2.5 gallon heavily planted betta aquarium

  • #1
HI everyone, so I had been thinking of trying to keep a nano planted tank that I'd use as the home for a new betta fish I ordered. After much researching and reading, I decided to take the plunge and go for it. I am quite happy with the progress, and made an account to share this small beauty with everyone here since much of the info I used was on here!

So here it is:




The tank itself is just a 2.5 gallon tank I picked up at petco for about 12 dollars.

-Filter = Aqueon Whisper 10 : I gutted the filter and placed nothing but my own filter floss inside to decrease flow for the betta. I also sand-witched a small bag of chemI pure elite in between two squares of filter floss behind the overflow.

-Co2 = Fluval Pressurized 88g-CO2 Kit which I picked off of amazon for 55 bucks free shipping, in comparison to 80 at the store.

-Lighting: Finnex Fugeray

-Substrate = Fluval Stratum Plant Substrate

-Heater = Regular 15 gallon heater that shuts off at 78 degrees.

-I also have a timer set to turn on the lights at 8 in the morning and off at 8 in the evening.

Now for the reason I got the tank in the first place.

The king of this small jungle

I had always wanted a nice betta for quite a while however I had always held back until I was sure I'd get it a proper home. So after cycling the tank I received this little guy and he's already settled in like he's lived there his whole life! He's got quite the personality and is enjoyable watching when he lets the filters soft current push him through the top of his castle ornament. The funny thing is that I never wanted this particular betta in the first place; I had asked for a different one but after seeing this little guy settled in after 1 night I couldn't let him go anywhere else.

I did hit a snag yesterday however because I brought home two glofish the day before the betta was introduced. When placing the plants inside, I noticed that one had Ich spots I didn't see at the store. I knew it wasn't my tank because I tested everything and it was perfect. The glofish were also active and eating like no tomorrow, so I immediately took them back, and now the betta has the whole tank to himself. I am doing daily 25% water changes daily for the moment in hopes that the betta's immunity can fight off whatever microbes are left in the water, before I start treating with medication or increased water temperatures. For the moment he's eating, acting, and looks perfectly healthy.

As for plants, the only two plants I know of for sure in there are the dwarf baby tears, and the christmas moss tired to the wood. Am not sure what the other two are called.

Well that's my small corner of nature, hope you guys enjoy it, I'll post updates as everything begins to grow out (can't wait for it to carpet). Wish me luck!

A youtube video after the addition of plants and removal of glofish (the photos are more recent).

  • #2
It's a gorgeous tank and a gorgeous fish but I would upgrade to a 5.5 as soon as you're able and put something smaller in that tank.

  • #3
Wow that's an amazing g tank! And I personally think a 3 gallon is the minimum for a Betta so again IMO your bettas fine... I'm excited to see how the hc grows be sure to keep us updated!
  • #4
Looks nice! I agree though that a 2.5 is a bit small for your betta. Upgrading would be good
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Thanks for the feedback guys . Hmm, well I was under the impression that this tank would be perfect for a betta and built the whole setup around it, what a bummer. Well he seems to be very happy in there right now with some decent space and areas to explore. Certainly better than being in a heater less cup I would think.

I'll keep him in there for now seeing as he seems to enjoy it so much, but perhaps in the near future I'll move him to a bigger tank and get some shrimp into this one . I'll try to keep you guys posted with pictures every week!
  • #6
Hello and Welcome to Fish Lore!

Beautiful tank and betta! Although a larger tank may be better suited for the fish, if the fish seems to be comfortable in the home you've created for it, I say leave it be. As long as it's heated and filtered, I think it will do just fine. Maybe upgrade later on down the road.

Thanks for sharing the photos and video with us! I hope you enjoy the site.



scotty b
  • #7
is that parrots feather? if so that will probably grow to fast and large for your tank
  • #8
Welcome to FishLore!

What a pretty tank!
  • #9
Welcome to Fishlore.

Beautiful tank, the Betta must be in heaven with that jungle.
  • #10
Welcome to FishLore!

Any chance you'll stop by my house and redecorate one of my betta tanks? That's a really nice looking tank. It seems like you researched everything pretty throughly and got off to an excellent start, so I have no advice to give you other than...enjoy!

Oh one other thing, it may have been devibe intervention that your glofish had Ich. I glofish should be in a 20 long minimum due to their hyper activity.

Best of luck!


Viriam Karo
  • #11
  • #12
That's gorgeous! Makes my betta's water wisteria look wimpy XD

Wimpy water wisteria...try saying that three times fast!
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Thanks for the warm welcome and advice everyone

@ Scotty B : Well I wasn't sure what the other 2 plants were except for the tears and moss, but not to worry, I am observing and maintaining this tank on a daily basis, so if anything starts to look to crazy, it's time to get those trimmers out.
jdhef: I think you are correct lol. The day I got them was the first time I'd even heard of glofish and employee at the lfs store said they could be kept in my tank and that they'd be fine as a pair. Now I find out they need to be kept in schools and a 20 gallon minimum. Needless to say, I'm not going back there again!

