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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Betta ppl! After some researching I realized my 3 gallon tanks shouldn't really house anymore fish or snails besides my Betta, so I decided to add some live plants in my tank. Right now I have a fake plant (with rounded edges), and a moss ball.
What can I add to my tank to provide my fish more places to hide, and at the same time not overcrowding my tank?
Right now the substrate of my tank is gravel, and I would like to keep it that way.

Thank you!
 

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Water sprite is a good one, you can plant it in the gravel or let it float on the top and it will grow roots either way. Its grows pretty fast too
 

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My only caution about water sprite is that it grows fast, and it grows big! In a small tank you'll definitely need to keep on top of pruning it. I've got two healthy sprigs in my 10g and they are definitely taking over, after only getting them in February (but in fairness I wanted them to).

To start with in a tank your size I'd instead recommend either Anubias or Java Fern- or both. ;)

They can both be attached directly to a decoration like driftwood or a fake "cave", tucked into the gravel, or left floating- they don't need to be planted or to be "fed" from the substrate since they get fertilized through the water (And actually should not have the rhizome where the roots attach put underground). They're fairly slow-growing and many varieties stay small, so you don't have to worry about them outgrowing your tank, and only need low light so you don't need to invest in a fancy light.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My only caution about water sprite is that it grows fast, and it grows big! In a small tank you'll definitely need to keep on top of pruning it. I've got two healthy sprigs in my 10g and they are definitely taking over, after only getting them in February (but in fairness I wanted them to).

To start with in a tank your size I'd instead recommend either Anubias or Java Fern- or both. ;)

They can both be attached directly to a decoration like driftwood or a fake "cave", tucked into the gravel, or left floating- they don't need to be planted or to be "fed" from the substrate since they get fertilized through the water (And actually should not have the rhizome where the roots attach put underground). They're fairly slow-growing and many varieties stay small, so you don't have to worry about them outgrowing your tank, and only need low light so you don't need to invest in a fancy light.
thank you sm! Haha I hope one day I'll be as experienced as you guys :D
 

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I would not do water sprite. Around 2 weeks ago I planted some in my 10 gal tank, and was toying with the idea of putting a bit in my 3 gal, but this week I've changed my mind. I think it's probably grown 4 inches in 2 weeks. and I'm now certain that it would swamp my 3 gallon unless I pruned it twice a week. It is a beautiful plant though!

Right now I have anubia, bacopa, crypt wendtii brown, and telanthera cardinalis in my 3 gal tank. In my 2.5 gal I have java fern, anubia, anacharis, a different type of crypt, and the telanthera cardinalis.

1st picture is 3 gal tank, 2nd is the 2.5 gal
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1017431
 

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Oh yeah I should add that on my 2.5 gal and 3 gal tanks I have Finnex clip on lights. They don't put out all that much light, I'd say medium light at most. I have sand substrate and use root tabs for the Cardinalis, crypts, and bacopa. Every few weeks I'll dose Seachem Flourish for the other plants.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My only caution about water sprite is that it grows fast, and it grows big! In a small tank you'll definitely need to keep on top of pruning it. I've got two healthy sprigs in my 10g and they are definitely taking over, after only getting them in February (but in fairness I wanted them to).

To start with in a tank your size I'd instead recommend either Anubias or Java Fern- or both. ;)

They can both be attached directly to a decoration like driftwood or a fake "cave", tucked into the gravel, or left floating- they don't need to be planted or to be "fed" from the substrate since they get fertilized through the water (And actually should not have the rhizome where the roots attach put underground). They're fairly slow-growing and many varieties stay small, so you don't have to worry about them outgrowing your tank, and only need low light so you don't need to invest in a fancy light.
Thank you for such a through response, I love you tank's setup! I recently visited an aquarium shop, and brought some Rosette Swords and the anubias you've mentioned! Although I was a little bit worried about the Rosette Swords, because I could not find much information about them on the internet, and one of the leaves was turning to this darker color.

Thank you again for your response and pictures 😊
 

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Hi

What sort of lighting do you have?

Could you please post a photo of the tank?

What do you want from the tank? Do you want it manicured or wild looking? do you want it green or do you want other colors.

Do you want ground cover ?

Other than the corymbosa in the top right all these plants could work in any size tank with the right light,


I only use Seachem Flourish comprehensive for the planted tank and Seachem root tabs as per instructions on the packaging.

And good lighting is quite cheap now days.

