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Shadowhawkiv 01-13-2007 05:21 PM

Betta buddies and my live plants
 
Hey all, I'm fairly new to all of this. :-)

Last semester, without really knowing too much of what I was doing, my girlfriend and I bought male VT bettas. Knowing that the cups weren't the best things for them, we both bought slightly larger (1 qt) containers. She then splurged and went all out with 2.5's (two because she bought a female betta to keep in a second tank when she bought this stuff) with silk plants, heaters, covers, the works.

In light of that, I have an eclipse hex 5 that my parents got me for my betta. I've got a few live plants in there, a Peacock fern (Selaginella wildenowii), wisteria (Hygrophilia difformis) and an umbrella plant (Spathiphyllum wallsii). My parents got all that for me for christmas so my betta wouldn't be confined to the 1 qt container that I'd been meaning to upgrade here. I've got a couple questions concerning this whole thing.

First of all, would it be a good idea or at least workable to get a pleco, catfish, or other to help control the algae population in the tank? Generally speaking, would it be alright in that size a tank with the consideration of the live plants and all? I've heard both sides, that the plant-eater will terrorize my plants or keep conditions healthy for them. There's a filter and light built into the hood which is nice for having everything in one place. The small currents created by the draw seems to amuse my betta (Marcus) quite a bit...he'll take a breath, swim to where the filter flows into the surface of the water and ride the current down and around the tank.

Another question there arises: I've made sure through the clever use of my peacock ferns and umbrella plants that there's a good chunk of the tank where the currents are incredibly weak, as I've heard that currents too strong can stress bettas. Would it be alright to put a small ornament in there to help with that? I would do so anyway if I had a pleco or catfish so they would have somewhere to go, but would it be prudent to put in something for my betta? If so, what would work?

I've read about using short lengths of PVC piping, small, clean terra cotta pots and such, and don't really want to use a lot of the pet store ones for fear his fins will be caught or ripped on them. What would be a good choice?

Secondly, the lower leaves on the peacock fern are dying off. It just seems that that's from the light of the tank being considerably stronger at the top and shading the lower leaves from getting too much light. The stems, roots, and upper leaves are looking just fine, and I'll probably thin them out a bit.

The wisteria's not looking too hot. It was fairly cool where my parents kept the plants before they gave them to me, so I figured that they'd recover alright once I put them into my tank. They were fairly brown with good roots and stems when I put them in and seem to be budding and greening up a little more. Is there anything I could use to help that recover? would aquarium fertilizer help and not be detrimental to my fish?

I really would like to get another fish or something else to put in the tank, maybe a ghost shrimp or dwarf frog I've heard would make good tank buddies. Would that then also be compatible with a pleco and whatnot, though? I'm an anally retentive engineering major, not used to this many variables ;-) Marcus seems fairly docile, even when I put a mirror up, he flares and then swims to the other end of the tank. *shrug* Any and all input would be appreciated :-) Thanks!

blueblue48 01-13-2007 06:15 PM

welcome! im sorry but im not the person to speak to about live plants since ive never owned any, but i can tell you that if you want to control the algea a pleco wouldnt be the way to go. maybe find a baby corydora? i have 2 albino corydoras that only get 3 inches long. and im pretty sure theyd get along with a betta.

fish_4_all 01-14-2007 02:28 AM

First, no plecos for anything smaller than a 10. Just too messy and not enough room fro them.

Second, your betta will do fine in a tank with current as long as it has places to rest out of the current. It will like to actually lay on or under something at times and almost "sleep" or appear to do so.

As for the plants. I have never heard of either plant. That raises the first red flag that may mean they are not aquatic, MAY not be. Check HERE and see if oyu can identify the plants for certain. As for the wisteria, how many watts is the light? If it ios a standard incandescent light ( anormal light bulb type) then it won't grow many plants if any at all. Let us know what type it is and the wattage. It may help to fertilize but we need to know the lighting first.

