New to Plants - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 09-25-2012, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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New to Plants

I wanted to stop in and say HI. I am new hear mostly been lurking soaking up information trying to figure out what we can afford to do. This started out as a home school project for my 5 year old. She wanted a fish so I got her a Betta its in a 1.5gal tank and now I am board to death looking at this one fish swimming around with nothing in the tank but a cup. So we want to make our tank a little more exciting and we are on a very limited budget for this project the only plant our local pet store carries is marimo balls so I am excited to say we got our first plant today a Marimo Ball. Its very cool looking in our little tank but we would like to add something else. our next nearest pet store that has plants is over an hour away. I hate to spend our hole budget on shipping charges so well see how this goes. Since its a small tank I would love to do a carpet or may be something that looks like a tree I hear Christmas tree moss is good for making a little tree. I like crystalwart for a carpet I heard that it does well. Our tank is kind of a low light tank its got the standard bulb that came in it but it sits near a window and gets indrect natural light all day. If anyone has any suggestions for a small tank I would love to hear them this is a whole new world for me. But me and the girls are loving our new science adventure.
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post #2 of 3 Old 09-27-2012, 12:06 PM
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First, welcome to this wonderful hobby. And second, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Third, to your question. "Carpet" plants are usually the most difficult to maintain because they need good light (= brighter or more intensity light) and good nutrients which can often mean adding CO2. To keep things simple, with the light you have and relying on nutrients from the fish food, tap water, and perhaps adding a liquid once a week, there are several suitable plants.

Before naming them, the names below will shade, meaning the species are in our profiles so you can click the shaded name to see the profile in fo with photos.

Pygmy chain sword is ideal. Corkscrew Vallisneria might do well, depending upon your water hardness and light. Anubias and Java Fern are easy; these both attach to objects like rock or wood, as explained in the profiles, as does Java Moss. I would stay away from most stem plants because they need higher light and nutrients, being fast growers. Floating plants are always beneficial for the fish, and easy plants for us. Water Sprite is my favourite, but here the stem plant Brazilian Pennywort also works well. Dwarf Water Lettuce is rarer to find.

We should consider your tank light. I assume it is incandescent (screw-in bulb), with one bulb? The best bulb for this would be a CFL (compact fluorescent), in 10 watts, and a daylight having a rating of 6500K. GE, Sylvania and Phillips all make these, you can get them for a couple dollars in hardware-type stores (not fish stores).

A good liquid fertilizer will help, and there are two that I recommend. Seachem makes Flourish Comprehensive Supplement, and Brightwell Aquatics' make FlorinMulti. Whichever, make sure it is the one I name, as they make several products under the "Flourish" and "Florin" names. A small (the smallest) bottle will do you, as you will only use about 1/4 of a teaspoon once a week.


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 #3 of 3 Old 09-27-2012, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the great information and suggestions on plants the nearest pet store is over an hour away and is small and limited in what they carry but it gives me some easy plants to look for. we will pick up one of the fertilizer you mentioned.
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