Please help plant a 10 gallon Betta Tank - new addict. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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Please help plant a 10 gallon Betta Tank - new addict.

Hi All -

Apologies for the long post and Thanks for your help - I'm new to this addiction!

I'm trying to give a good home to a Betta but I'm confused about planted tanks.

I thought I had it figured out by reading the Walstad book (twice) but I don't think going that route is a good idea right now because it seems like getting the substrate right isn't easy.

Since it's a Betta tank (starting from scratch) I'm trying to find plants that will grow up to the top with nice leaves but everything I'm finding looks like it needs Co2 injection and I'm hoping to keep it simple but nice. I know I could just get an Amazon Sword and a bunch of Crypts but I'm hoping there's something else.

This tank is on a Penninsula island and will be visible from everywhere. Hopefully I can attach pics.

I'm waiting on the water chemistry numbers but the PH is 7.5 and I think the water is in the hard side it's NYC water. Yes the LFS should have that info but they don't....

I've done a ton of reading - I think that's the problem. I'm feeling overwhelmed.

I don't have a light yet because that depends on the plants.

I was hoping for a "Natural Aquarium" but I'll be happy just to get something planted not too high maintenance for now, but I can see where this addiction is headed.

I don't know which source to buy the plants from.

I was hoping for some fast growers but I'm told everything needs CO2? Hygrophilia Corymbosa?
> Shinnersia Riv? > Rotala rotundifolia?
>Limmophilia sessilflora? (Ambulia?)

Any and all ideas much appreciated! 😃

I had a really long list in the past I'd be happy to post it but I don't think it's right. The store I was talking to said get "one of each" but that can't be right it's a small tank. *sigh*

I know I can glue Moss to the Spiderwood, but for some reason I can't get beyond that !

Again my thanks and any tips where to order are appreciated. This will be a cycled tank before the fish is put in btw. Hummmmm just pressing the paper clip isn't letting me attach. If I can do this I'll post progress pics if this project ever gets off the ground Lol.

I think for substrate just a bag of Eco Complete is what I need? I got really hung up on the substrate reading The Ecology of The Planted Aquarium and concluded that Ms Diane Walstad is a genius who makes it look easy. I'm afraid if I tried that, I'd kill the fish with an ammonia spike or I'd have Algea everywhere.

Sorry for the wall of text I think reading from people with real experiences is a better way to start.

🐠


nope can't upload from google photos only desktop

Last edited by Nature Freak; 10-01-2019 at 12:34 AM. Reason: attach photos
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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tank photos

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Last edited by Nature Freak; 10-01-2019 at 01:12 AM. Reason: photos
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 02:51 AM
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Google photo works fine, you just use insert image icon at top of posting window to insert it.

My non CO2 Betta 7 gal tank with R. Rotundifolia and red root floaters.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 03:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post
Google photo works fine, you just use insert image icon at top of posting window to insert it.



My non CO2 Betta 7 gal tank with R. Rotundifolia and red root floaters.



Thanks @DaveKS great tank TY for the pic and a gorgeous
Betta you've got

I've got Google photos on my Android phone hope that works.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 07:01 AM
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You can grow rotundifolia and h. Corymbosa (compacta?) just fine with no CO2. Betta love little floating plants, they get all CO2 they want from air, all light they want also floating right under light.

Both grow so fast in that tank itís actually a weekly chore to thin them out and Iím thinking of going to just crypt plants and mosses and other slow growers with just floaters on top to cut down work needed to keep up with it. Floaters are easy to keep thinned, donít even have to get your hands wet hardly.

Everybodyís happy in there and I hardly ever change water.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 02:12 PM
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I've just started a no-tech jar with Ludwigia arcuata and that's growing quite quickly. You'd also be fine with floating plants like salvinia, red root floater etc. Marsilea species (look like 4 leaf clover) would do well.... A lot of stems will be fine like this, you just won't see growth *as* fast (although they still, in my experience, grow quickly enough that you'll see the change from day to day).
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germanblueramlover View Post
I've just started a no-tech jar with Ludwigia arcuata and that's growing quite quickly. You'd also be fine with floating plants like salvinia, red root floater etc. Marsilea species (look like 4 leaf clover) would do well.... A lot of stems will be fine like this, you just won't see growth *as* fast (although they still, in my experience, grow quickly enough that you'll see the change from day to day).
Thank you both! Customer Service at Buce Plants told me the plants I had in mind needed CO2.

I was hoping for at least one emergent plant.

Appreciate the tips. Yes I was planning on some frogbit or Water Sprite to float on top.

It sounds like you both prefer slower growing plants like Crypts?

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post
You can grow rotundifolia and h. Corymbosa (compacta?) just fine with no CO2. Betta love little floating plants, they get all CO2 they want from air, all light they want also floating right under light.



Both grow so fast in that tank itís actually a weekly chore to thin them out and Iím thinking of going to just crypt plants and mosses and other slow growers with just floaters on top to cut down work needed to keep up with it. Floaters are easy to keep thinned, donít even have to get your hands wet hardly.



Everybodyís happy in there and I hardly ever change water.



Appreciate the tips and love your Betta photo!

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 04:36 PM
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Every single plant we use will grow better with co2. However, many plants WILL grow without injected co2. Some plants will display different characteristics with co2 and certainly they will grow quicker and denser. But its not needed to have a wonderful planted aquarium.

Eco-complete will work just fine for a substrate. I personally hate the stuff and will never ever use it again, but others like it quite a bit. Its a personal preference based mostly on aesthetic and how it feels to plant into.

