2.5 Gallon Betta Biotope Planning (substrate and plant questions)
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Old 03-03-2012, 03:14 AM   #1
Speed Racer
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2.5 Gallon Betta Biotope Planning (substrate and plant questions)


I am about to obtain a 2.5 gallon AGA aquarium that I plan on making a betta biotope. I have had mixed success in the past with plants, so I am trying to make sure they don't die on me this time....

I don't really like the look of a lot of the dedicated "plant substrates" (and not to mention the planting frustrations that I have read about) so would something like sand and root tabs work? Suggestions are appreciated.


I am also not sure which plants I should use. 2.5 gallons isn't a whole lot to work and it is likely going to be easily overwhelmed by normal plants that look godzilla proportioned in such a small area. I plan on roughly medium light (the current tank is lit by a desk lamp with one of those 13 watt CFL plant bulbs). I can always put a stronger CFL bulb in the lamp, but I am sorta stuck with the lamp. I might try rigging up a DIY CO2 system as I wouldn't mind going a little technical. Currently on the plant list is java moss and java fern, rotala rotundifolia, cryp balansae, cryp wendtii, and hygrophylia difformis. Again, suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Also, where on earth do I find little bits of driftwood? Everything I seem to be able to locate would be massive in a tank this small.
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Old 03-03-2012, 04:32 AM   #2
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Sand and root tabs/caps will work just fine! I use pool filter sand (light/white), but others use black sand blasting grit. Both are inexpensive and readily available.

As for the driftwood, you should be able to find pieces online for more... average tank sizes, and then saw it up yourself to fit the tank. You can also take a trip to a local park, river, creek, etc. and look for your own. There are plenty of directions floating around on how to prepare wood that you've found for your tank!

DIY CO2 is FUN! Definitely give it a go!

I can't answer anything else, really, because I'm a beginner myself! I'm sure experts will be along shortly.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:37 AM   #3
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Betta habitats aren't always heavy on underwater plants, but they do have a lot of plants growing out of the top of the water. These emersed plants will also make your betta feel more secure and less likely to jump.

Cyperus helferi is a particularly good choice.
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