Beginner needs some guidance. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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Smile Beginner needs some guidance.

Hi everyone, thanks for reading!

I couldn't find a beginners forum, so I hope this is ok here.

My tank is 60cm long, 30 wide and 35 cm high, so 63 litres (16.6 gallons).
I want to have plenty of plants and hardscape, but just want to keep a single Betta.

Using a little formula I found on another forum, I think I'll need a 75 watt heater to keep the water at 24 celcius (75 farenheit). Is my math right? The average yearly temp of Auckland is 15 celcius.

Bettas like low light, so what kind should I use? And what plants do well with low light?

I wanted to go with a South-East Asian theme and add a small ruined looking buddha head like this: http://i1.trekearth.com/photos/11239/buddha.jpg a little gimmicky, but I think it could look good. What materials are safe to add to a tank? Concrete or something?

Logic tells me that with lots of plants, and a single fish, there will be plenty of oxygen (too much?) and very little CO2 in the tank. Will I need to add extra C02? And how much? Does a surplus of oxygen do any damage to the plants or fish?

I notice that almost every tank on this forum has shrimp and/or snails in them. Are they there to help clean the tank? For purely aesthetic reasons I'd rather not have any, but are they necessary?

I'm sorry there's so many questions, don't feel like you have to answer them all! Just reading some of the posts here, with everybody speaking in strange acronyms makes it all seem very complicated. I want to make sure I'm prepared before I start.

Thanks so much!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 01:27 AM
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If you have low light then you do not have to use Co2, with low light and no Co2 your plants will grow slow but that is not a bad thing.

I think a lot of us have shrimp for 2 reasons one is they clean up after the fish but if you will only have one fish then you don't have to worry about excess food. Second they are very interesting to watch.
You do not need shrimp or snails, but the right ones can be benifical.

No you will never have to much oxygen.

A 75w heater should be just fine

Good luck and ask as many questions as you want.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 01:49 AM
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Hello

Since its a Betta only tank, you should run it at 80+ degrees, as Bettas do their best at those temps. I keep mine at 83. That crazy fish is all over the place. Greets me like a dog when I come home. The heater shouldn't have any problem, though a 100 watt might do the job a bit quicker.

I've tried keeping shrimp with my Betta before...but I just ended up with dead shrimp and a happy Betta. (My Betta is a sociopath...has killed lots of things)

You don't need to worry about oxygen much at all. Even if levels for some reason got low the betta has an organ that allows it it breath air to an extent. Not that this is likely to ever be a concern.

for light, you'll probably be fine with not much, but make sure its in the 5500-6500K range for your plants. You can even use a screw in CFL arrangement if you like. For low light, you should research around for plants that do OK in low light, Java Fern being the one that most immediately springs to mind. Also anubias. Avoid plants that are anything but green, as they tend to need more light...also small forground plants like HC demand a lot of light (and CO2). I think there is a list somewhere around this forum of good low light plants, plus you can read the plant profiles.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
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So light-wise, a would couple of 16 watt 5500-6500K screw-in CFLs work?

Also could you recommend a filter system? That seems to be the most complicated part.

Thanks so much for your help.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 02:41 AM
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Ya, that much light should work for your needs.

Your bioload is pretty small, with only a single fish, so assuming you don't plan to add more fish to the party, you can do just fine with an Aquaclear 20. Its a hang on back (HOB) filter. Very simple, easy to maintain. Effective. Just make sure that you don't clean the filter media under chlorinated tap water and destroy the bacterial colonies that live in it, since they are the things actually cleaning your water. There are many kinds of HOB filters available. Aquaclears are just my personal favorite for this kind of application.

Thanks for taking the time to learn how to properly care for a betta, btw. These fish are so often horribly abused...kept in tiny cups with no heat or filtration, floating around in their own feces...sounds like yours will be happy. Once he's living in warm, clean water you'll see lots of personality come out. Bettas are very energetic fish when healthy and taken care of.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 02:51 AM Thread Starter
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Easier than I thought!
I can't wait to get him now, I'm glad I'll be able to look after him properly.
Thanks so much for your help!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 07:20 AM
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Hey, what kin of substrate are you thinking about using? I feel like I should say that, since you only want to keep the single betta, perhaps you could try and research their natural environment and look at what natural betta habitats look like. Perhaps also look and see if there are any plants that grow in the same waters as wild bettas and add those species to your setup. A 16 gallon tank is more than enough to house a single betta, and I'm sure the fish will appreciate the extra room.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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I think to simulate it's natural habitat I'd have to grow rice... But the substrate's definitely a good idea. I hoping to carpet the bottom with a low growing plant, but looking into it I don't know if it's possible with low-light and no CO2. So I'll have to do some reasearch. Thanks for the advice though!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 04:37 PM
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How bout a pretty apple snail of your favorite color as a tankmate? They come in lots of different colors and get pretty good size. He will clean up anything the Beta lets sink to the bottom. I have a beautiful purple one with swirls in his shell.
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