I am currently using sand with some small gravel in a 5 gallon fluval spec and I have sand mixed with safe t sorb in a quarantine tank. Both are growing plants.

You will need to consider a fertilizer no matter what. If going without co2 injection you should consider getting ThriveC which is all the ferts you will need for a low tech tank in a pump jar. Doesn't get much easier than this.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minorhero View Post
Every single plant we use will grow better with co2. However, many plants WILL grow without injected co2. Some plants will display different characteristics with co2 and certainly they will grow quicker and denser. But its not needed to have a wonderful planted aquarium.



Eco-complete will work just fine for a substrate. I personally hate the stuff and will never ever use it again, but others like it quite a bit. Its a personal preference based mostly on aesthetic and how it feels to plant into.



I am currently using sand with some small gravel in a 5 gallon fluval spec and I have sand mixed with safe t sorb in a quarantine tank. Both are growing plants.



You will need to consider a fertilizer no matter what. If going without co2 injection you should consider getting ThriveC which is all the ferts you will need for a low tech tank in a pump jar. Doesn't get much easier than this.
Thanks @minorhero . I'm also looking at Aquasoil not limited to Eco Complete. Originally I wanted to try the Walstad method setting up a NPT with just Soil and a cap but chickened out. In those types of tanks no ferts needed.

I'll remember to eventually add ferts to this tank

I finally appreciate that even when CO2 is "recommended" that plants can do fine without it in a low tech tank. Thanks for the insight



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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 08:24 PM
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Aquasoil is an excellent idea, I highly recommend it. You will have a much easier time growing most plants compared to eco-complete. It gives the perks of soil without the unpredictability. Also, it won't be prohibitively expensive to add a good layer to your 10 gallon tank.

Regarding fertilization, with aquasoil and dirt substrates it's a good idea to add potassium and micros from the start. Soil and fish waste can provide nitrogen and phosphorus, but they aren't great sources of potassium and certain micros.

Some plants I've grown well without CO2 are Cabomba sp. and Ludwigia palustris. The Ludwigia should readily grow emergent too.

Everything flows.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 08:47 PM
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Marsilea will definitely be emergent, seems to have a stronger preference for it than most plants I've grown.
I like crypts because I like crypts! Nothing to do with being slower growing or thinking they're better than stems; I just think they're pretty
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 09:59 PM
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Yep a nice clump of crypt wendtii red or bronze setting right in middle of those two pieces of wood would make a nice centerpiece focal point in that size tank, perfect height, super easy to grow and maintain.



As far as lighting goes look at Fluval Nano Plant 3.0, height and position adjustable. Programming allows you to set any color and intensity you like, plus does ramp up and ramp down morn and afternoon cycles.

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 11:33 PM
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Hi, I have a 10 gallon and used Controsoil from Buce and the Fluval Nano Plant light. Love both of them. Tank took off with lots of plants and all doing extremely well, all from Buce, and no CO2. Ludwigia Repens, saggitaria subulata, alternanthera reineckii, hydrocotyle verticillata, cabomba, crypt parva, mini Bolbitis, varied Buce (best on wood), Monte Carlo, dwarf hair grass, crypt parva. I tend to overload a bit from the start and then weed out what doesn't work well. The ones that did not arrived in less than perfect condition. I found stems hard to plant in the soil and in my tank, which is a tall cube, so anything you can tie on wood or stone is a plus! Also makes it easy to move around. I like to rearrange my scape many times to get the 'look' I like so I tend to hold off on planting the crypts until later as they don't like to be moved. I use UNS all in one fertilizer. Not a pro by any means, just do my thing! I have had good luck with plants from Buce and Aquaticarts, but there are some on this site as well that are good.
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Last edited by fish+plants; 10-05-2019 at 12:04 AM. Reason: ps
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-05-2019, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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[quote=ursamajor;11260153]Aquasoil is an excellent idea, I highly recommend it. You will have a much easier time growing most plants compared to eco-complete. It gives the perks of soil without the unpredictability. Also, it won't be prohibitively expensive to add a good layer to your 10 gallon tank.



Regarding fertilization, with aquasoil and dirt substrates it's a good idea to add potassium and micros from the start. Soil and fish waste can provide nitrogen and phosphorus, but they aren't great sources of potassium and certain micros.



Some plants I've grown well without CO2 are Cabomba sp. and Ludwigia palustris. The Ludwigia should readily grow emergent too.[/quote @ursamajor *THANKS* for the succinct summary about substrate! It makes total sense to have the benefit of soil without the unpredictability - at least for this tank.

I have to admit I'm still fascinated by Walstad's book "The Ecology of the Planted Aquarium" and one day I'd still like to set up a "Natural Planted Tank" .

Thanks also for the fertilizer pro tips. In a "NPT" supposedly the fish waste is all one needs for ferts but I doubt one Betta fish has a high enough Bio Load to be useful? I'm planning on adding a small school of some type of Rasbora - most likely about 10 Chili Rasboras not sure adding those nano fish would be enough for a heavily planted tank either? Also fish food is supposed to add to fertilizer however Betta are chow hounds and there's nothing extra left over!

Finally thanks for the plant pro tips esp the emmergent ones. I really like the look of emmergent plants and have already rooted some Pothos in water which I'll somehow fasten to the top of the tank.

With all the useful input I've received this project is finally coming together! I'll be sure to post pics on this thread come planting day and beyond

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