Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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LiamB 07-30-2013 06:57 PM

New tank needs live plants
Hello, I recently got a 45 gallon tank with led lighting and was wondering what live plants I should get for a first time aquarium/ live plant owner. My Ph is 7.8 atm but I'm still in the process of cycling and I am hoping to bring that number down. All I have in the tank right now are a few decorations and 3 glofish tetra

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Austin 07-30-2013 08:39 PM

It sounds like we may have similar water so I'll tell you my experiences. My pH is about 8.0 and I'll tell you what I haven't killed: crypts. There's quite a variety. My tank was empty for about a year and I never turned the light on, and they received little natural light, yet about 75% survived. One variety even made several new plants.

I've also had luck with amazon swords and vallisneria.

Java fern is supposed to be easy but it struggles for me. Anubias is easy too, but grows so slow.

LiamB 07-31-2013 12:20 AM

Can live plants grow in gravel? Is there extra things that need to be done with them?

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jpbotha 07-31-2013 01:36 AM

Some plants might grow but I had more success with finer gravel / sand. The most important thing for plants is light. If you do not have sufficient light, most plants will not grow or will not florish as they suppoe too.

And if you are planning to put Oscars in your tank, you can stop buying plants now. Speak from experience.

If you are serious about a planted tank, then start reading some of the other post on this site regarding CO2 supplement and specific gravel requirements.
I found all the info required to start a new planted tank on this site. I had various setups in different tanks but only recently started a fully planted tank with CO2 and everything that goes with it.

It is propably the most enjoyment I've had with aquariums since I started. You can litterally see the plants grow every day. With a planted aquarium, your fish looks so much more natural and their colours seems to glow.
Taking into account how much I've spend on decorations, castles, boats, rocks etc. I could have started a fully planted tank long time ago.
Dont be fooled a planted tank takes a lot of maintenance and care just like a normal.
Thats just my humble opinion.

Boredomb 07-31-2013 03:39 AM

Depending on the size of the gravel yes most plants will grow fine. The smaller the gravel the better through. Too big and the plants will have some difficulty. I personally like sand better as it looms more natural to me.

There should be a number of plants that will work for you and your water. There are 2 different direction you can go in a planted tank. Low tech being low lights and minimal fertilizer. Lot less work but the plants grow slower also. Then you have high tech. This where you will have to be more involved. Brighter lights, dosing Co2, and doing a dry fertilizer regiment. The plants grow at much higher rate but there is also more trail and error involved, more work buy higher payoff in the end with the right balance. You can grow just about anything with the right kind of high tech tank setup. So its just a matter of which direction you want to go.

fishkid 07-31-2013 05:28 PM

Pea gravel isn't good for smaller plants but is fine for most crypts and vals. Since your water's likely on the harder side Vallisneria are a good option. They grow fine in pea gravel and are able to fix carbonates from the water to use in photosynthesis.

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