total newbie - Planted aquarium too hard??

  1. andrearamirezo91 Well Known Member Member

    Helloo :) :;hi1

    So I'm about to set up a 5.5G betta tank and have been really thinking about how i"m going to decorate it. I am going for a very natural look (I like big flat river rocks, driftwood, black substrate and/or sand)or if not something Zen style, so I thought about maybe using some type of moss in them. The thing is I know nothing about live plants and every time I have tried having some they have died :( So my question is.. Would it be too hard to work on a planted tank? How difficult is the maintenance?

    If not... Do you have any suggestions? Remember it has to be fin safe because its for a betta :;banaman

    Thank you!
     
  2. LyndaB Fishlore Legend Member

    People plant small tanks all the time. Of course, the more plants, the less room the betta has and 5 gallons is a pretty small tank, especially once you get the heater and filter in there, too. Have you thought about upgrading to a 10 gallon betta tank and planting it?
     

  3. Redshark1 Well Known Member Member

    Lots of light and lots of fast growing plants would be my advice if you want success, at least when setting up a new tank.

    Plants need good light to grow and fast growing plants like Hygro (Hygrophila polysperma), Vallisneria etc. outcompete algae effectively - and they look great!

    Also, keep fish numbers low - you soon get used to fewer fish when you have tons of lovely green plants.

    I have a ten UK gallon - it's a great success (Vallisneria shown here).

    [​IMG]
     
  4. pirahnah3 Fishlore VIP Member

    I love planted tanks and have found them actually much EASIER to operate than your standard tank. Its really worth the little bit more effort up front for them.
     

  5. Akari_32 Fishlore Legend Member

    Its not too hard! =D

    [​IMG]


    Theres my planted 5.5 gallon. I use a 10 watt CFL (compact florescent bulb) in place of the incandescent bulbs that usually go over small tanks, and I use Flourish Root Tabs and Flourish Comprehensive. This is my first serious planted tank, and I'm really loving it!

    Stock:
    Betta
    3 ADF
    2 Pygmy Cories
    RCS
    MTS

    Plants:
    Guppy Grass
    Crypt Wendii
    Dwarf Lily
    Amazon Sword
    Water Onion
    Java Fern
    Windelov Fern
    Dwarf Sag
    Dwarf Hairgass
    Banana Plant
    Marimo Moss ball
    Wisteria
    Aponogenton
    Java Moss
    Salvania (i think thats how its spelled. Its a floating plant, kinda like duckweed Piranha gave it to me. If he comes back, he'll set me straight :p)

    Its my easiest tank. If I wanted to, water changes cold be done every other week, at the least, I think, with top offs. But I do them every 7-10 days, anyways.
     
  6. pirahnah3 Fishlore VIP Member

    yeah close enough,

    Salvinia is the technical spelling
     
  7. jerilovesfrogs Fishlore VIP Member

    dwarf sag, anubias, java fern, vals....najas grass, crypts are all easy. :)

    -j
     

  8. e_watson09 Well Known Member Member

    Yup small tanks are easy granted you have the correct lighting for it. :)

    Betta will enjoy the live plants.
     
  9. Akari_32 Fishlore Legend Member

    At least I spelled it mostly right =D
     
  10. pirahnah3 Fishlore VIP Member

    lol yeah you did....
     

  11. bassbonediva Fishlore VIP Member

    I jumped into planted tanks feet first. A friend of mine sent me some random plants/clippings from his tanks as a ROAK and I tossed them into my tanks. Needless to say, I became instantly hooked. Now, all but one of my tanks is planted.

    I'm thinking that if your plants kept dying, you may have been getting the wrong kind of plants for your lighting setup. Low light plants, like vals, swords, java fern, crypts, anacharis and hornwort are very beginner friendly and great in lower light setups.

    Here's what I'd do. I would go to the store and find plants you want and write down the names. Then, I would go home and research the plants you like (either on here or just on the internet in general). Sadly, a lot of the plants sold at (especially) the box stores like Petco and Petsmart are not aquatic plants, but rather verge plants. Sure they'll live submerged for a few months, but then they die off and people get frustrated and think it's something they're doing, when in reality, it's just that the plants couldn't handle being completely underwater all the time.
     
  12. jerilovesfrogs Fishlore VIP Member

    hey redshark1: is that a biOrb? if not, what it is it? i want one!!!
     
  13. psalm18.2 Fishlore Legend Member

    A few nice Anubis plants would be supper easy and are low light. Betas love to curl up and sleep on the leaves.
     
  14. Redshark1 Well Known Member Member

    Hi Jerri it is an Aquael Bowl 45, so called because it is 45 litres (10 UK gallons).

    It is glass so does not scratch as easily as a Biorb. T

    here is a filter in the hood that works brilliantly. Normally the heater sticks down but I have incorporated a smaller heater into the filter (safely of course) which allows all the equipment to be out of sight.

    The light is an 11W compact fluorescent. It is fine to grow the Vallis. I have recently added a JBL Nano-glo which has 4 x 1W LEDs and my new plants (I fancied a change) are taking off.

    Here's a pic of my Danio fry in it (the root ornament just fitted in!).

    My friend has the smaller Bowl 37 but the light is dim (5W).

    [​IMG]