What Are The 5 Best Plants For Betta Fish?

Also known as Siamese Fighting Fish, betta fish (Betta splendens) are some of the most brightly colored freshwater fish in the aquarium industry. These lovely fish are only a few inches long in body but their gorgeous, flowing fins often make them appear much larger. As tempting as it might be to keep a tank full of these fish, bettas are best kept by themselves because males of the species tend to be pretty aggressive and they will fight if kept in a tank with another betta.

Just because you can only keep one betta fish per tank doesn’t mean you can’t make that tank something to be proud of. Choose a tank large enough that your betta can swim freely and be sure to include room for decorations. In addition to novelty decorations and natural décor items, you should think about adding a plant or two to your betta tank. Which plants should you choose? Keep reading to learn about our top 5 picks!

Why Do Betta Fish Need Aquarium Plants?

When it comes to betta fish care, the same basic rules apply as for most freshwater fish. These fish require a tank large enough that they have room to swim which usually means a minimum of two gallons, though bigger is better. In addition to the tank itself, you’ll need to equip your betta tank with a heater to keep the water within the proper range (about 72°F to 78°F) as well as an aquarium filter to keep the water clean. You might also want to outfit your tank with an LED light to show your betta fish’s bright colors off.

Once you have met your betta’s minimum requirements for tank size and tank equipment, you should think about adding a plant or two. Aquarium plants don’t just add to the aesthetics of a betta tank, they also help to keep the tank water clean and oxygenated so your betta remains healthy. You shouldn’t have to worry about buying a special lighting system for just one or two small plants, especially if your tank is exposed to ambient light. You should, however, take care to choose the right kind of plant for your betta tank – keep reading to learn more.

The 5 Best Plants For Betta Fish

When choosing an aquarium plant for your betta tank, there are a few requirements to keep in mind. First and foremost, choose a plant that doesn’t grow too large – you don’t want it to fill your entire tank and crowd your betta. Next, think about how much lighting you have for your tank – aquarium plants are photosynthetic organisms so they need light to grow. Finally, choose a hardy plant that is easy to maintain so you don’t have to worry about fertilization or other maintenance tasks. To help you decide which plant to choose for your betta tank, here are our five favorite options:

Anubias

One of the easiest aquarium plants to grow, anubias is a great option for your betta tank. Anubias comes in a variety of different species and it doesn’t have high requirements for light. If you choose anubias for your betta tank, select a species that remains fairly short and keep it trimmed back if it starts to grow too large. You can tether this plant to one of your décor items but it shouldn’t be rooted.

Java Moss

If you want a low-maintenance plant for your betta fish tank, java moss is an excellent option. This plant has a lovely flowing appearance and a bright green color that will look quite striking against the bright color of your betta fish. One thing to keep in mind with this species is that java moss tends to prefer cooler temperatures but they usually do okay in betta tanks anyway.

Anacharis

If you’re looking for a hardy plant that grows quickly, anacharis is a great option. This is a stem plant that can be rooted or left as a floating plant, depending on your preference. If you choose to plant this species, you might want to tie it down because it takes some time for the roots to develop. If your anacharis starts to grow too quickly, just pinch off the upper growth and allow it to fill out instead.

Java Fern

Another aquarium plant that is very easy to grow is java fern. This plant produces long, narrow leaves that grow to a point. These plants do not require a lot of bright lighting or attention and they can be propagated simply by plucking one of the leaves and letting it grow into an entirely new plant. You can bury the roots of this plant in your gravel or substrate but be careful not to bury the rhizome – the green stem that the leaves grow from – because it could kill the plant.

Duckweed

Have you ever seen an outdoor pond covered in a layer of green? That layer of green consists of myriad tiny leaves called duckweed. Duckweed is a floating plant so you don’t need to worry about lining your tank with plant substrate – all you need to do is give the duckweed a little bit of light and it will be fine.

One thing to be aware of with duckweed is that it tends to grow very quickly – this can be a good thing and a bad thing. The good part is that your betta fish might enjoy eating the duckweed as a snack. The bad thing is that it could filter out too much light. If you choose to use duckweed in your betta tank, remove some of it once in a while to keep it from growing too thick on the surface of your tank. Read our guide to grow duckweed here.