.................................................................
This is a great betta tank and in my opinion has about the right number of plants.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
@Mr Grumpy
Your plants looks amazing! Your bettas are beautiful also :)
This is my betta, Marley. And Below you can see my tank set-up. (Don't mind the monkey stickers lol)
I'm not great with plants, but I really wanted real plants in Marley's tank so right now I have a Rosette Sword and a Marimo moss ball (super easy), the Anubias unfortunately didn't make it.

In my tank I have:
  1. a 10 watts heater
  2. a gentle filter
  3. and LED Lights that came with the tank (3 gal)
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First, I like the way the substrate looks, too! Glad I'm not alone. I do use either Micro or Dwarf Swords in clumps in my larger tanks.

Did you plant the Anubias? If you did that may be the reason for its demise. Only the roots should be in the substrate; the rhizome resting on it.

If you have a lid on your tank you can raise the water level. If there are gaps you can place plastic wrap over it or stuff the open spaces with plastic wrap.

Your boy is lovely!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
First, I like the way the substrate looks, too! Glad I'm not alone. I do use either Micro or Dwarf Swords in clumps in my larger tanks.

Did you plant the Anubias? If you did that may be the reason for its demise. Only the roots should be in the substrate; the rhizome resting on it.

If you have a lid on your tank you can raise the water level. If there are gaps you can place plastic wrap over it or stuff the open spaces with plastic wrap.

Your boy is lovely!
Thank you! Yes I've planted the Anubias, but I think I may have covered the rhizome a little bit too much.
I've also noticed I'm getting a little bit of algae both on the walls of my aquarium and on some of my decorations even though I clean them every week, is this normal? Do I need to add a snail in my tank? 🐌
 

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Algae is perfectly normal, especially in a "low tech" tank like yours. Algae loves the same type of lights and nutrients that plants do, so when you start a planted tank you pretty much always will have some algae. It's only a problem when the algae starts to grow so thickly it covers the plants (starving them of light) or if you find it ugly.

That said, adding more plants, particularly fast-growing ones, can help combat algae since they will be using up nutrients to grow before the algae can get to it. Cutting down how long your lights are on for, or reducing how bright they are, can also help- but if you go too low, the plants will struggle while the algae chugs along happily. It's a delicate balancing act.

A more high-tech option is to add in a CO2 source so that your plants grow very fast and out-compete the algae, but that's always been too intimidating for me to do much research into. Flourish Excel (and others, that's just the name I remember most easily) is a source of "liquid carbon" which is not the same thing, but can have essentially the same effect of helping plants grow while discouraging algae, and is cheaper to start & easier to manage than a proper CO2 set up.


Snails can help keep algae down, but most of them won't eliminate it completely and depending on what type you get, may need supplemental care & feedings of their own. Your tank is also on the small side so I would think about it carefully before committing to a snail, since it will add to the bio-load of the tank. But some people feel that snails are basically necessary when your tank is planted so it is certainly an option to keep in mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Algae is perfectly normal, especially in a "low tech" tank like yours. Algae loves the same type of lights and nutrients that plants do, so when you start a planted tank you pretty much always will have some algae. It's only a problem when the algae starts to grow so thickly it covers the plants (starving them of light) or if you find it ugly.

That said, adding more plants, particularly fast-growing ones, can help combat algae since they will be using up nutrients to grow before the algae can get to it. Cutting down how long your lights are on for, or reducing how bright they are, can also help- but if you go too low, the plants will struggle while the algae chugs along happily. It's a delicate balancing act.

A more high-tech option is to add in a CO2 source so that your plants grow very fast and out-compete the algae, but that's always been too intimidating for me to do much research into. Flourish Excel (and others, that's just the name I remember most easily) is a source of "liquid carbon" which is not the same thing, but can have essentially the same effect of helping plants grow while discouraging algae, and is cheaper to start & easier to manage than a proper CO2 set up.


Snails can help keep algae down, but most of them won't eliminate it completely and depending on what type you get, may need supplemental care & feedings of their own. Your tank is also on the small side so I would think about it carefully before committing to a snail, since it will add to the bio-load of the tank. But some people feel that snails are basically necessary when your tank is planted so it is certainly an option to keep in mind.
Yeah I agree the CO2 is a little bit intimidating for me especially when I'm so new at all this. Also I've read the brown algae is actually quite beneficial to bettas since they can also produce oxygen on their own, but they are definitely not the prettiest to look at.
And I also think my tank is pretty small, and snails like Nerite do poop a lot haha. Plus I don't want to be irresponsible putting extra bio-load in my tank. But its just kinda confusing to me because some blogs are saying if I change the water pretty frequently the snail should do fine in a 3 gal. o_O Small tank struggles smh.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Nerite snails are algae eating machines I use them in my planted tank and they do really well
Right, everybody love those little things:D, but I am just afraid if my tank is too small for them to be happy with my betta.
How big is your tank?
 

