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Re: Slow growing plant please...

Jenny (J8675309Y at aol_com) wrote:
> I have a quick question for you all and since it is plant related I am sure
> you can help.  I have a 'Betta fish bowl' that is 2.5 g.  It has 1 male Betta
> and two ghost shrimp inside it currently.  I have read by adding a slow
> growing plant to his tank, that is would improve his living environment.

The 2.5 gallon tank is a good size to use with a Betta because it is
large enough to have a nearly stable eco-system. Keeping shrimps with
the fish is a good idea because they help to consume left over food such
as blood worms. You could use a soil & gravel substrate in this size
tank; I would recommend the addition of well soaked sphagnum peat to the
soil which provides a very stable pH. One problem of keeping plants in
small tanks is that the pH can climb and this can be deadly due to
ammonia poisoning in small containers.

You will need a good light source in order for the plants to metabolize
and consume ammonia produced by the fish. You could use a window with a
venetian screen to cut down the intensity of sunlight to avoid
overheating or you can use a compact fluorescent fixture of about 15 to
25 watts.

Salvinia or Frogbit are both floating plants that won't need a substrate
although a small container of peat is still recommended for ph stability
unless you plan to change water every few days.

It is always a good plan to maintain regular water changes to keep the
water conditions healthy. You should probably siphon any uneaten food
and feces from the bottom of a small container of limited size. Live
foods are very useful for feeding Bettas but I have also fed them using
frozen bloodworms and brineshrimp. They also enjoy small pieces of
salmon or tuna that might be left over from your dinner, if you hand
feed them very carefully. The ghost shrimp will sometimes eat the food
before the Betta does if he is a fussy eater (usually a sign of ill
health). Female Bettas take food more aggressively than males.

If you have a large planted tank which you are maintaining with mineral
dosing for the plants, you can draw water from it for changes. This will
help to supply the plants with the minerals they need to metabolize the
waste products. Please visit my website for more info on mineral dosing
or read the Krib entries about PMDD.
Steve Pushak                              Vancouver, BC, CANADA 

Visit "Steve's Aquatic Page"      http://home.infinet.net/teban/
 for LOTS of pics, tips and links for aquatic gardening!!!