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Discussion Starter #1
I like my tanks to be fish jungles.

Bettas love plants. They love LOTS of plants to hide in, hunt in, make nests in and to hide very thoroughly from me in when I need to catch them in a hurry. So I try to make them happy and stuff as many plants in as I can without utterly depleting the oxygen.

I'm learning a lot about aquatic plants and how to grow them (and how NOT to grow them, ha) and 'underwater gardening' is every bit as fascinating to me as keeping fish.

Anyway, here's my ever-evolving planted betta tanks, in order of size - most have either RCS or Darwin Algae Shrimp in addition, and a ton of various interesting snails, only some of which like to eat my precious red lotuses (which is why I now have a snail bucket):

3.5 GALLON SHRIMP ASSASSIN HABITAT (Cleo, female veiltail):



COLE'S GROoOo0oOOVY 10 G BACHELOR PAD (Cole, male plakat):



WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE (the 100+ Liter betta strohi tank):




NOT PICTURED: RESIDENT EVIL (the snail bucket, population TOO MANY).
 

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Wow these are very pretty. How do you get them to grow so nicely? I do not have an underwater green thumb.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you, otter and LittleWatty.

No great secret - I just make sure the lights I use will support plant growth, throw a little Flourish in, some clay based root tabs for the root feeders like swords. I was lucky enough to buy some very generous and healthy 'plant packs' from some members of my favourite Aussie fish forum, and the plants in the strohi tank are nowhere near what they ought to be like, as they were in a very cramped holding tank for a month.. I expect them to look pretty fantastic in six months' time, and once I've moved house, there'll be some really nice red lotuses to pick the colour scheme up as well. :)
 

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I guess my tanks just need time - and variety! XD I would love to one day have a truly natural looking tank. I think they're more beautiful than the synthetic tanks, filled with neon gravel and plants, and the "unique" decorations. But, that's just my opinion XD

What kind of plants do you have in there? At the very best I can discern what looks like a lily, amazon sword, and water wisteria XD
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
In the 10 gallon I have green and red lotuses (you can see my very tiny baby red ones up the front, so proud of those, I grew them from seed) , dwarf baby tears, amazon sword, rotala, wisteria, riccia, java fern, java moss, peacock moss, hairgrass, blyxa, hornwort, susswassertang, several species of cryptocorene, duckweed, amazon frogbit and.. a few others I can't think of the names of right now. :lol:

In the strohi tank it's mainly mosses, java fern and anubias, a little hairgrass, a little hydrilla, a couple of swords and some very cool reeds I got from the local hardware store and can't recall the name of.

Insomnia just wipes my memory some days, so annoying. Anyway, lots of varieties. Don't be afraid to try growing new things - some will boom, some will perish.. keep at it, and you'll figure things out as you go. Check out forums or sales sites that sell stuff local to you - those plant packs were not only great and wayyy cheaper than LFS prices, but I got a lot of good advice from the sellers, too.
 

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If I had money to spend, I'd definitely look into buying packs from somewhere. I try to buy the free floating plants, because they're cheaper, but they do seem to like dying faster than the potted/tubed. I branched out a little from my usuals and got some frill (heard its very similar, but cleaner, than hornwort. I like it so far), moneywort (75% of it died pretty quick, but I've got a few long stalks that are barely alive still), dwarf hair grass, and a weird broad leaf sword I've never seen before. I really hope the hairgrass and frill take off, as they look so calm and serene. I would definitely have more, but the Petco closest to me never seems to have any good plants, and the only other LPS that are "close" are about a half a gas tank drive away, and one always has so much algae in the tank it makes me gag.

One of these days, I'm going to have an epic NPT sorority XD but... my 10 gallon and under tanks are a start right now lol
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If you're on a tight budget (which I mostly am) you can still get a great jungly look with just a few species, especially if those have between them a variety of leaf shapes and/or colours. My little 3.5 gallon has far fewer plant species than the 10 gallon, but looks even more lush somehow (it's also far more established than the 10g). Driftwood's also great for a natural look and with java fern and anubias attached can really pop.

Never give up on a plant until it's for sure dead as a doornail. Many aquatic plants really hate change, and some are notorious for dying back in new water, only to sprout like mad once they've adjusted. Which could take weeks.. and weeks.. :-D

I'd so post you a ton of java fern if you were in Aus.
 

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Oh, I've already got loads of Javafern! Thanks for the offer though XD Its just really spread out between my tanks lol most of it is in my uncycled 3 gallons, to help a little with nitrogen content and water clarity. I've got one piece (with a baby) in my 10 gallon, and one piece in my CT's 6.6 gallon bookshelf. So far my favorite is definitely my (what I believe is) Dwarf Lily (Link). Its growing like crazy, and adds a little more color variety to the otherwise green tanks. I've been having decent luck with aponogeton too, and I love its unique, crinkled leaves too. One of mine won't stop flowering XD It sends up a flower every couple days, and it drives me nuts. I know people here tend to hate the insta-bulbs, but I've had good luck with them. All my onions grew, 50% of my aponogeton grew, and both of my lilies are thriving. Guess I just got lucky lol Wish my wisteria would grow, but it always melts after a few weeks of good growth. I just barely managed to save most of my stems, and they've only got a few leaves left.
 

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Lovely!

Inspiring!
 

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breathtakingly beautiful :O
I've been waiting for you to post a thread up in here since forever Aus :D
 

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Gah! Your planted tanks are amazing! Mine all have java fern/ java moss but I want some driftwood to attach it to. I reckon the benefit of having a fully planted tank is amazing for appearance and for betta.
 

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Very nice.....I love the lush, jungle look too.....

Are you injecting CO2....I could never get the baby tears to carpet for me-they grew okay-but more upright in my tanks.

Once you get started with plants its hard to go back to fake....lol....
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thankyou everyone! I just hope they hold up in our imminent move (once we find a suitable house..) - I have a pretty good plan for minimal disruption though.

OFL, no CO2, just a very bright spot at the front of the 10 gallon tank due to poor tank design on the manufacturer's part, heh. It makes a good spot for the baby's tears, however, and a couple of other light-loving species.
 

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Assassin snail will help snail problem caves from driftwood and lava rock may have problems with shrimp other than that nice.
 
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