Interested in adding live plants - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 13 Old 03-24-2010, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Interested in adding live plants

I was looking around last night and saw quite a few aquariums that had a ton of moss and live plants. I really think this would be a great idea for my tank. I have a few questions though.

Once I add java moss and it begins to grow and cover the rocks below, do i still try and use the suction hose every time i do a water change to suck up the poo and debri? Also if i add live plants im assuming ill have to use some kind of pot because the live plants cant live in just gravel...what do i do with the plant pot? do i boil it first? just soak it in filtered water?
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post #2 of 13 Old 03-24-2010, 03:00 PM
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Plants can grow just fine in gravel. Java moss doesn't have any roots from what I know, though. It attaches itself to whatever it is growing on. In my experience, the java moss attaches slowly, though. Anyways, if you're talking about laying the java moss in the gravel, it might be a good idea to just use your finger and stir up the debris that is caught inside a little. It might be better to attach it to a piece of drift wood, rocks, or decor. (:

But ya, since java moss is different than most plants, you'll probably be able to just move it when you're gravel vacuuming because the little gravel that it attaches to will be enough to weigh it down when you move it back. :)

Now, for other plants, if they are plants with a lot of roots, its not good to gravel vacuum too close. You'll suck the nutrients out of the soil and disturb their roots. Which can stop them from growing for a while if you disturb them too much.

Other things you'll want for live plants: a bulb rated at 6500 K (fullspectrum), possibly an internal or canister filter (though I think some plants will do just ok with a HOB filter, but if you want your plants to do well you might want something that does not cause surface agitation because the CO2 will leave the water, which the plants need for optimal growth. Goodluck! :)

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post #3 of 13 Old 03-24-2010, 04:08 PM
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Now, for other plants, if they are plants with a lot of roots, its not good to gravel vacuum too close. You'll suck the nutrients out of the soil and disturb their roots. Which can stop them from growing for a while if you disturb them too much.
It's a little more than that, really.
Vac'ing is totally unneeded in a moderately to heavily planted tank, and can actually be harmful.

1. Organic matter is good, as austin says because it breaks down into nutrients for the plants.
2. It can help with the consistency of the gravel, giving the roots a little more to anchor in.
and 3, the bacteria in the substrate that break down the detritus produce CO2 for your plants.

Why don't you go check out the Aquarium Plants forum? ;)

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post #4 of 13 Old 03-24-2010, 07:00 PM
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What about growing plants in play sand? How would one go about doing that?
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post #5 of 13 Old 03-24-2010, 10:45 PM
i never vaccuum my java moss because fry hide in there.

look at the stickies in the plant section of this forum.

also, plain gravel works just fine. just use ferts and fert tabs as needed.

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post #6 of 13 Old 03-25-2010, 10:32 AM
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What about growing plants in play sand? How would one go about doing that?
Play sand compacts which isn't good for the roots. A fine gravel or pool filter sand will be fine.
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post #7 of 13 Old 03-26-2010, 04:34 AM
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Plenty of people on this forum keep plants in play sand without issue. Standard anti-compacting measures are usually taken, such as using Malaysian trumpet snails to keep the sand stirred.

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post #8 of 13 Old 03-27-2010, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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Ty very much for all of the advice. I am excited about adding more life to the tank, and having it be beneficial. Im sure i will have fry here in the future.
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post #9 of 13 Old 03-27-2010, 06:38 AM
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@Elloria keeping live plants is really VERY easy and yes indeed you plant them into your gravel; they thrive best with finer grain gravel not the large chunky gravel. To not gravel vacum your gravel on plants has pretty much the same effect inside a tank then manure on your vegetable garden or planter boxes
On of the most important things often overlooked and then disappointed when the plants do not thrive is the light! Plants need a color spectrum of light that's as close to daylight as possible which is expressed in their Kelvin rating. So check & see what bulb is currently sitting under your hood there, maybe post us a name you find on the bulb. When in doubt and want to ensure proper plant growth, simply exchange the bulb you have no for one from Lowes, Homedepot or Walmart from companies like GE, Phillips or Bright effects; these are usually labled as "Daylight or Ultimate Daylight" and if you look at the box you will see "Kelvin 6500" 6500 is what you;ll need for plants and these bulbs are quite inexpensive at the Non-pet stores

@CoffeeMan I have and have had several play sand set up's and as always these were / are planted as well. Toss in a few MTS to sift through the sand for you so it won't compact add the plants of your choice and you're set to go provided like I said up top you have the proper lights

@Both If you look right here you'll find numerous of my set ups with sand or gravel and both planted either way, maybe that'll be some good inspiration http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/p...hp?userid=1029

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post #10 of 13 Old 03-27-2010, 02:26 PM
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Sweet Aquatics can give you free MTS if you order plants from there...

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