5 gal betta help

starzfish

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I'm getting a 5 gallon tank and want to try a planted tank. I plan on putting a betta and maybe a couple of shrimp. I want to know what kind of substrate, the best plants for betta/shrimp, and setup procedure. I have a sponge filter that I plan to use. Is there anything else I need to know?
 

OliveFish05

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I want to know what kind of substrate, the best plants for betta/shrimp, and setup procedure.
For substrate, if you are wanting something small like shrimp, I would think sand would be nice. I highly recommend Caribsea super natural crystal river sand. It is very fine, very pale, and easy to clean. I don’t have any recommendations though if you wanted a darker substrate.

For plants, it would really depend on your lighting! For low lighting, I recommend

amazon Sword,
water sprite,
Java fern,
Java moss,
Anubias,
Hornwort,
or anacharis.


Bettas benefit greatly from floating plants as it gives them some shading and helps them feel secure. Good floating plants are

Water Sprite,
hornwort,
anacharis,
water spangles,
frog bit,
duck weed,
water lettuce,
and red root floaters.


I have a sponge filter that I plan to use. Is there anything else I need to know?
Bettas are tropical, so you would definitely want a heater! 74-78 degrees is good. Your plants will need some light, Bettas don’t like a ton of light, but whatever lighting you have as long as you provide some floating plants you should be fine. You could have a couple nerite snails if you wanted!
 

fisman

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I don't know too much about live plants but I do know that my bettas love peace lily roots. For substrate I have marbles but for my shrimp I have sand. Then for decor, I would put in something that the betta could hide behind(plants could work for that too). I would put in a small heater for it though. I would also make sure that the shrimp are a decent size though because the betta will pick on them.
 
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starzfish

starzfish

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Thanks! what's the setup procedure? I know I need to cycle it but I was wondering how I could cycle my tank with fish food? I picked up the tank and some gravel today. My LFS didn't have any sand and I had some store credit so I got whatever this is.
IMG_20210517_184636.jpg
IMG_20210517_184709.jpg
IMG_20210517_184740.jpg

The owner of the store said I can plant in this. Also, I don't know if you can read it but the instructions say "Aquarium water should age with filter before placing rocks" what does that mean?
 

OliveFish05

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Ooooo that looks like a nice choice of substrate! Very natural looking.

The first thing I would do would be to leak test it! Place the tank on an even, level surface where nothing can be damaged by 5 gallons of water, and let it sit overnight. Come back in the morning, and check for leaks. If it leaked, take it back and exchange it. If it didnt, go ahead and put the tank in your desired location, go rinse the gravel outside or in the sink, place the gravel in the aquarium, you can make little hills and mounds to look more natural. Fill the tank, hook up the filter and the heater, then cycle the tank. I am not all that great with providing info on cycling, so I’ll let someone else explain That!
 

fisman

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This means that you should let the filter run with the tank water and then put in the rocks once the tank has cycled. Yes, I agree, very nice choice of substrate. Also agree with the leak test. I learned that the hard way once or twice. Watch this video by Kgtropicals on how to set up the betta tank. They are the best YouTubers for fish that I know of. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avxOsXarRig
 

OliveFish05

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This means that you should let the filter run with the tank water and then put in the rocks once the tank has cycled.
Is this accurate information? Wouldnt it be better to let the rocks be in the tank while it cycles? I had always heard beneficial bacteria colonizes in the substrate AND filter?


Watch this video by Kgtropicals on how to set up the betta tank.
They are the best YouTubers for fish that I know of.
Yes, they are pretty good! I enjoy their videos
 

fisman

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Ya, I agree don't 100% think that it matters whenever you put in the substrate. That's just what I got from what he said that the bag said. In my opinion, though I think you should let the tank cycle with the substrate and decor. If you want to know how to cycle a fish tank a little bit faster I would watch a kgtropical video. They also have a video on this. About the question, you asked on the other thing about the pygmy cories, olivefish, I don't know the answer to that, sorry?‍♂️, hope someone does know though.
 
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starzfish

starzfish

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Thanks everyone! I will test for leaks and seek further instruction on cycling. Can I still place decorations like some driftwood or some rocks after its cycled? What are the essential items I need? I have a filter, tank, water conditioner and fish food and I will get some plants and a heater. What else do I need to buy? Where can I buy plants online? My LFS has a bad selection of plants lol.
 

NannaLou

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This means that you should let the filter run with the tank water and then put in the rocks once the tank has cycled. Yes, I agree, very nice choice of substrate. Also agree with the leak test. I learned that the hard way once or twice. Watch this video by Kgtropicals on how to set up the betta tank. They are the best YouTubers for fish that I know of.
Cycling is not letting the filter run as I learnt not that long ago! You need to add a source of ammonia and then test the water very frequently to monitor the reduction of ammonia and the subsequent rise in Nitrites as the Nitrogen cycle does it’s stuff. I’m still not certain enough to give you specifics but @Essjay will I’m sure be along soon with the details.

Enjoy the process is can take several weeks, but healthy living fish will thank you ?
 

EllRog

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Before you get carried away, you might want to find out what the general hardness of your water is to make sure it's suitable for a betta
 

Essjay

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Regardless of the hardness and the fish that are finally bought, the tank needs to be cycled. Unless the tank is to be planted like a jungle with fast growing plants, it is better to cycle the tank first, then add plants. Rocks and substrate can be put in at the start.

This is how to cycle a tank
With a tank for just a betta (assuming the hardness is OK for a betta) you wouldn't need to use as much ammonia. I cycled a 6.6 gallon tank for a betta using 1 ppm ammonia and that was plenty.
You mentioned using fish food to provide the ammonia - this is possible, but the food has to rot to make ammonia and you cannot know how much ammonia has actually been made. if you can get some ammonia, or Dr Tim's ammonium chloride, that is a more reliable way to cycle a tank.

I don't understand what the pack means when it says to let the water age, unless it's a translation from another language and it means to cycle the tank.
 

OliveFish05

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Thanks everyone! I will test for leaks and seek further instruction on cycling. Can I still place decorations like some driftwood or some rocks after its cycled? What are the essential items I need? I have a filter, tank, water conditioner and fish food and I will get some plants and a heater. What else do I need to buy? Where can I buy plants online? My LFS has a bad selection of plants lol.
Yes, you can place additional decor after the tank is cycled. What Brand of water conditioner did you purchase?

For plants, I highly recommend the online store and ebay store YourFishStuff. They have a basic selection, but good prices. The best thing I’ve ordered from them was some amazon sword, the pot came with 3 individual plants! The Anubias I ordered also came with 2 individual plants. I have also purchased from the seller rolandpre6 on Ebay, they have good prices, free shipping, and include an extra mystery plant with your order.
 

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