Beginner Freshwater Plants Help. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-03-2010, 07:01 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Beginner Freshwater Plants Help.

Hey all,
I am just planning an aquarium. I have only a 70 liter or 20 gallon tank but am very interested in using live plants. I have had aquariums before and have done a great deal with fish.
I am not a beginner with fish but am a beginner with live plants as i have not used or grew them before at all, i was wondering if there is anyone out there who has had some experience with live plants that can help me choose what plants to grow, and what i need to do to grow them with lighting food for the plants etc.
I have researched a little and found that some people say that you need to put some sort of food into the gravel of your aquarium for the plants to grow and not die, others just plant the plants straight into the gravel.
All help is greatly appreciated and i would really love to get in touch with someone the knows what they are doing as the local pet shops do not have a great deal of knowledge in this area!!
Cheers KyleKid8.
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-03-2010, 07:16 AM
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Have you read the sticky posts at the top of this forum? Some good information to start off with. Here's a link to part one, but there are other parts:
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-03-2010, 07:36 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, i read all these. They did help.
But i was more looking for plant names that are a hardy plant and also is there any certain types of things i have to put into the gravel before planting?
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-03-2010, 08:06 AM
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I've made the transition from plastic plants to live plants. I've just planted them without adding anything special to the substrate. I add Flourish Comprehensive plant food weekly and I've stuck some root tabs in the gravel next to the swords. As far as I'm concerned, you don't need any special substrate.

You can see the plants I've used on my profiles. So far, all are doing ok. The ambulia and water sprite have grown very quickly. The swords are slower growing and haven't had a growth spurt in the same way as the others. Byron is keen on swords for that reason - you don't have to be trimming them all the time like the stem plants.

From my experiences so far, I'd recommend the water sprite Ceratopteris thalictroides. It's grown really quickly, it's got no brown or transparent bits on it and I think it looks really nice. The ambulia has grown like crazy, but it is a bit messier, gets uprooted quite easily. Brazilian pennywort also looks nice. Mine hasn't done that well, probably because I keep uprooting it accidentally, but it is quite nice.

Browsing some users' profiles is a good way to see if there's something you like in their tanks. Byron's tanks are really nice to get ideas from the plants he's used.
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-03-2010, 08:18 AM
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The plants that I have found to be the easiest are the Swords. They are a substrate rooted plant and a heavy feeder so adding root tabs is helpful. I think you only need to add them 2-3 times in a year though. I do also add Seachem's Flourish comprehensive Supplement for the planted Aquarium. I do that 1-2 times a week. There is a whole line of Flourish products, the Comprehensive one is the one that you want.

Another plant that is great in a tank that size is the Wisteria, it is a stem plant so no root tabs, it will feed from the minerals in the water (Comprehensive Supplement again) It grows to the surface and can even float on top. Having some floating plants helps the fish to feel safe in their environment. I love the look of a heavily planted tank. I also have some Java Fern and Java Moss on wood in my tanks. Those are good for tanks with low light. My tank has good lighting but with so much floating on top, there are more shadow areas, which is where the Java Moss and Java Fern come in handy.

Hope this helps. :)

That is a picture of the Wisteria in the tank

This is a Sword

It is twice that size now and covers the heater and filter in that tank. You can get some smaller varieties of sword so they don't over take your twenty gallon. That one is in a 60 gallon. I have a smaller one in my 25 gallon tank too, but don't have a decent picture of it. I will work on that.
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-03-2010, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, helped a lot.
Also do you recommend adding plants before fish?
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-03-2010, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by KyleKid8 View Post
Thanks guys, helped a lot.
Also do you recommend adding plants before fish?
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Definitely. If you plant the tank well at first, you can put in a few fish and there will be no "cycle" issues. The plants assimilate the ammonia (as ammonium) quickly.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-03-2010, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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I am just setting up the tank now and hope to in a week or so add in some plants and see how it all goes.
Thanks for the help.
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-04-2010, 05:44 AM
don't forget pictures =)

5x2x2 aro,highfin bat,fei feng,ST,albino tinfoil,c.perch
4x1.5x1.5 planted tetras,harlequins,
otto,WMM,2 types of celebes rainbows,rcs,amano, bamboo,red ramhorns,MTS
3.5x2.5x2 flowerhorn,pleco
3x1.5x1.5 russel's lion,blue cleaner,sixline and leopard wrasse,maroon clown pair,green chromis,scorpion,tiger cowrie,turbo,lyretail anthias,jewel,anemone,star polyp,marbled and giant green mushi,zoa
2x1x1 nano sw shrimps
22 May 2012
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-04-2010, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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Add the pictures onto this thread or where?
Sorry new to all this,
But will do once plants are added :)
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freshwater , plants. , tropical

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