Making a new planted 55 gallon
Hey everyone, i am interested in putting live plants in my 55 gallon tank and i have no clue on caring for plants or what plants would be good for me. I have gravel in my tank, will this be a problem? Im looking for hardy plants that helps water conditions. Can anyone give me any tips or aware me of the cons of live plants?
Hi Cody, and welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. And to the wonderful world of the planted aquarium.
Maintaining a planted tank is not difficult, but it does take some understanding of the basics (just as it does for fish). Most of us here use what we refer to as a natural or low-tech approach, one that uses nature (natural biological processes) to do most of the "work" rather than the aquarist intervening with gadgetry and such. You will find an outline of this in the 4-part series "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium" at the head of this section of the forum. You may want to have a read of that.
If this is new to you, it may seem somewhat daunting at first, but it really isn't. Good light is important. Then selecting suitable plants for your situation (type of fish, water parameters, light, tank size). A good plant fertilizer may or may not be needed, depending upon your water hardness, fish, etc. We can discuss this if you have specific questions from the article.
Hi Cody, if you have not found it yet under the plant section there is a four part series on doing natural planted tank. They are stickied at the top of the page. Gravel will be fine for plants, my 50 gallon which is planted has gravel in it and is doing fine. For plants there is a large selection to choose from, under the tropical fish profiles there is also a section on plants which will give you info on some of the more common plants. Some suggestions on plants that are good would be amazon swords, there are quite a few different sword plants that are available, crypts ( these sometimes will melt when first added to the tank, but as long as you leave the roots alone it will start to develop new leaves), both of these are rooted substrate plants. Wisteria is another plant which I have found to be easy to grow, it is a stem plant. Also there are floating plants such as water sprite and duckweed. Duckweed reproduces quickly in the tank which makes it good for when you are going through the cycling process since it will use the ammonia that is being produced. A few other things to think about is lighting, depending on the type of lighting that you have on your tank will determine the type of bulbs that you will want to use with your fixture. Also using a good fertilizer like Flourish Comphrensive will help to promote good growth with your plants, and for any substrate plants like swords which like iron root tabs will help to provide the nutrients that are needed for these plants. I personally don't see any cons in having live plants in the aquarium, they help to provide a more natural look and if you have enough plants in the tank they will help with the filtration of your water.
Thanks Byron, the 4 part series answered most of my questions about live plants.
And thanks for all the advice BarbH. I'm thinking that when i get home from work on Friday i am gonna go to my local aquarium and see what they have for plants and maybe also a fertilizer.
I agree with Barb there are no cons in my opinion. If I may make a suggestion on were you buy your plants alot of times you can get them much cheaper on line alot of us on here use sweetaquatics.com and aquariumplants.com I have used both and got very good plants. Sweetaquatics prices are a little better but sometimes it takes them a little while to ship them because they are busy.
I agree with calmwaters, I have gotten a majority of my plants from sweet aquatics. The prices were good and the plants that I had got have done well, all except my amazon frogbit, which I think is due to the fact that my fish went after the root system. I have since moved it to a smaller tank with my betta. It did take awhile for my order to come in, but the prices help to make it worth waiting.
Im going to check prices at the store, i am 17 so its kinda hard for me to order things from online, and i don't like using my debt card. Its just easier for me to drive 5 miles to the store.
But thanks for the advice. I'm gonna save those links for future reference.
I understand your worry about useing your debit card but if you decide you want to order online you could always get one of those prepaid debit cards that way you don't have to worry about someone getting your bank info. It really would really save you lots of money. For instance at my local store plants are about $6.00 a piece at sweetaquatics I have got the same plants for $2 or $3 a piece. Not trying to be pushy or anything just trying to help and give you all the options. ; )
I appreciate the help, tomorrow ill check prices at my pet store and decide to find a way to order or just buy locally.
Thanks, you've been great help :)
Good luck with your tank and remember when you get it set up we love pictures. ; )
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