I haven't had an aquarium in about 6 years, but had a number for years before that, including lots with plants. Have been feeling the itch lately and ordered an Eheim Aquastyle 9G for my office. It will become a shrimp tank.
I did the round of pet stores today to try to find substrate (hah!), water conditioners, test kit, some rocks and driftwood, etc. While at one of the nasty box stores I walked past the "wall of dying betas." I'm a SUCKER for betas. Ended up coming home with a Fluval Spec V, black sand, root tabs, some driftwood and a big old standing stone.
I'm impressed with how easy to get up and going the Fluval is, was very quick. The whole thing is running silently, and at the lowest filter setting my new halfmoon plakat male seems very happy. He's got shorter fins, so swims better. I'm sure a full tailed variety would have trouble. The tank obviously needs to cycle, but I've cycled with beta before and had them do just fine with care and attention. Better than the cup he was living in. (Really, over half the fish were dead or dying in their cups, how is that good business?)
They had plants, rough ones. All unlabeled. I found one Java Fern. The rest were mostly obvious pond or swamp plants that weren't going to be happy.
, on Flickr
The driftwood has been safely sanitized, but isn't water logged yet, the stones holding it down will go away as soon as it is. I'd like some more plants, obviously. Something low and carpet like to go up the slight hill around the standing stone. Some more Java fern or other tall low light plants for the other side of the tank.
What would you all suggest? No CO2 (never used it, never really needed it, my tanks aways became jungles), stock Fluval light. So low light, I will dose with Flourish and there are root tabs under the sand.
$12 beta, whose rescue cost umm... way more than that.
, on Flickr