These are just five of the top choices in aquarium plants for betta fish, though there are many more out there. If you don’t like any of the choices above, simply look for a hardy plant that has low light requirements and that doesn’t grow too quickly.

Conclusion

Did you enjoy this tutorial for choosing aquarium plants for betta fish? It is my hope that after reading this guide will be eager to give your betta tank a facelift by adding a fresh green plant. Like and share this article with your friends and leave us some comments about your experience with betta fish as well as your favorite aquarium plants. Thanks for reading!

How To Grow Aquarium Plants – Your Ultimate Guide To Aquatic Plants

When it comes to decorating your home aquarium, you have a wide variety of options to choose from. The easiest option is to pick out some synthetic plants and other novelty décor items. Though this may be the easiest option available, it isn’t necessarily the best – especially if you want your aquarium to be impressive. To make your aquarium something to behold, and to make it an environment worthy of your fish, you should think about filling it with aquarium plants. Nothing is more beautiful than a lushly planted aquarium filled to the brim with thriving aquatic plants.

Growing an aquarium fill of live plants does take some planning and a little bit of work, but it is well worth the effort. If you’ve never grown aquarium plants before, don’t worry – it isn’t too difficult for a beginner! Your key to success lies in educating yourself about the process before you begin and in planning it all out from the start - that is where this tutorial comes into play. In this tutorial, you will receive detailed instructions for every step of the process from choosing your substrate and picking out your plants to setting up the tank. Keep reading to learn how to get started!

What You Will Need To Follow This Tutorial

You can probably already guess some of the things you are going to need in order to follow this tutorial. First and foremost, you’ll need an aquarium – the size and shape is up to you, but make sure you have plenty of room for plants. Next, you’ll have to pick out the right substrate for your tank as well as the live plants you want to cultivate. Last but not least, you’ll need to equip your tank with a heater, filter, and lighting system to support the growth of all those live plants. Here is a detailed list of everything you are going to need:

  • Aquarium.
  • Planted tank substrate.
  • Aquarium gravel.
  • Foreground plants.
  • Midground plants.
  • Background plants.
  • Aquarium heater.
  • Aquarium filter.
  • Aquarium lighting system.

Step By Step Instructions

Now that you have a better understanding of exactly what you’ll need to cultivate a planted tank, you are ready to get started! Don’t worry – we’ll take you through the process step by step to make sure everything goes according to plan. Here is how to get started:

Selecting Your Substrate

There are a number of different planted tank substrates out there, but your best option is to choose a product like EcoComplete that contains all of the nutrients your plants will need to grow. You’ll need enough substrate to put down a 4- to 6-inch layer along the bottom of your tank. You may also want to put down a layer of fine aquarium gravel on top of the substrate to keep your plants in place.

Picking Out Your Plants

The best part about cultivating a planted tank is picking out your plants! There are many different aquatic plants out there and some of them are easier to grow than others. If you have a betta tank, you can learn more about best plant for betta here. Your best bet is to start out with some hardy plants that tend to grow quickly so they will spread and fill in the space in your tank without you having to buy too many. Be sure to choose an assortment of foreground, mid-ground, and background plants. Foreground plants include things like carpet moss and other plants that grow no more than 1 to 3 inches tall. Mid-ground plants can be a few inches taller but your background plants should be the tallest. While shopping for your plants, make sure to buy species that have similar tank requirements in terms of water chemistry and lighting. Buy enough to decorate your tank but not to fill it completely – your fish need room too!

Setting Up Your Tank

Part of setting up your tank involves choosing and installing your tank equipment. The three most important pieces of aquarium equipment you’ll need to cultivate a planted tank are an aquarium heater, a filter, and a lighting system.

Choosing Your Heater

Aquarium heaters are easy to come by and easy to use – just find one that is rated for the size of your tank and follow the instructions to set it up. You should be able to set the thermostat on the heater to keep the water in your tank within the proper range for both your fish and your plants.

