Plant newbie who needs some tips!
I'd like to add a few live plants to my 10 gallon, but I don't know where to start. I plan to have a male betta and a small group of panda corys. Do I need any special equipment? What plants do you recommend for a beginner's tank and for my set up?
I have smooth gravel as a substrate and two Coralife Colormax50/50 10 watt light bulbs.
I've done some research, but I'm getting mixed answers and I was hoping someone could point me in the right direction. :-) Thanks!
I'm no expert, just a consumer. I've now planted both my 75-litre and my 35-litre (about 9 US gallons). I've had success with ambulia in both tanks and my smaller betta tanks as well. It seems to be easy to grow. My lighting in all tanks is just what came with the tanks. The lights in my betta tanks are 5W and the tanks don't appear brightly lit, so I don't think it needs huge amounts of light (although I could be wrong about that). Also, I've got Brazilian pennywort in my bigger tank and that seems to be easy to grow as well. Hopefully, Byron or someone who knows about plants will tell you whether either of these is a good idea for your tank, I'm just saying they seem "unkillable" because they are looking nice for me and I'm new to plants.
Java ferns and Anubias plants seem pretty indestructible for beginners, stem plants like Pennywort, Anacharis and Hornwort should do ok to, and they will suck up the nutrients in your tank leaving less for algae to grow on.
As for your bulb, is it florescent? If so I think those are marked at 6000k which is pretty close to the recommended 6500k-6700k, so they should do ok, if not or you are looking for replacements go to a store and pick up some that are marked in the correct range.
Your best bet if you haven't already done so is to read over all four of the guides in this plant section put together by Byron, they will help answer some of your questions and raise a few more.
Good luck and post some pictures when you get everything up and running.
Just one thing to add to the foregoing--make sure you have floating plants. Betta are anabantids and all of these live in very quiet, warm, still waters thick with floating plants. They spend a lot of time near the surface (to breathe) and enjoy browsing through plant roots. Ceratopteris cornuta (Water Sprite) is ideal, but if you can't find it some stem plants left to float work well, such as Brazilian Pennywort.
We have fish and plant profiles, you can click on the shade name in posts to see that species' profile, or click on the second tab from the left in the blue bar to go to the Profiles.
coralife 50/50 are 50% actinic, but it might be enough for plants like java fern, but it also could trigger algae....
Ideally, you're going to want to get bulbs rated 6500k, commonly called cool white or daylight (but look for the 6500k written on the box or the bulb)
Java fern, java moss, anubias, hygrophilas (hygrophila dofformis or polysperma), and anarchis are all nice choices. Be careful with the floating plants, the ones Byron suggests are perfect, but stay away from things that can get crazy like duckwed and azolla.
Great, thanks guys! I will definitely invest in some floating plants soon.
And I was looking for some good 6500k bulbs, but I have a weird hood and can't seem to find any that will work with it. I'll find a new hood if need be.
wait aren't the 2 types of t8 6500k tubes? one the full spectrum we use in tanks and the other is the normal type we use in our homes right.just wanted to clear this up in case he get the wrong one.
nope same ones.
Most people go to lowes, walmart, or home depot and buy a 'cool white' 6500k bulb for their tank. (the exact same bulb you see in offices on the ceiling fixtures :P )
Byron quotes a study pretty often that showed that growth was better with a combination of full spectrum and cool white the growth is the best, but cool white by itself was better than full spectrum by itself.
Comes down to if you have one slot, use cool white, if you have two, use both.
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