Well this tank is actually 6 months old now, but thought I'd start a journal for it since I'm about to change it up. It's my first ever planted tank so it was a little rocky at first. Ray the betta has been patient with my constant experimentation and mistakes.
My bf brought the betta home from work where it had been a gift from a client in one of those plant vase things, and got passed around for a few days before ending up with us. That's what launched me into this project. So a major goal for the tank is to provide the best environment for him. There's a lot I would've done differently from the beginning but I'm glad to know better now.
Marineland 5 gal portait with built in filter
Hygger 30W led, from Amazon
Crypt wendtii bronze
Anubias nana petite
At the time, I thought the Hydrocotyle would grow up to the surface and not particularly require CO2.
Definitely learned quickly you have to restrict day length starting out to prevent algae.
I think I tried cycling the tank with plants, which I'm not sure I'd do again. I used ammonia drops for the cycling.
Also have decided it's better to plant heavily to start if you can.
Seiryu stone was just a grab bag purchase from Ebay. Looking back, I should have gone with driftwood. Something with height.
Freshly planted. Looks a little sad at this point haha.
Things quickly went downhill. Just about everything melted. The Crypts hung on but the Anubias and Buce rotted at the rhizome. Hydrocotyle slowly died. Took forever to cycle until I broke down and bought bacterial starter and ammonia.
Meanwhile Ray waited in his plant vase. I tested the water when I first got him and ammonia was insanely high. Not sure how he was able to survive.
After getting the cycle going, decided to replant with Staurogyne repens, A. nana petite, A. nana, narrow leaf Java fern, and Java moss. Crypt wendtii bronze hung on. Ray was introduced to the tank and immediately explored every nook and cranny. Had a little bit of trouble adjusting to having to swim so far to reach the surface. So I added a betta leaf hammock.
I got smart this time and kept some plant clippings in a terrarium. It ended up looking better than the tank...