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Discussion Starter #1
hello

first off i would like to say that i have been reading some of the posts already existing here and have found them useful, especially fish4alls posts :) , however i am a complete beginner with plants so i am posting my tank specifications and hoping for some recommendations:

10g:
- lighting and filteration unknown (boyfriend got me it as a present, little did he know what he was starting)
- kept at 24 degrees
- inhabitants 6 cories and a betta
- rounded gravel substrate
- LARGE cave in middle of tank which fish seem to love, taing up a considerable amount of room
- square shape tank

35g:
- 2x 20w flourescent tube style lights
- fluval 3+ filter
- temp kept at 24 degrees
- inhabitants 1 plec, 1 upside down catfish, 4 mollies, 1 swordtail, 2 blind cave tetras, 3 blue rams
- rounded gravel substrate
- rectangular, quite tall (18") shaped tank

other considerations:
- i am a complete beginner with plants so have no experience caring for plants, therefore easiest to care for plants are best
- i would eventually like to change my 35g to a catfish tank with cories and another one or 2 larger catfish in adittion to the 2 i have
- my 35g is currently being salt treated for white spot/itch, how long should i wait before i can safely add plants?
- im terrified of snails :oops: so plants that are less liekly to come with snails are best, toguh if it comes to it im sure i culd get my boyfriend to remove them for me if its a choice of that or no live plants

i realise that this is quite an extensive post, so thanks for even reading this far but i thoguht that better to post the whole post since i know nothing at all about plants, than get some plants and then end up with another 20 posts regarding why im failing with them

any help would really be appreciated

thanks x
 

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My comments in blue...

10g:
- lighting and filteration unknown (boyfriend got me it as a present, little did he know what he was starting)
- kept at 24 degrees
- inhabitants 6 cories and a betta
- rounded gravel substrate
- LARGE cave in middle of tank which fish seem to love, taing up a considerable amount of room
- square shape tank

Depends on lighting. Plants don't do well with incandescent bulbs. If you have screw-in CF bulbs or if the hood is a florescent, then you are ok. I would do crypts in the gravel, and maybe a piece of driftwood or a rock with either java moss, java fern, or anubias on it.

35g:
- 2x 20w flourescent tube style lights
- fluval 3+ filter
- temp kept at 24 degrees
- inhabitants 1 plec, 1 upside down catfish, 4 mollies, 1 swordtail, 2 blind cave tetras, 3 blue rams
- rounded gravel substrate
- rectangular, quite tall (18") shaped tank

Again, would make for a nice crypt tank. Maybe Crypt Beckettii for a background plant. Also, anubias on either rocks or driftwood. Could also do some hygro, as it's a deep tank. As well as anacharis. Asian Ambulia is another good plant as well. Most all these are beginner plants as well. And if you do get any plants such as swords or crypts, get yourself some root tabs to push into the gravel under the plants roots. This will give the nutrients it needs. But all the other plants I mentioned don't need tabs, as they take the nutrients in through their leaves.
 

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There are several types of plants available. When you go to your LFS, check to see what the lighting is for the plants. I am doing a planted tank, but wanted to stay with low lighting (the standard 40W bulb that came with the tank). You do need to make sure your filter doesn't use carbon, otherwise, the filter will remove the plant food from the water.

I currently have Hornwort "planted". It doesn't root, it's actually a surface plant. The nice thing about Hornwort is that it is a fast grower and you just snap off the longer trees and replant. This is the favored in my tank and I have a mini forest already growing from a single bundle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceratophyllaceae

Java Moss is also in my tank and it will anchor itself to rocks, gravel, and faux plants. It's fairly hardy and grows fast. When it gets too big, like the hornwort, just snip some off and replant. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Java_moss

I just added some wisteria which is pretty prolific. Like the other two, you can just prune and plant for more. http://www.aquahobby.com/garden/e_difformis.php

There are a variety of other plants that are available as well for low light. I have a number of wide leaf sagittaria, a coffefolia anubias, as well a bronze and a red wendtii. I like a lot of the other grasses, but they tend to have stronger light requirements.

You will need to have at least 2" of substrate in the tank to protect the roots (for those that do) and to hold the plants down. Not all plants have this requirement, such as java moss which will even grow on rocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks for the replies, and specifically, all the detail as i said ive no idea bout plants at all. i have plenty of gravel in my 35g tank. not in my 10g but i can easily add more.

i have some bogwood in my 35g as well so that could possibly be used for the java moss, java fern, or anubias.

i also should have added that im not keen on using any chemical fertilisers as i like to try and keep my tanks as close to natural as possible for my fish.

and as far as treating the white spot with salt, is there a specific time i should wait before adding plants?
 

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juliewiegand said:
thanks for the replies, and specifically, all the detail as i said ive no idea bout plants at all. i have plenty of gravel in my 35g tank. not in my 10g but i can easily add more.

i have some bogwood in my 35g as well so that could possibly be used for the java moss, java fern, or anubias.

i also should have added that im not keen on using any chemical fertilisers as i like to try and keep my tanks as close to natural as possible for my fish.

and as far as treating the white spot with salt, is there a specific time i should wait before adding plants?
Ferts are more for higher-light setups, so no reason to add ferts. But for crypts and swords, you will need root tabs. They won't be visible, as they are pushed deep under the gravel under the roots. It's just a suppliment to help them grow. And they won't change your water parameters either. You should always have them for large-rooted plants like swords and crypts.

As for treating for ick, you can add plants anytime. As long as the salt levels aren't too high, the plants will be fine. And some plants like java moss and java ferns, they can also grow in brackish water. Not sure on anubias though, but some salt won't hurt them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
for the java moss you mentioned, how would i go about "attatching" that to the bogwood? do i just kinda sit it on and itll attatch? sorry for aksing stupid questions...
 

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Use rubber bands or thread. The rubber bands will deteriorate and you'll need to remove them. The thread can stay as it needs to be fairly tight to hold the moss on, your fish won't injure themselves on the string.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
ok then, thanks. and eventually ill be able to remove the thread? or am i best just to leave it there anyway?
 

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Once the moss has attached itself, you can just cut the string off. Optionally, you can just leave it. I'm always nervous cutting something where I can't properly judge distances, like in a fish tank. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #10
haha i know what you mean. i was trying to place some bogwood in the tank and do you think i could get it n the place i wanted it to be? no! well, i eventually did but only by putting it where it looked like i didnt want it kinda thing

youve been really helpful with the plants leifthebunny, thanks
 

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LOL, you should have been over at my place watching me place the wisteria yesterday. I finally found a "decent" spot for it, right on top of a java moss patch I placed last week. Was debating moving the java moss, but considering how stressed the fish were getting from the water change and a bunch of new plants to give them better hiding spots, I decided to leave it alone and will deal with it later.
 

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Actually, if you use thread that's close to the color of the driftwoodd, you can just leave it on. When the moss fills in, you will no longer see the thread. And the thread will just deteriorate and not cause any problems. I don't remove mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
thats what ill do then - seems the safest option.

for my 10g i think i am going to go for some java moss, and for my 35g some java moss and then a couple of rooted plants

thanks everyone
 

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basically anything with crypt or java in the title, stay away from the common pitfalls such as buying amazon swords.
I would advise you upgrade your lighting if nothing else- you have to give the plans something to work with. Im sure your fish will aprreciate your decision to use real plants- i see it as a more natural environment.
 
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