small Marimo balls in isolation but they keep shedding small pieces not sure if ill use em- After few weeks added bacopa and java fern which I love. Ludwigia is slowly browning& shedding leaves sadly. Got some seachem flourish but after dosing 10drops I had brown algae bloom. Parameters are spot on (other than hardness) so I think caused by phosphate and probably silicates in treated tap water. To combat this I started using filtered water that i dechlorinate. I've never had live plants so this is trial and error for me and ludwigia is still dying so light maybe issue. lol
 

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Congratulations ... I think. I love the look of white sand, I could never get the plants to grow properly in it, too tough for the roots to spread and the root tabs always left behind residue. Wasn't sure what I was missing.

For the aquascaping, have you used the 'rule of thirds' before (called 'the golden rule' over at the green machine)? I've tried it, but it never lasts long as my tank usually winds up being a messy jungle as I start to chock it full of hides for my betta.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Most of my tanks have become jungles, which the betta don't mind. I wish I had gone with my first choice which was White sand. I was at Petsmart and could have picked it up then. But no I wanted to change to Florite Dark just to have a different look. Well it was defiantly a different look (Red Mud). Not what I wanted at all. I washed it until the water ran clean and slowly filled the tank. (I did this three times and each time all I got was a red mud cloud.) I left the filter work on it and left it settle. All it would take to stir it up again was trying to plant a plant. And Poof red mud cloud. So I drained the tank again removed the crap and washed the tank, filter, and heater. and replaced it with what white sand I had left and ordered another 25 pound bag. I'll have enough left out of that bag for another 5.5 gal. LOL.

Hay Tess, Did you plant the Ludwiga or float it? If you just planted the bunch with no roots It will not do well. When I get any bunch plant I weight it down and float it until there is a nice root ball. then I plant it. Otherwise It just dies. So if you did plant it next batch try just floating it. Plus Ludwiga is a low light to medium light plant.

For me I have to be able to slow current in the tanks and have found using medium to large swords in the back of the tank and floating bunch plants with the stems behind the swords (which help hold the bunch plants right under the discharge shoot.) I have an instant way to slow the water being discharged back into the tank and they do a very nice job for overhead cover.
 

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I LOVE the process of setting up a new tank.
Although I only discovered it fairly recently. For years I just had the one 70 litre (think that is 18 US gallons), and while I wanted more, it wasn't too practical to expand. Now I have 4. Am in heaven.

I also love the golden ratio and 'rule of thirds' @Veloran
https://www.aquasabi.com/aquascaping-wiki_aquascaping_aquascaping-with-the-golden-ratio

Had my tape measure out measuring the 200litre and laying it out when I did that this last March. Fun fun fun. Although it always goes slightly pear shaped when the plants start growing in. lol.

My old tank was always a U shape layout. With taller plants at either end and swimming space in the middle.
But now I have one Golden Ratio, one overgrown Jungle and two Arches, where the central features are resin roots, arching to meet in the middle. I would like to try something completely different, like a rock scape (Iwagumi) or a Dutch style (hugely verdant with contrasting colour shape of foliage). I think a Golden Spiral might be my ultimate dream, but the reality is that all my tanks end up looking rather the same. Different layout, and different plants, but somehow... all the same. To me anyway. Maybe I should introduce a few bright red or orange plants, just to mix it up a little. :)

But what am I saying? No matter what my grand plans, I ALWAYS end up just trying to make it comfortable for the fishy occupants - which means more plants and a jungly feel, surface cover and hiding places. haha!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think all tanks start out with a good shape and clean looks right after it is planted, but after the tank and plants are established and not trimmed short to keep it the same as when it was first laid out We get jungles and in a way those jungles are the very best for the fish. All the hides and different plants make the tank special for their occupants. As an established tank grows it becomes so beautiful to look at. And yes there is a need to trim some of the plants back but never too hard. It changes the hides and the area that each fish claims. So we have to be careful with larger tanks.

When I had my 75 gallon I looked at all my other tanks and decided NO I'm not planting this one. So African cichlid it was. The use of rock and making hides for them was a challenge and finding any plants that would stand up to the PH needs of the fish was even more so. It was a beautiful tank and was a good home for the fish.

So there are many ways, and materials that can be used to aquascape a tank. It's all up to the imagination.
 

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Thank you for the tip! This is my first experience with live plants so I appreciate the advice. The ludwigia I had taken the seachem glue and attached to glass pebble stone things and buried the bottom stem after a week or so it came off and the stem was gross Brown and squishy. the leaves were browning and falling off too so I took it out of tank put it in seperate pitcher with flourish and decholrinated water hoping to rejuvenate it. so now it's just floating. I will get some more and try again. Live and learn lol
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah if they don't have roots you need to float any bunch plant until they do have a good root ball. Other wise they end up like the ones you had.

I have been taking my time setting up this last tank and making sure of what I want in it as far as plants. I had to wait on the substrate to get here (it came today along with a glass canopy I ordered for Morry and Gilford's tank.) So I now have the substrate in, and some plants I got to start out with. Every thing is cycling and looking very clear. I'm going to Erie PA. To Buzz N Bee's shop to get the rest of my plants on Monday. I'm also going to look for a nice piece of driftwood and sort through some of his rocks, to see if I can find an accent piece.

