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ADA and Carbon: Liquids or Must I have a CO2 System?
Do I need a Co2 syatem or can I just use bottled stuff? I'm planning to do a 5g planted betta tank. I will probably do a biotope (or as close as I can get) so I'm planning to use giant hygrophilia (is it too large? I may use a smaller substitute.) and blyxa japonica (bamboo). As of now, I'm thinking of buying the Ecoxotic Pico tank (EcoPico) http://www.ecoxotic.com/led-aquariums/desktop-aquariums/eco-pico.html


I'm leaning towards ADA Malaya to keep it as authentic as possible, but the Amazonia seems to grow plants more lushly. Or maybe Eco-Complete or Red Flourite. I hear the bamboo needs a lot of iron. Would that make a difference?

So, do I need a CO2 system or will dosing work? If so, with what?

How much lighting would I need for those plants for a 5g tank> The tanks I'm looking at had LED lights, but if not that I plan to use CF.

If the Aquasoil is unnecessary for this tank, can these plants live in regular gravel? If so, how to fertilize them and give them carbon? Is this much even necessary?

What about fertilizers for these plants?

Thanks y'all!
 

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That's a lot of questions.

Let's get some out of the way. Which do you care about more, a biotope or a lushly planted tank?

Most bettas live in shallow, tannin-stained water that doesn't have much in the way of plants growing underwater, but lots of plants poking out of the water. A biotope will look very different from a tank with lots of underwater plants and clear water. Answer this question and many of the rest will fall into place.

A related point, of course, is that Betta splendida, the betta species sold most commonly in the pet trade, have been bred for color and long fins, so their true "biotope" is just a normal fish bowl. The short-finned bettas are closer to what you'd see in the wild.
 
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