Live plants for betta? Which to choose, do they help, fears with them, etc.

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by amdpayne, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. amdpayneValued MemberMember

    I always wonder about putting live plants in my 1 year-old betta's 10 gal tank. I've heard sometimes they contain snail eggs though. If they don't, here is a list of beginner questions I need simple and understandable answers to:

    Which types of plants would be good or beneficial or safe for Liam?
    Would betta bulbs be OK?
    Do plants help or benefit bettas or the water parameters?
    Can plants live in softened water?
    Do I need a light for every kind of plant? I don't like using lights much because they seem to heat up the tank so much.
    Do plants affect the pH balance in a bad way? If so, how can I overcome this?
    Are ones from Petco OK?
    Do I need to use soil or sand? I only use gravel currently.
    Would water need to be changed more or less often?
    Anything else I need to know or do before adding a plant or two?

    I know, lots of questions. I can't find a very basic super beginner guide , though. I know NOTHING about plants for tanks! Thank you in advance!

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  2. sasha94

    sasha94Valued MemberMember

    All plants are very beneficial for tanks because they provide oxygen and something pretty to look at (besides the fish of course) while absorbing CO2 and ammonia which are harmful when they build up. Bettas also love to rest on the leaves of plants. It's really cute because they just kind of sit there. Betta bulbs probably aren't as good as other plants because you actually have to GROW them and there's a pretty high chance of them not growing and getting attacked by fungi. There is a wide range of plants that can live in softened water. How soft is your water? Anacharis, java ferns and mosses are great. Anacharis typically do better from a pH of 6.5-7.5 and java ferns a pH of 6-7.5. They are great beginner plants because they are very hardy, can live in a wide range of water parameters and don't require too much light while still reproducing at a pretty good rate. Just a brightened room or your room's light should be enough for those plants. There are no plants that I know of that change the pH. Plants from Petco are OK but I would quarantine the plants for a week just incase there are snails. If there are you can stick a leafy veggie in the quarantine container for an hour and they will attach themselves to the veggie then you can just throw it out. You can also just pick them out. Gravel is fine. You can also get floating plants. Anacharis is a floating plant. Bettas enjoy hanging out in them. Some people would say that you can change your water less often because of the plants but I wouldn't. The plants definitely help with the ammonia but it doesn't effect it enough for you to lessen your water changes unless you have a very heavily planted tank.
     
  3. chrt396

    chrt396Well Known MemberMember

    If you get snails from any plant...just get an assassin snail. No more snails!! They look nice as well. I had some in my 29g tank. Bought three assassin snails and never saw another snail crawling up the glass. Plus..they help keep your tank a bit tidier. Just make sure that you don't gravel vac them up.


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  4. Saturn

    SaturnValued MemberMember

    Which types of plants would be good or beneficial or safe for Liam?
    All plants in the freshwater aquarium should be safe for your betta Liam. The only plants that could threaten a betta in any way are sharp, fake plastic plants

    Would betta bulbs be OK?
    Betta bulbs are okay but there is a 50/50 chance that they will grow. Whenever I bought a package, 3 out of the 5 bulbs I had grew. The other two rotted and brought ammonia into my aquarium. You can try them but honestly I would just avoid them.

    Do plants help or benefit bettas or the water parameters?
    Plants are pretty good at soaking up ammonia and excess nitrates in the aquarium

    Can plants live in softened water?
    Most plants should be absolutely fine in softened waters. Honestly I wouldn't worry about that, but if you really do just research your plants before adding them

    Do I need a light for every kind of plant? I don't like using lights much because they seem to heat up the tank so much?
    I'm a bit confused by this question but I'll answer it as what it seems to be. No you don't need to get a light that can grow any plant in the freshwater aquarium. Stock lighting usually is enough to grow a wide variety of low-light plants.

    Do plants affect the pH balance in a bad way? If so, how can I overcome this?
    Having a lot of plants can lower the pH of an aquarium a little bit, but it should be nothing to worry about. If you were to have CO2 hooked up to the tank then that is when you'd watch the pH a little more carefully, but in your case I wouldn't worry about it.

    Are ones from Petco OK?
    Plants from Petco should be absolutely fine. They might not be in the best condition, but they should be fine. Just as fine as buying plants from a tube would be. Watch out for hitchhikers like pond snails, though.

