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Old 11-23-2014, 11:33 PM   #1 
Pippin
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What are these plants, and is there any thing I can do to make them thrive?

The title says it all. I have a male beta in a lightly planted community. I was just wondering about the plants, what types they are, and is there anything I should be doing to make them grow more well. I'd like to get into the planted tank side of the betta hobby, but I'm a tad clueless about them... Thanks!

Oh, and I have live and silk, so if it looks fake, it probably is. And please ignore the fish. They love getting in the way...
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Old 11-24-2014, 12:36 PM   #2 
Aqua Aurora
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1st photo: I don't know

2nd photo: left is java fer: its an undemanding low light slow growing plant, but you CANNOT bury its rhizome (horizontal part that stem and roots grow from) in the substrate, it will rot and die. Sadly a some lfs put it in the substrate (petsmart for example), so you end up buying an already half dead plant. Its best to tie them to decor/rocks/driftwood.. clear low poundage fishing line won't break down and not very visible but you can also use thread as the java fern roots will eventually cling to the decor they are on (hopefully by the time the thread breaks down). This plant absorbs nitrates and other nutrients directly from the water column, it does not need soil, ferts, or root tabs. Java fern have a unique way of reproducing, they grow baby java ferns called plantlets on the back of their leaves (you may see small black spots when you look at the backside, these will grow into fuzzy black roots then you'll start to see tiny leaves growing. Leave plantlets on the mother plant add let them grow, they feed from the large plant like a baby through an umbilical cord. The plantlets will pop off the mother plant when they are ready, then you can attach them to decor

The plant on the right in the 2nd photo, center in the 3rd, and off center (slightly left) in the last photo is NON AQUATIC fern. I don't recall its exact name but its a terrestrial (above water) fern that likes high humidity environments. I'd bought one before from Petco in one of those tubes before I learned it wasn't aquatic. All it did was very slowly decay and be a debris magnet. Remove it now, and either try planting it in soil or throw it out..

The plant in the back with transparent/dissolved leaves in the 2nd and 3rd photo appears to be a type of sword plant (can't pin point exact type with leaves mostly gone). They need medium light and are root feeders, it would be best to get a root tab (1) to stuff deep in the substrate by the base of the plant. Other options include doing a soil based tank with small gravel or sand cap, OR liquid ferts (like Seachem). Whichever you choose, swords are iron hogs so you may even want to buy an iron specific root tab or liquid ferts along with a more comprehensive/all encompassing micro and macro one. The melting leaves is normal for drastic change in environment (from store tank to yours). Cut the dead/melted leaves off at the base of the stem, they won't heal on their own and just add ammonia to the water as they decompose (or nitrate if you have a cycled filter). I'd recommended a 6500kelvin light bulb for the sword plant, though 6200-6700k will work. You can buy 6500k cfl bulbs at a grocery store or home improvement store for about 1/2 the price of "plant grow" advertized bulbs. 9-14 watts (60 watt equivalent) cfl bulbs will work well. Most people turn lights on for planted tans anywhere from 6-10 hours, longer tends ti invite unwanted alga growth.

Hope that helps ^^
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Old 11-24-2014, 01:18 PM   #3 
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The top photo looks like my water wisteria before it adapted to submersed growth. If it is a water wisteria, it's a rough transition. There will be melting and dying as the plants adjust. The submersed form is a leafy green plant, great for soaking up nitrogen. Easy to care for, grows fast. Medium-low light.
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Old 11-24-2014, 08:48 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Aurora View Post
1st photo: I don't know