Picking A Tank Filter After

choosing your tank heater you’ll want to pick out a tank filter. The easiest option for beginning aquarium hobbyists is a hang-on filter, also known as a power filter. These filters come in a variety of sizes for different tanks and they usually offer three-stage filtration – mechanical, chemical, and biological. Follow the instructions to set up your tank filter and make sure it is working properly.

Shopping For Aquarium Lighting

Perhaps the most important piece of equipment for a planted tank is your aquarium lighting system. Aquarium plants are photosynthetic so they need 8 to 12 hours of light each day to provide them with the energy they need to sustain their growth. Choose a lighting system that is the appropriate size for your tank – compact fluorescent lights are usually the most cost-effective option.

Putting It All Together

After choosing and installing your tank equipment, all that is left is to add your substrate and your plants! Follow these steps to plant your tank:

  1. Rinse your substrate well until the water runs clear.
  2. Line the bottom of your tank with 4 to 6 inches of the rinsed substrate.
  3. Fill your aquarium with lukewarm water and use a water conditioner to remove the chlorine.
  4. Set up your tank heater, filter, and lighting system and make sure they are all running properly.
  5. Start with your foreground plants, burying the roots in the substrate along the front wall of the tank.
  6. Add your mid-ground plants around the sides of the tank behind the foreground plants.
  7. Plant your background plants along the back wall of the tank.
  8. Add any other decorations you like in the middle of the tank – just be sure to leave enough open space for your fish to swim.
  9. Let your tank run for 2 to 3 weeks to establish the nitrogen cycle before adding your fish.
  10. Acclimate your fish to the tank and resume normal care.

Conclusion

Did you enjoy this tutorial for growing aquarium plants? Hopefully after reading this guide you see just how easy it is to grow aquatic plants in your very own aquarium. A lushly planted tank can turn a boring aquarium into a beautiful aquatic environment for your fish and it will be something you can be proud of! Like and share this article with your friends and leave us some comments about your experience with growing aquarium plants. Good luck and have fun!

What Are Algae And How They Grow In A Tank (Does Your Fish Needs Algae?)

Algae are groups of aquatic life forms that have the ability to perform photosynthesis. We know some varieties of algae, especially those thriving in a fish tank. Some types of algae are beneficial to the fish, but most are detrimental to their existence while in captivity.

To give you an idea of what algae are, common seaweed is a kind of algae. So are pond scum and giant kelp, they are all examples of algae. In this article, we will introduce you what algae are and how they grow in a tank as well as some species of fish eating algae.

What Are The Types Of Algae?

There are various species of algae commonly found in fish tanks. Here are some of the types of freshwater algae and their characteristics:

5 Algae Species Commonly Found In Aquariums

Brush Or Beard Algae

These algae form a short and hairy tufts that almost always grow near a light source. This type of algae is slippery, but soft and is hard to be removed by mechanical means.

Green Spot Algae

This variety prefers an abundance of light. They also thrive in a fish tank with low phosphate and high carbon dioxide level. To minimize the growth of these algae on an aquarium is easy: don’t overfeed your fish and avoid stocking food on the water.

Brown Algae (Diatoms)

Diatoms will more likely to grow in low-light fish tanks. They thrive in which nitrogen level is low while phosphate level is high. These algae also thrive from the nutrients from substrates and the decorations.

Cladophora Algae

This type of algae is not slimy and forms a moss-like creature. It branches out and appears as green filamentous algae. They grow unusually in other plant species and also quickly multiplies in rocks and driftwood. The Cladophora algae are easy to be removed because they stay only in one spot in the tank.

Soft (green) Slime Algae

The green slime algae are the favorite of most algae-eating fish. Hobbyists seldom see these algae because they are easily eaten by fish.

Why Do Algae Grow In Fish Tanks?

Algal growth is a natural process in the environment including water, light, nutrients, and carbon dioxide. Certain types of algae grow naturally in lakes, ponds, oceans, and rivers. It is a gift of nature that humans learn to appreciate.