Plants are looking great so far, they're really opening up! Betta still looking good as well.
  • #14
Actually, I thought it was against the law to sell them in California, due to their being genetically modified.


  • #15
Actually, I thought it was against the law to sell them in California, due to their being genetically modified.

Indeed, so it seems. I just googled it:
Sale or possession of GloFish remains illegal in California due to a regulation that restricts all genetically modified fish. The regulation was implemented before the marketing of GloFish, largely due to concern about a fast-growing biotech salmon. Although the Fish and Game Commission declined to grant an exception (solely on ethical grounds) in December 2003, it later reversed course and decided to move forward with the process of exempting GloFish from the regulation. However, due to the State’s interpretation of the California Environmental Quality Act, Yorktown Technologies was informed by State attorneys that it would first need to complete a study which could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and take years to complete. According to the company’s web site, they have thus far declined to undertake this study.[9]

I wonder whether they allow you to keep fish in prison? ishy10
  • #17
Mosake Welcome to fishLore!

Beautiful tank and beautiful Betta!

Yes, but only Convict Cichlids!

JD I just had to groan LOL



  • #19
I love the tank!! I bet your betta is just head over heals being out of those dang plastic cups...
  • #20
That is a nice looking tank, sweet looking betta. Great job and Welcome to the Forum!!!
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
Wow, I would have never thought keeping those fish was illegal in CA. Now I'm glad I took them back!
  • #22
Hi, welcome to Fishlore

I think you've done a great job with that tank. I think you've got one spoilt little betta I also agree that as long as the tank is heated and filtered, your betta will be fine.

Is the HC pearling yet? It's one of my favourite ground covers, pity my bristlenose would destroy it

If you wanted to add some shrimp, I think they'd probably thrive with all the plants in there. Though many would advise against shrimp and bettas in the same tank, many also have very strong shrimp colonies with their betta.


  • Thread Starter
  • #23
Hi, welcome to Fishlore

I think you've done a great job with that tank. I think you've got one spoilt little betta I also agree that as long as the tank is heated and filtered, your betta will be fine.

Is the HC pearling yet? It's one of my favourite ground covers, pity my bristlenose would destroy it

If you wanted to add some shrimp, I think they'd probably thrive with all the plants in there. Though many would advise against shrimp and bettas in the same tank, many also have very strong shrimp colonies with their betta.

Thank you

To answer your question: YES! I noticed it today. All the little clumps of hc were already covered in oxygen bubbles. Maybe tomorrow I can get a picture of it seeing as I'm currently not home.

Hc is my favorite carpet plant as well, but this is the first time I am ever trying to grow it. I'm sure your bristle nose is another beauty in and of itself though

I have never tried shrimp and betta, what are the risks? I don't think I'd mind if he munched on some of their fry but I would definitely not want him devouring any shrimp I introduce in there, or bloating himself either!
  • #24
Yay for pearling

Shrimp are the bottom of the food chain, and might be too tempting for a betta. But, on the other hand, with all the plants and cover, they could be fine.
  • #25
I think your tank is wonderful and you have done a great job with it. I love how active your betta is. Mine tend to just slowly glide through my tank.
  • Thread Starter
  • #26

Bad news everyone.. I got home today to find my betta floating at the top of his tank. As I got close to inspect I noticed he was still breathing but just sitting there. Then,I noticed it...the ich. His fins and gills had those pesky white spots. When I got close he immediately started swimming back and forth as he always does when I'm sitting there so I know that I might have a chance to save him.

I was thinking of keeping him in a small qt tank and treating him with medication there while in the meantime I raise the main tanks temp for a few days. I'm not sure how this will affect the plants however. What do you guys think?

Ive never had an ich problem before and I would HATE to lose this little guy. I would rather lose all my plants than the betta, so if anyone can help guide me along I would really appreciate it.


  • #27
Beauty. Nice Job is this your first time? I guess so. Nice job!
  • #28
Good morning,

Hate to hear that you are dealing with ICH but it can be treated with success.

When dealing with ICH, the entire tank should be treated. If 1 fish has the parasite then chances are good that the entire tank is infected. If you move the ill fish to a Quarantine tank, then you will probably have to treat 2 tanks. Personally I use the increased heat method and no salt:

My treatment for ICH without Medications w/100% survival rate:

What ICH looks like:

Increase the tanks temperature to 86 degrees and leave it there for a full two week period. Even if the fish appear to be free of the parasite, leave the temperature increased for the full two weeks. Raise the temperature slowly throughout the day. 2 degrees per hour should be fine.