As for tank mates, ghost shrimp may work with plants, Other shrimp will work, a snail, no cories, they need to school as they stress alone. In such a small tank, I would only suggest shrimp or a snails for a bettas tank mates.

blueblue48 01-14-2007 02:31 AM

hey your right, sometimes my betta named elvis lays begin the internal filter between the wall of the tank and the suction cups of it. also sometimes he lays under a small fake plant. hes getting old so i think he does that more then he use to.

Lupin 01-14-2007 07:26 PM

Re: Betta buddies and my live plants
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Shadowhawkiv
In light of that, I have an eclipse hex 5 that my parents got me for my betta. I've got a few live plants in there, a Peacock fern (Selaginella wildenowii), wisteria (Hygrophilia difformis) and an umbrella plant (Spathiphyllum wallsii). My parents got all that for me for christmas so my betta wouldn't be confined to the 1 qt container that I'd been meaning to upgrade here. I've got a couple questions concerning this whole thing.

Umbrella plant is Spathiphyllum wallisii. The word 'wallisii' was misspelled.:) I've seen that before. It's a house plant and not truly an aquatic plant so Chris got it right.
As for the peacock fern, the seond word was again misspelled. It's Selaginella willdenowii. It is cultivated prinicpally as a garden plant and Chris again hit the nail on it.:wink2:

Quote:

First of all, would it be a good idea or at least workable to get a pleco, catfish, or other to help control the algae population in the tank? Generally speaking, would it be alright in that size a tank with the consideration of the live plants and all? I've heard both sides, that the plant-eater will terrorize my plants or keep conditions healthy for them. There's a filter and light built into the hood which is nice for having everything in one place. The small currents created by the draw seems to amuse my betta (Marcus) quite a bit...he'll take a breath, swim to where the filter flows into the surface of the water and ride the current down and around the tank.
I wouldn't be advising any algae eaters in a 2.5 gallons tank.:)
Quote:

Secondly, the lower leaves on the peacock fern are dying off. It just seems that that's from the light of the tank being considerably stronger at the top and shading the lower leaves from getting too much light. The stems, roots, and upper leaves are looking just fine, and I'll probably thin them out a bit.
You'll have to remove them as they're not truly aquatic plants unfortunately. Letting them rot there asks for trouble brought by ammonia spike.
Quote:

I really would like to get another fish or something else to put in the tank, maybe a ghost shrimp or dwarf frog I've heard would make good tank buddies. Would that then also be compatible with a pleco and whatnot, though? I'm an anally retentive engineering major, not used to this many variables ;-) Marcus seems fairly docile, even when I put a mirror up, he flares and then swims to the other end of the tank. *shrug* Any and all input would be appreciated :-) Thanks!
I'd go with some Amano shrimps or red cherry shrimps.:)

soco1125 01-15-2007 04:12 PM

I would also reccomend cherry shrimp. Not only would they keep the algae under control, but they breed readily and the babies would be a welcome live snack for the fish. If there's cover for them to hide, enough babies will survive to keep a modest population going in the tank

Shadowhawkiv 01-15-2007 11:45 PM

It's a 5 gallon tank, wouldn't want to put any algae eaters in anything smaller :-P The plants are doing alright now that I cleaned all the dead leaves off of there. :-) The wisteria just wasn't doing well enough to keep, though. Took that one out.

I'm keeping close tabs on the water quality, too. Things are normalizing, cycling and such. :-)

Shadowhawkiv 01-15-2007 11:47 PM

also, any chance of the cherry shrimp population getting out of control, snail style?

Lupin 01-15-2007 11:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shadowhawkiv
also, any chance of the cherry shrimp population getting out of control, snail style?

Your betta will eat the shrimplets.:)

Shadowhawkiv 01-16-2007 01:47 AM

Anyone have the scientific name for what cherry shrimp you're talking about handy? It's important here to be precise, I'm finding. :-P


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