First Planted Tank: 5.5 Gallon Betta Habitat (some pictures)
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:59 PM   #1
CatB
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First Planted Tank: 5.5 Gallon Betta Habitat (some pictures)


I always kept bettas as a little kid, and my desire to have one was renewed just a few months ago when a friend of mine told me she got one. I never kept bettas properly before, since I never heard anything about their needing heating, or a filter, or more space than the half gallon betta keepers I routinely kept them in. So, long story short, I did my research, cleaned and de-rimmed a 5.5 gallon tank that a single male guppy (the last survivor of about a hundred (they bred like crazy)) was living in for YEARS until he finally died.
I've planned to get live plants for a while, as well as a few red cherry shrimp, but I took the plunge (no pun intended) on the plants and ordered some (I wanted to get them here quickly) this Monday after noticing that Chris (my betta) was hurting the edge of his tail on the plastic plants I had (despite the brand's claim to being injury-free). They got here today, and now my bank account is sad, but my fish is happy!

Enough of my rambling though...

TANK SPECS:


equipment:

5.5 gallon, self de-rimmed (top only) glass aquarium, backed with red tissue paper on the back and left side to give Chris some privacy

Hagen Elite Mini Submersible heater (25 watt) (hope to upgrade to a Marineland Visi-Therm 50 watt when i have money, this thing keeps the tank at around 75 degrees consistently, but I'd like to keep it closer to 77 or 78 and have the ability to go even higher if i needed to (ich or whatever))

Azoo Oxygen Plus Bio-Filter 9 (sponge filter)

13 watt daylight CFL with a 6500-6700 Kelvin rating in a desk lamp (~12 hours on, 12 off (on a timer))
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substrate:
medium-ish grain regular aquarium gravel (between 1 and 2 inches deep) + a few decorative "river rocks", some being used to weigh java fern/anubias down
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products used:

Seachem Stability (for cycling, I've only had Chris in there for a little over two weeks, and my readings are currently around .25 PPM ammonia, .25 PPM nitrIte, and 10 PPM nitrAte (plus the 5 PPM I have in my tap water) on my API liquid testing kit, cycling I think would be going faster, too, if I hadn't just recently switched to the sponge filter from some plastic corner thing with a cartridge inside)

Seachem Prime (for water conditioning and detoxifying ammonia/nitrite/nitrate in the aquarium)

API Stress Coat + (for Chris' fin injuries and to calm him down when he's flipping out (usually around partial water changes (~33%, I was doing them almost daily for a while but now I've just been adding a few drops of Seachem Prime to detoxify, cycling seems to be going better that way) and also when i first put him in the tank, and today after I finished planting)

Currently no ferts but I want to use Seachem Flourish in the future, I purposefully ordered all plants that collect their nutrients from the water column so I don't have to switch/add to my substrate
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flora:


1X Anubias coffeefolia (anubias coffeefolia)

2X Ceratopteris thalictroides (water sprite)

3X Microsorum pteropus (java fern)

1X Chladophora aegagropila (moss ball)

1X MYSTERY PLANT!!! I think it's some sort of sword or maybe some sort of val that the seller (liveaquaria.com) sent as a bonus/accident, I dunno if it's going to grow in the low light I have, but I stuck it where the light is highest and I'll see what happens lol. I'll ask for ID on the pictures i'm going to add...
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fauna:

1X male Betta splendens, crowntail, named Chris after http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Squire (see "Nickname")

hopefully soon-to-be 4-6X Neocaridina denticulata sinensis (red cherry shrimp) once my tank is fully cycled (Chris isn't particularly aggressive, and the plants make for enough hiding spaces I think. If not, then Chris gets some extra dinner xD)
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PICTURES!!! (sorry for crappy quality, my point-and-shoot hates me)
:

Chris in his home, pre-planting (plastic plants):


Chris in his home, post-planting (pre-slight re-arranging) (IDENTIFY THAT PLANT! mystery plant on the far right.):


Chris! Happy with his new plants :


It's weird though, Chris is really more green than he appears in these pictures, I think it might just be the glass distorting his color? Or my camera, that too. But yeah!

the endddd.
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:01 PM   #2
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Love the new scape! Bettas really appreciate live plants.

Question: I don't see a filter... does your tank have one? If not, I would highly recommend a Duetto50 for your tank. The flow can be turned WAY down. I usually toss the carbon cartridge that comes with it and fill it with my own media, however.

A word of caution: bettas are SERIOUS jumpers... I would be nervous about keeping one in an open topped tank.
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatB View Post
Currently no ferts but I want to use Seachem Flourish in the future
I would get Brightwell aquatics FlorinMulti instead of Seachem. Only $7.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikelodeon79 View Post
Love the new scape! Bettas really appreciate live plants.

Question: I don't see a filter... does your tank have one? If not, I would highly recommend a Duetto50 for your tank. The flow can be turned WAY down. I usually toss the carbon cartridge that comes with it and fill it with my own media, however.

A word of caution: bettas are SERIOUS jumpers... I would be nervous about keeping one in an open topped tank.
Thanks! Yeah, Chris sure seems to xD.

There's a sponge filter back in there. Azoo Oxygen Plus 9 or something. I listed it in my tank specs. It works pretty darn well, IMO.

I've heard that a lot, but as someone who kept bettas in terrible conditions in tiny bowls and never had one jump, I'm a little bit skeptical. I think that holds true more if you fill all the way to the top? I have about two inches of unfilled space in my tank, though, and plants that break the top of the water line. I heard that helps. Hopefully I won't learn a lesson the hard way, but I kind-of doubt that I will. I once kept a betta in a shallow goldfish bowl, and that particular betta freaked out at any noise or vibration (like came to the top of the water and swam frantically in circles and zig-zags)... and he never jumped.
I'd be more inclined to get a lid if I hadn't already de-rimmed my tank, and if I weren't using a desk lamp. Thanks for the advice though!
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilde View Post
I would get Brightwell aquatics FlorinMulti instead of Seachem. Only $7.
Thanks, I'll look into it.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:24 PM   #6
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I LOVE CHRISY! This is k, btw, and i LOVE THE PICTURES!
I need to add pictures of my tank, but the process is really long and arduous....
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k3xx View Post
I LOVE CHRISY! This is k, btw, and i LOVE THE PICTURES!
I need to add pictures of my tank, but the process is really long and arduous....
Thaaaanks. I dunno it didn't take me that long to do. I used tinypic.com to upload/post the pictures on this forum xD.
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