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Old 04-12-2010, 12:25 AM   #1
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new 5 gal set-up in my dorm room :)

Hey all!

Well I've been away from aquarium keeping since I moved back to school and I've missed it a lot. So I was in my LFS the other day and I finally broke down and bought a cute little 5 gal acrylic tank. I have decided to do mostly plants and a male betta fish. I am so excited to have even just a little baby aquarium again. So here's my set up:

5 gal acrylic tank w/ built in filter
mini heater under gravel
pebble gravel
misc plants with in-gravel stick fertilizers
1 male betta

I am tempted to add another small fish or two like cory cats maybe...or shrimp? what do ya'll think? ideas or suggestions? also I need help with what other plants to add. Thanks!


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Old 04-12-2010, 12:29 AM   #2
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Welcome back!

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but those "sword" plants you have (with the white edges) are not true aquatic plants. They'll do okay for a while, but eventually they'll rot.

Check in the classifieds section, I seem to recall seeing several people lately posting with some easy plants for sale cheap - you might be able to find something you really like.

As for other inhabitants, I don't know anything about betta's so I'll let someone with experience speak for that.
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:32 AM   #3
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Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but those "sword" plants you have (with the white edges) are not true aquatic plants. They'll do okay for a while, but eventually they'll rot.
I totally agree, it also looks like you have an anubias with the rhizome completely covered... if it is an anubias, you need to have the rhizome on top of the substrate or it will also die
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:04 AM   #4
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+1 on changing plants. Those white ribbon plants will slowly die. I bought a few in ignorance about six months ago and the last one finally died and got eaten by the snails. Try some java ferns. They should do well with the limited lighting you have and will provide a nice bed for your betta. My bettas love sleeping on the leaves of my amazon swords.

You could add a few of the small cory varieties. Pandas and skunks stay small enough. Get at least three though. I'd stay away from small shrimp. Bettas like shrimp for snacks. I'm in doubt that your tank is big enough for a filter-feeding shrimp.

If that's an Eclipse tank, I've found that making your own DIY filter cartridge is a great modification. I took an old cartridge and ripped away the material to get a bare frame. I cleaned out the old carbon, cut a filter sponge into strips and placed them in the frame. The filter moves a lot more water that way.
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Old 04-12-2010, 05:16 PM   #5
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A nice apple snail would go well in there too
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Old 04-12-2010, 06:07 PM   #6
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Make sure to get a mystery snail, not a regular apple snail. Mysteries are part of the apple snail family, but they stay about the size of a golf ball. Other apple snails grow to the size of a baseball or a good-sized apple, hence the name.
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Old 04-12-2010, 06:42 PM   #7
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You could go with some RCS (red cherry shrimp) but im not sure if the betta will pick at em. Your pretty much limited since you A)have a male betta and B) only have 5 gal. I wouldnt go with any other fish unless you put a divider in there and add another betta.
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Old 04-12-2010, 07:50 PM   #8
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+2 on the plants. Those are dracaena sanderiana, the leafy tops of lucky bamboo. Not a truly aquatic plant. However, if you can get the stalks of lucky bamboo they can be used in a tank. You just have to make sure the leaves and the cut section of the stalk are out of the water.

Here's a few links:

this one is for the dracaena sanderiana:
PlantGeek.net - Dracena sanderiana

this one is a non-aquatic plant guide:
PlantGeek.net - Plant Guide

and this one is for the whole site:
PlantGeek.net - Plant Guide
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:28 AM   #9
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I totally agree, it also looks like you have an anubias with the rhizome completely covered... if it is an anubias, you need to have the rhizome on top of the substrate or it will also die
Thanks for the tip, what would be the best way to anchor it? on a rock or something? can I bury the roots in a softer substrate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJim View Post
If that's an Eclipse tank, I've found that making your own DIY filter cartridge is a great modification. I took an old cartridge and ripped away the material to get a bare frame. I cleaned out the old carbon, cut a filter sponge into strips and placed them in the frame. The filter moves a lot more water that way.
It's actually a aqueon tank but it has the same type of filter cartridge so I can do exactly that!

Thanks for all the comments! I am having a hard time finding aquatic plants at my LFS because the only ones closest to me are a small store that doesnt have much and then petco and petsmart...has anyone had any luck find good, true aquatic plants at petsmart or petco? [the current plants came from the tubes at petsmart] :[
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:03 AM   #10
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you can take some thread, fishing line, pretty much anything (thread being the easiest imo because by the time it rots, the roots have taken hold) to tie it to something like a rock or piece of wood in the tank. you can anchor the roots in the substrate, you just have to keep the rhizome above the substrate (i always struggled doing that)
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