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Granberry 09-22-2012 11:03 PM

Wide variety of plants in display tank
I bought a display tank off Craigslist that a guy had intended to use as a frag tank. The dimensions are 69.5 inches long x 13 x 12.5. It has dividers separating it into 4 smaller tanks and 1 long tank, but it is all connected, 69.5 inches long.

I want to use this for plants only. I have been using plants in my tanks for about a year, and I think I find them almost as satisfying to raise as the fish! I thought it would be fun to experiment with a different kind of substrates, different water hardnesses (if each tank really is separated from the others), vary the lights, and, of course, try all kinds of plants.

Has anyone ever tried this? What are some of the plants you found most satisfying or surprising? Any ideas of what other factors I could use to experiment with or types of substrates, etc.?

fishkid 09-23-2012 08:58 AM

If you want a diverse variety of plants and to have them grow fast, CO2 and added fertilizers are a necessity. As for what plants are good, I've always been fond of Rotalas and Ludwigias.

redchigh 09-23-2012 09:43 AM


Originally Posted by fishkid (Post 1253906)
If you want a diverse variety of plants and to have them grow fast, CO2 and added fertilizers are a necessity. As for what plants are good, I've always been fond of Rotalas and Ludwigias.

They'll help, but not required. Interested in trying soil in one part?

I love proserpinaca palistrus. Other reccomendation would be aponogetons..
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fishkid 09-23-2012 10:31 AM

Technically they're not required, but if you want to try your hand at growing a lot of the higher tech stem plants that they have these days, you'll be extremely limited without them.

Granberry 09-23-2012 10:34 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I am very interested in trying soil, and I have watched a few videos about it on youtube. I was troubled about the CO2 idea because I don't know that it would work for this tank unless I bought 5 separate units as the 5 compartments don't share water. Maybe I could use CO2 in 2 of the sections and not in the others.

I looked at the aponogetons and though all varieties of it were beautiful, they each seemed to have something challenging about them! One has to be removed for part of the year when it's dormant, another hasn't been successfully propagated in tanks yet and has to be gathered from the wild, etc. I DO want to try something challenging, but maybe I'll do that one in a few months, lol.

I found both a green and a reddish version of Proserpinaca and put both in my cart at! Is this one that would do best in soil?

I am attaching a picture that represents the tank except as to size and the fact that there is no top on mine, plus for some reason there is a hole drilled in the back of each of the tanks. The one I've attached is a little betta tank, but mine is basically 4 10-gallon tanks and 1 20-gallon tank stuck together, or so I figure by the dimensions.

redchigh 09-23-2012 02:34 PM

The drilled holes are common in marine tanks. Aponegetons aren't challenging.. I just view them as temporary and trash them when they hibernate.

Since it's topless, you could just put it close to a window. Pm me if you do soil- I have refined a technique and haven't had time to make a guide.

The trick with soil is to never disturb the lower parts of the substrate- plant it well with some rooting plants at the beginning, like crypts and swords. Stem plants can be added anytime. I also use tthe dry start method when I want a nice foreground plant
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Granberry 09-26-2012 04:41 PM

I would love to hear your technique for soil. I sent my hubby to the store for topsoil, and he bought MiracleGro Potting Mix. Is that something I can boil and use if I put gravel on top of it? If so, boil for how long?

I'd love to hear your technique!

fish monger 09-26-2012 06:58 PM

I have heard of people using the Miracle Grow potting mix. If you are planning on plants only, you'd probably be OK without boiling. My concern would be with chemicals more than harmful bacteria if fish were going to be present. I have read that you soak it and put it into the tank wet. Then add your gravel or sand to cover and add water carefully.

Granberry 09-26-2012 08:35 PM

I am not going to be having fish in this tank; it's going to be plants only. But I am presently setting up another tank which will be just for Celestial Pearl Danios which I have wanted for months now so I could still use the advice. :)

Granberry 09-27-2012 03:29 PM

Well, I just bought the Seachem Fluorite for the tank that is going to hold the Celestial Pearl Danios because I don't want to do anything risky with those pricey little fish ($97.50 for 15 of them). But I will still be experimenting with the big tank.

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