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How to Build Planted Betta Tank (Care Guide with Infographics)

How to build a planted betta tank

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When people feel interested in fishkeeping then they try to keep betta fish at least once. Keeping betta fish is easy if you know the basics. However, building a planted betta tank is comparatively tougher than the normal one. 

Here we will show how you can build a successful planted betta tank by taking small steps. So without wasting much time let’s dive deep into the topic. 

7 steps to build a planted betta tank 

Before building a planted betta tank, you must read about building a community fish tank to know the basics of building a fish tank, if you are inexperienced somehow. 

Here we have built a good resource, from which you can learn about the community fish tank and its material costs. So you can check this too. 

Read more:- How to set up a community fish tank? With Cost analysis

How to build a planted betta fish

The size of the tank is the first parameter that you need to choose wisely before anything else. It is recommended to provide as much space as you can which is good for any fish. 

However, betta fish can live in nano tanks. So you must choose a minimum of 10-gallon if you don’t have much space to keep a bigger tank in your home.  

Betta fish can live in a 5-gallon tank too. However, it is not suitable if you want to build a planted betta tank. To keep aquatic plants healthy, it is required to have some extra spaces in the aquarium. Otherwise, the establishment of the tank will be hampered. 

A peaceful and calm space is required too for keeping the planted betta tank healthy and happy. Betta fish cannot thrive in a chaotic place e.g. big hall room etc. 

Product recommendation– Here we are recommending the Aqueon 10-gallon fish tank which is suitable for betta fish. You can check the detailed specifications of it by clicking the link here. Grab the discounted price here now.

Note: Having a lid is a must on a planted betta tank because unnecessary evaporation may occur in summer. Not only that, but betta may jump from the tank too. 

Read more:- Female Betta is Running Away From Male: 8 Possible Causes 

For a planted aquarium, having substrate is a must. If you want to grow aquatic plants well then you have to provide three types of substrates. 

These are the base layer, soil substrate, and top layer. The base layer is the main part of the substrate that provides most of the nutrients to aquatic plants to grow quickly. Soil substrate covers the base layer and provides nutrients also. The top layer is basically made of gravel. This doesn’t provide any nutrients. This only covers the other two parts of the substrate from water. 

However, all of these are not mandatory if you just want to keep some basic low-maintenance aquatic plants. In this case, you can use aquarium co-op soil substrate. 

We have used this substrate and this has worked so well for us. The plants have grown so well and much quicker. This has helped to complete the nitrogen cycle passively. 

If you want to use this as substrate, then 2-4 inches is enough for a planted 10-gallon nano betta tank. However, do not maintain the same thickness all over the tank. Try to provide some undulation for its aesthetic view. 

Product recommendation– Here we are recommending the Seachem Flourite Black Clay Gravel which is suitable for a planted tank. You can check the detailed specifications of it by clicking the link here. Grab the discounted price here now.

Read more – 5 Rare Betta Fish that you must try to collect: With Care Guide

The filter is the third step that you need to perform after substrate filling. For a planted betta tank, a good sponge filter is recommended. 

It is because A sponge filter performs two types of filtration. One is mechanical filtration and another is bacterial filtration. For a planted betta tank bacterial filtration is a must because it helps to cycle a tank quickly. 

Everyone likes to put betta fish in their tank quickly. However, it is not good for a fish to stay in an uncycled tank. During this time, ammonia, and nitrite levels go up. So betta fish may get sick or even die due to this. 

A sponge filter helps bacteria to develop colonies on it. So a planted betta tank must have a sponge filter. 

Product recommendation– Here we are recommending the three sponge filters together. You can check the detailed specifications of it by clicking the link here. Grab the discounted price here now

Read more – 11 Most Popular Freshwater Aquarium Fish With A Recommendation 

Note:- To establish a tank quickly fixing two filters is recommended. One should be an established filter and another can be the new one

After adding a filter, it’s time to fix new lights for your newly planted betta tank. You must not choose a light with high intensity. medium to low-intensity light is recommended for a planted betta tank. 

However, the right PAR value is required for aquatic plants to do photosynthesis. If you are a beginner then you should go for low-maintenance plants like Anubias, Java Fern, Banana plants, Marimo moss balls, staurogyne repens, and so on. For these plants, you are required 0.4-0.6 wattage/gallon with a 15-30 PAR value. 

However, this is only for LED lights. If you are fond of fixing a fluorescent light then 1 watt/gallon is required the most. 

Read more:- Do Planted Tanks Need CO2? Mostly Asked 5 Concepts Have Been Cleared

Product recommendation– Here we are recommending two LED lights for you. You can choose any one of these according to your aquatic plants. 