    Do I need to use soil or sand? I only use gravel currently
    Regular aquarium gravel should be just fine. Most aquarium plants feed from the nutrients in the water column, but if you are to have any heavy root feeders (i.e. crypts, swords, etc), then that's when you could add some root tabs to the gravel.

    Would water need to be changed more or less often?
    If you were to have a very heavily planted tank then you could slack on water changes but if it were just to be a normal planted tank keep your WC schedule the same.

    Anything else I need to know or do before adding a plant or two?
    I would recommend browsing the web on articles about low-light/low-tech plants and beginner guides and read up on them and I think you should be fine. Make sure to research your plants before you buy them, too.
     




  5. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

  6. OP
    OP
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    amdpayneValued MemberMember

    Hmm. Ok, thanks for the help, all. Will look into shade-loving plants and how to fertilize. Will ask more on here if I have further questions! :)

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  7. NinjaTetra

    NinjaTetraWell Known MemberMember

    Mosses and crypts are probably your best options. Do you have stock lighting over the tank, or is it just your room lights? If its just your room, a fairly cheap clip on led will work for a lot of plants and wont raise the temperature.


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  8. Cobaltshark

    CobaltsharkValued MemberMember

    image
    Bettas love plants!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  9. OP
    OP
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    amdpayneValued MemberMember

    I have a hood with a small but hot incandescent bulb, I think. How many hours a day would I need to have it on? I don't want to bother with buying an LED one if I can avoid it. The tank is near the window and gets some indirect sunlight and room light. I just want shade plants I think.



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  10. Kasye

    KasyeValued MemberMember

    I would recommend java fern, it grows very well in low light.
     
  11. OP
    OP
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    amdpayneValued MemberMember


    Do you think I could get it at Petco or Petsmart?



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  12. Kasye

    KasyeValued MemberMember

    Petsmart should have it! The Petsmart in my area carries it, and they have it on their website.
     
  13. pugletfanWell Known MemberMember

    Anubias are another easy low light plant! Very undemanding.
     
  14. AndyVE

    AndyVEValued MemberMember

    I have a 5.6g betta place.
    is filled Ith gravel and has a cheap 30usd led lamp on top from beamswork.

    Like others mentioned low light demanding plants like java fern and anubias should not give you any problem to keep. I even added smooth frogbit (floating plant) from my main tank since it grows like crazy...and that also survives in my poor lit betta place.

    gravel should not give you an issue (also have very fine black gravel).

     

    My betta enjoys laying on the gravel for some strange reason, and never hangs out in the plants (goes to sleep underneath one of the smooth frogbit floating plants usualy.
     

    Ps am a lucky one (my Betta seems to like having the RCS as company
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  15. mammaguppy

    mammaguppyValued MemberMember

  16. BigBoom217

    BigBoom217Valued MemberMember

    I have a bunch of crypts in my Betta tank and I routinely see him wedge himself in the leaves and just lay there until it's time to breathe or harass a snail

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  17. chrt396

    chrt396Well Known MemberMember

    Probably the best plant to put in his tank with the least amount of demands and not messy.

    Crypts are also cool plants that dont require a lot of light to survive.
     
  18. AllHallowsEve31Valued MemberMember

    I have a marimo moss ball and water wisteria, and I think they are good plants that do not have strict light requirements or require fertilizers or extra maintenance.
     
  19. OP
    OP
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    amdpayneValued MemberMember

    So what are the boss balls, exactly? Do they grow or expand in water or anything? Or do they just look cool? Lol

    What happens if my plant dies? How will I know? Will it release ammonia or rot or release toxins into the water? I'll probably get a few different plants this week for the lad. See how he likes them. Should I replace his silk plants with real ones, or just add to the tank? Maybe keep some familiarity in there..?

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    I guess I should ask about plants for my cherry barbs, too. Would they enjoy the plants just as much as a betta or benefit from them as much?

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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2015
  20. NinjaTetra

    NinjaTetraWell Known MemberMember

    Umm as far as I know the only toxin rotting plants can release is ammonia, so if it dies and u remove it ur fine. As for barbs, they should enjoy plants as much as the next fish. A moss ball is a living growing clump of moss, not just decor.


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