'Scaping 10gal betta tank

  • #1
For those of you who have seen my tanks (especially my smaller betta tanks), you know I have a blast doing aqua-'scaping. I've been told I'm pretty good at it, too. Well, I'm stuck on what to do in my 10gal when I move Emmett, my new halfmoon double tail plakat betta, into it! I have to get a heater for the tank first, but as soon as I do, Emmett will be moving over.

I know I want pool filter sand as the substrate. I put him over black gravel (what's in the 10gal now) and it didn't do a thing for his colors because he's such a dark blue. My other two larger betta tanks are themed. One is Egyptian themed (10gal) and the other is Grecian themed (9gal). I want to go themed in this tank as well, but I prefer more natural themes (not "Finding Nemo," although I love that movie, or anything bright and gaudy...I like the fish to be the focal point, then you see the decor and go "NICE!"). So, I'm thinking some sort of Asian theme, Mayan themed, or (if I can find it small enough) sunken battleship/submarine-type themed. Below I have links to some examples of what I could put in the tank.

Asian themed:

Mayan themed:

Sunken battleship/submarine themed:

Or basic shipwreck theme (my living room is done in a ship theme, but Emmett's tank is in my kitchen):

The tank will be planted with live plants (especially a beautiful marble queen radican sword). If I go with the Asian theme, I have natural bamboo (deadwood) I can use as well.

So...thoughts? Suggestions? x

OH! And ordering online isn't a problem. I would prefer not to, but if I find something I absolutely LOVE online, I can order it (or will be able to in a few weeks after I get my first paycheck).
  • #2
personally I love the asian one it would look very good with the added bamboo I think.
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
I'm kind of leaning toward the Asian theme as well, but I'm not sure what to do with the bamboo. Was thinking maybe make a "forest" out of it, like this: but with the Asian temple I linked to as the centerpiece (or another cool Asian-themed decoration that could serve as a centerpiece)?

I kind of like this: That'd look really cool with the bamboo "forest".
  • #4
You are good at aquascaping--own it girl!!

I don't have time to check the links just now (at work, shhhhh! Finish in 15 tho') but I like the idea of an Asian theme. It gives the impression of calm and serene, plenty of scope for changes in the future too. Plus I love pagodas lol!!
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  • #5
I've found some really cool Asian decorations on eBay.

Here's a couple I like:

Hehe...eBay is evil! Now I want this for my Egyptian-themed tank!
  • #6
I don't usually go for the colorful decor, but I really love that first asian theme piece you posted the link to. It's really sweet and I think would add a lot to a betta tank.
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
The pagoda? I like that one too...I think it'd look pretty cool in the middle of the bamboo "forest."
  • #8
I know you did not list this as one you are thinking of, but I liked the sunken pirate ship that was on the link with the battleship.
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
That is VERY cool! Didn't even see that.
  • #10
Ha, that forest was the one I was talking about in your other thread!

But I think if you do the asian (which I think would look great btw), i'd make a dense forest on one side only. Add some javamoss at the base as a cheaters grass (easy to care for and gives a nice soft look imo), then pop your little pagoda on the other side of the tank either right on the sand, or on a javamoss clump of its own. I think it would draw the eye nicely. Maybe you could also have a few stalks behind the pagoda too for its own little bamboo 'garden' too? Just my thoughts of course

Oh, and while I love the pagoda you posted, try searching knick-knack/decor shops to find a little ceramic glazed one. It would look nicer I think (some aquarium decor can look a bit plastic and 'toy' like) and be smooth for Emmetts fins. I've seen some in my local plant nursery, and it was a toss up between that and buddah for my zen tank.

Maybe you could even find a nice ornamental Chinese dragon to go next to the forest too!

Look foward to pics, i'm sure whatever you do will look great!
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  • #11
Ooooo! I like that idea, lea! Hmmmmmm...to the thrift shops! I work at a thrift shop, but we're not allowed to shop there. lol
  • #12
I am more towards the simple planted tanks but I really love the asian theme
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
I like the "simple" planted for my big tanks, but I think it's fun to have themed small tanks (especially since it's cheaper to do a themed tank if it's small ).

