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I mentioned this in my other post, but I lost my sick doubletail betta a few weeks ago and decided to turn his old planted 5.5 gallon into a cherry shrimp tank, and then I got a new 10 gallon tank (yay $ per gallon sale) for a new king betta! My betta's name is Pug because I feel like he has a sort of weird shaped squished-looking face :lol: The 10 gallon is still very much in progress. I'm actually headed out of the house in a few minutes to buy an aquarium background and a glass lid from petsmart (petco was sold out and I've been using a piece of cardboard to block any potential jumps lol). I ordered a new finnex stingray light that's coming in the mail tomorrow as well as a better heater since I didn't realize until it was too late that I didn't have anything stronger than a 25 watt on hand. The betta tank looks a little bare right now but I also planted 3 Aponogeton betta bulbs on the empty left side of the tank so hopefully those will sprout soon and start filling up some space in the tank. I was thinking about getting an amazon sword as well if petsmart has some but I'm not 100% sure if that's a good idea, any thoughts?

The cherry shrimp are doing really well in the 5.5 gallon. They love the bug bites shrimp formula food and they love eating off the drift wood and the frogbit roots. My wife really loves them and is trying to name them all :lol: so far the only one we can identify 100% is a huge berried female that she named "Hot Mama." Some of her other names for the shrimp include "Red Dye No. 40," "Ghost Pepper" (this shrimp is more clear than he is red), "Sweet 100", "Pepperoni", and "Hot Pocket."
 

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You have the prettiest tank!

There are also some smaller Swords I find particularly appealing. These also add good color: Echinodorus Red Rubin, Aflame, Red Flame. You need to use Iron tabs to really bring out their red.

Edit: Red Tiger Lotus and Dwarf Red Water Lily are great, too. You can either let them grow to the surface or you can decide how tall you want them and when they get that height cut them back. Eventually, they will train themselves to stay small and thick.

Red Tiger Lotus. Not my tanks.

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You have the prettiest tank!

There are also some smaller Swords I find particularly appealing. These also add good color: Echinodorus Red Rubin, Aflame, Red Flame. You need to use Iron tabs to really bring out their red.

Edit: Red Tiger Lotus and Dwarf Red Water Lily are great, too. You can either let them grow to the surface or you can decide how tall you want them and when they get that height cut them back. Eventually, they will train themselves to stay small and thick.

Red Tiger Lotus. Not my tanks.

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Thank you so much! I'll check and see if they have any of those plants at the store this evening, but if not maybe I'll do an online order. I really wish I had a nice private pet store available but unfortunately I'm stuck with just the two big chains.

Here are some better pictures of Pug and his funny squish face.
 

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I didn't manage to get any swords for my tank as I could only find the full-size variety locally and it's way too cold to have plants shipped to me now, so I decided to add some big anubias that I attached to rocks along with some stems of water wistera so I could have something actually growing at a reasonably quick pace.

I've also made a bit of a newbie mistake despite the fact that I really should have known better. At the pet store I was tempted by some pretty blue mystery snails and decided to get one for the 10 gallon but after 2 days of having it my betta Pug has managed to nip off both of the snail's tentacles ): I know the tentacles will grow back but I'm unsure if it's going to work out long term. I may have to give the snail away, but I'm giving it just a little more time before deciding. Pug doesn't bother the snail 99% of the time but when he does notice the snail he's pretty intent on taking a bite out of this tempting tentacles. He might not be a tankmates type of betta.

I really wish my Aponogeton bulbs would sprout and I hope they're not all dead! I have three of them in the substrate at the back of the tank and have really been looking forward to them growing and starting to fill in that empty space back there. Does anyone know how long it can take? I've been checking them to make sure they're not mushy or anything and so far they feel fine but they're just not growing.
 

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Not a very interesting update, but it turned out that all three of my Aponogeton bulbs were dead ): they sat in the water for a week and a half and did nothing, so I pulled them out and all three of them smelled TERRIBLE of decay, so I tossed them. I tucked some stem plants back there to try and fill in the background with those instead. The fish and snail have so far been getting along just fine after the initial incidents so I'm not as worried about them as I was before. I love having this tank at my desk/work table
 

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Pug is beautiful! How many inches is he? he looks massive in the ten gallon!
Thank you! He's a great fish, I love him. He's very large. His body is right around 3" not including any of his fins.
 

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Thank you! He's a great fish, I love him. He's very large. His body is right around 3" not including any of his fins.
WOW im impressed! Also the aquascape is beautiful, ever considered making it a full blown black water scape? the contrast of the water against pug will be stunning!
 
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WOW im impressed! Also the aquascape is beautiful, ever considered making it a full blown black water scape? the contrast of the water against pug will be stunning!
Thank you! I have thought a bit about doing something like that. My tap water is very basic so mostly I've worried about having a tannin filled tank that's more acidic than my tap water but I would definitely consider it once a tank became a lot more established and I was sure that I wouldn't have to do any super large water changes to keep the system healthy.

I've still messing around with the tank decoration a bit. After deciding that the bulbs I was trying to sprout were dead I bought a new packet of bulbs, a variety pack this time, but so far none of them have sprouted either and I'm pretty bummed about it. I've only had them in the tank for about 5 days but after reading about other people having basically immediate success sprouting their bulb plants, I'm worried I got another packet of dead bulbs. I'll leave them for now just in case. I have a water lilly bulb, a Crinum "onion" bulb, and some more Aponogeton bulbs in the tank atm. I got some water sprite but it is slowly going through a transition from the emersed growth form to the immersed form so that's not doing as well as it could either.
 

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