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I think that the white sand is stunning! I love white sand myself. You need some taller plants in the back, perhaps moneywort or vals. Vals grow quickly and send multiple runners around quickly. Check out aquascaping pictures on google, they can be very inspiring!

Maybe instead of the cup, you could get some driftwood or a natural looking ornament for a hidey-hole. Rocks work really well to create a natural-looking environment. The goal of making a nice planted tank is to make it look like a natural environment.

You really can go any direction you want! Have fun!
 

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How are you getting on with the live plants? I found I had lots of Algae blooms with the amount of time I needed to have the lights on for the plants. If you have that issue, you might want to consider silk and then not have on the light on apart from when you are viewing your fish, he wont mind, Betta's don't like bright light anyway.

If they are not going well I would look at removing them and using silk plants and planting it up more densely. If your plants are going well I would add more plants.

Try to build it up so you have more levels for you fish to rest on. You could also add some drift wood if you are going for a natural look, and even change the mug out for a small terracotta garden pot, you might need to plug up the hole if he is inclined to try and squeeze though it, the pot would look more natural than the mug, but same sort of hidey hole for the fish. Or you could invest in a actual fish ornament hidey hole.

Good luck with what you decide to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I haven't had much algae with the lights and plants - Then again, I ended up bringing in about 8 million baby snails with the plants, so... ;-)
I think I'll get him a little pot and pick up a couple rocks. I have 2 tanks with driftwood and 1 with rocks already, and I'm trying not to have multiple similar tanks (easier to defend them to the husband if they're different :p) Thanks for the suggestion about plugging it up!
as far as levels go, maybe I could get him some sort of little shelving unit thing? and then put sand on it to hide the plastic and put plants on it? hmm.

Reagan, I have some mini vals in there already but they just haven't taken off yet :( hopefully they will soon!

thank you both for your suggestions! :yourock:
 

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If you want a cheap, natural looking alternative to the mug, I have made a shot glass and covered it in java moss :) if you think you want something bigger, a normal glass would do! I think it looks super cute.

The sand is gorgeous, I wish I could have found white sand for my tanks, I ended up getting yellow. Sand is so much prettier than gravel though!

There's so much potential in that tank, your very lucky.
 

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You can hollow out a half a coconut and use that for a cave too. Just get all the coconut "meat" off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I picked up a few terra cotta pots last night and came up with this.
There is a vallisneria hiding in the back left, and there's a sword next to it in addition to the front right sword. Today I added a couple moneyworts between the smaller pots, and I'm getting a box full of val (yay aquabid!) in a couple days, so I'll put a couple of those in there too. It's coming along nicely, I'm so happy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

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My java moss sticks to my glass/wood/rocks by tying it there with clear fishing wire -- you can't even see it, and it stops it floating around and getting stuck in things!

You should give it a go perhaps tying it to the pot for a more natural look.

Hope that helps :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've tried tying it to my driftwood but it managed to get free (I suspect my plecos may have been eating it, though). I'll try it with the pots in the 5g, thanks for the help!
 
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