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Old 01-16-2013, 03:22 PM   #1 
cdouglas93's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Conneaut, Ohio
New Planted Tank Questions + Drift Wood

So I recently received a regular 30 gallon tank with the hood light, filter, heater, and some minor accessories. While I already have a 10 gallon and a 5 gallon I've never had real plants before. just silk or plastic.

So I'm in need of all sorts of advice. Atm I have just plain (yet cleaned) play sand in both my 10 and 5 gallon and was wondering if that would be good enough for plants to grow? I do have some regular aquarium gravel but with planning on putting cories in there I know sand is better for them.

The fish I plan on putting into the 30 gallon is average sorority with some other community fish like tetras and cories. I haven't yet set up the tank yet and since it's my first planted tank I'm looking for a more beginner style plants.

Also I was able to pick up some drift wood from the beach (I live by a lake) the other day and was wondering if I could just use this and if so the best/easiest way to clean it would be.

Sorry for the long post haha just want to make sure I do everything right.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:46 PM   #2 
Sixwolf's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Nebraska
I think as long as the plants can spread their roots and get nutrients, they should be fine. Most of mine I just planted in the gravel, except for one I tied to driftwood and the other I left floating. With my wood, I bought Malaysian driftwood from the local fish store and boiled it three times in intervals of 15-15-10 minutes. Some people like to soak, but I find the boiling to be faster and just as effective. I just check to make sure no more color is leeching out, since the boiling helps get rid of critters and tannins in the wood. I'm not sure what your driftwood is like, but so long as you take precautions and make sure it's betta-safe, you're probably good to go.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:45 PM   #3 
kfryman's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Fremont, CA
With plants there are tons of great choices that are easy to get grow. Vals, crypts, anubias, java fern, dwarf sag, hygrophila corymbosa, ludwigia, rotala rotundifolia (indica is almost always the same thing), anacharis, hornwort (personally I hate it, it sheds needles like crazy, good floating though, but the needles shedding can cause bacteria and the corie's barbels could become infected), water wisteria, water sprite, pennywort, java moss, dwarf pygmy chain sword are all great choices. I have grown all these besides pygmy chain, vals (my tanks aren't tall, but it is a great background plant) and water sprite. Some people say rotala is hard, but my up stairs neighbor, still a newbie, is growing his strong. Ludwigia can be picky, but just give it a spot underneath the bulb and it should do alright.

If you don't have a plant bulb you will need one. 6500k is usually the best to go with, just find it in your size bulb and length. If you have the hoods that come with most kits you will have a T8 bulb, it is one tube and it is fat around, don't get T5 as those won't fit. So with live plants you also need fertilizers to keep the tank going on track and keep growth steady. Seachem Flourish is great for micro nutrients, then you should have a source of Potassium, Seachem Flourish Potassium is great as well. Those two I would view as manditory. Another one you may want to look into is iron. Plants like rotala, ludwigia, and those other reddish plants will either turn red or maintain a nice healthy red color. This makes great contrasts. Also, some plants are root feeders, like swords, crypts, vals, they don't require it, but if you want them to grow faster and healthier you could get Seachem Root Tabs. This provides most nutrients right at their roots and also encourages root growth from these plants. All of these can be found on Amazon and would most likely be cheaper going through Amazon as you also get free super saver shipping.

If you have any questions you can always private message me and I can help you.
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