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"Brown algae" is actually Diatoms, they are not a true algae. They tend to show up in new tanks and then die off, because they use silicates to form their bodies and once they have used the available supply, they generally can't keep the population going.

But yes, they and actually all types of algae do produce some oxygen, and will eat up Nitrates as they grow. Because of how algaes tend to grow in thin layers however, they're not as effective at it as a plant would be, which can have multiple leaves all sucking up CO2 and producing O2 as they photosynthesize. But for example, your "Moss" ball is actually a type of algae, so they can certainly be helpful!

The only harm really comes from algae which dies off in large amounts, causes your plants to die (anything dead in your tank is a water quality concern), or is so thick that it actually impedes your fish's ability to get around. Otherwise it's harmless, just not a sight most aquarists find attractive. ;)


That said, with a filter you are already getting as much oxygen into the water as you need. The majority of O2 dissolves at the surface of the water and is helped along by a filter (either power or sponge) because it disturbs the surface, creating more opportunities for gas exchange. Plants (and algae) certainly help, but don't do the bulk of the work. So don't worry about oxygen levels in your tank, it'll be fine.


I personally haven't have very good luck with Nerite snails, and since they only eat algae you have to commit to making sure there is enough growing for them to eat, or supplement them by cultivating algae on rocks and putting them in the tank periodically. But a smaller variety like the Horned Nerite would probably be alright in your tank, just limit yourself to only one.

Mystery snails get pretty big, which is why I prefer to see them in 5g or larger. But if you get a small one to start and do adequate water changes then you may be able to keep it happy for quite a while before it needs a bigger home.

"Pest" snails like Bladder, Ramshorn, and Trumpet snails will eat some algae, but they also reproduce quickly so if there is enough food available for them, you may find them overrunning your tank. MTS can reproduce with just a single snail (they actually clone themselves!) but I think the others need a partner, so you may be able to have just one. Definitely check first though.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
"Brown algae" is actually Diatoms, they are not a true algae. They tend to show up in new tanks and then die off, because they use silicates to form their bodies and once they have used the available supply, they generally can't keep the population going.

But yes, they and actually all types of algae do produce some oxygen, and will eat up Nitrates as they grow. Because of how algaes tend to grow in thin layers however, they're not as effective at it as a plant would be, which can have multiple leaves all sucking up CO2 and producing O2 as they photosynthesize. But for example, your "Moss" ball is actually a type of algae, so they can certainly be helpful!

The only harm really comes from algae which dies off in large amounts, causes your plants to die (anything dead in your tank is a water quality concern), or is so thick that it actually impedes your fish's ability to get around. Otherwise it's harmless, just not a sight most aquarists find attractive. ;)


That said, with a filter you are already getting as much oxygen into the water as you need. The majority of O2 dissolves at the surface of the water and is helped along by a filter (either power or sponge) because it disturbs the surface, creating more opportunities for gas exchange. Plants (and algae) certainly help, but don't do the bulk of the work. So don't worry about oxygen levels in your tank, it'll be fine.


I personally haven't have very good luck with Nerite snails, and since they only eat algae you have to commit to making sure there is enough growing for them to eat, or supplement them by cultivating algae on rocks and putting them in the tank periodically. But a smaller variety like the Horned Nerite would probably be alright in your tank, just limit yourself to only one.

Mystery snails get pretty big, which is why I prefer to see them in 5g or larger. But if you get a small one to start and do adequate water changes then you may be able to keep it happy for quite a while before it needs a bigger home.

"Pest" snails like Bladder, Ramshorn, and Trumpet snails will eat some algae, but they also reproduce quickly so if there is enough food available for them, you may find them overrunning your tank. MTS can reproduce with just a single snail (they actually clone themselves!) but I think the others need a partner, so you may be able to have just one. Definitely check first though.
Thank you, you are quite the pro! :D
Just one more question, where would you get your Horned Nerite snail from? I think Petsmart only offers the regular ones.
 
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