Please critique my plant choices - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-05-2010, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Please critique my plant choices

I'm currently cycling a 5 gal tank for my betta. I'm thinking of getting the following plants:

pennywort to bury into the gravel

java fern (2) & java moss to tie to driftwood

water sprite to float

I think that none of these plants require extra fertilization (although I am willing to add if necessary in the future.)

This would be for a low light situation. Does this mean that I shouldn't turn on the tank light on only use the window light for the plants?

Also, marimo balls purely decorative, or do they also help out like the other plants? Can you divide a ball and reshape it into a nice ball? (I'm thinking of getting a bigger ball and dividing it vs buying two small balls.)

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post #2 of 7 Old 09-05-2010, 10:53 AM
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My understanding with the Marimo balls is that you should give them a little squeeze from time to time to sort of clean out all the gunk they are so good at collecting. Yes, you can rip them in half but it will take time for them to reform into balls, around a month from my understanding. I also have heard you need to move them around with each of your water changes. Maybe once every other week or so. Once you have squeezed them out, they will float for awhile again.

I have Pennywort, floating in my tank. I also have Java Moss and Java Fern on driftwood and I have my light on for about 12 hours a day. I do add Seachem's Comprehensive plant fertilizer for the fresh water aquarium. I do that 2 times a week but more for some of the other plants in my tank. I have no experience with Water sprite.

Can't wait to see your tank when you get it set up.
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-05-2010, 11:20 AM
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I second Inga on light and fertilizer; without some fert you are unlikely to have sufficient nutrients to support good plant growth. Window light can work depending upon the intensity, but algae tends to be more problematical as the light is less controlled.

Check out our profiles on the plants you name, second tab from the left in the blue bar at the top takes you to the profiles; JF and JM are under non-substrate rooted plants, Ceratopteris is under floating, pennywort under stem. You will find info on ferts and light requirements for each.


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 #4 of 7 Old 09-05-2010, 11:56 AM
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cool beans

your choice for plants is rather well suited for a smaller aquarium...all can tolerate lower levels of light and all are in resonable demand so when you do get excess you should be able to trim some down and trade it to your local fish store...give some seachem flourish a try...its inexpensive and easy to dose...there are a number of brands to choose from so take a gander...i would just use the light that you have and simply chang the bulb if can get differnt spectrums as well as intensities that suit you may have heard compact flourescents do rather well on smaller you were just informed the window may cause some problems unless it is controled by a blind of some sorts or your system has addapted to such...clean up crew,nutrient uptake,ect.....keep us posted...ADIOS.....
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-05-2010, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. Still not sure about the marimo balls, though. Will have to think about it when I put in my order.
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-08-2010, 09:23 AM
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my 10G livebearer doesn't have any excess fertilisers... just fish, and my java fern, java moss, and most of the stem plants are still thriving.

I'd still reccomend the Flourish, but you can wait and see. If you get algae or the growth is too slow for your taste, then dose.

Originally Posted by Christople View Post
^^ genius

Soil Substrates Guide:
Part 1
--------- Part 2

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post #7 of 7 Old 09-08-2010, 09:57 AM
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In five gallon tank ,I would maybe hold off on Water sprite as floating plant for I believe the pennywort will easily grow to also cover a portion of the surface if conditions are favorable.
Too much floating cover would maybe block needed light for other plants. IMHO

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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