10 Gallon Planted Setup


Hey everyone! So I'm relatively new to the game and like a lot of first time betta owners I bought into the "They can survive in a gallon or less!" myth and now I'm paying for it dearly. So far I've got my female betta in a 3.5 gallon semi-cycled tank and a nerite snail (which my betta tried to kill, which is why he lives alone now) in a one gallon bowl. They're both doing pretty well but my goal this summer is to put them both into a 10 gallon tank with a divider, giving my snail and potentially some shrimp 2-3 gallons and my betta 7-8. This tank has been cycling for 4 weeks or so and I'm going shopping tomorrow for decor and new substrate. I'm hoping to ideally have this tank very heavily planted with live plants and just make it the best home I can to make up for the bad start I had with both of them. So, I could really use some advice because their seems to be a lot of info out there that contradicts.

1. Best plants for both the snail and betta? My snail is living with an anubias right now and that's the only live plant I have. I'm hoping to get some java fern and potentially other planted plants which brings me to:
2. What sort of substrate to use? Right now I have some hand-me-down rainbow gravel which I hate. I'm most comfortable with gravel but know a lot of people use sand and am wondering what the pros are of sand over gravel? Especially in a planted tank? Also am open to using eco-substrate but am sort of confused as to how to maintain that.
3. So this is my biggest source of fear with this tank: It was a hand-me-down, 30+ year old tank with crazy hard water stains. I used the Comet cleaner pictured below to get the water stains off because vinegar wasn't doing the trick. Since then I've lost a lot of sleep over whether or not that will kill my betta and snail. Has anyone else had any experience with this cleaner or another bleach-based cleaner? Am I better off just ditching the tank and buying a brand new one? I'm not entirely opposed to that assuming since it's the filter that holds most of the bacteria it won't crash my entire nitrogen cycle?
4. Any other tips on setting up a divided tank or just a freshwater tank in general would be greatly appreciated!



1. Anachris eloea is very easy to keep. Java fern is good too. My Betta likes pushing around a moss ball I have in his tank.
2. Gravel is just fine and easier to clean. Both my betta tanks are gravel and planted I almost did sand for my second tank, but I asked a few of my fish buddies who said not to bother. Sorry I have no info about eco substrate.
3. I would recommend just getting another tank. I don't think you should ever clean a tank with bleach. Glass can be porous and hold onto the chemicals.
4. Phantom, my first betta, is in a five gallon with a tiger nerite snail with no issues. It could have just been tank size that was making your betta aggressive. Phantom killed anything I put in his 2.5. Once I upgraded him to a 5, he allowed the snail and 4 neon tetras. Which have since been moved, as I realized they needed a bigger tank.
As general help, put the old media from the smaller tank filter media into the larger filter when you switch thanks. I'd also recommend putting the old water into the new tank, as it will instantly cycle your new tank. Then fill the rest with clean, treated, water.
Any more questions, feel free to ask! I had similar debated when I got my first betta. Poor Phantom had to bear the brunt of my learning curve. I've been fishkeeping for over a decade and just got my first betta back in March. I'm happy to share any knowledge I have!


1. Anacharis is great. Fact: In mass abundance, it's actually used (along with hornwort and other ammonia and other harmful chemical eating plants) in water processing facilities, to aid in cleaning our/us humans' drinking water. Plants are very very efficient at it. Anacharis, Anubias and Java fern are bulletproof plants, meaning they will be very easy to maintain and keep. And mostly, they will help in your eco system's nitrogen cycle. And also provide security and cover for your livestock. 2. I use a blend of Flourite black and Eco Complete substrate. Both are good and the Eco Complete won't fluctuate your water's ph. If you opt to choose Anacharis, I'd recommend floating it per your betta's livelihood. 3. I absolutely agree with Bry, especially with such skeptical, largely unidentified chemical deposits, may just be a Pandora's box with any such addition of anything alive. 4. Wise idea. Although the betta may or may not, start to harass and pick on anything else...never really seen any bettas pick on snails or shrimp though! Mine don't. All my bettas get along with everyone, (all are in community tanks) so it may be a bit biased and unilateral, better to be safe, then sorry eh? I shoulda tryed your idea out a long tme ago! Guess I just get lucky sometimes...

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