Striving fkr a cheap, hardy plant scape
I bout a 80 gallon tank off of craigslist for a really good deal. I have a 10 gal right now and everything in it will go into the 80. The 10 gal has some sort of ludwiga and some spiral Val. I really want to try and spend the least ammount of $ possible. I'm looking for sugestions on inexpensive hardy plants to fill my tank with. The dimensions are 48" long 24" high 14" deep.
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Most of the common aquarium plants will do well provided the light and nutrients are in balance. This answers the hardy part of the question. The cost depends upon where you are, what stores are there, or if you order online, etc.
If you can provide information on the light you have (presumably fluorescent, so what exactly is printed on the tube end) and your water parameters, and what fish you intend, I could offer some suggestions for suitable plants.
The light that came with the tank is a 36" 25 watt 10,000k bulb. I know that my waters pH is 8 and it's on the hard side but I don't know the exact number. I would love to have angelfish clown loaches and all of the little community fish. Possibly a gold or green severum. Are plants less online? What's a good store? I'm pretty sure I'm going to use pool filter sand and will try to find the darkest kind I can. I will aslo use seachem flourish for feet most likely.
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You can go check out your LFS. I just stopped by a new one 2 days ago and while talking with her she started pulling out some smaller plants, and breaking off stuff that was over grown. She through them all into a bag and handed it to me and said here take this saves me from just wasting it all. Gave me enough to plant my 55 fairly well(will look really good when its grown in)
Tropical Fish clubs Resources Guide
I would try to find a Tropical fish club in your area or near you. I joined one in my area and It was cheap to join and they have mini auctions before the meetings, a speaker of fish related topics, a raffle afterwards. 2 big auctions in the spring and fall. I was able to get some really nice plants for $1 a bag. Alot cheaper then the LFS and great prices on fish also and aquarium supplies. Here is the Link:
With the fish you mention a dark substrate is good. Sand is one option, I prefer smallest-grain gravel for planted tanks, but that's up to you. Sand has the compaction problem that takes a bit more care to avoid.
The light is a bit heavy on the blue side (the 10000K indicates this) so you might want to consider a full spectrum or daylight tube, around 6500K. This balances the blue and red with a bit of green for good plant growth and good colour rendition of fish and plants. The one you have will probably get you started OK though, I'm just thinking long-term.
As subsequent members have suggested, there are ways to get cheap plants aside from actually buying them in stores or online. Most of the available plants should manage for you. You can check out the plant profiles on this forum for some ideas.
All of the LFS carry all the popular tetras and softer water fish. I can't imagine that they soften all the water in the whole store. If the LFS has it in their water do you think I will be able to?
Lot's of plants grow pretty good and look nice. I find a lot of cryptocorenes (I know that's spelled wrong) do well for me and I have hard water with PH around 8. Anubias is doing well too. I heard things like pennywort, amazon swords, vallsneria, and quite a few others are decently hardy. I also know java fern and java moss are hardy.
Like I said my PH is about as hard as yours. I've had angelfish for about 5 years now and 3 of the current ones I have are babies from a pair that started breeding. 2 of those 3 have paired and and laid eggs a couple of weeks ago. For a bit I thought it might be best to get something to hook onto the faucet to make RO water, but it seems my angelfish are actually doing ok. So if you can find some raised and adapted to hard water I think they will be ok.
Also I'd like to say sweetaquatics is very cheap and I got about 12 plants for 20$, (30$ with shipping), which is a great deal when sword plants are about 4-5$ at the store (approx $1.50 at sweetaquatics for the small - which is BIGGER than pet store swords!!!!) and such. So that's a great website for plants! :D Everyone comes healthy as well. And they will include MTS if you ask for free! :D
As one example, cardinal tetras are widely available everywhere. Most are wild caught, though there are commercial breeders appearing now. These fish do not tolerate hard basic water; they occur in blackwater and whitewater streams with near zero hardness (usually it is so low it can't be measured) and pH from 4-6. They last a few months, or a couple years if lucky, in harder water, but develop calcium blockages of the kidneys and various other issues and generally do not live long in aquaria for this reason. Those who maintain them in soft acidic water have them live for more than 10 years.
I would question your regular local stores and find out what, if anything, they do in this area, and if you are contemplating some of the sensitive species, find out where they get them.
That comment about the LFS is a bit confusing...
Oh, I get it. You're under the impression that LFS actually take care of their fish! :rofl:
Most don't know or else don't care, you shouldn't assume anything based on a LFS.
As far as online, I reccomend Sweetaquatics.com
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