An aquarium is not immune to this phenomena. Algae grow inside a fish tank simply because of the abundance of what we have stated above. Additionally, the food that is present in a fish tank, such as phosphate and nitrates, trigger the rapid growth of algae.

Role of ammonia in algae growth

Ammonia is produced by decomposing plants, rotting food, and fish wastes. It highly contributes to the formation of nitrite, then into nitrate that becomes food for the algae.

Other food sources of algae inside the tank

The other nutrients that algae need to survive are nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. These nutrients also come from fish waste, from other dead algae, and from the decay of other plant debris.

Do Algae Change Water Composition?

The water chemistry will surely change once algae thrive inside the tank. The most significant water chemistry changes and their effects are the following:

Negative E ffects

  • Lowers water quality.
  • Water becomes more acidic in low-light.
  • Water becomes more alkaline in high-light.

Positive Effects

  • Lowers carbon dioxide.
  • Adds oxygen.

Minimizing Algae Growth In Tank

If you have algae-eating fish in your tank, the growth of these microorganisms will surely be a big plus for your fish. But if your fish do not like these plants included in their menu, here are some tips to minimize their growth.

  • Minimize sunlight on your tank.
  • Do not overfeed your fish.
  • Change your aquarium water at least once a week. But change only a third of the water so there are still nutrients left for your fish.
  • Remove algae growing in the rocks, glass, and other hard surfaces regularly. Learn more about clean your fish tank here.

Are There Are Fish Which Eat Algae?

Here are some of the fish species that eat algae and are the favorites of some hobbyists:

1. Stone-Lapping Fish

These fish look slightly like a faded flying fox. They have less color in the fins and has a bulkier body. Their favorite is the soft slime algae.

2. Florida Flagfish

These fish feast on brush or beard algae, which are not attractive to other algae-eating fish because of their very fine strands or tufts.

3. Flying Fox

These fish look like a Siamese algae eater but is more colorful. They thrive from soft slime algae.

4. Siamese algae eater

These fish are the most favored pet of most aquarists because of their ability to devour brush or beard algae without a hitch.

Some Tips From The Experts

Did you know that the Chinese algae-eater is the number one aquarium fish sold in the United States? This is partly because they are cheap and eat algae mercilessly. But beware, most of this fish didn’t come from China but from Thailand.

Furthermore, this fish is piscivore, a fish which eats fellow fish as it grows. You can have it as your pet, but do not put it together with smaller fish.

If you don’t like to keep algae-eating fish in your tank, but you want to minimize algae growth, you may want to add some snails into your aquarium. Like, for example

How To Grow Duckweed And Know The Tricks

Duckweed is easy to grow and a nutritious food for fish. You can actually grow duckweed also indoors in a container or outdoors in a ditch or a small pond. Duckweed prefers still water (stagnant), that is why you do not need any complex aeration system as you do in an aquarium tank. It is also advisable for a freshwater aquarium as it absorbs nitrates. What else? You don’t even have to feed duckweed, it is an aquatic plant that absorbs nourishment from the surrounding air.

This tutorial on how to grow duckweed for your aquarium fish will tackle the activities beginning from its preparation until its harvest. At this time, it is ready to feed your fish. Most aquarists prefer the cultivation of duckweed indoors because it is almost effortless to do, especially for those who haven’t much time because of work and other activities. So, we will teach you the indoor culture of duckweed. We hope that after you have performed religiously our tutorial, you could be able to produce your own fish feed without the hassle and continue doing so to make your fish food bill at its minimum.

What You Will Need To Follow This Tutorial

Duckweed growing is not expensive to do, in fact, it is one of the most reasonable food cultivation for aquarium lovers, budget-wise. And since it is packed with nutrients and protein almost equal to a bit of a worm, your fish will grow healthier in a small amount of time. Most of goldfish, tilapia, koi fish, and other fish variety like to eat duckweed and they really love it! Here are the tools you’ll need to culture one of the most nutritious foods for your pet:

  • Rectangular plastic container (at least 5-in. deep, 18-in. length, 12-in. wide).
  • Soft sponge.
  • Clean cotton cloth.
  • Dechlorinated water (20 liters).
  • Aquatic plant fertilizer (such as PondCare brand).
  • Soda straw.
  • Live duckweed (Lemna Minor brand, available in Amazon.com).
  • pH Meter.
  • Thermometer.
  • Coffee filter.

