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Maggie's 10 gallon betta project


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Good morning! After yesterday's fiasco of trying to locally find a "fancier tank and stand" for my betta project, and a lot of further searching online and working the budget, I decided to go with a regular tank. I asked myself "why spend all this money and time, and go through all this stress, when the REAL beauty is going to be on the INSIDE of the tank?"

So after that mental breakthrough, the ideas came flying and here's what I ordered (and already have some equipment and items):

Tank: Aqueon 10 gallon regular glass tank with hinged glass lid and 20 gallon wood stand (20 gallon stand "just in case")

Substrate: natural river rock shallow creek (larger, smoother pebbles that I have in my 20L, easier to vacuum than one might at first imagine); larger pebbles for fill-in areas 

Filter, light, heat: small HOB, mini sponge filter, 50 watt adjustable heater, Aqueon LED light (borrowing from the quarantine tank until the Fluval 3.0 in my size is available from Aquarium Coop - on the wish list!)

Ornaments/enrichment: "rock" (and rock) hardscape, ceramic betta log caves (2), flosting log, exercise mirror (for occasional use only), betta leaf bed, almond leaves

Plants ordered from Coop: anubias golden, red dwarf lily, cryptocoryne wendtii, anubias barteri. Not going to be afraid to superglue it to the hardscape this time (thanks for the betta video, @Irene!)

Plants to get from LFS/chain: red root or frogbit, possibly moss balls. Are there any other floaters (besides water sprite which i have in my 20L and for some reason is not doing very well in there after totally taking over the whole top of my 45 - must like softer water with lower pH) that bettas really like?

Food: Hikari Betta Bio-Gold, plus all the live/frozen/freeze dried goodies I have for my existing fish

Possible future tankmates: a few nerite snails, maybe some yellow shrimp from my 20L and/or blue bolt shrimp from my 45, if betta seems mellow - if they start getting attacked I'll put them back

So now I am just waiting for pickup notification on the tank and stand, and can get started on the setup. Playing around with the scaping, which is my very weak point. Here is the empty, lonely spot where it will go ☹ (took some work to move stuff around) next to my 45-gallon, and one idea for hardscape. 

Once this tank is set up, I'm also re-setting up the quarantine tank so I can get fish for one of the other tanks at the same time I pick up a betta. Filter media has already been stuffed into existing filters for seeding.

I'm loving all the YouTube nerms' videos on betta care in the meantime. 



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Today I picked up my order and set up the stand, washed/inspected the tank (there are a few sealant smudges) and lid, rinsed the substrate, put the filter together, put a neat solid blue background on, which I may or may not keep depending on color of betta), picked up some moss balls at the chain store, and got airline ready for the sponge filter. I also went ahead and stuffed the new HOB's filter into my other tank (extra filter material is already in there) while waiting to finish.

@Irene, I found what appear to be several clutches of various types of eggs on the moss balls (really small for snail eggs though) and a couple of single eggs (what could they be?) and numerous tiny life forms swimming around in the water, which I changed as soon as I got home. I changed it out again to the alum water, which I calculated to be a tad more than 1/8 tsp for 1 cup of water, using your formula of 1 tablespoon per gallon). As you didn't mention moss balls (type of algae, right?) in your video, I can report back on how well they fare - I'm pretty confident all the critters and eggs will be gone! 20210205_174952.jpg.3bfb1c8ac88f28fb9f861e68b7885889.jpg






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Today I got the substrate put in and did a dry run on the hardscape. I'm going to attach all this together with aquarium silicone, as it sits precariously. I need a bit more space for betta to swim through, I think. I ordered 3 water lettuce plants (wish the coop sold some strictly-floating plants). I had two of those ceramic caves but one smashed on the floor.


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I siliconed the shorter hardscape piece to the rock, and added edging stones to hide my mess. It's now setting up so I have to wait till tomorrow to set it up in the tank. I also ordered these pretty silk plants (made by BiOrb) and they arrived today. I am adding these for "plant volume" until the lily and other plants take off. I threw them in the tank just for a photo op - they aren't staying where the pic shows them.





Edited by Maggie
Forgot one pic!
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Yesterday I did another dry run setup after all the silicone was set. It didn't look right, so I added more decorative rocks. Here is my final dry run setup. 

