Aquascaping Help And Advice!

Tomato the Betta

Hello everybody! Here is a pic of my new tank. No fish yet (cycling). This is my first time keeping live plants, so I’m super nervous about them dying. Any ideas on how to make this tank more ideal for a betta in the future? Also, I’m noticing some of my plants are turning a little brown… which really scares me! Any help on that would be great as well!
 

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BruinAquatics

Hi and welcome to the world of live plants and aqua scaping!!

What species of plants are those?

They look to be
vallesneria (or dwarf sag),
bacopa,
and possibly myrio green or water wisteria.
 

Candace

Most of the time plants to die off a bit after they are introduced to a new tank, if you see any leaves/parts on the plant really turning brown just pluck/trim them off. For a betta they love having leaves near the surface of the tank, you could attach Java ferns to the spiderwood using black thread to give them that "bed". I'd also add a couple of hides (one near the top and one near the bottom). Personally I love the coconut caves that attach to the glass on etsy. And floating plants are always a hit with bettas, some dwarf water lettuce would be cool, the only thing is they grow fast so it'd be best to use air tubing (cheap at walmart/petco) to turn into a "feeding ring" to keep some of the surface clear for the betta to get air and eat.
 

JuiceKong

Looks like you have some stem plants and then some dwarf chain sword in the front. For the dwarf chain sword, I would recommend you add some root tabs as the sand is low on nutrients. I second that you get floating plants (might need to find a way to move the light above the tank). Thicker planting would make the betta feel more secure if you budget allows purchasing more plants. Bettas also benefit from tannins, which are leached from leaves and wood. The driftwood may release some, you can also add catappa/indian almond/betta leaves as they will do the same thing, the tannins make your water a slight brown tint that can be controlled with water changes.
 

emageralt

Looks like you have some stem plants and then some dwarf chain sword in the front. For the dwarf chain sword, I would recommend you add some root tabs as the sand is low on nutrients. I second that you get floating plants (might need to find a way to move the light above the tank). Thicker planting would make the betta feel more secure if you budget allows purchasing more plants. Bettas also benefit from tannins, which are leached from leaves and wood. The driftwood may release some, you can also add catappa/indian almond/betta leaves as they will do the same thing, the tannins make your water a slight brown tint that can be controlled with water changes.
you can also buy indian almond leaf extract and add a bit every time you change your water to have more control over the amount. pretty cheap too!
 

Rose of Sharon

Pothos ivy is an easy plant to add to an aquarium. The leaves stay out of the water, but the roots go in. My betta loves it!

I had a pothos ivy as a potted plant, so I did a cutting, put the stem into a vase of water and let the roots grow for a few weeks. Once the roots started growing, I attached the plant to the back of the tank with a suction cup that I had laying around. The roots grow fairly well, and they suck up nitrates like crazy!

I've attached a pic that shows the roots and the pothos stem. You can also see my anubias barteri. I don't do very well with plants, either, but these were pretty easy. I just add some Easy Green all in one fert when I do water changes, and they do well! You can also see the Indian almond leaves that I have in the tank, along with the brown tinted water that comes from the tannins that are released from the IAL.

Hope this helps!! Also, when you get your betta baby, post a pic! I would love to see him/her!
 

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ruud

The first thing I would do is remove the thermometer. It's not something I associate with an aquascape. I don't hang my TDS meter constantly in a tank to read off the value, either ;).

Get a background to put behind your tank. Most here advice something black. I prefer a frosted/semi-transparent window screen; there are also darker window screens that normally act to block out sunlight to a certain degree; those are fantastic for many aquascapes. They are dark but still allow light to penetrate a bit. This gives a sense of depth, which a completely dark backgrounds can't offer.

Regarding plants; the idea to begin small and gradually add a few plants when things seems to be going OK, doesn't work. We are dealing with biology, not manufacturing ;). It is best to cover about 70% of surface area (looking from the top) with plants, and you are pretty much algae free. Having 70% covered also allows using simple, slow growers, such as ferns.

With aquascaping one of the ideas is to remove technology from view. Also, symmetry can work, but its difficult. So the win-win is to place the wood more to the left in front of your filter/heater. Next, I would add more wood. You can choose epiphytes, like ferns to connect to the wood or stick it between the woods.

By the way, some plants will do better than others. This is no different from the real world. The idea is that plants compete with each other for nutrients and some will simply do better than others. This, however, is a much more preferred scenario than plants competing with algae and the latter slowly taking over. This situation likely occurs if you take small steps with plants. So go (very) big. Check out aquascaping tutorials on Youtube; you'll see aquascapers plant heavily as of day1 for a reason.

Regarding fertilizer, I would stick with a liquid bottle of micronutrients and a liquid bottle of macronutrients. Root tabs surely work for stemplants, especially if you're a beginner and/ or lack some knowledge on soil ecology.

Regarding substrate....I think I would take some out and add another sand type and mix it with the one you currently have; in a way that 1) it looks more natural rather than artificial, and 2) poop, waste, plant matter, won't stick out so much on your currently pristine looking substrate. You can also crumble dry leaves and mix these in your substrate. Again, 1) makes your substrate look more natural, 2) it feeds your substrate/plant roots, and 3) beneficial for your betta.

Just my 2 cents.
 

Andres391

Hello everybody! Here is a pic of my new tank. No fish yet (cycling). This is my first time keeping live plants, so I’m super nervous about them dying. Any ideas on how to make this tank more ideal for a betta in the future? Also, I’m noticing some of my plants are turning a little brown… which really scares me! Any help on that would be great as well!
If you want to grow most plants you need a light that can grow plants once that's out the way then you could use organic soil diy or aquascape soil or root tabs. If your not going to change your light I would just stick with java fern and anubias nana. Plants do better with a aged aquarium of at least a few days and better once tank is cycled.
 

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