Warmer water requires more oxygen so adding an air stone/supply line may help.

Do two gravel vacuums each week to remove the spores that fall off the fish and into the substrate. Make sure the new water is the same (86) temperature as what is in the tank. If your tank is heavily planted, vacuum lightly so that you do not disturb the plant roots.

Adding Garlic Guard or garlic juice onto the fish food 2 or 3 times each week will help to boost the fishes immune system. (link below for garlic juice):
minced garlic in a jar..just an example for those needing it
Garlic Guard:

Making your own juice, recipe:
"Benefits of garlic:

Purifies blood; detoxifies; lowers cholesterol levels; lowers blood pressure; blood thinner; prevents blood clots; boost immune system; prevents heart disease and strokes; destroys cancer cells; muscle relaxant; antibiotic; antifungal; suppresses growth of tumors
Using a medium size bulb; peel cloves apart, snip off ends; microwave cloves for 5 to 10 seconds to pop hulls; remove hulls; cut the length of the cloves in thin slices; place in cup of hot (from tap) water; cover, and let sit at room temperature for 12 hrs; mash the cloves and strain for immediate use; refrigerate until needed. good for two to three weeks.
The longer the cloves soak, the stronger the solution."

It may take more than 1 try when using Garlic. If the fish ignore the foods soaked in garlic, try it again the next day. Be careful not to over feed your fish!

The information above comes from the link below:

Vita Chem (for additional vitamins) added to the fish food and directly into the tank will help the fishes overall health. Follow the directions on the bottle.

It's been my experience that salt isn't necessary with the heat treatment.

ICH may appear to get worse, before it gets better. It may take several days before you see a decrease in the white spots/parasite.

It is not recommended to use the increased heat method along with medications. Choose 1 or the other. I only suggest medications if you are experiencing fish loss.

Once the ICH has been removed via the heat treatment, there is no need to treat again with medications. Remember you are trying to mimic a natural environment and the fewer chemicals and medications you use, the better off your fish are going to be.

Amphibians and Invertebrates are not susceptible to ICH.

If you have a planted aquarium, most plants should survive the increased heat method. The plants do not have to be removed from the aquarium.

I highly recommend Quarantine for all new fish:
Quick and dirty quarantine setup


Best wishes for your fish!

  • Thread Starter
  • #29
Hi, ty for the help. So far before reading this I QT'd the betta into another 1 gallon and am treating him there with medication until after I see no signs of disease. As for the main tank I raised the temp to 86 and added half a teaspoon of salt. I am going to continue treatment and follow some of your guide as well. Hopefully the betta is doing better tomorrow or sometime soon.
  • Thread Starter
  • #30
Hey everyone, it's been 10 days since I last posted and a lot has gone on. The good news is that the betta has now fully recovered and is doing great. The infection hit him hard though; for the first 3 days I really thought he was not going to make it. He was not eating and just laying at the bottom of the tank all day and night. I ended up moving him to a bigger quarantine for a total of 7 days and dosed medication for the first three. As for the display tank I raised its temp to 86 degrees and treated with a half a teaspoon of salt/water changes for the same amount of time because there were no other fish in there. After the 3rd day he showed a lot of improvement and when all was said and done, he was eating and swimming again, but the medication took a toll on his fins because they were starting to get pretty torn up.

Fast forward to today and:

Here he is, healthy as ever! His fins have started filling, he's regained his color, and is eating normally again. He's also as active as ever and making bubble nests

As for the display tank I realized something: It could literally fit inside of my quarantine tank. The quarantine is about 3-4 gallons so I decided to just make that the display now, and simply moved everything in here.

I had to trim a lot of the plants because they did melt a little from before but I've dosed the new tank with seachem flourish plant supplement, and changed the Co2 cartridge and they are starting to pick up again. I will probably add a couple more plants to fill some of the space, and add a black background to the glass.

Whole setup with lighting in the room.


Oh, and I decided to take the risk and add 4 shrimp in here (2 bumblebee and 2 cherry shrimp). So far, I have not been able to locate one of the bumblebees. I do not think it was the fish though because I have not seen him attack any of them. They've even swam right up to him and bumped into him a couple of times and he just swims away from them. He lost interest in them after the first 15 mins after adding them.

I did notice something the day after adding them though. On the left of the two cherries, on the stem of plant in between the wood and the left plant, there are little clear sac-like thingys with white specs on them. It's a little difficult to see but if you look closely you can see them. Anyone know if those are eggs, and can shrimp die after laying? It could be that the fourth one is just hiding out and I can't seem to find it, because I have yet to find a corpse too and the other bumblebee is always in the back of the tank while the cherries like to be all over the place.


Well that's it for now, I will add updates as plants start to grow out and the tank really starts to fill up

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