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My Planted 10 Gallon Betta Tank Journey


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When I moved my 46 gallon downstairs to my son's room, I realized I really missed having a tank nearby. I decided I wanted a Betta as it's been many years since I had one (it was my daughter's).

I have always wanted a planted tank but never had luck adding plants to the 46 gallon. It's just not set up for plants. I researched Betta care and looked into Aquascaping and caring for live plants -- and it's overwhelming. So, this will be an adventure!

Where I've been:

12/21 - I bought a 10 gallon corner tank kit. It should fit perfect in the corner of my office on my side table.

12/26/21 - 46 gallon tank moving day! It took all day between catching fish, setting them up in their temp home (5 gallon bucket with bubbles and heater) and emptying 95% of the water, trying to keep all the beneficial bacteria alive as well as cleaning the calcium build-up from 20 years and then moving, leveling and setting it up in the new location. 

No loss of fish and nitrogen cycle stayed intact through the move. Success! Now I can focus on my new tank once my office is painted.

1/21/22 - Walked into Mark's Ark to look at Spider Wood and what live plants they had. Walked out with a Betta that chose me. A beautiful black/ turquoise/pink Koi Plakat. Set up 2.5 gallon temporary tank for him with seeded material from 46 gallon. Also bought a few unlabeled live plants I'm told will grow in low light. Maybe Anubias and Javas? Also some grass, which I'm told won't survive so I won't move it over to 10 gallon. Using Seachem Prime & stability and testing water parameters and keeping a spreadsheet with tank and testing data.

Welcome home "Cosmo"!


1/28/22 - Got my live plant delivery from Aquarium Coop! Java Fern, "Windelov" Java Fern, Java Moss, Anubias Golden, Anubias Barteri, Anubias nana "petite"

1/30/22 - My office is painted and desk moved in which means it's tank set up day! Glued smaller spider wood to rock, larger spider wood was drilled and tied with fishing line to rock. All Anubias and Java are glued to rocks or spider wood. Seeded with material from 46 gallon as well as temp tank. "Cosmo" seems to enjoy his new space!


2/1/22 - Added a school of Panda Cories. Cosmo doesn't like them so they may be moving to 46 gallon.

2/3/22 - Decided to move Pandas. I think they and Cosmo would all be happier. Ordered two Nerite Snails. Maybe Cosmo won't mind them as much.

2/9/22 - Discovered internal filter isn't circulating enough water so there are cold spots in he bottom corners. 

2/12/22 - Added two bubble walls to see if I can even out water flow and temp. Discovered Anubias Barteri rhizome rotted. nana petite might also be rotting. Discovered "Anubias Rot" which might take out all current and future Anubias. I'm very sad because it's my favorite! I was planning on ordering more varieties. Algae is growing - Yay! Currently using Seachem Flourish (.8mL) and api Leaf Zone (5mL) alternating 1x/week each.

2/16/22 - Nerite snails arrived! One looks healthy and active, the other, not so much. Both immediately stuck to the glass. Anubias Nana petite also has rot. I removed it from tank. I lowered the internal filter and took out one of the two bubble walls. So far circulation/temperature is more even. I'll test it out this way for a while before I make any more changes. (I have considered switching to sponge filters.) I got a refund for Anubias. Need to research different plants to try for low light. I may end up doing root tabs after all. Hair Algae is starting is starting to form on Anubias Golden, Java Moss, and some floating plant roots. 

I can't resist the cliché names of "Hoover" & "Kirby" for my Nerites! :classic_laugh:


2/22/22 - Current tank parameters:

  • Temp - 79-80°F
  • pH - 7.8
  • KH - 7°
  • GH - 16°
  • Ammonia - 0ppm
  • Nitrites - 0ppm
  • Nitrates 5ppm
  • Phosphates - .5ppm
  • Lights on 11am-7pm

Now I'm trying to find the right balance between nutrients for the plants, proper amount of algae for the Nerites, and a happy tank setup for Cosmo. I would like to reduce the amount of hair algae. I think I would like to try more plants later. Maybe something taller to frame the glass at the back? Maybe a cleaner looking moss, assuming it survives the Hair Algae. 




Edited by AndreaW
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@Beardedbillygoat1975 ~ Thank you! I haven't trimmed any plants yet except for a leaf or two that melted and the two rotted Anubias. I think I'm going to let it sit for a bit before adding anything new. I'm wondering if I should remove some of the lettuce as it is blocking light, but think maybe I should keep it to see if it helps reduce the hair algae growth?

