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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! This is my first time at trying a live plant betta tank and I was wondering if I could get a little advice. I have a couple anubias ferns, an unknown plant (I forgot what it was), marimo balls, and more recently a water sprite. As of last water change, the water sprite is browning, one marimo ball fell apart, the unknown plant is yellow, the ferns each lost a leaf, and algae is blooming at a faster rate than usual despite regular cleaning. So I'd like some help perking these guys up and not hurting my betta friend.

For some background on the tank: it started off with no fish and just the anubias and unknown plant for over a year. The anubias showed no growth (actually was struggling the first month or so to survive) and the unknown plant was absolutely thriving and taking over the decoration I set it on in the tank. Then my apartment complex had a month long power outage in October where the anubias thrived and the unknown plant turned yellow. It hasn't recovered since and has kept the yellow coloring. I also added marimo to the tank.

In December I got my betta, but noticed he was tail biting a lot so I tried to solve the problem with more coverage. Added some silk plants which seemed to do the trick which got me thinking about replacing the silk plants with live ones. I read that water sprites were very hardy and beginner friendly so I got them. They've been in the tank for about 3 weeks now and at first they were a bright green but now I'm noticing a yellow tint and rapid browning/rotting? Which is a shame because he loves swimming through it and sleeping there. Also there's suddenly been a huge algae bloom where I can run a paper towel across a decoration and it all comes back green.

So I need help. The tank is a 5 gal and gets 5-8 hours of light. I do a water change every 4-5 days. Last I checked water parameters they were steady and well within healthy ranges (sorry I can't provide numbers, I just cleaned the tank an hour ago). I don't use fertilizer because I wasn't sure how it worked. Does it hurt bettas or interact with aquarium prime? I put aquarium prime and indian almond leaves in the tank water. Below are some pictures of the tank front and back as well as the plants. And also my betta peeking out in a few of them.


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Discussion Starter #2
Oh, I'm not sure if there's a rule against double posting but I felt I should add that I am planning on adding a nerite snail with a cuttlebone. Before the plants acted up I thought it would be a good solution to the algae. I'm not sure if that will effect anything.
 

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It's fine to add the Nerite; or even two. Can you up the output of the filter? That might help. You didn't bury the Anubias or Java Fern rhizomes, right?

BTW, I can't grow Water Sprite for beans. Could be your parameters are not Water Sprite friendly. Or, it could be the plants were emerse-grown and not submerged. I don't know how to tell the difference with that particular plant.
 

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I probably can increase the filter flow. And the rhizomes aren't buried, the plants are either left to float or were left to wrap their roots around the decorations.

I didn't realize there was a difference with water sprites. That's interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you so much! In the past I've always used silk plants, but I am loving how the live plants look. I'm hoping to get better at it!
 

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Lovely tank!

Water Sprite that is grown emersed (out of water) will usually have broader leaves than ones grown submersed. Also, if your stalk(s) didn't arrive with strong roots already growing, new roots may spring up at random points and cause some parts of old growth to die off. I've also found that my Water Sprite is more delicate than I expected, and even slight damage to the stem can cause death further up the plant. But it's pretty hardy in general, and even a small broken-off bit can turn into a new plant, so don't give up on it just yet.


For fertilizers I use Seachem Flourish (Not Excel), but there are plenty of others which are good. I don't think fertilizers will be affected by a water conditioner... But I'm a nervous person so I still wait until the day after I do a water change to dose, just in case. ;)
 

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Oh! That definitely explains what I'm seeing, thank you! My stalks didn't have roots when they arrived and I was noticing root like appendages coming out at random. I assumed it was going to break off into a new plant, but now that you mention it...it is the old growth that's dying under these!

That's also great to know about the leaves. In that case I think mine were submersed. Although I think some of them are getting broader leaves now. I really want them to do well in my tank. Excluding this little hiccup, my betta loves them. He keeps sleeping in them and making nests there.
 
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