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Old 06-25-2012, 08:19 PM   #1 
labloverl
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Questions about live plants, and filter cartridges

First, when rinsing a filter cartridge off, do I just take it out and swish it around in the water that I've taken out during a water change?

About live plants... My divided 10 gallon has several fake plants, but I want a good live plant.

I don't know anything about them, but maybe someone can help me if I list what I want and don't want in a plant.

I want one that won't take over my tank, and that is not too dirty. I don't know anything about fertilizers, so... hopefully one that doesn't require much attention. There is no set time that the tank light is on, but maybe if I had a plant that needed a certain amount, the light schedule would be more regular. I have a gravel bottom, and I don't want one that is hard to vac. around and such.

Also, how do plants affect the cycle? My tank is cycled.

Are they sold at petsmart? Are they bulbs, or actual started plants? How do you introduce them to the tank?

Any help?
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:52 PM   #2 
FishyFishy89
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How long have you been running your tank?
Are you using carbon?
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:57 PM   #3 
labloverl
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The tank has been up for over 6 months, and I'm not actually sure if the cartridge has carbon in it. Is it bad that I don't know?
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:01 PM   #4 
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Live plants will boosted your cycled tank by soaking up the wastes like nitrates etc...

Things to keep in mind about plants: Substrate type, lighting, and CO2.

What you're likely going to want to look for is low tech, low light plant types which don't require CO2. Based on what you are describing, you are likely going to want plants that aren't strictly plant into substrate plants. I would recommend Anubia and or Java ferns - or even a moss ball.

Those are low light plants that don't have a high demand of a lighting schedule for the most part - they are slow growing and don't require much if any fertilization and they don't need to be planted into the substrate.

Anubias and Java ferns can be anchored or tied to rocks, driftwood, or really any ornaments you have in the tank. You can potentially plant the roots, but the rhizome should never be covered as it would rot.

Benefits: Low maintenance, can remove attached item from tank to clean. Very nice to look at without the need to trim.

Algae may cover the leaves, but they are easily rubbed off with your fingers under some water. Both types can be tied using thread or fishing line.

I don't recommend the bulbs unless you get ones that are already sprouted - many of them are duds and can fall to rotting in the tank. These are an assortment of Apongetons, onion plants, and lilies.

Sometimes you can find good plants at Petsmart or even Petco - be wary of any tanks there that may have pond snails. You can potentially get some hitchhikers.

Introduction to the tank is similar as if you were acclimating your fish - quarantine the plants to ensure no hitchiking snails, and then you can acclimate them slowly into the tank - though I generally have just plopped anubia and javafern in without acclimation and had no problems.
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:15 PM   #5 
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My 1st plant is Anacharis
They soak up nitrates and ammonia like a sponge
I have mine floating since I rearrange decor quite a bit. The roots grow downward/give my betta something to play with.

Personally, I'd recommend getting a fluorescent bulb. Any would do if your just getting 1 plant.
For a tank running 6 months I don't think it is fully cycled. Did you do a pure ammonia cycle?
If your media has carbon it could remove the fertilizer.
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