@jasper5150 ~ Thank you!


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2/25/22 - I've been worried about one of the Nerites that arrived 2/16. "Hoover" immediately began working on the algae and plowed through all the detritus I had left for them. 

You can see that here: 

Up until yesterday, the other Nerite, "Kirby" was still not very active, only moving a few inches here and there and I was worried it was not eating.

This morning I woke up and walked into the room to see Kirby on the spider wood, and seemed to be scooting along having a lovely snack! At first I thought it was Hoover (he has eggs on his shell and is slightly bigger).

Well, an hour later, I see that Kirby has laid eggs up and down the spider wood! This make me happy since I have been worried about her activity.


Also, my golden anubias bloom is poking out! It came with a little bloom pod when I first got it, but nothing was happening so I figured it would probably die back, but the white tip emerged the other day! I also have been noticing new root growth on many plants, and even a few little new plants starting to branch off the original plants. That's a great sign for my new little tank. :classic_biggrin: The water lettuce is filling in over the top nicely (still have about 1/3 of the top of the water still exposed at the top). It's shading the light so my tank has a lovely green glow now instead of the harsh white/blue light I started with. I haven't had as much hair algae grow now the lettuce is shading things a bit, so that's nice.

Cosmo seems to enjoy the plants and he explores the whole tank. He is not sure about his moving "rocks" and was flaring at Kirby this morning when he noticed her scooting along his spider wood. I would love to know the thoughts inside his head. :classic_laugh:

I discovered one baby bladder snail in the tank today. I know that means there are more. I was hoping I wouldn't have any in this tank, but with plants I think it's a lost battle. Oh well, as long as I can keep the numbers low I'll be happy.


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  • 1 month later...

3/25/22 - I got another Nerite. He's a tiny zebra and I had to go with the vacuum theme so it's named Rumba. So now there are three. 


Rumba likes to creep into Cosmo's food trough, which Cosmo does not appreciate.


4/2/22 - Cosmo's tank today:


Overall, the tank is growing well. I have a couple Java babies that have popped off the mother plants. I'll probably transfer them to the 46G tank. The water lettuce is growing like crazy and I've pulled out handfuls. I love it. There is some duckweed in there too, but the water lettuce seems to keep it in check, so far. Cosmo loves swimming through the roots.

It's time for some pruning and maintenance. The Java moss has gone wild. I think I might move some of the java ferns toward the back to give some more open space up front. There are a few plants in there that I have no idea what they are. I think I might have a crypt and a sword?

I also need to do a little mulm cleanup on aisle 1 (the front of the tank). Tomorrow will be tank maintenance day for this and the 46G.

I need to figure out what dosage of EG to do each week because this tank has a low bio load and isn't providing enough Nitrates and I think I need more Phosphates.

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  • 1 month later...

4/15/22 - Discovered flatworms (rhabdocoela) in Cosmo's tank. 


4/18/22 - Discovered what I thought were baby bladder snails were really limpets! Every morning when the lights turn on, I squish the few that are on the glass. They don't bother me too much. I never realized plants would introduce so much additional life to my aquariums. I guess I have no choice but to embrace it and be fascinated by it all!

Limpets vs. Bladder Snails:

C0344964-F808-4AA5-A591-9D3A06EE8966.JPG.36e97ae711e0064ae1b941917965bdc4.JPG 4EF9AE1F-A1C9-47F5-B11C-839753D8A511.JPG.b8fb85e0d643070acc8feae8928ded81.JPG

4/21/22 - I've been smelling something earthy in my tank and was wondering if something was decaying that I was missing. Discovered Cyanobacteria. Yay! :classic_wacko:

4/29/22 - I removed the infected water lettuce, did a gentle tank cleaning to pull out all the BGA I could and I treated with Erythromycin. The Java "Windelov" had tons of babies so I pulled them off and glued to rocks and plopped in the bottom while I was in there.



5/13/22 - So far the tank is doing well. I've been dosing more EG to keep my nitrates and nutrients up and without the water lettuce, I have more flow in the tank. Hopefully this will keep the BGA away. The baby Windelovs are growing quite well.

I started seeing some stringy algae that had some bubbles in it and worried BGA had come back, but when I pulled it off the driftwood, it didn't have a smell, so it looks like we are back to hair algae because of the antibiotics. Cosmo and the Nerites are doing well. He still gives the Nerites the stink-eye when they sit in his food trough.

I think I like the tank without the water lettuce.





Edited by AndreaW
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