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Begginers plants

4398 Views 23 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  daisycutter
Hello everyone, i'm new to the aquarium hobby, and even newer to live plants. I recently obtained a 10 gallon aquarium that I would like to have live plants in. Its Dimensions are the regular 20x10x12 rectangle. I just need to know some low maintenance small plants that would spruce up and add enhance the color of the betta I am thinking of putting in. Also just some basic information on aquarium plants would be greatly appreciated :D . Also one last question, what substrate should go with for live plants.

Thank you all in advance! :)
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Well the most important part of the plants is what lighting system do you have?

My all time favorite hardy plant is the java moss, as these are mosses they dont root into gravel so you wont really need any special gravel, they dont require any special lighting (mine survive and grow at .75 wpg) and since they taste bad fish dont eat them. They are green by the way so the go good with a red or blue betta, but the choice of betta color is up to you.
I just have the tank right now, so any suggestions in lighting would be greatly appreciated as I was acutally starting to figure out the parts for it. Also does java moss just grow on anything?

java moss will grow on anything that the stems will hook on, mine is growing on my gravel (im trying to carpet it), it grows very well on driftwood too.

Well a basic lighting system is 2 wpg, you can get most easy-medium plants, with a better lighting system (3wpg) you can pretty much get any plant you want with exceptions.
Echinodorus amazonicus, Echinodorus osiris , Alternanthera sp. ,Anubias barteri ',Egeria densa , Hygrophila corymbosa 'Siamensis', Lilaeopsis brasiliensis, Limnophila sessiliflora, Bacopa Caroliniana , Cabomba caroliniana, Ceratophyllum submersum, Cryptocoryne wendtii, Microsorum pteropus, Nymphaea lotus sp. and Moss....

These are just a few plants that are easy to take care of, and don't need a lot of light to live. *note that some of the plants that I've listed will grow to large for a 10 gallon tank*

As for substrate, there are a lot of choses on the market to day like Eco-complete or Flourite . Try to go with a grain size of 3-5mm.

Ferts are need in a planted tank. Nitrates, Phosphates, Potassium, and trace.

The wpg rule does not work with a 10 gallon tank.

I like Red Luwigia. I have it in both of my tanks and it is doing well. I don't know what my lumens are but the bulbs are the basic 15w florescent that come with the hood. I like the red and green look to it.
How do you get it to take root in your tank. I've probly gotten 5 little clusters from Petsmart, and they just end up dieing on me....Petsmart.....I think I know why they're dieing off. :?
That could totally be true. I still have the regular old hood that I got with my tank... about 36"? I did however replace the bulb with a Flora-Glow bulb by Hagen. I have read on the forum that about 5 wats per gallon is the minumum. Looking at the web page, I think that I have about 1...Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I knew my lighting was bad, but I didn't know it was that bad! YIKES!
5 wats per gallon is the minumum.
I've never heard this rule....what size tank do you have??
The light bulbs that you linked to will grow plants. I use them on my 55 gallon Non CO2 tank. I use 4 of the 48'' 40 watt bulbs.

Go here for your light requirements. Low will grow the least plants of course. Java moss, java fern, elodea
Moderate will grow a lot but you will need to fertilize a lot. Primrose, most crypts, aubias, wisteria and many other will grow under moderate.

To give you an idea, I have a 48 inch shop light fixture over 2, 10 gallon tanks and i have only NOT been able to grow the highest light plants. I calculated it at about 33 watts per tank or 3.3 w/g. This only give me just under moderate for a 10 gallon tank on the website but it grows a lot of plants for me. Cabomba and ammannia are the only ones I have not gotten to grow that I have tried.

A little warning about Wisteria, it grows great and is a great plant to have but it will effect the growth rates of other plants. It is not a toxin or chemical defense but the simple fact it will eat every ounce of nutrients it can get ahold of and starve the other plants.
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Moon: I have a 29 gallon. If I were to upgrade my lighting fixture, what would be the best style to get? (I really liked the look that dwarf hairgrass gives the tank and would like to try some of that in my tank)
Re: plants

Sadie said:
I like Red Luwigia. I have it in both of my tanks and it is doing well. I don't know what my lumens are but the bulbs are the basic 15w florescent that come with the hood. I like the red and green look to it.
Red and green indicates a bad bulb.

