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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm setting up a 5g for one of my betta boys; I'm hoping to make this tank as low maintenance as possible.

it'll be a natural planted tank; soil topped with larger-grained natural gravel.

for lighting, would a 27 watt CF desk lamp work?

I'll have a whisper 10PF for additional filtration- not the best filter, but I have a spare sitting around collecting dust and figure I might as well put it to use.

I have a chunk of driftwood marked for this tank that takes up about half; I plan to plant narrow leaf and phillipine java fern as well as java moss all along it with an anubias nana and some anubias nana petite. behind it I think I'll put a sprig of rotala (indica and rotundifolia) and for the other side I'm thinking perhaps some water sprite with a red tiger lotus in front of it. for floaters, I'm thinking a mix of salvinia, duckweed and dwarf water sprite as well as red root floater if I can find some.

stocking will be a male betta, a ghost shrimp or two. possibly 3-4 dwarf cories eventually, as well.

now- with this setup, how often do you think I should change water? I wouls assume every week, but have heard rumors of NPT's in which water was changed closer to every 3-4 week or even less often.

also- with 27watts of light, should I add CO2? a 1L DIY bottle?
 

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27w desk lamp sounds good. As for the substrate, I'd ditch the soil because the only plant that you listed that would benefit from it would be the 'sprig' of rotala. It's just me, but I'd ditch the duckweed and java moss; I think the rest of the plants are perfect. The whisper filter should do good since it's gonna be a betta tank.

The rumors you hear about NPTs and the infrequent water changes are true to an extent. Most of those tanks are heavily planted and have low waste producers.

Again, these are just my opinions and what I would do.
 

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Our betta decimated the shrimp we put in. Added some full size Orange Sunkist. He grabbed one and was swimming around his tank shaking it like a dog. We were trying to poke him and make him let it go and he would swim away shaking it. The other two shrimp hid. Found one eventually and got it out and the other, only ever say little orange bits on the gravel afterwards. He's in 2.5gal with only snails and a few plants and a small Boyu HOB filter.
 

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GeTo...thats pretty crazy lol...animal planet crazy!

I would be surprised to see a beta handle a fully grown amano shrimp like that. They get big and defend themselves against much larger fish than bettas. They are also much better at cleaning the tank than any other of the more popular shrimp species.
 

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If you want low maintenance then I'd go with lower light and use all low light plants - slower growth = lower maintenance. I'd also ditch the soil and just stick with gravel, and I'd ditch the moss too as I've found that algae just loves to integrate itself in moss. If you are thinking of adding co2 then you're really not in the realm of low maintenance anymore.

I'd get a nerite snail or two to help keep the walls and decor clean. I've never had shrimp survive in a betta tank but go ahead and try it if you'd like. He may also harrass any other fish you add, so be prepared to rehome them if you try. Cories are schooling fish and need to be kept in numbers larger than what a 5g tank with a betta in it can accomodate, and would not be a good choice. Personally I think the betta and a nerite or two is enough in a 5g tank. I've found that my bettas just seem more chill without other fish in the tank, especially when it's a small tank.

I personally like duckweed in betta tanks, just make sure it doesn't get so thick that it's hard for them to get air from the surface.

My setup is a 5g minibow with very low light, 1 java fern, duckweed, one betta, and one nerite. I also have a tall fake plant to help hide the filter, which is only rated for 3g but does a good job. I keep the flow low and aimed away from the surface so my guy can build a bubble nest if he's in the mood.

I do water changes every 2-3 weeks. I have an identically set up 2.5g with the same inhabitants on the same maintenance schedule. Both fish are doing well and the oldest guy is at least 2 years old now, which ain't bad for a petstore betta.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've decided to ditch the low maintence idea for now and just do another natural planted tank- I picked up another 10g today, gonna set it up like I setup my sorority, which has been doing wonderfully. got some sunset hygro and water sprite for the tank and going to use my current crypts and wisteria I have as well.

going to put in an order for some java fern and floaters, and have my dad pick up a second 27watt desk lamp for lighting, and a replacement bulb for the one I have.
 
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