Never done a planted tank before! Help! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-06-2014, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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Never done a planted tank before! Help!

Hello everyone!

I am brand new to the world of planted tanks, and am excited to begin learning and preparing for my future tank.

I'm fifteen, but I've been taking care of fish, other aquatic creatures, and animals my entire life. I grew up with a 45-gallon freshwater (sharks, plecos, etc.) which was later taken down, various bettas and fancy goldfish tanks, frogs, guinea pigs, a hamster, and dogs. Currently, my setup is a 3-gallon betta tank, 2-gallon cherry shrimp tank (3 shrimp), and a 90-gallon saltwater tank (foxface, puffer, sailfin tang, shrimp, etc.), 4 hens, and a Cairn Terrier. You could say I'm an animal lover.

I'm joining this forum because I am interested in adding live plants to my betta fish's tank, but I have absolutely no idea where to start. The link to my tank is here, but the details are pretty much:
- 3 gallons (I know it's small, but at the moment my parents aren't budging about reviving the old 10 gallon from the garage)
- 16 LEDs
- Tetra whisper filter

What I'm asking is, does this setup seem like a suitable environment for plants? I understand that, by looking at photos, that a lot of betta/plant tanks are tiny cubes with no current, but I want a nice living environment for both the betta and the plants.

My mom doesn't like the idea of the filter so if I could leave that out of the equation altogether I'd probably be able to convince her easier. At the moment, I haven't had it on in a while and have been doing 2/3 water changes at least once a week for my betta tank (thanks, mom.) I've got an extra heater stored away somewhere and if it could stay there (I wish it didn't have to, but it's above my bed and my mom doesn't like it running) life would be easy.

I know it's a lot to ask, but is there any way to make this work while keeping my betta and the plants healthy and happy? Is the light good enough for the plants? Please tell me everything you know.

I would like some plants that grow from the top down; my favorite is Baby's Tears, but I don't know anything about that. I'd also like some that fill up the tank and create an underwater-forest-type-thing. Any suggestions for low-tech plants? I'm happy to spend time trimming them and such but I really can't change conditions right now.

Should I buy plants at petco/petsmart? I have a wonderful fish store about 45 minutes away but I can probably get over there eventually if necessary.

Thank you for your huge help! I'm so excited to begin planning. I'm happy to take extra time to research everything and am not one to rush into things, but I had no idea where to start!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-06-2014, 09:33 PM
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This is definitely a great place to look around for ideas. Have you looked at the low-tech forum on here? There is a sticky of low-tech plants located at the very top of the thread list. You could start there. But as far as plants right off the top of my head that do well in low tech, you have anubias, many mosses, some ludwigia, some bacopa, wisteria, water lettuce (floater that has long-trailing roots), and many more. The light on there will probably be fine for low-light plants like those mentioned. If you're already doing weekly water changes and it's just the betta, you may be able to get away without the filter... And you'll have to check on temperatures for the plants, again some that I mentioned do fine in cooler temperatures, but others might not, so the heater may or may not be necessary, depending on how careful you are with your planning of plant selection.

Keep hunting around the forum for ideas and have fun with it! Maybe if you can make a killer tank your mom will let you go bigger, haha.

Old tanks, all torn down:
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Hope to get a new tank (or two) up soon...
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-06-2014, 09:50 PM
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You should have no problem growing plants in that tank. Some low light plants like anubias are a good beginner plant. Many people on here myself included have tanks with no filter, they are actually quite easy to maintain. The plants will create oxygen and help keep the water clean. If your mom doesn't like the idea of a filter, you may be able to talk her into a sponge filter. As far as where to get plants you can buy them on this forum, petco, petsmart, ebay, it doesn't really matter honestly. Just research each plant and make sure they meet the requirements of your tank. Learn about the nitrogen cycle as that will be one of the first things you will need to deal with.

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3 gallon, baby's tears, betta, plants

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