Now that I feel confident I can keep one little fish alive, I'm finally ready to add some live plants to my 5 gallon tank. However, when I read some of the posts on this plant subforum, I am extremely intimidated and overwhelmed. I want something VERY EASY that I really don't have to think too hard about. I have pea gravel substrate that I am extremely anal about vacuuming weekly so I don't intend to have any rooted plants. For now, I'm starting small. I found a couple of pretty healthy plants at Petco - a java fern and wisteria. They are the kind in the gel tubes.
So, I have questions:
1. Do I need to quarantine these plants and, if so, what am I looking for? They are supposed to be "snail free". Right now they are in a spare tank and I don't see anything worrisome. I'm terrified of introducing nasties in my tank.
2. The wisteria is just loose stems with no discernible roots - what the heck do I do with these? Just throw them in the tank? I'm concerned that they'll root themselves in the gravel and I'll uproot them every time I vacuum the gravel.
3. The java fern has a nice little root ball. I plan to tie it to the driftwood once that stops growing that hideous white fuzz - dear lord when will that stop? It's been in the tank for 2 months now, I gave it a thorough scrubbing just last week and today it looks like a slimy chia pet.
4. What kind of fertilizer should I get? Flourish? Flourish Excel? Remember, I want this to be very easy.
5. I know java fern and wisteria are low light. The light I currently have came with the tank and I have no idea what power it is but it's pretty lame - it really only lights up the area directly underneath it. I've bought another one but I'm concerned it might be too bright - it's WAY brighter than the current one. It's 26w 6500K. I'm actually more worried about blinding the poor fish.