Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Chrysolite 10-20-2010 04:16 PM

Any good plants for a beginner?
So, I was just wondering if there were any plants that would be good to start off with, especially for someone who has no experience whatsoever with planted aquariums.

Right now, all I have is some plastic seaweed stuff, and real plants are a whole lot nicer looking.

My tank's a Marineland Eclipse System 6, so is that big enough? I have medium-size gravel on the bottom, but I could get something different if I really had to.

Any help at all is much appreciated. :-)


iamgray 10-20-2010 04:45 PM

I still consider myself very much a beginner when it comes to planted tanks... but when I bought my very first plant, it was hornwort. It's proven to be very hardy, and apparently fish don't like to eat it, which I can vouch for (at least, when it comes to guppies, platies, and harlequin rasboras) because I've seen them take it in their mouths and spit it back out a million times... it grows pretty quickly, and I've never added fertilizer or anything... just buried it a bit in the gravel and left it.

Chrysolite 10-20-2010 04:48 PM

About how big does it get?

Calmwaters 10-20-2010 04:59 PM

There are lots of plants that are good for beginers. One of my favorites that are good for smaller tanks like you have are the cryptocoryne wendtii it comes in red, bronze, and green. If you have driftwood another kind that is good are the Anubias for your tank I would suggest the Anubias Nana it stays small the anubias do best when attacked to a piece of driftwood or rock. You will want to stay away from most of the swords because while they are easy to care for they will grow too large for your tank. What kind of light do you have these are all low light plants and should do well for you even if you just have the bulb that comes with the tank setup. You will need to get some Seachem flourish which is a liquid fertalizer that you will does 1-2 time a week depending on the plants I would start with once a week and if the plants do well keep it at that if not go to two times a week. The Hornwort that iamgrey suggest is also an easy and very fast growing stem plant if you want a nice floating plant I would go with pennywort or wisteria they are both very pretty and can be floating or planted. Sorry its such a long post I just think its awsome when people go from plastic plants to real plants because its so much prettier and better for the fish to.
Edit the hornwort will grow very tall but you can trim it and replant it to make more plants. ; )

Chrysolite 10-20-2010 05:04 PM

Just a question... how are real plants better for the fish? Do they actually make them healthier? :D

Calmwaters 10-20-2010 05:12 PM

In a way yes they do make them healthier because they help control the ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates that are produced by the fish waste. In other words it makes the water more clean for the fish which it turns make the fish more healthy. ; ) You still need to do your water changes but in the mean time the plants help.

iamgray 10-20-2010 07:00 PM


Originally Posted by Chrysolite (Post 496546)
About how big does it get?

It seems to just keep growing and growing... But when it gets tall enough that the tip gets close to the top of the water, i kinda just grab a section of it midway up and tuck that back down into the gravel with the tip still floating up... and then it keeps growing, and then I tuck it back down again... etc. etc.

Chrysolite 10-20-2010 08:51 PM

Oh, okay, thanks.

What exactly is the difference between nitrites and nitrates?

iamgray 10-20-2010 10:38 PM


Originally Posted by Chrysolite (Post 496768)
Oh, okay, thanks.

What exactly is the difference between nitrites and nitrates?

an ion... or an electron... or... some third thing...

On a scientific/chemistry basis... I don't have a clue. But... I know that nitrites get rid of ammonia... ammonia being toxic to fish... nitrites are also harmful to fish, so nitrates get rid of nitrites, and of the three, nitrates are the LEAST harmful but can still build up to toxic levels eventually, before which point you need to do a water change. Off the top of my head... I think levels around 20ppm for nitrates are okay, but once it gets closer to 40ppm you definitely should do a water change.

Someone who's been here longer/knows more than me, please feel free to correct anything I've gotten wrong...

sik80 10-21-2010 07:11 AM

Ammonia is produced by the fish and converted into nitrites by bacteria, which is then in turn converted into nitrates. The bacteria that carry out this process live in the filter, in the substrate and on any ornaments in the tank. Ammonia is very toxic to fish and even low levels can harm them, nitrites are less toxic, and nitrates are less toxic again. Therefore we need to make sure there is an established bacteria colony that will convert the ammonia produced by the fish into nitrites and then less harmful nitrates.

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