I'm excited about this tank because of what is going into it. I Talked to Ma Betta last night and today, and she wants to wait until the spawn colors up more so she can tell their sex and pick me out a really nice boy. She breed two gorgeous Blue Mustard Gas and I really want one of here males. From the pictures she has sent me they are really getting big. and the color is just starting to show.

https://www.bettafish.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=963892&stc=1&d=1562370303

https://www.bettafish.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=963894&stc=1&d=1562370303

https://www.bettafish.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=963896&stc=1&d=1562370303

https://www.bettafish.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=963898&stc=1&d=1562370303
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yesterday I took the family to the Drake Well museum in Titisville PA. If you know your history, Titisville PA. was the first ever oil well in the US. It is a very interesting place and the well is still active and pumping. Anyway enough history. In the gift shop they had some rock samples from the area when they were drilling the well. There were geodes, (like the one on the left) There were Agates, (like the two in the center) And there was Jasper, (like the one on the right) This was known as Bulls eye or Leopard skin because of the spots. I thought they were really nice looking and I saw the smaller pieces. My wife looked at them and said now that would make a nice accent for the new tank your setting up. (great idea) If I can find a small piece of driftwood to place further front and fill every thing in with plants I think I might have something.

What do you all think.

https://www.bettafish.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=963934&stc=1&d=1562498739

https://www.bettafish.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=963936&stc=1&d=1562498739

https://www.bettafish.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=963938&stc=1&d=1562498739

https://www.bettafish.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=963940&stc=1&d=1562498739
 

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wow I love the rocks! those are wonderful. I've been following ma Bettas spawn logs they're so cute and growing fast! I went to petsmart and picked up a new 10gal kit and black gravel I love the way it looks in the tank. not sure what I want to put in yet but got it cycling while I figure it out
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Good deal. I think this is the first tank I can really take my time on and make it what I want. I'm sure you will find the same satisfaction with your new 10 gallon.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well as I said this tank is not finished and I'm taking my time until the new baby boy arrives . I have always said, IF YOU CAN SEE YOUR BETTA AT A GLANCE WHEN YOU LOOK AT YOUR TANK THEN YOU DON'T HAVE ENOUGH PLANTS. I've had those kind of jungles before and have learned just because you supply a lot of cover doesn't mean it has to look like a mess. You can have a lot of plants and cover, but maintain the plants by pruning to keep the tank looking good. Plants grow and in smaller tanks can quickly get out of hand.

I have chosen plants for this tank that grow at different rates and are easily cared for. The right plants and nice accents, the right lighting will make this tank enjoyable to not only me and others who view it, but it will be a healthy environment for a new baby boy to grow and play.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Today the tank improvement dept. struck again, As you can see I added another two rocks which I thought were really different, and two new foreground plants. A java chested fern on the left side, and an Anubias Frazin on the right. I still have a few more plants in mind but I didn't like what I saw today. I'll either shop on line or keep checking with my source in Erie. I would really like to get a few nice bunch plants to fill in the gaps behind the amazons weight them down so they stay put in the back and be large enough to fill the top with cover. I think the tank still looks bare. I might consider one mor short foreground plant in the very front or some short grasses.

All ideas are welcome.
 

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Well the need to clean little Bee's tank ( which needs a total cleaning.)has been put off long enough. So I moved him into the new setup today. I still need some bunch plants in the back for overhead cover, but it has cycled and is ready to accept a new life. He is in pig heaven exploring his new digs and it gives me a little buddy to watch when I'm at my desk.

So except for the overhead cover we are both liking it. I figured it this way He was my first betta after Ben's death, and to not have him in sight and be able to really see this beautiful fish like I did Ben I'm loosing the chance to interact with him. Morry has Gilford as a tank mate and they get along so very well and they are company for each other. Why should Little be be lonely when he wants and loves the attention I gave him only at feeding time.

As I sit here and watch him explore, he knows I'm there and will stop in the middle of the tank and flair. I think it's his way of saying I happy and Thank you. I'll post some pictures in a little while.
 

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OK I cleaned up Little Bee's old tank this morning. Took everything our and made sure all things were clean and neat for the next resident. I stole some plants and added them to Bee's new tank, but Hay don't you take things from old apartments at times. (curtain rods, things others left before you?) AnywayI'll get other plants before the new owner takes over.

https://www.bettafish.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=964084&stc=1&d=1562850168

https://www.bettafish.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=964086&stc=1&d=1562850168
 

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Haha! love the sign!
I bet you get someone interested in moving in very soon... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I'm hoping that happens soon. A little blue mustard gas would be nice.

I also started getting the basement ready to put this hobby into full gear. Ginger said I can do with what I want to in the basement with tanks. I started building racks and work benches to put smaller tanks on and have plenty of space for larger tanks. I want to rack about 8 40 gal. breeders for different fish. and have room for some 20 L gal. tanks for betta. It's going to take a while maybe 6 to 8 months but they will all be planted and ready to accept fish.

Little Bee is happy. I did add a few more plants today so the tank in a little fuller.

https://www.bettafish.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=964090&stc=1&d=1562857054

https://www.bettafish.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=964092&stc=1&d=1562857054
 

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look in fantastic! he is gorgeous and looks quite happy in his plants! I really love the unique rocks and geodes you chose in these. the stripes and colors look amazing against the solid substrate.
 
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