As the title says I have no experience with planted tanks. But I recently got a 5.5gallon starter kit and was going to set it up for a betta fish. I really would like to put a few live plants in with him, but have no idea about how to do so. I have done some research but I don't really understand much about what I've read
I would prefer not to use Co2 if possible.. but I need to know about what substrate to use, easy to grow plants and what lights I would need. Basically I just need help in general.
I was also wondering if a 5.5gallon tank was big enough to put any other fish in with the betta?
Thanks for any help/advice I really appreciate it
Seachem Onyx Sand over a thin layer of peat moss works really well, but you can use Eco-complete, fluorite, or 75% Schultz Aquatic Soil capped with 25% pool filter sand.
If your canopy hood comes with a replaceable standard fixture bulb. You can use a 12-15 watt Compact fluorescent bulb 6500 K daylight. Cheap from Wal-Mart.
I would go with anubias, cryptocornes, java moss, and java ferns.
Here is an excellent list of low light plants:
Inhabitants: I have 2 dwarf aquatic frogs and 2 Amano Shrimp, and one otocat and they all seem to get along without any issues. A betta would work fine.
Fertilization: weekly dose of Seachem comprehenive, pinch/dash of nitrates, phosphates, and potassium weekly with every water change. Seachem Fluorish excel daily or every other day will do wonders for plant growth too.
You can buy cheap dry ferts from here. A little will last you a life time, especially on a low light low tech tank.
Here is the way I set up my 5 gallon and it works great all my plants are growing like weeds.
You can also set one up this way, which should also work.