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whtroze 03-15-2009 02:56 AM

Considering live Plants..any ideas???
Hi all, I am considering a revamp of my tank and possibly adding live plants. I have never had live I am wondering if anyone has any good advise of what would be best in my situation.

First of all....I recently had a very serious fungus infection that killed quite a bit of my fish...but now that problem is finally corrected. I did a bad bad thing tho...once all was taken care of, I did a major water and gravel cleaning of the tank. My ammonia spiked! But I know this is because of the dramatic I said bad me! Anyway, I do have a neon in a hospital tank due to this (hopefully will be ok), but everyone else seems fine and the ammonia is back down and should be back to zero within the next day. I was told live plants can help with controlling ammonia and also add O2 for the fish (and other benefits for them too). My fear...I never want to deal with a fungus outbreak like this again...could live plants cause a more likely situation for fungus? I said, I never had live plants. Anyone got any good suggestions for my situation/tank? Would there be anything I would need to do differently than I currently do to sustain plants? (Info of my tank below). Any advise is greatly appreciated. Thanks all!

Tank info
15 gallon
20 gallon Whisper filter with bioammonia filter
long airation stone
Quality norms: Temp: 75-78 F, pH 7.7, nitrite/nitrate 0.00ppm (except during recent spike, lighting: long top tank halogen..timer set for equal day/night cycle, Food: premium flakes every other day, freeze dried bloodworms once a week. Water changes: 10% w/gravel vacuum and rinse filter (not scrub out) once a week. Small amount of aquar. salt added for health..only at every third water change.
Tank has been well cycled for almost 1 year. Lots of plastic plants and hiding rocks. Substrate is decor gravel.
3 Mickey platys (one is a baby)
2 Cherry Barbs
3 neon tetras (one is currently in hosp tank..used to have 6, but 3 perished during illness time)
6 Guppies (various ages)
1 small unknown orange fish..possibly a platy?

Mikaila31 03-15-2009 10:54 AM

how many watts of light do you have?

I don't see why the large water change and gravel vac would of caused ammonia, it shouldn't. But you are correct that plants do reduce ammonia and provide benefits.

whtroze 03-15-2009 01:45 PM

I think the ammonia spike was a result of stress. Like I said, I was bad. I got carried away with cleaning the tank after medication treatment was done. The h2o change was over 50%.
Any certain plants you recommend? I hear that some LFS like to sell plants that really aren't aquarium plants, but last long enough for deceive tank owners (ex: a friend of my got a spider plant...not an aqaurium plant).
The light is a 30 watt.

Mikaila31 03-15-2009 03:54 PM


Originally Posted by whtroze (Post 179936)
The light is a 30 watt.

Is it a incandescent or fluorescent bulb?

Byron 03-15-2009 06:50 PM

With your water parameters, I would suggest Vallisneria. This genus of plants prefers alkaline water, and I had a 15g tank several years ago with liverbearers (who also favour alkaline water) and Vallisneria grew like mad in it. I had one 15w fluorescent tube over the tank. You didn't answer Mikaila31's question about the type of light, but on a 15g which is a low tank you shouldn't have light problems with 30w either way. Others may have suggestions for companion plants, or you can check books or online sources for plants that prefer neutral to alkaline water.

By the way, a pH of 7.7 is very high for neon tetras. While they might be able to withstand it, over the long run I would not recommend it. Most writers say a pH of 7.0 is tops. You're good with livebearers, mollies, guppies, swordtails, platys--but be careful of overstocking the tank. Livebearers are active and shouldn't be crowded. They will look lovely in a tank with Vallisneria.

whtroze 03-16-2009 03:04 AM

Thanks all for the responses. Very helpful!

As for my tank, I do agree (or feel) it is overstocked. My friend decided a while ago she wanted to switch to chilads, so she gave me the fish she had. Unfortunately the 15g is all I have besides a small hosp tank. Due to financial reasons, getting a new tank is hard since I would need all new stuff. Ideally I would love a 25 or 35g tank. If anyone ever knows of one at a reasonable price...feel free to send me a message.

Again, thanks all.

onefish2fish 03-16-2009 03:22 AM

look on for a tank in your area.

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