Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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bigk_54 09-06-2008 09:17 AM

ATTN Plant Xperts.....Need plant help (newbie ?)
Ok I have a 55 gal tank that has gravel substrate. I have a variety of Tetra Fish in it mainly. I currently have a bunch of fake plants and would like some real plants. What kind of plants can I put in gravel substrate? My tank is up and running and fully cycled Thanks!

Little-Fizz 09-06-2008 11:06 AM

You can put any plants in gravel! The problem wouldn't be with your gravel, but with the lighting. I believe the rule is 3 watts per gallon of water for the best plant growth. Plus you may want to get fertilizer and look into a co2 system. You don't need a co2 system with all plants, but all plants do better with one.

bigk_54 09-06-2008 11:22 AM

Little Fizz Thank you! I have plenty of lighting in my tank. Do you have any plants that you would suggest? I dont plan on co2 injecting my tank. Call me stupid, but what does fertilizer consist of? Is it just something you put in the water or do you have to put it right at bottom of plant? Thanks for the help, I just got over the "learning fish hurdle" now guess I got another one to cross with plants

SinCrisis 09-06-2008 01:31 PM

fertilizer pellets go to the gravel if u use those other ones require u to dose ur tank like water conditioner. If you dont want to inject co2, i would suggest low lighting plants such as java fern because they dont grow as fast so need a little less CO2 than high light plants

Little-Fizz 09-06-2008 01:36 PM

Hah, yeah plants is a whole new ball game.

To be honest, I'm not to great when it comes to stocking plants. I recognize a few but for the most part I go to my LFS and pick plants that I like, then find out light requirements ect.

It would depend on the size of your tank too. I don't imagine you would want swords in a ten gallon right? They just get to big, even with trimming.

A pretty common one that does well even in low lighting would be something like java fern. I also bought a hygropolyseprma, and it didn't look like it was doing to well at first, but now I have three and they are still sprouting new little plants off of them. I also have another plant that I can't even remember the name of... I'll post it if I find the info that came with it. But this plant is crazy, I bought two and I think I have probably 8 or so in my tank now, and it grows so tall before I get a chance to trim it the current from the filter breaks it off, so I replant and have a whole new plant.

The other plants in my tank were given to me so I couldn't tell you what they are, ones kinda like grass :) I love it.

Lol sorry this is a lot of crap that doesn't really help you out with anything. But you'll be fine with any low lighting plant. Maybe try some moss? Thats what I want, and you can get crazy kinds on the internet. Just stay away from any plants that are red. They require a co2 injection and you would just be wasting your money.

I bought clay stuff that you put in your substrate and its supposed to help your plants, but I have no plants in that tank yet so I don't know how well it works. But I always use liquid ferts, and it just provides nutrients to your plants they couldn't get anywhere else. Also you may be interested in removing the carbon from your filter because it just removes good nutrients from your water that your plants need. You just add a little every week after your water changes, but once you use it for a while you don't need to do it so much. I usually do it bi weekly, sometimes longer when I forget :oops:

I hope this helps a little! I'm sure another member will help you choose some plants.

bigk_54 09-06-2008 04:00 PM

THANK YOU EVERYONE! I have a 55 gallon tank, it is like 48"x20ish"x18 deep. The light I have is PLENTY of light, I think it is like 200w. I just really want to get rid of them stupid plastic plants I have for some real ones now that I have an awsome light. Thanks for all the input keep it coming!

sinadyan 09-06-2008 05:24 PM

I also have a 55 that I am still in the process of planting. I have 135watts of cf lighting in it. I use root tabs and no co2. I do use Excel as a substitute though. I am just now getting rid of an algae problem I had. Most of my plants are swords, My plants pfobably dont grow as fast with Excel as they would with co2, but I am happy with it. Here is a pic of my tank.

okiemavis 09-06-2008 07:36 PM

What spectrum is your lighting? 200 watts is great, as long as it's in a color that the plants will utilize :) Also, is it t-5? Compact florescent?

Once I know your lighting, I can recommend some plants and a fertilization regimen that will work. No point in spending money on plants that will die!

bigk_54 09-06-2008 10:26 PM

okiemavis.....THANKS!!! Ok to start off with, my light currently has in a 10000k light and a actinic bulb. I know the actinic bulb is for reef and I will need a new bulb but the price was right considering that I can just change the bulbs. So with that being said recomend me a new bulb and a couple plants, oh and it is a T-5. THANKS A BUNCH!

1077 09-07-2008 02:37 AM

sounds similar to NOVA Extreme light fixture that I run. The bulbs you describe are what came with it. The 10'000K caused algae problem so I swapped it for something in the five to six thousand k. I also swapped out the actinic bulb for plant bulb. I also use API root tabs about once a month. I am no plant expert buy have had success with plants that require low to moderate light. Tiger lotus bulbs found at walmart in fish supplies area also do suprisingly well.

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