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New Betta Setup - Real Plants? Help Please!


mrbumblebee

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Hi guys, some of you might know that I've set up a Betta tank and my first ever Betta is coming on Tuesday! I'm very excited, but I want to get things just right.

I'm a bit "real plant-phobic" and originally I was just gonna go with silk plants, but the more I read around I'm starting to think some "real" plant would be really good for Mr Betta's environment.

I have a just under 6 UK gallon glass tank which is heated, filtered and (just about) cycled, it has a fitted 10 watt fluorescent light and gets plenty of natural sunlight and it has a light gravel base and a hide away plant pot in there.

From reading around it sounds like I would be able to grow some basic easy plants in the tank, maybe Java Fern/Moss? Any ideas? What do other people with small Betta tanks do?

I find the whole plant thing a bit scary :unsure: - don't know why, I suppose it's all about confidence and if I can successfully get something growing in there I might end up planting my goldie tank as well!

All help much appreciated! :)

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Hey bumble :)

Plants aren't really as hard as it sounds if you start off with the right plants. I'd recomend java moss or java fern in your tank since you only ove 1.7WPG (watts per gallon) in your tank, or maybe a bit of anacharis. These plants are low-light and easy care so they are good to begin with. The java moss and anacharis will suck the nitrate right out of the water. Java fern will too, but I'm not sure if its as much as the other two. Java fern and java moss need to be tied down to something like driftwood, rockwork etc. You can buy a liquid aquarium plant fertilizer for them if you like too. Its especially helpful if you have softened water where all those metals and nutriets are filtered out in the tap. Remember to disinfect before you put them in with your future betta :)

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Thanks Kissy!

What do I use to tie the plants down, do I need special aquarium weights or thread or something? Can I plant directly into the gravel or will the roots rot?

and am I right in saying I should use a 1 in 20 bleach solution to disinfect and then rinse with tap water and then I can plant?

Thankyou again for your help, I starting to feel a bit more confident now, I think live plants would be cool actually!

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To tie java plants to something, you have use a thin long rubberband or fishing line. Their roots should not go below the gravel or they will rot. Bunched plants like anacharis can be planted in the substrate or floated at the top etc. Some plants migh have two or three bunched together with a metal band. To plant, remove the band and separate the plants. Cut off the leaves about an inch from the end andburry that under the substrate. Its best to keep tthe plants at least an inch or two away from eachother. If you trim them they will grow bushier instead of tall and lanky.

Check out some threads about disinfecting the plants in the plant section. I think you could use bleach for the java fern, but it will kill the moss and anacharis. Can you get ahold of any pottassium permanganate crystals? Also, if you buy any driftwood thats underwater, make sure you disinfect that too. If there are no plants on that, the best way would be to boil it in a pot.

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I have a pretty heavily planted betta tank and he loves loves loves it! I have a lot more luck with plants in my betta tank well cause he doesn't eat them like the goldies and I think the warmer waters help too. I have a lot of floating type plants and he really likes them cause it helps him lurk. Bettas like to lurk I've noticed. Good luck with your new tank! Let us see pictures when you got it going!

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Guest yabbie

I'd recommend a couple of crypts planted in shot glasses. Maybe a cm of potting mix and a little fert (grow in cracks and crevices so need next to nothing) and most of the glass topped up with gravel to hold them firm. Won't need constant repotting either since not a nutrient guzzler.

They grow slowly and like low light and you say you have some natural light, so in the case of algae, the shot glasses make them easy to haul out and wipe off with a cloth... they are pretty tough... and look really great.

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Thankyou guys, some great ideas!

Yeah, I was thinking that plants would do OK with a Betta because they would not destroy them and because the growing conditions are fair.

Mr Betta (Basil) came yesterday! :newfish He's a lovely red Plakat from a well known and recommended breeder/importer of Bettas in the UK.

After a few weeks of looking I went with a Plakat in the end for my first Betta because (perhaps misguidely) I thought a short tailed fish may be easier to look after for a Betta newbie, of course now I realise it probably makes no difference, but I am very pleased with him - what amazing little fish they are!

I'm going to give it a few weeks to let everything settle down (I think he had a stressful shipping, no fault of the excellent seller though - was very well packaged, I think it took it's toll a bit though), I honestly thought he was dead when I got him, white as a sheet (supposed to be dark red!) but I gather that's normal for a stressful shipping. Within an hour of acclimatising to the water he was swimming around his bag and flaring at me!

He seems to be bouncing back well though, colour fully back, swimming about nicely and eating (very well!) I've salted the tank (on the recomendation of the seller) and I'll watch him closely over the next few days.

Once everythings settled down, I'll start by introducing one plant and then take it from there.

Pictures to come soon! I think we're gonna be great mates! :D

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  • 4 weeks later...
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Mr Betta (Basil) came yesterday!  :newfish He's a lovely red Plakat from a well known and recommended breeder/importer of Bettas in the UK.

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hi, could you let me know what the name of the betta breeder/importer in the UK that you used is? do they have a website?? thanks x

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Hi Katmad, tried to send you a message but I don't think you can receive them yet.

You could try KG Bettas - www.kgbettas.co.uk

He does not have much stock listed at the moment as he will be listing his new batch soon, keep an eye open over the next couple of weeks.

I found him to be a very helpful seller, he will post to most places in the UK or you can collect. He usually has Crowntails, Halfmoons, Plakats and some female and wild stock (rather than just the Veiltails you usually find in UK LFS). Expect to pay a bit more than your LFS though as these are all quality imported or bred by him, saying that, thay are reasonable prices.

If you follow the link to UK Betta Forum you can find a list of more UK suppliers there

Hope that helps :)

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