i want to plant my 2 gallon tank, but have a couple questions...
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i want to plant my 2 gallon tank, but have a couple questions...

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i want to plant my 2 gallon tank, but have a couple questions...
Old 04-22-2011, 03:01 AM   #1
 
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Question i want to plant my 2 gallon tank, but have a couple questions...

okay so i have a beautiful betta in a 2 gallon tank, and im thinking it would be nice to give him some real plant life, but i have a few questions. so, i have checked local availability against my expertise in growing any type of plant (i.e., none) and i think my best bet (that i also really like the look of) is the anubias nana. (i was originally thinking java moss but its not available anywhere close enough) but i dont know if i can even grow a plant in my setup, so i was hoping for a couple helpful pointers on what i can improve to make this possible, if it is. so ill tell you what i can about my tank:
*the lighting in the tank is LED, i have no idea how many watts or anything but i have been told it doesnt matter anyway because LED wont grow plants. but, i also have the light to my room about a foot away from my tank, and it is a CFL, and i believe it is 15 watts. (if it would help, i might be able to move it a little closer to the tank, its a lamp.)
*because my tank is set up in a little alcove and my room is very dark to begin with, the tank gets little to pretty much no natural lighting.
*i have gravel as substrate, and i was worried that the gravel might not be right for growing that type of plant. also, will it affect the plant at all if the gravel is colored?
*im not sure exactly how important it is, but i am on a pretty limited budget. but i figure, its only one plant so it couldnt cost TOO much right? (funnily enough, thats the same thing i thought about my betta, and nearly 100$ later... lol) so i guess im wondering how much this plant might cost. (i know the actual plant is only a few bucks, but i dont know what else i would need for it. no point in getting a plant if i cant keep it alive, right?)
*i dont know if this is important either, but i have only had my tank/fish for about 5 days now. my tank is not cycled (had never even heard of it til about 3 days ago) and i was wondering if it would be ok to introduce a plant right now, or if it would be better to wait.
*last thing i can think about that might be important... ok i know this is bad but i dont have a test kit :/ i had never even known it was important until i had already bought my betta (and spent most of my money). so i have no idea what my nitrite, nitrate, pH etc levels are. i plan to buy a test kit asap but until then ill just have to wing it i guess. (at least i did know enough to get an ammonia neutralizer and water treatment. and a thermometer. )

anyway, i know i dont have a lot of important info, but if you could just go on what i do have, do you think there is any way i could have a live plant? any opinions are most welcome and if ive overlooked anything helpful,
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:08 AM   #2
 
"*the lighting in the tank is LED, i have no idea how many watts or anything but i have been told it doesnt matter anyway because LED wont grow plants. but, i also have the light to my room about a foot away from my tank, and it is a CFL, and i believe it is 15 watts. (if it would help, i might be able to move it a little closer to the tank, its a lamp.)"

LED is fine for Anubias and Java Moss. Both are low light plants and will do ok under LEDs. The Java moss will do much better and the anubias will grow taller and less compact under that lighting.

"*because my tank is set up in a little alcove and my room is very dark to begin with, the tank gets little to pretty much no natural lighting. "

Natural lighting is not crucial to plant success, I kept an anubias barteri in a cabinet without any lights except for the 4 hrs I am home and it is still doing well.

"*i have gravel as substrate, and i was worried that the gravel might not be right for growing that type of plant. also, will it affect the plant at all if the gravel is colored? "

Java moss will grow anywhere. Anubias does better attached to a big rock or drifwood, but it will grow in gravel well also. Just be sure to not bury the rhizome

"*im not sure exactly how important it is, but i am on a pretty limited budget. but i figure, its only one plant so it couldnt cost TOO much right? (funnily enough, thats the same thing i thought about my betta, and nearly 100$ later... lol) so i guess im wondering how much this plant might cost. (i know the actual plant is only a few bucks, but i dont know what else i would need for it. no point in getting a plant if i cant keep it alive, right?)"

Potted Anubias should not cost more than 10 bucks, Likewise for Java Moss in a gold ball size. You need nothing else for it, these are both very simple to care for plants, your betta's poop will suffice. You wont get explosive growth, but it will be enough.

"*i dont know if this is important either, but i have only had my tank/fish for about 5 days now. my tank is not cycled (had never even heard of it til about 3 days ago) and i was wondering if it would be ok to introduce a plant right now, or if it would be better to wait."

Introducing plants to a non-cycled aquarium is better for the fish. The plant will help absorb ammonia/ammonium, nitrates, etc from the water. Introducing it now will actually mitigate you having not cycled it before so the earlier you get that plant in there, the better.