Step By Step Instructions

After you have gathered the needed tools and equipment, you are now ready to cultivate duckweed as feed for your fish. Duckweed does not require special caring, unlike any other flowering plants. It will also thrive from soft to hard water condition and from low light to high light. In other words, it is definitely easy to grow duckweed, but you should follow these sets of instructions so that you may not commit mistakes for your first try.

Preparation Of Container

  • Prepare and clean the container that you have bought by scrubbing it with a soft sponge in running water to clear it with any dust particle adhering on all its sides.
  • Do not use detergent or soap.
  • Wipe dry all surfaces of the container.

Pouring Of Water

  • Pour dechlorinated warm water into the container. Tap water treated with water conditioner could also be used when you have this on stock (water conditioner).
  • Make sure that the water does not exceed the 3-inch mark on the container. It would have a 20-liter volume if you reach this height of water.

If You Are Using Tap Water

If you used tap water and treated it with water conditioner, add some aquatic plant fertilizer to nourish the plant. It is also advisable to put decaying plants (from your fish tank) to aid nourishment.

Blow Air To The Mixture

  • Get a clean soda straw at least 12-inch long.
  • Using the straw, blow air into the water to aerate the water slowly. Keep repeating every 10 minutes until enough oxygen is inside the water. The surface water needs to be penetrated by oxygen to be brought even to the bottom of the container to give duckweed its needed aeration. You don’t have to use complex aeration system to aerate the water. This would only be during start up and not continues or if the need arises.

Check The PH Level Of The Water

After a few minutes, once the water is settled, check the pH level using a pH meter. Duckweed thrives at a pH level between 6 and 7.5 and temperature between 50 to 90F. Put the container where this temperature is achievable inside the house.

Adding duckweed

After the above conditions are met, you are now ready to add the duckweed into the mixture.

  • Scatter enough amount of the tiny plant at the surface of the water, covering at least 3/4 of the water surface. This will allow natural light and oxygen to enter into the container. Do not cover the container as duckweed needs lots of oxygen.
  • After several minutes, you will notice that the duckweed starts to spread out of the surface of the water and some at the bottom begin to rise on the surface.

Harvesting Duckweed As Fish Food

Duckweed grows at a fast rate. You could harvest from the container 2-4 days after you set it up. These are the following steps to harvest duckweed correctly so that you could have sufficient supply of this tiny plant for your fish:

  • Get a clean coffee filter, then scoop some duckweed from the container.
  • Bring the filtered duckweed into the aquarium then pour its content, occasionally shaking the coffee filter while it is submerged in the fish tank. Make sure that the coffee filter is fully empty before you get another batch. The fish will devour this plant as this is really delicious for them.
  • Continue feeding your fish until they like eating or an amount just enough for their dinner. Stop feeding them with duckweed when you notice a sign that they are full. The duckweed that remains in the container will continue to grow until the water is not sufficient enough to sustain their growth, at this time you can start another cycle.

Conclusion

Did you enjoy this tutorial? You really don’t have to exert much effort in growing duckweed for your fish. Even the waiting time is not too long, your fish will have an instant feed in no time, fresh and nutritious, too! Like and share this article with your friends and loved ones, especially those who are avid fish lovers and give some comments if you really like our useful tutorial we shared with you.

How To Grow Algae For Your Aquarium

Most of the time, you want to reduce the amount of algae or eradicate it. On the other hand, it may be beneficial to promote algae growth in your fish tank as many aquarium fish thrive from eating this organism.

Allowing the growth of algae inside your fish tank is quite easy. But first, you should know that initially growing algae is best suited outside of the fish tank. Algae is eaten by some of the fish species and other marine animals, such as the Bristlenose Plecos, Siamese Algae Eater, Tropheus cichlids, some Malawi cichlids, Twig Cat Fish, Dwarf Otocinclus (aka Otos), Mollies, Barbs, Malaysian Trumpet Snail, Nerite Snails, Amano Shrimp and small goldfish. If you have one of these animals as a pet, you can save a lot from your weekly food bill by learning how to grow algae. So you can certainly learn a lot from this tutorial, keep on reading.

