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Hello everyone i am interested in getting real natural plants for my aquarium. I have a 30 Gallon freshwater tank wit a Full Spectrum Fluorescent Light. What would be some plants that you would recomend? FYI I have never had real plants in a tank before.
 

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Some of the easiest plants are the swords. I'm not a plant expert by any means, others here have much more success with the high-tech, super colorful stuff. Some swords grow well in a variety of light conditions, are pretty forgiving of water parameters and, depending on the variety and lighting, can have very nice color.

Can you give more info on your lighting? Is it a T12, T8 or T5HO?
Single or dual bulb?

I recommend various swords including the old standby Amazon sword, the Keiner Bar (nice red leaves), Ozelot, Red Flame, or (for smaller sword) the Rosette.
Stay away from microswords, they need lots of light and grow very slowly.

Other easy plants, somewhat depending on your water parameters might include the smaller Vals, Green Cabomba, Elodea/Anacharis/Egeria densa (a variety of names for the same thing), floaters such as Frogbit or "Dwarf Water Lettuce.

Others will add suggestions, you have lots of options. The only other ting you'll need are a liquid fertilizer (Flourish Comprehensive Fertilizer) and if you get swords, some root tablet fertilizer.
Note: if you get a sword or two, leave some room for growth, they can get big!
 
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I wanted to second swords being great, low maintenance plants. Plus, with swords you can just pop a root tab under them every few months and you should be fine without doing the water column with fertilizers.

I wanted to add to DKRST's list plants like Brazilian pennywort, which can be planted or left floating and adds an interesting visual. Also anubias are great, low light, small plants that grow fairly slowly. Another very easy beginner plant is java fern.

I like swords because they seem to be the easiest plants to get a color other than green in the tank, plus some of the leaves will have different textures or patterns to them that are visually appealing.

I've currently got swords, pennywort, and frogbit in my tank.. I've had cabomba, anubias, bacopa, vals (which melted in my soft water), and ludwigia in all a medium low light set up without any issues. Very easy to care for and no CO2 or any expensive lights.
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dwarf water lettuce, horn wort, cyrpts, java fern (grow super slow) and jungle val. i have these and very slow growing and easy to care for. my vals are starting to get a lil crazy with all the off shoots but nothing too bad
 

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Crypts are great and they have a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Swords, Brazilian Pennywort planted or floating , Giant Vallesneria , java fern , java moss

I tried about 30 varieties and ended up with 20 that passed the "lived" test and my personal taste once they grew out. This way I don't need to worry if one didn't make it as none are a center piece plant.

Oh, I also really like my dwarf lily grown from the bulb. With these try to find them already sprouted as some bulbs are not viable.

Most of these will not need pruning, just a liquid fertilization and root tabs for the swords.

I know it can be expensive to fill a tank with plants but I just buy one or two here and there when I am at the LFS so it's cheaper than coffee.

Jeff.
 

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Lots of good suggestions in this thread.

Depending upon what you mean by "not a lot of maintenance," I would mention that rosette-type plants rooted in the substrate tend to just "grow" where they are. So do plants like JAva Fern and Anubias that would be attached to wood or rock.

By contrast, stem plants are fast growing and need regular maintenance, like pruning and trimming, to keep them fairly constant. As they grow they change, so if this is what you meant by low maintenance, avoid most of them, unless you have them floating which is much easier to handle.

I only have one strem plant in any of my 7 tanks, and that is Brazilian Pennywort, solely because of the weekly pulling up of stems and trimming. The other plants never need this.

Byron.
 
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I suppose the "not low maintenance list" would be helpful... as Byron said, stems need regular pruning and replanting.

The pennywort is very easy to prune if left floating as you can just snip of whatever you want to remove and toss it... or let it grow into a thick mat.

Jeff.
 

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I recommend buying plants from a fellow hobbyist if you can (check for a local club in your area). Better prices and usually great plants. Check the classified section here also! The nice thing about live plants is they replicate and will slowly fill your tank(s) without you having to spend lots of money! And then you you get to sell/trade any extras.
 
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