hope everything is well with your weather situation. Can you please log onto my photo album and check out the pictures. I've added aquarium salt and the pineconing has gone down almost all the way. Some other members think it is dropsy, but I refuse to give up. What else can I do? Water levels were tested yesterday, and everything was fine. Still no appetite but his gills puffed out again.
IMO-you will need a longer light period than 5hr-depending on the type of plants at least 8-10hrs-I keep my very heavy planted tanks on 12h-you kinda have to play with the photo period to suit your plants-you want long enough light for the plants to use and grow but not so much that the algae grows....a bit of a balance and each tank is different...a good starting point is 8h and increase from that point until you see plant growth with limited algae growth....and you will have algae.... that is normal and expected......part of the ecosystem.
When ever I see odd or change in behavior in my fish-I make a 50% water change to rule the environment out first, sometimes it can be as simple as not enough dechlorinator used or forgotten, high heavy metals in the water because you didn't flush the line long enough (run water for at least 1 min before use in a tank) or something fell in the tank, something on your hands...etc......
The brown dots are most likely diatoms and normal for new set-ups and should resolve on there own after several weeks, they should be easy to wipe off and vacuum out with water changes until then..also-old light bulbs can cause this too-especially if they are over 1yr old
Ghost shrimp is a good choice-I don't remember off hand which of the ghost shrimp that can reproduce in a fresh water tank...give me a day or two and I will find out...but you need at least 1 female and 1 male and be aware that not only the Betta eating the shrimpletts but the ghost shrimp themselves will eat them...but having a nice mass of java moss can help...you may have to remind me later to get that information for you...gotta go for now.....
ok i wont put any more fish in how about 2 or 3 ghost shrimp? how many does it take to start a cloneney? by the way white clouds are fish that can live in fresh and coldwater i think the proper word is temeprmante?