If you want to fix a low-light plant then the Finnex FlugRev planted clip light is the most suitable one. This is affordable and provides PAR 35@12 inch depth. This is suitable for 2.5-10-gallon tanks only. 

For medium to high light plants, you should choose Nicrew SkuLED Plus. This light is suitable for most plants and provides PAR 97@12 inch depth. So choose your lighting arrangements according to your plants for the planted betta tank. 

Read more: – Toxic Plants for Betta Fish (Top 7 with Pictures)

Note:- The full form of PAR is Photosynthetic Active Radiation

For a betta tank, it is not recommended to keep some high-growth plants. It will be a mess if you are not experienced in controlling the growth of the plants. So we are recommending starting with some slow-growing plants to build the first planted betta tank. 

You can start Some preferable but uncommon plants such as Anubias, Marimo moss balls, Java fern. However, we are recommending some low-maintenance uncommon aquatic plants that are good for a betta tank. 

  1. Banana plants Banana plant is such a plant that you can use it as an aquatic plant. This plant is very hardy and can tolerate a wide range of water hardness and ph levels. So if you do anything wrong, still this plant can survive. This plant thrives comparatively in softer water. 

It can tolerate a wide range of temperatures (20°C-28°C) too. So this can be a perfect choice as an aquatic plant for your planted betta tank. The 6 inches of height you can expect of banana plants in your aquarium. 

Click on this link to get discounted price of the Banana plant.

Read More:- Is Your Betta Fish Happy: Top 5 Proven Signs To Check 

  1. Staurogyne repens Staurogyne repens is also an aquatic plant that can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. Like banana plants, it also can thrive in a temperature range of 20°C-28°C. This plant requires low maintenance too. To get good growth of this plant you must prune it sometimes.

Staurogyne repens require medium light intensity to grow well. However, you should not place a tank just beside a window from where lots of natural lights can come. Not more than 10 hours of commercial light is recommended to keep this plant healthy.  Natural light promotes algal growth which is not good for a beginner to maintain. 

Click on this link to get discounted price of the Staurogyne Repens.

This is a low-maintenance aquatic plant. This is the most recommended here because this plant prevents penetrating direct sunlight or commercial light to the water column. It means this plant controls the algal growth passively. Not only that, but betta fish feels comfortable staying under the leaves of this plant. 

This plant helps the male betta to build their bubble nest during the breeding period. So if you want to breed betta then amazon frogbit should be there in that breeding tank.   

Click on this link to get discounted price of the Amazon Frogbit.

 Read more:- Are Floating Plants Good For Aquariums? 7 Floating Plants Recommendations

Do not tie the plants forcefully. Otherwise, these may damage the tissues of those plants. You can bury the roots of some of the plants in the substrate with a scalpel. This is the most suitable way to attach aquatic plants to a betta tank. 

Read more:- Two Betta Fish in The Same Tank: Is It Even Possible?

Only aquatic plants are not enough to establish a betta fish tank. It requires a little bit extra. Driftwood is that extra item that you need to develop a planted betta tank well. 

Driftwood has so many benefits. If you are using hard water then driftwood is the cheapest way to make the water softer by releasing tannins. Betta prefers soft water too. So it will help your betta to thrive passively. 

Not only that, but driftwood adds an aesthetic view of the planted aquarium too. Betta prefers to live in a place where they can feel safe. Driftwoods provide safety to any fish to feel comfortable. So it is necessary to have some driftwoods in a planted betta tank. 

Read More:- Types of Betta Fish: 7 Popular Patterns with Pictures 

To build a successful planted betta tank only materials & accessories are not enough. You cannot release a betta fish without completing the fishless cycle of the tank. 

The fishless cycle is such a cycle where ammonia breaks into nitrites and nitrites break into nitrates by the nitrification method. Some nitrifying bacteria take part in the completion of this cycle. 

This is called the fishless cycle because fish waste does not start this cycle to create ammonia. During this process, ammonia and nitrite spikes occur frequently. These are not good enough for living fish. This is why betta fish should not be released before the completion of the fishless cycle. 

Approximately one-two weeks are recommended to leave the planted aquarium without putting betta in it. Not only that, but before releasing betta it is mandatory to acclimate this well. You can know here How to acclimate the fish into a tank

Does betta fish prefer a planted tank?

As a whole, like every other fish, betta fish also prefers to stay in a planted tank. Unlike aggressive fish, each & every fish feels shy when it is introduced in a new tank. During this time live plants provide them safety. In addition, plants establish a tank quicker which is good for a betta fish to thrive.   

So best of luck & happy fishkeeping 🐟

Read More:- 9 Best Aquarium Fish To Breed For Profit

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