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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have one Spec V that I set up in October. I love it. It is in my bedroom. My elderly Mom lives with me, and really enjoys it, and asked if I could set up one in the kitchen.

I'll be going Tuesday to a very large fish store, that I bought my first Fluval from. I am thinking of getting another Fluval Spec V. I am new at this, having had a couple tanks as a kid a LONG time ago.... but been reading and learning for 10 years before I decided to take the plunge and get a small tank.

The first spec had a lot of plants and a betta - and when I tried adding some other small fish - pygmy corys (cories?), couple male Endlers and 3 cherry barbs. I knew it was risky... Well, betta had murder on his mind -- so he is in my 3 gallon QT right now. Mom really likes him, so he will become Kitchen Fish as soon as I can get something together for him, get it cycled and planted. I really like him too. I don't think my Mom can see the little nano fish very well, but she can see the Betta - he is bright red - so he's a natural for a kitchen tank for her to enjoy.

The first spec has been up and running since the beginning of October, and has quite a few plants in it. Maybe 20 different starts from clippings a local fish club member gave me. It's had steady test numbers for several weeks.

The tank has had all the nano fish in for 4 days, and the numbers this morning were Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5. I know I have been over feeding them, as having a hard time finding something they will eat. Everything I had was to big for them. Bought some tiny pellet food yesterday, and they like that. So more food than normal sitting around uneaten in the tank. Betta (sorry he has no name yet) always ate a single pellet at a time, and I knew none was wasted. These little fish have wasted a lot of food so far.

I have a bag of the bio sphere things that I bought and put on top of the filter media a few days ago. Thinking that I could either take out the older bag and put in new tank to seed it, or the new bag of them would at least have a week or so to gather bacteria from the cycled tank.

Ok, here are my questions.
In the existing Spec V, I have small, rounded natural gravel. I keep having issues with the plants coming up. Maybe it was the betta doing it, as I have had no issues with the nano fish in there now. I was wondering, if I set up a new Spec V for the betta, if I should switch to sand or pool sand or something else? I want to give the plants the best shot I can. I'll pick up a few more Tuesday at the fish store, so I don't need to disturb the ones that are growing in the older Spec V. I have heard black sand is great to show off a betta, but I wonder if it also will show off dead leaves, poop etc.??

So - what would be a good substrate to show off a betta and plants to grow in? Black sand? Stick with small natural pebbles? Pool sand? Other ideas?

The other thing was, if I take a couple plants from the existing tank, and the old bio sphere bag, and some filter rinsing water - will it hurt the older tank, and will it be enough to help a cycle along for the new tank?

Thanks so much!
Juli
 

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Juli, you can start using Eco-complete or even Fluval substrate. This is usually inert substrate but it is designed for planted tanks. This means that most rooted plants will have no problems latching on to the substrate and staying in place.

Furthermore, this substrate, although inter, helps hold nutrients that are being introduced into the tank from food and/or ferts.

Both are dark substrates (Eco-Complete being darker) and would help show off any bright colored betta (dark blues probably wouldn't be the best).

Pool sand would be the cheapest alternative. Although I have no experience with it, I do know that many people have used it to grow plants successfully.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I will look for that. I am new to this, and there is o much conflicting information.
 
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