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Discussion Starter #1
Well hello.
Recently my betta fish died :(
And I just determined that it was probably because he most likely got scratched on his plastic plants then got a bacterial infection or something.
So after chucking out those lovely little killers plus my crappy fickle water tester I decided that I was going to try again. This time I'll do it right.
This time I'll add live plants. This time I'll buy quality water testers.
But of course I have questions because the online info has ranged so much.
Some say its complicated to run a planted tank, some say its not.

Tank size: 3.5g (halfmoon)
Filter: Yes
Heater:Yes

Any ways here are my questions.

1. What do I have to do in order to plant plants in my tank?
-How deep does the substrate have to be?
-Do plants need fish in the tank to thrive? can I add a betta fish later?
-How long does a tank have to cycle before I add plants?
-I have rather weak LED's in there. Would those work for plants?
-If no LED's than what kind?
-Could someone kindly list what they did in order to set up their planted tank?

2. The filter I have on this tiny 3.5 gallon tank is too strong for any betta fish. I tried before to buffer it by taking a brand new clean sponge and blocking the flow. Did this method somehow harm my fish?
-Should I keep this method or is there a safer way?
-How often am I supposed to change the filter cartridge?
-Will this filter pose any threats to any plants I might add?

3. The heater in my tank keeps the water at an even 78.8 degrees. However this heater was originally meant for a 2.5 gallon tank. Does this mean I should turn the heat up to compensate for the extra gallon? Or is it fine?
-The heater is currently on the side but is there a better place to put it?
-Because of the lid I keep finding the water level dropping. Is this because of the heater?
-Is it possible that my heater burned my fish?

4. I have a decorative dragon in the tank that has an air stone at the base. The dragon is supposed to spew bubbles to help the tank but because of the long winding body the little bubbles connect and form big bubbles on the way out. When they come out they are explosive and large. They disrupt the surface water a lot.
-What could I put inside the dragon to help keep the bubbles small?
-Would having an air stone in the tank effect any plants i might put in?
-Is an air stone actually beneficial to a betta fish?

5. The substrate I have is a small rock like substance that is roughly 5mm across each. Should I throw the substrate out too because of how my last betta died?
-What other cautions should I take in order to help build up my tank?
-How would I clean a filter thoroughly?
-What do I use to clean the tank?

6. Once plants are in place and I actually have a fish, how often and what percentage of water should I change?
-What pH do the plants need or can survive in?

7. Anyone know of good plants for this nano tank that are good for a betta?
8. Anyone have any ideas on how to set up this small tank in a way it looks good and is functional?
 

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I don't have much to help you with, as for your plant question I'm in the midst of getting answers myself! However your filter question I think the sponge is fine I don't see how that contributed to your fish's death (sorry by the way, S.I.P little guy). As long as it isn't like a bathroom cleaning sponge with chemicals all over it I think thats a fine way to keep the flow deterred. Hope someone is able to be more helpful! Good luck ;-) Also most filters need to be changes every three to four weeks it should say on the packaging or tank box.
 

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If you're using sponges in your filters as well as to baffle flow you shouldn't have to change your filter until it falls.apart. Just rinse it in tank water and stick it back in. The right sponge harbors bacteria that helps break down harmful chemicals and convert them to beneficials that feed plants and don't harm fish. I have a hard time posting links with this phone, but there's a two sentence tutorial on cycling a tank here on the forum.
 

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RusselltheShihTzu
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21,024 Posts
Well hello.
Recently my betta fish died :(
And I just determined that it was probably because he most likely got scratched on his plastic plants then got a bacterial infection or something.
So after chucking out those lovely little killers plus my crappy fickle water tester I decided that I was going to try again. This time I'll do it right.
This time I'll add live plants. This time I'll buy quality water testers.
But of course I have questions because the online info has ranged so much.
Some say its complicated to run a planted tank, some say its not.

Tank size: 3.5g (halfmoon)
Filter: Yes
Heater:Yes

Any ways here are my questions.

1. What do I have to do in order to plant plants in my tank?
-How deep does the substrate have to be? At least 2" but 3" is better
-Do plants need fish in the tank to thrive? can I add a betta fish later? No and Yes
-How long does a tank have to cycle before I add plants? You can cycle a tank with plants
-I have rather weak LED's in there. Would those work for plants? LED are fine. Do you know their output?
-If no LED's than what kind? I like these: http://www.aquavibrant.com/lighting/finnex-tri-color-stingray.html
-Could someone kindly list what they did in order to set up their planted tank? Substrate and plants. Floating/stem plants need liquid fertilizer; rooted need root tabs

2. The filter I have on this tiny 3.5 gallon tank is too strong for any betta fish. I tried before to buffer it by taking a brand new clean sponge and blocking the flow. Did this method somehow harm my fish? No
-Should I keep this method or is there a safer way?
-How often am I supposed to change the filter cartridge? When it falls apart. Do not go not go by what the manufacturer suggests and replace every few months.
-Will this filter pose any threats to any plants I might add? No

3. The heater in my tank keeps the water at an even 78.8 degrees. However this heater was originally meant for a 2.5 gallon tank. Does this mean I should turn the heat up to compensate for the extra gallon? Or is it fine? You'll have to wait and see
-The heater is currently on the side but is there a better place to put it? No
-Because of the lid I keep finding the water level dropping. Is this because of the heater? Normal evaporation
-Is it possible that my heater burned my fish? No

4. I have a decorative dragon in the tank that has an air stone at the base. The dragon is supposed to spew bubbles to help the tank but because of the long winding body the little bubbles connect and form big bubbles on the way out. When they come out they are explosive and large. They disrupt the surface water a lot. Good
-What could I put inside the dragon to help keep the bubbles small?
-Would having an air stone in the tank effect any plants i might put in? No
-Is an air stone actually beneficial to a betta fish? Yes. Surface agitation important to aquatic health

5. The substrate I have is a small rock like substance that is roughly 5mm across each. Should I throw the substrate out too because of how my last betta died?
-What other cautions should I take in order to help build up my tank?
-How would I clean a filter thoroughly? You don't. You rinse it out in old tank water
-What do I use to clean the tank?

6. Once plants are in place and I actually have a fish, how often and what percentage of water should I change?
-What pH do the plants need or can survive in?

7. Anyone know of good plants for this nano tank that are good for a betta?
8. Anyone have any ideas on how to set up this small tank in a way it looks good and is functional?
All the rest depend on personal preference, light output and parameters.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you Witchipoo!
Yes I have read the two sentence tutorial but still am a little confused.
I think I need to read it over when I'm not as tired as I was the first time.
 
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