Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   How many types of plants do you have? (

SusanB 10-03-2012 03:48 PM

How many types of plants do you have?
How many types of plants do you typically have in an aquarium? Do you use many different varieties or do you choose a few and place them in groups?

I am a terrible plant planner so I just wondered what the rest of the planted tank people do.

Boredomb 10-03-2012 05:18 PM

Just depends on the effect you going for. Some will specific biotopes in which they just select plants specific to that region example an Amazon Biotope.

Then you have some who just choice plants and place them in the aquarium according to their needs just because they like the plants. When I had my 55 gallon tank going I had Jungle Vallisneria, Amazon sword, 3 different types of dwarf swords, crypts and pennywort going in it. Along with some anubias for no other reason then I simply like the looks of those plants and they would grow in my setup.
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SusanB 10-03-2012 06:04 PM

I am planning on putting tiger barbs in the tank, so I think I will start with the plants indigenous to Southeast Asia. And if I don't like those, I will just go with what I do like!

Boredomb 10-03-2012 06:34 PM

Sounds like a good starting point!
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Byron 10-08-2012 10:43 AM

I prefer more natural-looking tanks, so I tend to limit the plant species to no more than perhaps 3 or 4. Sometimes i stay with one genus, sometimes I try to add something different for contrast. If you want more of a plant tank that happens to have fish, there are the "Dutch" style tanks at the opposite end of the spectrum.

Plants have varying requirements respecting light, GH, and nutrients, and depending upon the species this can be sihgnificant. So not all plants will work together. There is also the issue of alleopathy, involving the release of chemicals by some plants that will inhibit other species. Thnis is something that most of us don't know too much about.

I tend to go geographic, so in my Amazonian tanks the plants, like the fish, all occur from that geographic area. This can limit options though, so in other tanks I have plants from SA, SE Asia and even Africa mixed, just to provide variety or deal with specific circumstances like shade, etc.


SusanB 10-08-2012 11:05 AM

Sort of on the same topic, how many plants would be a good start for a 55 gallon tank? I have looked at which says in their plant assortment 48 plants for 30 - 55 gallon and the numbers range from 15 - 27 plants. The numbers just seem to be arbitrary. My goal is to have a nicely planted tank with room for the plants to expand into a heavily planted tank.

Boredomb 10-08-2012 11:53 AM

The first time I bought plants I did a package deal from It came with like 40 plants. A lot of the plants didn't make it as there were sooo close together and nearly all of the substrate was covered. In my opinion I would go for the package of 15-27 to start with and if you want more after that point you can always add them later
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SusanB 10-08-2012 12:36 PM

Bordomb, good to know about your experience. I would rather start with too few than have to many and have the plants die.

My plant is to use the plants as part of the cycling process. I want to make sure I have enough but I also don't want to put myself in the poor house buying too many plants. I wish the plant profiles would give an idea of how much each plant spreads, but I know that is dependent on water conditions and lighting.

rjordan390 10-08-2012 01:36 PM

I have about 19 plants in my 75 gallon tank. Most are stem plants. The distribution of the plants are based on how they spread and how fast they grow. I have four stems of giant hygrophila in the back corners and in the back middle, I have a wisteria. In the middle I have two pieces of driftwood and to their left and right, I have amazon swords. In the foreground, there is a anubia directly in the middle and next to it on both sides are crypts and in the corners there are 1/2 coconut shells that my kribensis use for their caves. I also have some giant hygrophila attached to the sides of tank.
The giant hygrophila looks like one plant when veiwing but are actually four stems spaced 2 inches apart. the wisteria is 2 stems. So I count each stem as a single plant.
I believe you have the right idea about going with less plants. My preferance is to leave enough open space to be able to view the fish.
Stop by later and I should have additional pictures of my tank and plants. The existing photo in the photo section needs to be updated as I have made some changes since it was taken.

SusanB 10-08-2012 01:41 PM

Thanks rjordan390. That was really helpful! Do stem plants eventually grow roots and become like other plants?

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