That being said...I'm on the road to getting this tank done! I need to go to my parents' house and scrounge around to see if my dad has any flat slate or rock I can use as the base for the bamboo "forest." I've decided that the "forest" is going to go on the left and the pagoda will go on the right. The "forest" will have java moss around the bases of the bamboo and anacharis winding through the bamboo, and behind and to the side of the pagoda will be fairly heavily planted with "feathery" plants like cabomba and frill. I've already got the gravel in...black on the left where the bamboo is going and natural on the right where the pagoda is going.

I have a question about the bridge in that pic...Emmett LOVES the bridge, so do you think there's a way I could work it into the 'scape? I was thinking about maybe putting it toward the back and burying it further in the substrate (it's just sitting on top right now), the putting the pagoda more toward the front.
  • #14
The pagoda is really nice. My son purchased that one for his 5 gallon betta tank. He was going for the whole zen-like, Asian feel. I think with the forest, your tank will look amazing.

Here is how my son's tank turned out with the pagoda.


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  • #15
A note about the pagoda: I had to cut the bamboo off of mine because Plutto got his fin caught on it and ripped himself up. Other then at though, he LOVES it. He likes to sleep in the base of it and likes to hang out in the roof part. If I ever can't find him, I know he's hiding up inside of it XD It looks really great with live bamboo though, and other live plants =3
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  • #16
OH! That is the pagoda...LOVE IT! I love love love the way it looks in-tank!

Oh the catching of fins...I'm pretty sure Emmett's fins won't catch 'cuz he's a plakat (short fins). If I start to have a problem, I can always pull it and trim the fake stuff off.
  • #17
Maybe a bridge among your forest and a lighter sand/gravel path over to your pagoda on the other side? That way you could have a feaature in your forest and balance out the 2 features? However you go I think it will match the zen look very well!

On the easy feathery plant side, i've had a great success with lacefern, and your don't need to plant it! Wither leave it at the top to float for a canopy on the bamboo or weigh the roots down with a piece of your slate. Works for me - i'm a lazy gardener

So you get an idea, its on the side behind buddah in my zen tank
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  • #18
Hmmmmm...I'm digging the bridge in the forest thing...I'll have to play with it. I'm hoping to get this 33gal hex tank I saw on Craigslist. That way, I can do some tank juggling and come out with the 20gL free...and that'll be Emmett's tank so that I can play more with this 'scape idea. lol
  • #19
No worries, just an idea. I think they'd look very good together with the bridge at the back as you say, like its part of the pagodas own garden. Also read your earlier post properly (duh) and love the idea of the anacharis winding through the bamboo, don't change a thing there I say!

Look forward to seeing you're eventual creation, i'm sure it will be lovely
  • #20
If you go with the Sunken ship theme, petco has a WW2 aircraft carrier, it looks cool... but is 20 bucks.
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
Okay, so I figured out how I can do this without having to worry about getting another tank.

I'm going to distribute the fish from the 20gL into the rest of my tropical tanks, except the cories, who will stay in the 20gL with Emmett. Then Emmett can have the 20gL and it'll give me more room to 'scape.

So, here's my idea...I'm going to do the sides of the tank as the bamboo forest as per the original idea. The middle will be the pagoda and its "garden", as though a sacred, peaceful place has been cleared among the primitive bamboo "forest." Gravel under the forest will be black, then natural around the garden/pagoda (some mixing of the colors will happen naturally, and that's fine). The same plant scheme as decided before will prevail. So, what do you think?
  • #22
Sounds good, though I do like the main feature to be a little to the side (ADA claims this trick draws the eye along the tank - pro tip i've found works!), but in the center it will make a nice impact! I like the idea of a sacred space cleared in the forest

I had an idea though, maybe add some panda cories to the shoal - they can live in your bamboo forest like fishy pandas! LOL
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
Yeah, I was planning on upping the cory shoal to 5 or so.

As for placing the pagoda toward the side more...I'll have to play with it when I end up doing it & see what works best.
  • #24
Cool, I love cories. Probably my fave fish after bettas!

Either way, I think you have a great eye for this and i'm sure your result will be fantastic

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