Should I Add Real Plants
So I have a 10 gallon aquarium with three fish and I was looking at real plants. Should I get some for my aquarium? I have a few plastic fake plants in my aquarium. What pros and cons come with real plants??
Real plants play a big role in tanks, they provide oxygen and also use ammonia as a food source.
I'm sure someone will chime in soon to give you a bit more information on them.
There are countless pros, and zero cons.
So.... no brainer decision there ;)
Best to just grab a couple low or moderate light plants to start with, get comfortable with them, and go from there. Don't go overboard buying fancy lighting or super substrates, or any of that. In a 10g you probably have the two screw in lights? Just go to Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, etc and get a dual pack of 10W GE Daylight (Color temperature 6500K) CFLs (compact fluorescent lights).
Get some stem plants, and just toss them in to float around. It's that easy ;) Floating plants grow faster, which means they improve water quality more, and they easily get plenty of light being so close to them. Plus they provide shade for your fish, which almost all fish prefer.
For fertilizer, all you need is a comprehensive one, like Florish. Use a babies medicine dropper to dose 0.8 mL once a week, and you're done. A bottle of this will literally last you for years since the dose is so small.
Algae is the biggest concern people have with plants. But to counter that, just put your lights on a timer so they are only on for 8 to 10 hours a day. Start with 8 hours a day, the two 10W CFLs is pretty bright for a 10g.
I have been growing plants in my 10 gallon with flourish liquid ferts, regular gravel substrate, and stock LED lights. They are doing really well (all low light plants). As long as your fish aren't crazy plant eaters, keeping plants is way less work than you might think.
We only started with live plants a couple of months ago, and now we are gradually removing ornaments and fake plants from all our tanks, to make room for real plants. Except for our Silver Dollar tank, because they would just be a tasty treat.
Real plants look great, and like Geo said, they really help with water quality. It's a win win!
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