Ten gal planted betta, beginner needs advice!!!


Fish Fanatic
Feb 26, 2022
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first time keeper looking for advice!!!
planning a ten gal planted aquarium for a betta fish. bought the basics in prep for cycling:
10 gal
fluval stratum 8.8 lb
test kit
flourish tabs
gravel vac
omega one flakes
Fluval 50 watt heater
thermometer strip
seachem water conditioner
Aqueon quietflow filter

currently have a 6watt light (yikes) to try and keep the plants alive. will they die under this? i forgot to grab one at the store, and can’t go back for at least a few days. never kept fish before! i really wanna do it right. I was gonna get seachem flourite substrate, but they only had one bag of fluval stratum and other substrates i wasn’t familiar with. I decided to grab it, and now i’m worried it’s not enough at all lol. can anyone pls info dump on me, i would appreciate the help greatly!


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The anubias and java fern are low light plants. Attach them to rock/ wood, if you bury the rhizome they will rot. The cardinal plant can be planted. The light will be fine for the few days, possibly indefinitely.
The substrate quantity is enough for the 10g. If it has nutrients in it (I just use sand) than you won't need the root tabs.
Betta pellets are probably better than flakes as they don't tend to cause bloat.
I suggest getting floating plants before you add the fish, betta really love resting under them.
Does your tank have a lid? This is needed to prevent the betta from jumping but also to keep the air at the surface warm as betta breath this using their labyrinth organ.
If you intend a planted cycle you will need more plants and fast growing plants. If you are going to cycle with ammonia you will need to buy pure ammonia.
Your feathered helper looks keen!
Your questions are sensible. I would add the landscape at the beginning. Any wood will saturate and sink and the surfaces may grow beneficial bacteria or biofilm to help the tank mature.
I have read that ammonia can be detrimental to plants but I'm not sure. Maybe @Essjay could advise?
Some plants are sensitive to a dose of ammonia added in one dose, but many will cope.

You can do a fishless cycle with ammonia, but in a 10 gallon tank for a single betta you'd only need to use 1 ppm as the main dose and 0.3 ppm as the snack dose.
Or a plant cycle, which involves planting the tank and waiting until the plants are actively growing before getting fish. Taking a photo of a newly planted tank gives something to compare the plants to.

To be honest, with a 10 gallon plant and one betta, I would do a plant cycle especially as you already have plants. One betta won't create very much ammonia, and even slow growing plants should be able to cope with that amount. The floating plants Naughts suggested are very good at taking up ammonia. Look at salvinia (though it's illegal in some states), red root floater or amazon frogbit for a 10 gallon.

Some plant substrates leach ammonia; you'll be able to tell if the one you bought does by testing the water for a few days. If it does, you'll need to wait until it stops before getting fish.

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