"*last thing i can think about that might be important... ok i know this is bad but i dont have a test kit :/ i had never even known it was important until i had already bought my betta (and spent most of my money). so i have no idea what my nitrite, nitrate, pH etc levels are. i plan to buy a test kit asap but until then ill just have to wing it i guess. (at least i did know enough to get an ammonia neutralizer and water treatment. and a thermometer. )"

I never test my betta's water, i just keep up with water changes and monitor his behavior for health problems. You can take a small bag of water to your local LFS, most will test it for you. Once the tank stabilizes, testing isnt required.



I have some questions for you though, what are you running on the tank? filter type, heater, etc.


Also Java moss is a easy plant thats very commonly traded, you should be able to locate some at a store somewhere, even petco and petsmart will carry it in small balls or mats.

Last edited by SinCrisis; 04-22-2011 at 09:11 AM..
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:44 AM   #3
 
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My only suggestion to add to what SinCrisis has mentioned, is to also try a floating plant. Ceratopteris cornuta is ideal, but many of the stem plants also do well floating, such as Brazilian Pennywort, Cabomba, and others. The Betta will love floating plants, they occur in habitats thick with floating vegetation like ditches, ponds and swamps.

We have profiles here, when you see a fish or plant name shaded it means there is a profile and clicking on the shaded name takes you to the profile. Or you can use the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top to go to the Profiles section.

Last, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Byron.
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Old 04-22-2011, 12:52 PM   #4
 
Ohh good point, i kept water sprite in my betta tank for a while, you will find your betta using it as a hammock and resting on it, very cool plant to get. Its also extremely hardy and will keep your water in better shape than anubias or java moss.
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:58 PM   #5
 
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Smile

thank you guys for all of your help :) hmm... i think im going to try a floating plant and a planted one.... im thinking water sprite and anubias nana. and ill try to get some type of fertilizer too, just to make sure they stay healthy, because im not sure if my fish poops enough to support them both. im going to read up on those two plants, and see what kind of rock or something anubias prefer, if i can get something i will.
as for the heater and filter, i dont have a heater because my room is always very warm (i check the thermometer in the tank often and its usually around 75 or so, even in the very early morning) and i have a filter that came with the Petco Hex 2 gallon tank, but i looked all over the box and it didnt have any specifics for it. it works well though, as far as i can see.
i originally wanted java moss, but i checked at my local petco and they didnt have any (looked online just to make sure the worker didnt make a mistake, and it wasnt there either) and its the only pet store that i would trust to buy stuff from anywhere near me (their is one other but i wont go there anymore, and the nearest petsmart is about 20 miles away) anyway, ill check again when i go to get a plant, but if they dont have it im definitely ok with the nana and water sprite. (actually, the reason i even thought about getting a real plant is Nahh is always sleeping on and rubbing up against his silk one, so now i know ive got to get a floating one too.) :)
again, thank you guys for all the great advice!
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:38 PM   #6
 
dosing ferts in a 2gallon tank needs precision, dosing too much may result in excess nutrients for algae. I would try for no ferst first and if the plants do not look ok in a week, then you can consider getting ferts. in a 2g tank, flourish comprehensive will last a LOOONG time.
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Old 04-23-2011, 12:07 AM   #7
 
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thanks for letting me know that, because i would have fertilized those plants into oblivion. no wonder every plant ive ever had has died... hopefully these ones wont :) thanks!
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Old 04-23-2011, 10:03 AM   #8
 
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because it's a new tank, you'll definately need tome fertilization in my opinion.

I do agree not to overdo it... I would get 'flourish comprehensive' and dose 1/2 as much as the lowest number on the bottle...

(If it says 1-2 tsp a week, dose a half tsp a week.)

Will take precision to dose a 2 gallon though..
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Old 04-23-2011, 06:17 PM   #9
 
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ok thanks :) maybe if they dont look good in a week, ill pick up some fertilizer (i should be getting them today) by the way, what signs would show that an underwater plant isnt doing well? would it be browning like a regular plant would, or some other discoloration? what should i look out for? thanks :)
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:51 PM   #10
 
look for new growth, for anubias plants, they grow very slow so look for yellowing of th leaves, you may get some yellowing jsut from the initial planting but if whole leaves have died off by the end of the first week you would want to consider getting ferts. For the water sprite, you dont need ferts. I grew mine in a cup for a couple of weeks and it did alright, didnt die off or lose leaves, didnt grow as fast though.
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