What do I need?
I have been looking through the threads on here and I read rex's planted aquarium guide. I'm a little worried.
I am wanting to start a planted tank, but rex's guide is a little intimidating. I dont want to step into something that I am not going to be able to afford .
I have a new 75g tank with some rosy reds in it and a bio-wheel filter and that is all. No substrate or anything yet. It has a hood that came with it. If you read my other thread, my son has finally given up on "fish that eat other fish" and I have talked him into some loaches and some smaller active fish with similar PH preferences and who are plant friendly.
I understand that I will need some special substrate and different light bulbs. Do I need new fixtures or just different bulbs?
Also rex's guide was a bit scary...do I need an expensive filter, CO2 tanks, and a nuclear reactor providing light?
I understand that all these things are good to have, but I am wondering can I just get some plants growing that will do okay without all the fancy stuff, just some plant type bulbs, plant substrate, and fertilizer? I just want them to grow and stay alive, I dont care about lightning fast growth or trying to sell them or anything. As with everyone else I'm sure, money is limited. I am not wanting to cheap out on good things for the tank, but the guide doesnt really make it clear if some of the stuff is in the 'nice to have but not life or death' category.
I also understand that each plant has its own needs and so forth, are there any plants that y'all could recommend that would be easy on a beginner in the plant world and that would do okay in an 'on a budget' setup? I would like to do a short lawn type plant in front, I like the looks of pygmy chain sword (but dont know how difficult it is to keep and make grow), and some medium and taller plants toward the back. Also I have a lot of driftwood that I have collected and I think some moss on it would look pretty sharp and my understanding is that the moss is easy and undemanding.
Sorry for so many questions, I have been trying to do research and learn on my own, but most of information I look at doesnt go too deep into how easy they are for a beginner to keep, and of course I dont want a tank full of just one plant just because its easy.
oh I probably should have mentioned...
I am not wanting a sort of 'green out' tank like I have seen pictures of. The fish would be the main focus of the tank, with plants to help provide cover and enhance the looks of the tank overall, but not be the focus of the tank.
Java moss is a good place to start if you want an easy to grow plant that can give fish places to hide. It grows fairly quickly and can take over a tank, but is easy to cut back also.
I have a 20 gallon guppy tank with Hornwort floating on the top, Java moss stuck to some rocks in front, Java Fern attached to a log, some Crypt Wendtii I bought at PetSmart, a Banana plant from a LFS and a few other things. I don't use Co2, just a full spectrum aquarium bulb which fits in the standard light of my tank. I used some fertilizer tablets to get the plants established and have let some of the fish waste on the bottom build up a little to help the plants. When I clean, I don't disturb the plants because their roots are tender. My substrate is regular gravel, but there are some out there that are better for plants (have nutrients in them, etc.)
Hope this helps. See what other people post too before you decide. :D
I look forward to reading replies, but yours alone makes me feel much better, i was beginning to think I was going to have to spend a thousand dollars to even have a prayer of not killing a plant! Thank you.
You're welcome. I felt the same way when I first started. All the parameters for each plant and fish seem daunting sometimes! When it comes right down to it, there are combinations that work for some people and not others no matter what all the resources say. 8)
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