taking the plunge
so I'm hoping to go buy some plants this weekend...
I'm just wondering if there is anything else I need to buy while I'm there - like fertilizer or anything that would make planting/maintenance easier
I live close to an hour from the store so I don't want to come home missing anything because it will likely be at least another week before I can get out there again...
Other than the basics for tank maintenance (gravel siphon and glass cleaner if you don't have them already), plants are the only things you need. You should pick some hardy plants, such as Amazon Sword Plants or Hornwort, as they don't need any maintenance other than the occasional trimming (with a scissor is fine - no need for those "plant trimmers"). Unless you have many plants and few fish (as in a dutch aquarium), you usually will need a Co2 supplement. However, for the average aquarium, the fish will provide all the Co2 needed.
When I first got plants Byron suggested I get Flourish Comprehensive supplement for the planted aquarium and root tabs for some of my heavier feeders like the Amazon Swords. I did and I have been adding the Flourish 2 times a week. The root tabs I added and it says you only do that once every six months or so.
yes i was going to suggest root tabs or eco complete for your substrate. its also a good idea to know what plants you want before buying, some stores will sell non-aquatic ones. a "general rule" for this is, if its self supporting out of water it usually isnt a fully aquatic plant. even the bamboo they sell will slowly die and rot away.
a good idea may be to go on one of the plant buying sites, browse their selection, write down the names of the ones you like, go to google, type in each of the names, find out the plants care requirements, check off your list which you cant keep, take the list to the store and do your plant shopping.
how about your lighting? or atleast your bulb, is it a full spectrum one?
Seconding what has been recommended by a couple of members. Definitely know the plants. If it is a reputable fish-only store (i.e., not a chain store) you should be OK on this. Don't know your tank setup but Amazon swords are good basic plants, and floating plants like Ceratopteris cornuta or even a stem plant like Pennywort allowed to float.
And you will need fertilizer; all the required minerals are unlikely to be present without. Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium is one of the best. Make sure it is exactly this name, they make several different products in the Flourish line, this Comprehensive is all you need.
Don't let them talk you into CO2 stuff, it is not necessary and that is entering a completely different playing field with light and nutrients.
I second that the root tabs are not required if you get flourish.
Might want to check your bulbs and make sure they're 6500k, but you don't need to buy them at a pet store, most of us buy our lights are wal-mart or lowes.
(If you live in the 'country' you might want to pick up a bulb, thats the only reason I mention it.)
awesome thanks =) you guys rock!!
I TRIED to get some plants this weekend and realized buying online is pretty much my only option :/
the stupid stores around here are totally useless
I DID buy two new fishies though... after doing LOTS of reading I decided to take my chances with the neon blue dwarf gouramis - so far so good =) although the black neon tetras seem to devour all the food before they can get to it... so then they are going after the bottom feeder pellets I send down for supercory :/
AND they seem to enjoy munching on the few plants I do have...
but that's ok because I'm ditching them and getting all new plants anyway that are more suitable than the apparently NOT aquatic plants the swindler sold me
anyway - this is the direction I'm leaning toward:
Ceratophyllum Demersum (hornwort)
Vesicularia Dubyana (java moss) for the mopani wood I have soaking
Hydrocotyle Leucocephyala (pennywort)
any thoughts on these or anything I should know?
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