Hi, I'm new. I just bought a 5 gallon tank for a betta and a nerite snail that I will be purchasing soon. I've had bettas before but in really small tanks, so I basically just had gravel and a fake plant. But now I'd love to have a planted tank for my betta and snail. Since it's my first planted tank, it's a small tank, and I don't want to spend a lot of cash, what kind of plants would you all suggest? I'd like to have some long grassy or skinny-leafed thing in the back left corner, then something shorter, more lush with larger leaves in front of that going towards the middle, some kind of moss or short grass from the left side toward the middle and maybe along the front, and some kind of smallish plant on the right side one in the back and one in the front... maybe something long that will grow up and then grow along the water on the top. I'd like to have some kind of little cave or just a mini terra cotta pot or something on the right side on the bottom for my fish to hide in.
So far I've only looked at the plants in Petco stores. One Petco store I went to had lots and lots of live plants, but at that time I wasn't even really thinking of a planted tank. I just went in to get some scratching posts for my cat and ended up looking at the fish for a while. lol. So I didn't really notice specifically what plants they had, but they had a lot. Then I went to another Petco yesterday, and their selection of live plants was pretty poor. As were their selection of bettas. Though they said they will be getting more bettas on Friday. I don't know about the plants, though.
Anyway... I also just read about another local aquarium store that supposedly has a lot of live plants. So I might have more options if I go there.
So it would be great if someone could give me suggestions based on my description of what I'd like to do with my small 5 gallon tank with plants that are relatively easy to find in chain pet stores or local independent ones.
Also, I'm not planning on having a filter because I don't really need one for a betta. So I don't know if that makes a difference.
If your hood has the screw on incandescent bulb, you could easily replace that with a 10 watt compact flourescent bulb. Walmart has them for about $4 in their fish department. This bulb will grow low light plants such as java fern, anubias, and several others. I have this set up also. I even have crypts in mine that are doing fine. Choose a good substrate, there is alot of good advice on some really good ones on this forum. If you are going to keep a betta, they really don't need hiding places. And if you want the most optimum environment for your betta, you will need a filter. There are several different inexpensive types for that size tank. Your snail definately needs a filtered tank if I'm not mistaken. I'd advise ordering from amazon or ebay rather than paying pet store prices. Also, bettas thrive in warm temps..78-80 degrees ideally. If your room temp is lower, I'd suggest a small heater. Additionally, betta pellets are fine, but your fish will also appreciate frozen foods such as bloodworms, mysis and brine shrimp on occasion. I've had my betta for 2 years in a heated, filtered, planted tank and he is active, beautiful, and healthy. It is worth it to invest in the proper equipment. Oh yeah...snails smell like food to bettas, so they may harass one to death. Mine does. I think others have successfully kept them together though, it depends on the individual bettas disposition I guess
. Keep us posted on your progress!