newbie where to start with plants? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-08-2012, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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newbie where to start with plants?

Hi all,
I recently purchased a 14 gallon freshwater tank, I am about to start cycling it soon.
I have seen a few articles etc that say live plants help with conditioning the tank.

Any good advice for beginners with plants?
-what are good hardy starter plants
-how many to get for tank size
-how to plant the plants :)
-plant care, etc

Thank you,
Powell
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-08-2012, 11:12 AM
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Knowing something about the type of light you have will enable us to suggest more appropriate plants, since light is the most important factor. Type, watts, kelvin.

We have plant and fish profiles, second tab fro the left in the blue bar across the top of the page, that you may like to browse. But once we know your light we can pioint you to those more suitable.

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 #3 of 6 Old 08-08-2012, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you

Thank you for your response.
I am using the out of the box hood that came with my kit.
It has two incandescent bulbs 15W /120V, T10's
I am thinking I need to replace these with CFL's if I can find some that fit. Any recommendations as far as CFL's go for plants use?
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-08-2012, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Powell View Post
Thank you for your response.
I am using the out of the box hood that came with my kit.
It has two incandescent bulbs 15W /120V, T10's
I am thinking I need to replace these with CFL's if I can find some that fit. Any recommendations as far as CFL's go for plants use?
Perfect. Go to your local hardware-type store and pick up a package of CFL "Daylight" bulbs [they come in packs of 2 bulbs usually] having a Kelvin of 6500K. GE and Phillips make these, and I'm sure Sylvania do too. Just make sure of the Kelvin. As for watts, the 10w will work fine. I have two GE 10w 6500K CFL bulbs over my 10g and 20g tanks, and the plants are thriving.

I'm a bit confused on the T10, this applies to fluorescent tubes i thought--but as long as you have an incandescent (screw-in bulb) fixture, the above is what you want.

Once you've got those, some suitable plants: pygmy chain sword, chain sword, any of the crypts, Corkscrew Vallisneria, Anubias, Java Fern, Java Moss, Dwarf Sword. Floating, Water Sprite, Dwarf Watter Lettuce, Brazilian Pennywort. The names that shaded means these species are in our profiles and you can click the name for the profile.

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 #5 of 6 Old 08-08-2012, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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excellent

Thank you Byron!
Much appreciated
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-10-2012, 05:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Powell View Post
Hi all,
I recently purchased a 14 gallon freshwater tank, I am about to start cycling it soon.
I have seen a few articles etc that say live plants help with conditioning the tank.

Any good advice for beginners with plants?
-what are good hardy starter plants
-how many to get for tank size
-how to plant the plants :)
-plant care, etc

Thank you,
Powell
Hi! I'm pretty new myself. I started cycling my 10 gal. tank on April 18 and I'm still a big noob in many situations.

It's true that if your tank is thickly planted (not filled if you don't want, but what I mean is a significant presence of plants), the plants will take up all the ammonia and a test will show 0 ammonia, possibly the same day.

I used planted Water Sprite, Cabomba, and Wisteria, which isn't really a fast-growing plant, but it does alright. Cabomba may require a lot of light, but if everything is in balance it really grows fast. It has a habit of losing lower leaves and I suppose that can be a little messy. Water Sprite just takes off. Careful pruning, though - cut only the thicker branches instead of hedge clipper style. Keep on reading this forum and whatever you can find on plants and planted tanks. Try to develop your own good judgement and use it when you come across new information.

Oh, yeah - substrate - you can have a look at information about substrate. My gravel is too big for a gravel substrate and I am beginning to regret doing it in favor of dirt covered with sand, or at least coarse sand, black. That's me, though.

My method of planting is to put the end of the plant under my index finger and use the index finger to displace some substrate, getting the plant end down far enough so that it won't come out, and pack a little substrate around the end to fill up the hole.

Plant care. At some point you will have to start fertilizing, but I can't say exactly when. Watch the plants carefully and look for a slowing of growth. Then get in there with the fertilizer, folloing directions on the bottle. I use less than a milligram. I guess I'm still hesitant about it.

Have fun.
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