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Old 03-23-2014, 02:02 PM   #1 
nclnchls
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How many plants should go in a 10 gal?

Thursday or Friday I will be buying my first tank! Sadly it is only a 10 gallon, I'd like a bigger one but am short on space/money. I'd really like to have live plants in my aquarium; they look so nice and natural plus I like the idea of a complete ecosystem.

So anyway, I'd like to start off with some easy plants to take care of. I'm planning on housing two bettas, so how many plants would you recommend for that? And what kinds? Also, will I need snails or anything? I'm new to this so any recommendations would be awesome!

Thank you!
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Old 03-23-2014, 03:05 PM   #2 
Namialus
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Hornwort is good for beginners, and so is water sprite. You can float them and plant them.
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Old 03-23-2014, 03:14 PM   #3 
Blue Fish
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I'm not the best with plant names...I tend to purchase them locally and they're not labeled....if they live, I get more, if they die, I purchase something else, lol! Peachii is the plant guru and she knows *all* the names, you might want to send her a PM and ask this question. :)

But, in the meantime, this what I've found about plants...
You always end up needing more than you think you will, lol! It also depends on how "full" you want the tank to look and how fast. I'd definitely recommend *big* stem/bunch plants for back ground stuff, with a few shorter/smaller things in the front. You can have a fairly full looking tank pretty quickly this way and not spend an arm and a leg on the "short" stuff.

Stem plants I like:
ludwigia
anachris
rotala (comes in lots of types, all are pretty easy to grow)
water sprite (I've only had Pond though, so I don't know anything about the smaller aquarium version, I've heard it can be hard to grow. The pond stuff grows like mad though!)
moneywort is usually pretty easy, though sometimes I've had it melt on me...no idea why.
water wisteria is always great because it can be planted or float, which I love
I recently got some cardamine, and I really love the look and delicacy of it. :)
Vallisneria grows quickly and sends out shooters like ever two days... lol!
narrow leaf anachris is also nice, grows like crazy, and is a finer/prettier version of regular anachris. Can also float.

As for small stuff, I usually stick with java ferns and tie them to rocks and display them in groups of three or so in the front of the tank.

Oh, and I have decided that I don't like frogbit and duckweed. :P It gets everywhere, tends to make it hard for me to feed my guys (food gets stuck in it), and it's just a pain to deal with when you're moving stuff around or putting in new plants. :P What I DO like is salvinia, red root (these may be the same things?), and floating leaf flower. These are great for providing betta cover (because they love having surface level places to hide under), suck up lots of ammonia, and they are easily taken out and put back in when moving stuff around or cleaning. :) They grow in little bunches about two or three inches long, so they're easy to get in and out. :) And they're easy to keep in one spot so you can have an open area for betta feeding. :)

In terms of how many you'll need for the tank to silent cycle...that's up to you, your fish, and your plants. If it was me I'd purchase however many you need to make the tank look like you want, or however many you can afford, and then do water tests. If things are at 0 across the board, then you know you're good to go. If not, then stick in a sponge filter and use it as backup for your cycle until you can get to that point. A lot of it depends on what plants you get, how big they are, what your fish are putting off, how much uneaten food stays in the tank, light...the list goes on and on. Safest option is to cycle the tank with a sponge, then start sticking in plants and go from there. :)

As for snails, I tried no snails because I had a pond snail problem...which I then purchased assassins to kill off...and then I had no snails, and I ended up with a nasty algae filled tank and some dead plants. :P I'd definitely say you need snails. :)

The way snails (and shrimp for that matter) work is that they're cleaning up your tank. It's much harder to siphon and gravel clean a planted tank, so you're going to want some cleaners in there to take care of it for you. :) Snails are great in terms of cleaning up excess food, eating any dead material off your plants, and taking care of algae. Snails, again, depend on size. In my 20g's, I've got two bettas, two mystery snails, and an unknown number of ramshorns. The ramshorns were unintentional, they came in on plants. There are a good number in there though...I'd say at least fifteen. :) But, again, you don't want to have too much in there until you get cycled and steady. I'd put in a single mystery snail, and probably three of four ramshorns to take care of any cleanup you need done. :) Some shrimp types also work...but I don't know almost anything about shrimp, that's a question for someone with far more knowledge...or you can google it. :)

I hope that helps! :)

Oh, one more, I order my plants from Tricker, and I've always been *really* pleased with the *enormous* size, quality, and price of what I've received. :) We're talking wisteria that's a foot long...and I ordered babytears once (not the potted ones, the ones from the actual ponds on site, and I swear those swatches were eight inches long and four inches wide...I was astounded at what I received. :)
www.tricker.com
Also, look around the site, they've got some really neat stuff. :)

I hope that helps! :D

Last edited by Blue Fish; 03-23-2014 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:08 PM   #4 
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Easy to take care of?

Anubias, and java ferns. My tank is PACKED with them, they are very hardy, and grow pretty slow so weekly trimming isn't needed.
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:31 PM   #5 
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You guys are all oh so helpful!! Currently making a list right now, I am so excited! :)

So some follow up questions...how would I go about cycling? Would I plant my plants and then cycle with ammonia? or cycle first, then plants, then fish?

Also, would sand or gravel be easier?
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:37 PM   #6 
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You would plant your plants, fill the tank and start cycling.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:38 PM   #7 
Blue Fish
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I have tried sand, and had real issues with cloudiness. Other people do it and it works great...if I was to try again, I'd do a test run in a Rubbermaid FIRST to see how it went. :)

That being said, prior to this I've always done gravel with fertz and root tabs. It's worked well but the plants don't get that huge show-tank size this way.
So, this evening I tried dirt with a small diameter gravel cap. It's NOT been a good evening. :P I keep having cloudy water, and am currently awaiting (hopefully!) help about what to do about this. :P

I cruised around youtube and found lots of DIY videos. :)
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:58 PM   #8 
Joey Fish
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I second all of Blue Fish's plant suggestions. I especially like anubias, moneywort and jungle val.
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Old 03-30-2014, 12:18 AM   #9 
nclnchls
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Much thanks to all you guys! My tank was set up a few days ago, but I too had issues with cloudiness from the dirt, and released I hadn't bought quite enough sand! I bought some more yesterday and added it in, (and using the paper towel method I saw someone post on your thread, Blue Fish) with a water change the water is relatively clear :)



It looks pretty sparse so far! I bought all these at Petsmart but am definitely going to order some more offline. Particularly water sprite, I need something to float! I have two bunches of wisteria, one java fern, one marimo moss ball, and two types of anubias. I also have a piece of driftwood I bought at Petco (currently boiling) and a small branch off of a large piece I found at the beach several years ago. Once all the tannins are out of those I may tie some plants to them :)

I'm also wanting to buy some MTS, but I was told by petsmart/petco employees to wait until I see algae growth. Which will probably be soon because I keep forgetting to turn my lights off after 12 hours...oops haha. But I suppose I should go ahead and order them now, to account for the days of shipping?

Anyway you guys are awesome, thanks so much for the help!
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