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rexing93 06-12-2013 09:29 PM

Planted Tank Question.
Firstly, if this isn't in the appropriate section, I apologize. :3

Secondly, I have a couple questions concerning planted freshwater tanks.
For starters I have two Bettas, Ozwald and Felix. They both have their own 1.5g tetra cube. Both tanks are heated (77-80*F), have pretty decent lighting and have a small Whisper filter that was included with the tanks but I don't have either set up.

My questions are:
1.) Do I need to set up the filters? I figured since the tanks are small that I wouldn't need to.
2.) Right now I don't have any special substrate for the plants, just plain gravel (which has been cleaned thoroughly), so would I have to have something such as Eco-Complete Substrate, Flourite, or Laterite? I've heard of some people being successful without those. I will note that I also have a plant fertilizer as well as liquid feed.
3.) Would it be okay to plant my tanks this evening and then placing my boys back in them (if their water levels were in range)?

Also, both tanks would be fairly "heavily" planted. Not too dense, but not very scarce either. :3

Also, feel free to add any comments or questions you have for me. I would really not like to waste a ton of money on more plants or accidentally harming either of my boys.

Thank you!

roseann 06-13-2013 12:01 AM

I started my Bettas in a two gallon with heater and filter. Hated the upkeep. I have moved to larger tanks, the smallest a three gallon. Some plants do well on plain gravel others wont. However since you cannot disturb the roots and do 100% wter changes you will need to use the filter for a short while until everything is balanced out. The more plants the better if your hoping to go filter free with minimal water changes.
Also some plants take liquid food from the water others need it through the roots. Those are the plants that need the special substrate.
If your parameters are good, add the boys. Basicaly just another 100% water change.
I only top off my tanks now with a partial water change every three to six months. I am planning to do a proper planted tank eventually, possibly even with soil if I get brave enough.
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Phly 06-13-2013 12:21 AM

For bettas you do not NEED a filter, they live in swamps and ditches. But it will make your life easier. A self sustaining tank takes time. Honestly years unless you can seed a tank, even then months is a push.

I'd filter, feed, and clean in your situation.

You're on a micro scale, it's still easy, when changing 300 gallons a week on dozens of tanks, it's worth looking into bio filters and substrates.
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DraftyAiresMum 06-13-2013 12:44 AM

I hate small tanks. Anything under 5 gallons is too difficult to keep the parameters where they should be and waste builds up quickly in a small tank. I'd rather take a 10 gallon and divide it in half for a couple of bettas. Easier to maintain and gives the bettas plenty of swimming space.

Contrary to popular belief (sorry, Phly!), bettas don't do well in overly small, unfiltered tanks, and they don't inhabit ditches and puddles. Their natural habitat is slow-moving (sometimes slightly stagnant) pools that are surprisingly large and deep. One male betta's territory can span up to three feet in diameter and just as deep.

Once in a larger tank with more swimming space, you'll find that bettas are actually quite active fish who enjoy interacting with their people and who love to explore and play. I've had bettas who loved to ride the current of the filter in their tank. Heck, at one point I had a large male halfmoon betta in my 55 gallon (planted) tank and he rode the current from the canister filter spray bar and swam the whole tank all day. He was so much fun to watch.
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rexing93 06-13-2013 01:02 AM

Firstly, I'd like to begin with a thank you to all of you. I appreciate each and every one of your input!

DraftAiresMum-Actually, I knew Bettas and small unfiltered tanks didn't go well together. The 2-3 water changes (50%-100%) per week were becoming overwhelming with school, riding lessons, and a 35-40 hour a week job. :3 I didn't want to begin neglecting them so that's why I figured a planted tank would be a better option for me.

Also, I tried Ozwald in a 10g (which yes he had a filter, appropriate heater, was in the appropriate parameters, and had plenty decor and hiding spots) and he actually got extremely lethargic and after about a week of him not eating, losing his color and severe clamped fins I took him out and back into his 1.5g and within a few days he was a lot better (most of his coloring came back, he had his huge appetite, and his fins were getting better). He prefers his small tank. :3 AND my boys are both pretty hyperactive regardless. At the moment Felix is a bit sluggish as he's still taking in his new surroundings, but Ozwald is zipping around because he "owns the place". XD They're definitely full of personality though.

Also, I don't know if it was because I was so on schedule with tank cleanings, but I haven't had problems with water levels. :3 They were almost always in their appropriate range--and if they weren't it was usually because I ran late on a cleaning.

Anywhoo. One day, once I'm out of college or just get a place of my own (my mother doesn't quite like my two small tanks the way it is. Smh.) I'll upgrade to a larger tank and perhaps get a community tank or a Betta sorority...but for now I'm okay with my couple room ornaments. x]

roseann 06-13-2013 01:05 AM

Yep. They have amazing personalities. I have a thirty gal. Paludarium community tank and a 40 g community tank and they are by far easier to care for than the three g. However, Bettas are an addiction and space is at a premium at my place. The three g is actually the heaviliest planted and still at this point eaiser to maintain than the paludarium. I keep Bettas in all three tanks. My star is my Black Orchid. Desperatly hoping the LPS will start bringing in Dragons or Butterflies next.
Thanks Drafty for mentioning filters ARE necessary. I always cringe when I hear of Bettas in anything smaller than a gallon with no filter or heater. I just dislike putting my opinions forward if I think there will be conflict.
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rexing93 06-13-2013 01:13 AM


Originally Posted by roseann (Post 2787602)
Thanks Drafty for mentioning filters ARE necessary. I always cringe when I hear of Bettas in anything smaller than a gallon with no filter or heater. I just dislike putting my opinions forward if I think there will be conflict.
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The filter thing always bothered me, but I was told that if it was less than 5 gallons to not use them due to:
a.) the current being too strong
b.) their fins getting caught up in the intake.

I've put the small filters in their newly planted tanks and:
1.) the current isn't even close to being too strong
2.) where the intake is, my fish would have to be either incredibly smart or ridiculously not-so-smart to get their fins anywhere near it (it's located literally RIGHT above the gravel). XD

roseann 06-13-2013 01:27 AM

Even in my large aquariums I have no issues with the intake or current. Like Drafty said my betta gets right up there next to the outake and rides the current. However, I to have seen this type of literature or had been told this by pet store personel.
I have only ever had one issue and that was with a double-tail half-moon and they already have issues.
Strangely I lost both him and my first Black Orchid to thier curiosity and getting themselves stuck in something they could not back out of. So I had to rethink my tanks and betta proof them.
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rexing93 06-13-2013 11:47 AM

I was given some Betta-proofing tips concerning filters, etc beforehand so I had my mind put at ease. It was more of a "just in case" thing, but still XD

But, out of curiosity, what do you mean by "double tail half moons have issues already"? O.o I can't tell if it sarcasm or if its a comment about their makeup XD
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roseann 06-13-2013 06:52 PM

The double-tail Half- moons and Rose-tails tend to have more tail and fin, very full. It complicates their ability to properly swim. They would need a very low to no current tank. I believe I read they also are more prone to swim bladder disease as well.
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