I'm afraid to say I'm pretty new to betta keeping, so if this is a newbie question, I apologize.
I just got a little double-tail male about three weeks ago, and I've been experimenting with the setup in his tank. I was worried at first that I had too many plants in there, but when I took one out last week, he got so stressed out that stripes appeared (stress stripes, I think?) and he refused to eat.
When I put it back in, he was completely happy again, and even started building a bubble nest around the replaced plant. It was the only thing that had changed in the tank, so I assume he must just like a busy tank.
However, with the addition of a new "moon rock" cave, I'm again concerned that it may be too crowded in his little 2 gallon tank.
Below is an image of his tank setup at the moment.
What do you think? Is it possible to have a tank too crowded? Does he need more room to stretch?
He doesn't seem stressed or anything with this set up, but I just wanted to make sure it wouldn't cause problems for him!
If you like the plant cover a lot, consider some real swords, hygro compacta, java fern, and anubias. These are all stupid easy to take care of *and have the added benefit of cleaning your water* - I have tanks with real plants that easily have this many in it. Bettas love the cover.
Thanks so much for your input, everyone! Glad to know I'm doing the right things!
I've been debating over getting real plants to put in there, but I do complete water changes every week - can I still do that with real plants in there? And I have river rocks on the bottom, would that be enough of a base for roots?
You're able to do 100% changes, but it's really not necessary with live plants. It depends on the substrate you use, you wont really be able to keep the large stones you have in there now.
If you switch over to say, some cheap pool filter sand, black diamond blasting sand, or even a bag of gravel you wont really need to do the big changes with heavy planting. You might want to create a siphon weekly with some airline tubing and poke it around in the substrate to remove excess mulm if using gravel.
If the tank is filtered and heavily planted, I wouldn't do more than 75%, so no taking everything out type changes.
Hm, okay! I'll definitely look into those. Would I want to look into a bigger tank if I did something like that? (I wanted to get a bigger one for him originally, but his little 2 gallon fits the best in my tiny dorm room!)
And kjg1029, I've heard it both ways. This thread is actually the first time I had heard not to do it. There are some other people that wrote about changing up the arrangement and hiding places so the fish won't get bored in a small tank (hence why I was changing it around so much!).
Maybe something in the middle is good - switching it up every once in a while, but not too often?
A bigger tank isn't really necessary, but it wouldn't hurt. I don't clean my decor very often really. I rarely mix things up, either. Every few months or so, usually when I need to trim and replant plants.
Thanks, I like them too! I got them at Petco, three for $10. I thought it was a pretty good price, considering they're made fairly well and my fish loves them. (You can order them online through petco, too. Here's the link I found: link)