What You Will Need

When you already have an aquarium in existence, it is best to grow algae separately. Let the algae nourish inside another container and introduce the algae into your fish tank when it is finally time to mix it with the aquarium water. Here are the different tools and materials that you should need to grow algae in a home setting:

  • 2 medium (500 ml) containers.
  • Freshwater.
  • Nutrient Solution (such as Walne brand).
  • Thermometer.
  • Fluorescent compact bulb.
  • Aluminum foil.
  • Water sample from pet shop.

Step By Step Instructions

1. Making A Growth Medium

Filling Water Into The Container

When using a container as a growth medium, be sure that it is totally clean and sterilized before putting water into it. After cleaning the container (flask), pour fresh water ( tap or spring water) into the container, you can boil your water if you suspect it is contaminated.

Supplementing Nutrients

Add Nutrient Solution to the water at the end, such as nitrates, silicates, and phosphates. Algae co-exist naturally with other aquatic life and they keep the ecosystem underwater in equilibrium. The lack of nutrients will the production of algae.

Additionally, micro-nutrients like vitamins and trace metals are also needed to produce algae inside your container. Adding a substantial amount of Nutrient Solution to the container will begin the process of producing these nutrients and vitamins. Nutrient Solution ( you can research other brands) is available at your pet store. Ask your veterinarian for the right amount of this solution to produce enough algae in your container. Cover the container with aluminum foil to allow air and carbon dioxide to circulate. Carbon dioxide also feeds algae.

Keep The Container Under Plenty Of Sunlight

Algae grow and thrive in high light levels. Place your container where there is plenty of sunlight as this will provide the energy the tiny organism need to thrive and reproduce. The ideal temperature for algae growth is 29 to 34C (84 to 93F). However, avoid excessive exposure to light during the day as this may mean higher temperature. Furthermore, at night time where sunlight is absent, you can leave your container near a fluorescent bulb or other heating unit to maintain the temperature, just like when incubating an egg. Monitor its temperature occasionally.

2. Introducing An Algae Sample

Choosing The Type Of Algae

The best type of algae you want to grow is the one that would be eaten by your fish. In this case, you can ask your pet dealer on what species of algae is conducive for your preferred fish species.

Gather An Algae Specimen

It is now time to add a specimen sample to your water. Again, the best source of this sample is from your dealer’s aquarium where you purchase your fish. A good sample of 150 to 250ml is an adequate amount. Pour the specimen sample into your growth medium making sure the right amount of light is still available. Continue to maintain the right temperature and appropriate amount of sunlight and you may able to see algae growth within 4 days.

Adding Nutrients If Needed

As the algae absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and this benefits its growth. However, to sustain a good quality algae as fish food, add some nutrients to it by allowing a few drops of Nutrient Solution. As the algae grows, It will become compact inside the container and may appear green. Green algae is a good variety for your fish to eat.

Transferring Algae To Another Container

Full-blown algae you should be able to see in your container after 8-10 days. You can transfer a substantial amount to the medium-sized container you prepared previously. This will serve as a seed for your next growth medium for separate algae growth so that you have a continuous supply of algae to feed your fish continuously. You will not need to get a sample from your favorite pet store.

To be able to have a continuous supply of algae to feed your fish, just repeat the process we have described above, again and again. Meanwhile, you are now ready to pour your cultured algae into your fish tank where your fish are waiting.

Conclusion

Did you enjoy this tutorial on how to grow algae for your aquarium even if you are not a chemist? We hope you did, and you can learn to grow the duckweed here. Producing weekly food for your fish is truly easy and enjoyable. You can really save a lot on your food bill, and you could be able to enjoy the fruit of your labor. Also, you can provide them the much-needed nutrients from organic food. Share this article with your friends and other aquarists so that they may find a better alternative in keeping algae-eating pets healthy and happy.