When a flourecent light is used, the electricity liquifys the murcury in the bulb, when the murcury is doing its wierd stuff it produces UV light, the UV light comes in contact with other gasses in the bulb (argon and some other stuff, the amount of murcury creates the color of the light) which produces light, once the murcury starts to get used up the light goes from the strong colors (white and blue) to the weaker colors (red, green), although most of the time there is so little red we cannot see it, it makes a large difference on the plants. Thats why you are meant to change the bulb once every 4-6 months even if it is still working then.
I think the red and green was the colors of the plant, in which case the bulbs are doing great. Correct lighing brings out good reds in plants and the green colors will be more brilliant.

I have a bulb that is red in color when on and it is supposed to be. I also have one that is a blue color and one that is purple. I only use a red one and a blue one right now but once I have a proper fixture I will be using as many different "color" or better yet Kelvin rated bulbs as I can.

There are even bulbs now that even though it has a certain Kelvin or "color" rating they have very different visible colors because of the use of different metal gases to create a color.
This site will give the basics of the colors you get from the standard flourescent depending on the Kelvin rating.

Reccomended Kelvin is 6500 or higher. What to use will be argued forever I swear but it really doesn't matter. Some use 6500, some 15,000, some 18,000 and they all grow plants. It is more a matter of what oyu want to see in visible light from the bulbs. Mine are 6,500 and 3,500 according to manufacturer specs and still grow plants. The 3,500 is a plant gro bulb and the actual kelvin may or may not be represented properly.
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lighting is not as important as CO2 when it comes to plants. people think that just because you have a lot of light and laterite your plants will grow...not true.

some of the plants youll be able to keep in 2wpg is water wisteria(which is messy), java moss or java fern(java fern shouldnt be planted it will kill it) red wentii is a beautiful plant and low light, very nice touch of color. ancharis(fast grower but hard to keep planted sometimes)
It is true that CO2 can give you better growth than say adding another 1/2 watt per gallon but it can be a double edged sword. You will have worse algae problem with CO2 and medium light if you can't keep the levels steady and constantly over 30ppm. I had the absolute worst BBA and Staghorn algae while using CO2 in my 10 gallon tanks and my plant grew painfully slow. I took it out and added an airstone and my plants have never grown faster.

Obviously if you only have .5 w/g then adding CO2 isn't going to help much because the plants have more than enough CO2 from the air. Also, going from 35ppm CO2 with medium light to 50ppm CO2 with the same lighting will not help as much as adding more light at the same ppm of CO2.

Patience and experimentation to see what works will be your best friend when it comes to plants. Beginner plants under low to medium low light may benefit from CO2 but and airstone will keep levels normal and constant or an HOB will agitate the surface enough that CO2 exchange will be maximized to keep the levels high enough that your plants shouldn't suffer from not injecting it.

And I do also know some that can and do keep plants at high to very high lighting levels and have never injected CO2 while having pristine algae free tanks with no chemicals. Their plants also grow fast, including HC, glosso, pygmy sword, and many other high light plants that are supposed to suffer without CO2 but grow extremely fast.

Be patient with your plants and ask lots of question, read the stickies a couple time and then ask more questions. It can be very frustrating to start out but once you figure out what your plants like live plants make for an ever changing tank and a healthier one.

Sorry Follow It Home if I had made it little too complicated for a beginner. It can be overwhelming but don't let. Just ask your questions and be patient.
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did i hear correct that fish wont eat java moss? i havent purchased any as i thoght it befall the same fate as my ricca(eaten with 5 mins of putting it in)
A lot of fish will pick as java moss and any other moss. If you have fish that ate your riccia I would expect them to eat java moss.
is java moss a good plant to have with barbs and corys? how fast does it spread?
red ludwigia

I didn't have any problems getting the Red Ludwigia to take root. It came with a decent root system. You may need to mix in some smaller gravel.
I have smaller gravel in my 20gal and it took off and was pretty secure in 2 weeks. The stuff I put in the 10gal came from somewhere else and took a little longer but I also have the larger type of gravel and the roots weren't as nice.
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