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1 Betta fish in a quarantine tank. 1 Mystery Snail, 5 Adult Trapdoor Snails in 3 gal. In Description
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Why is it so expensive?!? The only pet store that even sells live plants is pet smart for $10 or more a piece! The only substrate they sell is fluval stratum which I've heard is the best which is of course great they sell but it's like $20 and I only want to try it out with 1 plant before I got aquas cape crazy. Anybody have a cheaper way to get live plants?!? I cannot afford to pay $30 just for 1 plant and the substrate.
 

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Planted aquariums are a totally different level than keeping a few community fish in a 10 gallon tank. Best to start out with a few cheap, easy to care for plants and see how it goes. The Planted Tank Forum is a great community and resource

Check to see if you have any Fish keeping clubs in your area. If so, many will have meet ups or swaps where you can find some great deals. If not, there are plenty of online places to purchase plants.

I'm lucky enough to have clubs and LFS in my area so that I can steer clear of the big chain pet stores. But if you don't have that luxury, I would suggest you "quarantine" or research bleach dips.
 

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Why is it so expensive?!? The only pet store that even sells live plants is pet smart for $10 or more a piece! The only substrate they sell is fluval stratum which I've heard is the best which is of course great they sell but it's like $20 and I only want to try it out with 1 plant before I got aquas cape crazy. Anybody have a cheaper way to get live plants?!? I cannot afford to pay $30 just for 1 plant and the substrate.
Go to chewy.com you'll find stuff at a much better price
 

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Why is it so expensive?!? The only pet store that even sells live plants is pet smart for $10 or more a piece! The only substrate they sell is fluval stratum which I've heard is the best which is of course great they sell but it's like $20 and I only want to try it out with 1 plant before I got aquas cape crazy. Anybody have a cheaper way to get live plants?!? I cannot afford to pay $30 just for 1 plant and the substrate.
the only live plants I like to keep are basically anything with java in front of it and lucky bamboo.
 

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7 aquaria: live plants, shrimp, snails, celestial danios, white clouds, corys, ottos...
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Why is it so expensive?!? The only pet store that even sells live plants is pet smart for $10 or more a piece! The only substrate they sell is fluval stratum which I've heard is the best which is of course great they sell but it's like $20 and I only want to try it out with 1 plant before I got aquas cape crazy. Anybody have a cheaper way to get live plants?!? I cannot afford to pay $30 just for 1 plant and the substrate.
Very good advice from YSR50 above ^^^.

The Fluval substrate IS expensive, but I have had very good results with it. It is a one-time expense and in my opinion well worth the investment if you want any sort of live plants to flourish. I have it in several tanks, including this 10 gal, 20Long and 40Breeder:

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Sorry the pics are a little blurry, I just snapped them with my phone for this post.

I have about 1" of the Fluval substrate under plain black gravel in the tanks pictured. The only complaint I have is that it slowly reduces the pH and I would rather have a pH neutral product. You can see the plants like it though, and my local water source runs a higher pH, so it's not too big a deal to buffer it.

I have used some of the cheaper, brown 'ground clay' substrate in several other tanks (under natural/brown color gravel) and I am very unhappy with it. The most aggravating thing is the mess. It breaks down and if you have any fish that root around or actually dig, the ground clay substrate will cloud the water then eventually settle on everything like reddish-brown dust. Plants grow OK, but have not really thrived in this substrate like they have the Fluval, even though all other conditions are the same.

Regarding the cost of plants...yes, they ARE expensive, especially when you are just figuring out what plants will 'like' your conditions and which ones will just die.

One thing I have noticed is that most aquarium light hoods do not provide enough light for best plant growth. Relatively bright lights are needed, especially for deeper tanks. I have been using mostly LED lights over glass, but do have a few T5HO fixtures on larger tanks.

In selecting plants to buy, the expensive 'tissue cultures' sold by many stores for a premium are, in my opinion, a waste of money. Yes, they are free of pests, like snails and macro-organisms, but otherwise, they are often like "hothouse flowers" and may not tolerate a new, less than ideal environment. I have not had good results with these cultures for some reason, and the fact that some of the chain pet stores sell them for high prices makes them seem more desirable than they really are.

If you don't have a specialty aquarium store nearby selling simple plants, like small bunches of aquatic plants and small individual potted plants for $6 to $10, you might be better off ordering plants from a grower.

I would suggest looking at online sources of plants like these:
Aquarium Plants.com | Florida Fresh Aquarium Plants & Supplies
Aquarium Plants
Aquarium Plants Factory | High Quality Aquatic Plants Online Store

You can find other plant sources all over the country with a search at DuckDuckGo or similar.

The faster growing plants, like Cabomba and Guppy Grass, tend to cost less, but cycle faster, with fast new growth rapidly shading out and killing off older, lower growth below. I find they must eventually be treated like floating plants and not to try to root them permanently. I have found these grasses to be useful when first setting up a tank, but they will go through a growth phase and fill the top layer of the tank, cutting light off for anything trying to grow from below. The BIG plus with these sorts of plants is that they draw a large amount of nutrition from the water itself and help deal with the nitrates/nitrites. There is a pretty big mass of Guppy Grass in the 20Long pictured above.

I have had good results with using the various "mosses" (Christmas Moss, Java Moss, Trailing Moss). They grow well under medium to bright light. There is a lot of moss of several species in both the 40g tank and the 10g tank pictured above.

The crypts are generally pretty hardy, although they tend to "melt" and die back when first introduced to new conditions. They usually look terrible and two weeks after you plant them the leaves are often about gone, but then they send out new growth and can get big. You can see both red and green cryptocorynes well-established and growing like crazy in the tanks above. I also had bronzes that were doing well in several tanks, but I accidentally killed them using fenbendazole to kill planaria.

I have found that with any given setup, some plants will do well and other will not. For this reason, I'd plan on buying an assortment and expect to lose some. I do not know a way to avoid this trial and error method and would expect to lose about 30 to 50% of any random selection of plants placed into any given tank. I throw away handfulls of plant cuttings and often give away cuttings. I try to give as many plant varieties as I can, telling the recipient that they will probably lose some, but to buy more of what survives.

If you are close to other members here (I'm in Maryland), you might be able to get some cuttings/plants locally.
 

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1 Betta fish in a quarantine tank. 1 Mystery Snail, 5 Adult Trapdoor Snails in 3 gal. In Description
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156 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sorry I couldn't reply I was on vacation for 10 days with no internet. OMG thanks so much for all the replies! I found a local fish store that sells them for only a few dollars and you get really good live plants. I will probably be getting some plants from chewy.com too. Thanks so much for all of the information.Sadly, I live in the united states but thanks for the offer.
 

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Sorry I couldn't reply I was on vacation for 10 days with no internet. OMG thanks so much for all the replies! I found a local fish store that sells them for only a few dollars and you get really good live plants. I will probably be getting some plants from chewy.com too. Thanks so much for all of the information.Sadly, I live in the united states but thanks for the offer.
You're more than welcome I live in United States also
 
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