I was told keeping a plant in my
betta's jar can help the water quality, but the jar is small and I
do not use gravel. What plant would
you recommend I use and can it really help?
Jennifer you are in luck because I recently tested the efficiency
of Java Moss and have great news for everyone! JAVA MOSS may very
well be a betta's BEST FRIEND! :)
Java Moss (Vesicularia Dubyana), is an unusual plant because it does not have roots to speak of, will sink to the bottom, will grow like weeds under the crappiest conditions (no gravel, low light, no fertilizer, most water temp ranges and most PH ranges) and doesn't look too shabby either ;).
What's most is, the Moss loves stagnant water and lots of nitrite. In fact it will THRIVE on high nitrite levels and left over food and fish poopies.
So add the two above and you can see how Java Moss would be the PERFECT plant for a betta jar: NO gravel, stagnant water, low light (in many cases) and LOTS of nitrite! Your betta's bowl is a Java Moss heaven.
OK, so the stuff will grow and probably do pretty well. That brings us to the next (most important question): Will it clean the water? And if so, how well?
So I put Java Moss to the test. I did a water change on two 1/4 gal jars, each housing a female of similar size. I added a small clump of Java Moss in one jar only, leaving the other one Java Mossless (if I may say LOL).
On day two I did a nitrite test:
Test clearly indicated that both jars were still within safe range (blue color)
A few more days went by and on day 5 (day of next water change), I did the same test again:
Now compare the test tube of jar 1 which had the Java Moss in it (blue in color - completely safe range) to the one on the right which did not have the Java Moss in it (purple in color - high nitrite levels - BAD for fish). The nitrites level went up the roof in just 3 more days (while they appeared fine on day 2). SO very clearly, the fish with the Java Moss had much much better water quality and a highly decreased chance of getting sick.
I rest my case your honor :).
A few more things betta keepers should know about Java Moss:
Because of all above I have decided to offer Java Moss to our customers, and it is now available when you purchase bettas from us. Simply check the "I want a starter clump" (or 2, 3,4 etc) and the moss will be included in your box along with the fish! Makes it easy and hassle free. I hope you all have as much luck with it as I have, but worry not, if you have a truly black thumb LOL and you somehow manage to kill it, it is very cheap to replace :) and there's plenty more where that one came from :)).
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