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Old 07-04-2018, 03:02 PM   #1
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Building a 10g planted betta sorority

Im trying to put together a 10 gallon planted tank the will become a betta sorority. My question is how do I get the planted part started? Whats the best substrate to use if I want to plant carpeting plants? What other plants are suggested? Not planning on injecting Co2. Whats supplements should I use to keep the plants growing well and happy? Thank you for any help anyone can provide!
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Old 07-07-2018, 12:23 AM   #2
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Hey, Rich. Welcome and glad to have you looking into planted tanks. I'm a pretty new 'veteran' at 5 years, 4 tanks. You can search out my threads for how they look, and a total rebuild on a 65 gallon.

For smaller tanks, substrates such as Eco-complete, Flourite, or the various Plant/shrimp substrates are great. I firmly recommend Ecocomplete and Flourite. I've had great luck and they're easier to deal with.

CO2 really is the limiting factor in good plant growth. Yes, you do have to have bright light and good fertilizer, but you'll get disappointing results unless you supplement carbon in some way. CO2 injection's the high-tech way. Liquid carbon supplements (such as Excel) also do help and can provide excellent results.

If you're going to do a good plant light (Fluval, Finnex, planted spectrum, just as examples), and simple fertilizers (Flourish, Flourish Trace, maybe Excel), your can grow things like Micranthemum "Monte Carlo" and Dwarf Hairgrass and Dwarf Chain sword.

In lower-tech tanks, wrapping driftwood or stones with java moss or other types of moss can give you an interesting effect on the floor of the tank without being very demanding. I also have had luck with Dwarf Sagittaria as a low-light, low-fertilizer, no-CO2 plant that will spread and carpet the bottom of a tank. They can sometimes grow over 3-4" tall, though, so it's not really a carpet in the traditional sense.

If you have a good local fish store, or even places like Petco/Petsmart these days, you can get relatively inexpensive plants. Try them out and see what works in your tank.

I highly recommend the forums for research. Build threads and the planted tank forums have TONS of good reading. I also strongly recommend looking at the plant profiles on the Tropica website: https://tropica.com/en/plants/
Select 'easy' and you'll get a list of stuff that can grow under lower-tech conditions.

Ultimately, you've got to know your own set up: water hardness (in general), light level, substrate, fertilizers...and just try stuff out. I've had horrible failures with some plants that others are getting to grow with NO trouble. All part of the game with planted tanks!

Folks on this forum are amazingly cool about offering tips, advice, and help. Feel free to DM me also. I can tell you what has worked for me. I've attached a photo of my very first planted tank with a single low-light LED Mareineland fixture, almost no fertilizers, and Flourish substrate, just as a reference point.
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Old 07-07-2018, 08:43 PM   #3
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5gal Betta tank

This is the 5 gallon I have now. Made some small changes over the last few months. Had a plant i think didnt like the warm water. Started browning fron the side closest to the heater. I added these ones in the back. Thought it was Java Fern but now sure. The other one might be Screw grass or Screw blade? Thank you for your advice. I will most definitely be picking your brain
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Old 07-08-2018, 01:26 AM   #4
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Hey, this is unrelated to plants but I wanted to put in my 2 cents. I strongly recommend not doing a 10g Betta sororities. Betta sororities rarely ever work and a few factors that help it succeed are large numbers of female bettas (overcrowding really helps), a lot of space, heavy heavy planting, and time and ability to remove troublemakers. Even then they rarely ever work out for long. And in a 10g you can't achieve the necessary numbers to overcrowd and you don't have the space even if it is heavily planted. In a 10g the bettas would be running into each other constantly and it wouldn't be healthy for any of the fish. Just my 2 cents, I love that male Betta and his 5 gallon though
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Old 07-08-2018, 02:30 AM   #5
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So the small grass stuff looks like dwarf hair grass. With good bright light and the right substrate, you can probably get this to carpet pretty nicely.

And the frilly-ended leaves look like java fern 'windelov' variety. They have a rhizome, which is sort of like the horizontal 'root' part, with stringy longer small roots coming off it. You don't really want the rhizome part under the gravel. The plants tend to do poorly with covered rhizomes. These plants can be tied to rocks or driftwood with plain cotton thread. They'll eventually attach tightly with those roots.

The long-leafed plants I'm not 100% certain on. If they had a bulb with roots, they're probably Aponogeton of some variety. In bigger tanks they can get huuuuuge. Other possibilities could be a cryptocoryne species or a sword plant species. Lots and lots of varieties of both. Hopefully someone can chime in with more certainty. I've only grown two types of Aponogeton and two species of crypt.

One last piece of advice as you start the new planted adventure. Plan, plan, plan, plan, plan....THEN planT.
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Old 07-08-2018, 11:00 PM   #6
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Have you heard of utricularia graminifolia? And is it hard to grow? I plan on using liquid Co2. Thats what I've been using for a little while in the 5g.The utricularia graminifolia looks cool and carnivorous. I was planning on getting a small bonsai and a small area of carpeting plants. I have a little idea. Just need to figure out good looking layout
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Old 07-08-2018, 11:29 PM   #7
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Utricularia is a high-light, high-demand plant. I have failed several times to grow it. Others on the forum (goatnad being one of the better documented ones I've seen recently) have had success. I think you're better off with micranthemum Monte Carlo or hairgrass as a starter. If your light is really bright, you might get away with utricularia. I don't think it will grow in regular gravel. you'll need a finer substrate than that.

The bonsai tree might cause enough 'shade' that high light plants will struggle underneath it. Again, all depends on the lighting!
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Old 07-09-2018, 12:10 AM   #8
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Thanks for the info. Ill keep brainstorming and researching
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Old 07-09-2018, 12:40 AM   #9
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Sure thing! Don't mean to stomp on your ideas; just don't want you to get disappointed by trying one of the hardest plants out there as your first go! Check out the tropica page. There's good condensed info there.

I'm also a member of the Aquatic Gardners Association, which is a very useful resource once you get into planted tanks. Their annual aquascaping contest is one HELL of an inspiring thing: https://www.aquatic-gardeners.org
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Old 07-09-2018, 01:11 AM   #10
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It wasnt a plan set in stone. Just an idea cause they look cool. I just want to build a cool looking tank that the fish are happy in. Everything at this point are just ideas.
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