Java Fern can be simply placed with its roots beneath the gravel. after removing the packaging materials for it, hold the fern between your ring, pinky, and thumb fingers. Use your middle and index fingers to burrow into the gravel and then place the ferninto the indentation and cover. This is the easiest way to plant java fern and any other plant into your gravel, in an existing tank.
You can attack Java Ferns and Crypts to driftood or porous rock with the aid of fishing line or thread. Java Fern and Java Moss are two of the most popular attachments to coconuts, driftwood, and the like.
For other planting ideas,
Stay away from "Mondo grass." It is not truly an aquatic plant. Naively, I purchased some, and though it has managed to live, it is ultimately dying very slowly, being completely submerged in water.
Amazon Swords, Red Ludwigia, Red Frill, and Java Fern were my next purchases, and they, by contrast, have thrived.
I would highly consider Red Ludwigia or Red Frill as your first time purchase. They have more interesting color shades than just a plain green, and they can be put directly into the substrate.
It will be best to provide your plants flourescent lighting. Phillips makes a number of inexpensive flourescent bulbs that will work just find. they are marked as "Indoor Sunlight" and are sometimes less than a quarter the price of the specialty bulbs marketed in your Local Fish Store.
Last edited by Tinthalas Tigris; 02-18-2010 at 08:04 PM.