I also ditched the shiny blue background and put up plain black poster board. 

Today was the day to rinse the plants from Aquarium Coop of their alum solution. Three snails were at the bottom. I didn't see any eggs but am confident they were destroyed. I cleaned off the roots the best I could - all the dark in these pics is the material they wrap them in, and it will loosen up for removal after soaking a bit. I can't wait to see if betta will rest on that giant anubias leaf. The roots all look and feel healthy and strong. The plants are now sitting in fertilized dechlorinated water in a lighted area. I did move them to a larger container where they're entirely submerged; they were just in that small container for the photo.

Tomorrow or Saturday I will attach the anubias to the hardscape (this is the scary part), plant the crypt, fill the aquarium, and turn on the filters (adding filter I put in other tank a few weeks ago to seed). I'll feed with a touch of food until betta arrives, which I am currently planning for Monday. 

Waiting for dwarf water lettuce to arrive and undergo its alum treatment. It should be here today. 

Plakat bettas are striking! I wish they'd show more photos online of what they look like when they're not flairing, because I watched a vid of one swimming around calmly, and ooh-la-la!!! They have larger bodies and their tails look more like wild bettas'. I've heard they're also more aggressive and active than long-finned. I'm going to see what they have of plakat and veil, and see who "speaks to me".20210211_101813.jpg.c4f777e36510854f9cd566ed1b3e1b47.jpg


Anubias golden (I got two in the pot!)20210211_101109.jpg


Anubias barteri20210211_100644.jpg

Cryptocoryne wendtii 20210211_101100.jpg

Edited by Maggie
Plant identification
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Your plants look great! Don’t worry too much about attaching anubias to your hardscape, it really isn’t very difficult. After a while the roots will grab a hold of it pretty firmly. Will you be using super glue or thread? You can also cram it into any crevices. That has also worked for me.

I’m interested to see how your dwarf lettuce comes in. I’ve been wanting to add a few very recently, but I’ve heard they don’t ship the best.

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I got two golden anubias in my pot from the Co-Op, too!!!  I love it when stuff like that happens! 😆 I'm also really interested in the anubias barteri - I can't wait to see how it looks in your tank!

I used superglue on some of my anubias and wedged others.  Of the super-glued ones, only one ended up sticking and staying (I think that was because I was trying to glue them on to wet driftwood...'twas a struggle!)  I ended up tying the ones that wouldn't stick down with thread.

Looking forward to seeing more!!  Thank you for sharing! 

Edited by Betsy
Forgot the end parenthesis!
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I finally have the water in, cycled filter in, and tank turned on! I glued the anubias and planted what's left of rhe crypt (roots only - leaves all melted). I see I need to tuck the roots down a bit. I got a little glue on the rock but didn't see it until it turned white. Oops!

I still have a dwarf lily bulb to place, and dwarf water lettuce in alum treatment. They are in sort of rough shape, but no issue so far with the alum. Some leaves are yellowing but that was probably inevitable. I know their offspring will look a lot better! Also have a Christmas moss bridge coming. One of the fake plants will have to come out to make room.

The Coop has my size Fluval Plant 3.0 back in stock and that's on the way along with the moss. Yay!!

How in the world am I going to wait until tomorrow for my betta now that it's all set up? 


Anubias golden


Anubias barteri


Cryptocoryne wendtii (poor thing!)


Dwarf water lettuce and its two home-made plant corrals



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Tank looks great flooded and planted! The water lettuce doesn’t look too bad at all. Did you order from a company relatively close to you and how’s the weather for you? I’m thinking I’ll have to wait to try and order since it’s pretty cold where I am and the company I get plants from is cross country. Soooo hard to wait!!! Lol.

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@OceanTruthI'm not sure where the company is. I paid for 2nd day air as I didn't think they'd survive any longer than that. It's in the 30s here and I was home, so they didn't sit outside. I didn't pay for the heat pack. I've had mixed results with receiving healthy plants except from the Coop. I also had my salvinia shipped a while back for another tank (different company), and that looked a bit sad too, but the salvinia took over the whole top and I've had to remove it regularly. 

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