Plants for a newbie tank - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-10-2012, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Plants for a newbie tank

I was wondering if anyone could recommend some plants for my tank. I'm totally new to fishkeeping and have been reading a lot before making decisions, but there is sooo much information, it seems to be getting muddled.

I have a 29 gal. tank that has been running for 2 months now. I have 4 guppies, a peppered cory and an albino pleco. I also got a shipload of bladder snails on some of the plants... nice but am concerned that the tank might become overrun. I started with some wisteria and an Amazon Sword and I added a nice piece of Java moss (my favorite in the tank). I'm using a gravel substrate but am thinking that I should have chosen some type of sand for the cory)

I would like to add more plants, but I'm not sure what I should get. Have thought about some floating plants, but I don't want something that will make it difficult to work from the top of the tank. (I get the impression many floating plants will take over). My wisteria is getting taller and looks like I should be trimming it or something (the top looks new and fresh and the lower sections are looking older although not dying by any means). My Amazon Sword looks like it might be decaying at the base but the leaves look green and healthy.

Does anyone have any suggestions about how I can improve the plants by working with what I have or adding new kinds of plants? Suggestions on low maintenance plants would be great. Thanks


My main tank:
Star's Main Tank - 29 gallon Freshwater fish tank
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-10-2012, 07:52 PM
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You can trim off the wisteria at the stalk and plant the cutting in the substrate. It will develop roots and the mother plant will become bushier. Make sure your Amazon sword is not planted too deeply. You want it so that the crown is not buried...just barely covering all of the roots. The wisteria is a high light plant, the Amazon sword is a medium light, and the java moss is a low light plant. You must have your tank planted so that things are shaded just right. What type of lighting do you have ?

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post #3 of 10 Old 10-10-2012, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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It's an aquarium florescent bulb I bought at PetSmart. Markings that I can see on it are A/12/12

Pretty sure I have the Sword planted a bit too deep. Tried to make sure it was anchored.
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-10-2012, 11:28 PM
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For low maintenance plants maybe crypt, anubius, java fern, and maybe a marimo moss ball.
Good Luck

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post #5 of 10 Old 10-11-2012, 05:51 PM
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Wisteria is a low light plant, and can do very well floating. You mentioned getting some floating plants as well as working with what you have... trim a good piece of your wisteria and let it float on top. It will grow roots and absorb nutrients from the water. I started with a small piece and from cutting every now and then I now have a couple large wisteria plants in the substrate and half the surface is covered with many floating. Once it takes off it grows fast, yet you will never have to worry about it overgrowing the tank. No need to be gentle as it is a hardy plant. Just cut and stick in the ground or let it float.

As for the Amazon sword, mine improved and multiplied a short while after I started fertilizing. For the swords and other root feeding plants I use seachem root tabs, replacing them once every other month. Then a liquid (seachem comprehensive) once a week after a water change for the other plants. For me any more than once a week just resulted in algae, but every tank is different.

Of course java moss can take off pretty fast as well. I put some on driftwood with superglue (gel), as well as a large rock. It is now starting to cover both after a couple months. You could also try your hand at starting a moss wall if you wanted.

Just a few ideas, good luck!
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-11-2012, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absntmind View Post
You could also try your hand at starting a moss wall if you wanted.

Just a few ideas, good luck!
I'm interested in the idea of a moss wall. Where would I find directions on how to go about that?
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-11-2012, 06:18 PM
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You might try this

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post #8 of 10 Old 10-11-2012, 06:54 PM
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I took a look at the photo of your 29g, which i assume is the tank we are discussing. Definitely get some floating plants, Water Sprite if you can find it; Brazilian Pennywort works well floating. And Wisteria will float too, as someone mentioned already.

Are you using any plant fertilizer? Which one if yes, and how often?

Gravel is a bit large, but it looks smooth; main thing for corys is no rough substrate material. You could change over to play sand, up to you, but if you think you might, do it now before you get more fish and plants. And corys need to be in a group, 5 is minimum; you can have 5 of the same species, or if you want variety, have two species with 3 of each for a total of 6. We have several species in our profiles, under the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. The Pepper Cory is included, and the name shaded so you can click it for the profile.

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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 #9 of 10 Old 10-14-2012, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, my 29 gal. is the one I'm talking about. If I change the gravel out, should I go strictly to sand or would it be workable to use some sand over the gravel already in the tank?

I'm not using any fertilizer at the moment.

Trying to get some more corys. My local pet stores aren't carrying peppereds at the moment. I like some of the others and will get 3 of another and try to find some more peppereds to add to the mix.
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-14-2012, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Star7781 View Post
Yes, my 29 gal. is the one I'm talking about. If I change the gravel out, should I go strictly to sand or would it be workable to use some sand over the gravel already in the tank?

I'm not using any fertilizer at the moment.

Trying to get some more corys. My local pet stores aren't carrying peppereds at the moment. I like some of the others and will get 3 of another and try to find some more peppereds to add to the mix.
Mixing substrate materials rarely works because the smaller particles will be at the bottom and the larger on top, due to gravity and normal/natural water flow through the substrate. So this will not help here. I use Quikrete Play Sand available from places like Lowe's and Home Depot, for a couple dollars a bag. Very inexpensive, and it replicates the sand in many Amazon streams so it is authentic in appearance. A bag (25kg or 50 pounds) will be more than enough, with some to spare which is always nice.

For fertilizer i wold recommend either Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement or Brightwell Aquatics' FlorinMulti. Both are complete nutrient supplements. Just get the exact product named, as they make several under the "Flourish" and "Florin" lines. With either, you only use it once or at most twice a week, and for a 29g it is 1/2 teaspoon per dose, so they go a long way.

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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