A Newbie Needing Plant Advice - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 35 Old 11-17-2012, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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A Newbie Needing Plant Advice

The facts:
I have a 10 gal tropical tank
The water level dimentions of the tank is 20x10x11
I have floresent lighting (warm, but slight yellow tint) and the tank also gets light from a southern facing window.
I am a newbie at aquaium care
I have 1 Betta, 1 Julii Cory Cat (will be getting 2 more), 8 Ghost Shrimp, and a Mystory Snail
I have aquarium gravel and a Marimo Ball

The question:
What would be some good plant options for my aquarium? I would like something the fish could graze on if possible. It would have to be something that could handle low tech and a bit of moving now and then (I keep my aquarium clean and I also like to occasionally change up the environment as enrichment for my fish). I like the idea of having a plant to give them a wider food choice than just what I feed them.
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Last edited by Bluewind; 11-17-2012 at 02:06 AM.
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post #2 of 35 Old 11-17-2012, 07:28 AM
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The shrimp and snail would probably prefer algae; however, the snail might go for a tender plant like water sprite. I don't think that the other tank mates have any particular interest in plants insofar as food is concerned. Let's see what our members with more experience with shrimp and snails have to say.

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post #3 of 35 Old 11-17-2012, 07:36 AM
Kim
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Your betta may nibble the plants, but bettas are carnivorous so it will not be a true food source. Cories are also carnivorous, and I would definitely recommend switching to a sand substrate to protect their sensitive barbels...they are also extremely cute to watch play in the sand ;)

Sorry I don't have any advice concerning plant species as I haven't kept many live plants in the past.

20 gallon long: 3 adult Neolamprologus similis + about 11 fry of various ages; low light planted tank
20 gallon long:2 freshwater dwarf puffers (Puff Puff and Poofer); medium-light planted tank
10 gallon: 1 male betta named Wormy; low light planted tank
10 gallon: 1 male betta named Dante; low light planted tank
2, 5.5 gallon tanks that are currently empty (I see more fish on the horizon )
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post #4 of 35 Old 11-17-2012, 10:04 AM
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The betta might nibble microscopic organisms off the plant... Does that count?

As for suggestions of plants that can be moved... Your best bet is small pieces of Anubias, Java Fern, and Java Moss on decor.

Wherever you planted rooted plants, they like to stay. You could try crypt wentii potted in little 2" ceramic pots...

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post #5 of 35 Old 11-17-2012, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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I LOVE Water Sprites and Anubia! I hope I can get them on Black Friday.

I really want somw fine gravel, but my local store doesn't carry it. It's why I had to get regular...
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post #6 of 35 Old 11-17-2012, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Speaking of sand, I was told it was messy, hard to clean, and clogs up your filter. Is that true? Would the fine gravel be a little easier on him?

I know they are carnivours, but so are cats and they require a certain amount of plant matter to stay healthy. I imagine fish are the same way.
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post #7 of 35 Old 11-18-2012, 05:43 AM
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Quote:
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Speaking of sand, I was told it was messy, hard to clean, and clogs up your filter. Is that true? Would the fine gravel be a little easier on him?

I know they are carnivours, but so are cats and they require a certain amount of plant matter to stay healthy. I imagine fish are the same way.
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It took me about 1/2 hour to clean enough play sand for my 10 gallon. I've never experienced filter problems on my two tanks with sand. The plants seem to be doing better also.

Many carnivores get the nutrients provided by vegetable matter through their prey. When they consume the entire body, that provides them with the nutrients contained in all of the organs, etc. Plants are almost always a good idea and serve many good purposes. If your fish take a nibble here and there, great. Most staple foods are balanced so that fish get basic requirements.

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post #8 of 35 Old 11-18-2012, 11:41 AM
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Agree with the above. Also, plants can do well in plain gravel if you want to experiment before you go all-in
Id worry more about your lighting than your gravel at this point.

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post #9 of 35 Old 11-18-2012, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluewind View Post
Speaking of sand, I was told it was messy, hard to clean, and clogs up your filter. Is that true? Would the fine gravel be a little easier on him?

I know they are carnivours, but so are cats and they require a certain amount of plant matter to stay healthy. I imagine fish are the same way.
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Corys were mentioned so I would definitely do sand, not gravel. This does not mean corys can't manage over fine non-sharp gravel, they can; but they prefer sand as they all occur in streams with sand and they like to sift it through their gills, and it is always best to provide fish with a natural substrate/aquascape as they will be less stressed and thus healthier.

I have sand in 5 of 7 tanks and have no issues. I use inexpensive Quikrete Play Sand which in appearance is identical to the sand in many Amazonian streams.

On the food issue, all fish should receive some vegetable based foods as this helps to maintain a functioning digestive tract. Most prepared foods that are "veggie" based also include shrimp or fish meal so the fish will readily consume it.

Byron.

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 #10 of 35 Old 11-18-2012, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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You guys keep talking about Play Sand. Is that a special type? How many pounds for my tank? Can I keep some gravel or remove it all?

How can I add the sand/remove the gravel without setting back my cycling? Will it cloud my tank when I put it in? What's the best way to go about doing it?

Thank you for answers and sorry for being such a newbie!

Edit: I saw the fish meal as an ingrediant on my Algea Waffers! Todo (the Julii) loves them and prefers them over ANYTHING else I have thrown in the tank! I hope that's not to bad for him long term. :-/
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Last edited by Bluewind; 11-18-2012 at 05:14 PM.
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