Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Turning established freshwater "FAKE" tank into a planted tank (

Esposito1224 08-04-2010 11:36 PM

Turning established freshwater "FAKE" tank into a planted tank
Basically I want to transform my Fake plastic planted community into a realistic amazon invironment mostly for my 4 neon tetra and 5 buenos aires tetra. (i also have over 20 mollis and fry). I just want to know the best way to convert my tank in a cheap and reliable way.

I have a 29 gallon freshwater fishtank. It is 2' 6" x 1' 3" x 1'. I only have a 17 watt bulb for my flourescent lighting. How do I add plants/ a co2 system/ substrate and fertilizer and stay in a $10 budget without disturbing the fish?

I don't want to change anything but the lanscaping and i don't mind if it involves a little DIY work and time.

zof 08-05-2010 12:21 AM

If you haven't already go ahead and read the guides sticked on the forum its long but should be helpful. First of all I don't know how realistic you goal is for $10. $20 maybe but it wont be much the fertilizer alone will cost you about $5-$8, not to mention alot of the plants you will want will cost at least $2-$5 each. What substrate do you have now? Most gravels will work fine, a CO2 system can be DIY but you will still have to buy the yeast and sugar, look up DIY CO2 in the search on the forum. But in most cases CO2 is not necessary (again read the planted guide), and we also need to talk about your lighting, what is the bulb rated at? It should be at 6500k otherwise you will have issues with growth.

A little bit more research and money will go along way, even with $20 you would probably only be able to get a couple of sword plants and the root tabs they need, that's assuming you don't have to spend money on anything else.

Instead if you $10 is firm, you might look into some more beginner plants, such as Java Ferns and Anubias plants, they should have ferts and the correct light but should survive with out it, even then it will only be a few but at least you can start somewhere and start budgeting for future additions.

kitten_penang 08-05-2010 02:37 AM

or you can start looking for wild plants or get cut out from friends that have over grown plants. a few of us trim our plants once a week maybe they will spare you some if you ask.for wild collected plants keep them in a tub and add a bit or parasite away in it ( plants free still need to pay for med ) depending on what plants you have and how many. liquid fert is a cheap alternative.get lowlight plants if you don't want to but expensive t8 tubes. normal lighting isn't much help it will be enough for them to live but not flourish and they may turn brown and die if it's not bright enough.plants need full spectrum lighting and normal tubes don't have it.unless your willing to put the tank near a window to let light shine in with your now existing tube light on it should be enough but only for low light less fussy plants but still depending on the intensity of the sunlight coming from the window.

sik80 08-05-2010 03:40 AM

if you're planning to stick with that light, then a C02 system will not be necessary. c02 is only needed when lighting and nutrients are high - your currently lighting intensity is quite low.

do you know the k rating of your bulb? its often printed on the bulb - this is important for plant growth

redchigh 08-05-2010 09:40 AM

Also, for the plants, $10 is reasonable.

Just have to buy some flourish comprehensive.
What kind of gravel do you have? Hopefully it's not too large or two small.

I have a livebearer tank with no ferts whatsoever, and just 6500k lighting.
The plants that are surviving are:
Water Wisteria (doing OK)
Vallis (doing OK)
Java fern
Java moss

If you wanted to go true south american, I would look for swords. (biotopes are typically more expensive, but for about $13 shipped, you could get:

1ea.- Echinodorus Cordifolius (Radican) SM
1ea.- Echinodorus Bleheri (Amazon Sword) SM
1ea.- Cabomba Caroliniana (Cabomba, Green)
1ea.- Proserpinaca Palustris
1ea.- Ludwigia Natans (Ludwigia Repens)

They're also nice enough to where if you wanted a smaller quantity of the "bunch plants" they could charge you less... Something like, if you wanted 4 stems each instead of 6-8 you could save a few dollars.

Esposito1224 08-05-2010 10:21 AM

Are there any plants I can just knida "throw in there" and know theyll live a while?

JohnnyD44 08-05-2010 10:33 AM

amazon swords are pretty hardy plants, they do need root tabs for nutrients though

kitten_penang 08-05-2010 11:36 AM

don't mind me asking but i feel your not really keen on keeping plants for a long term sound like you want the tank to look nice for $10 and if it dies so be it ????

Esposito1224 08-05-2010 11:55 AM


Originally Posted by kitten_penang (Post 439887)
don't mind me asking but i feel your not really keen on keeping plants for a long term sound like you want the tank to look nice for $10 and if it dies so be it ????

I am only spending $10 for one test plant and accessories needed for the tank at the moment. For long term plant keeping i don't mind spending money to keep the tank in order. Only a few plants are what I want to get. I hope to make sure that they are low maintinence and not a waste if i screw up something. If i am successful at keeping the plant alive, I will invest more. I'm trying to make it a step by step procces

kitten_penang 08-05-2010 11:57 AM

why at the moment are you fishes stressed out at home?

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