2nd photo: left is java fern: its an undemanding low light slow growing plant, but you CANNOT bury its rhizome (horizontal part that stem and roots grow from) in the substrate, it will rot and die. Sadly a some lfs put it in the substrate (petsmart for example), so you end up buying an already half dead plant. Its best to tie them to decor/rocks/driftwood.. clear low poundage fishing line won't break down and not very visible but you can also use thread as the java fern roots will eventually cling to the decor they are on (hopefully by the time the thread breaks down). This plant absorbs nitrates and other nutrients directly from the water column, it does not need soil, ferts, or root tabs. Java fern have a unique way of reproducing, they grow baby java ferns called plantlets on the back of their leaves (you may see small black spots when you look at the backside, these will grow into fuzzy black roots then you'll start to see tiny leaves growing. Leave plantlets on the mother plant add let them grow, they feed from the large plant like a baby through an umbilical cord. The plantlets will pop off the mother plant when they are ready, then you can attach them to decor

The plant on the right in the 2nd photo, center in the 3rd, and off center (slightly left) in the last photo is NON AQUATIC fern. I don't recall its exact name but its a terrestrial (above water) fern that likes high humidity environments. I'd bought one before from Petco in one of those tubes before I learned it wasn't aquatic. All it did was very slowly decay and be a debris magnet. Remove it now, and either try planting it in soil or throw it out..

The plant in the back with transparent/dissolved leaves in the 2nd and 3rd photo appears to be a type of sword plant (can't pin point exact type with leaves mostly gone). They need medium light and are root feeders, it would be best to get a root tab (1) to stuff deep in the substrate by the base of the plant. Other options include doing a soil based tank with small gravel or sand cap, OR liquid ferts (like Seachem). Whichever you choose, swords are iron hogs so you may even want to buy an iron specific root tab or liquid ferts along with a more comprehensive/all encompassing micro and macro one. The melting leaves is normal for drastic change in environment (from store tank to yours). Cut the dead/melted leaves off at the base of the stem, they won't heal on their own and just add ammonia to the water as they decompose (or nitrate if you have a cycled filter). I'd recommended a 6500kelvin light bulb for the sword plant, though 6200-6700k will work. You can buy 6500k cfl bulbs at a grocery store or home improvement store for about 1/2 the price of "plant grow" advertized bulbs. 9-14 watts (60 watt equivalent) cfl bulbs will work well. Most people turn lights on for planted tans anywhere from 6-10 hours, longer tends ti invite unwanted alga growth.

Hope that helps ^^
Thanks, it does.

Oh, so Java Ferns sound cool! So the rhizome can't be buried, I'll go check with mine.

Okay, so it looks like it was buried, so I unburied it a little. Thanks: I would not have known that.


Ah, naturally. I go to a store which sells aquatic plants, and I buy a non-aquatic one. That's my luck. And it is surprisingly hardy, I've had it in an aquarium for over a year. But now I looked at it closely, and it is decaying slightly. Thanks!


So, look at root tabs. That's something I can do, now. Are there any ones you recommend? And any tips on using them in the aquarium?


So, really thank you for helping me. and do you know of any plants which are common and a newbie like me can keep without killing? and any really common ones I should avoid? I'm trying to put nice plants into is tank, and I have practically no clue where to start.

Last edited by Pippin; 11-24-2014 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 11-24-2014, 08:56 PM   #5 
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I'd get osmocot + root tabs from ebay (they're really cheap like 100 for $10 total.) make sure it's the one with a "+", it will have what you need. Take one and stuff it deep in the substrate quickly by the base of the sword. Put a new one in every 6-9 months. You may also look into an iron specifc root tab to add, but I've not used the to reccomend one. If you want to try liquid ferts I use seachem, they have a iron specific one too. I use flourish, pottasium, phosphorus, excel, and iron from the seachem line.
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Old 11-24-2014, 08:58 PM   #6 
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Originally Posted by Zhylis View Post
The top photo looks like my water wisteria before it adapted to submersed growth. If it is a water wisteria, it's a rough transition. There will be melting and dying as the plants adjust. The submersed form is a leafy green plant, great for soaking up nitrogen. Easy to care for, grows fast. Medium-low light.

Oh, so that's what it is! So, I should expect some plant death, but it's been about a week since I had them, so hopefully they will survive. Will it look different once it grows into place then? And so, does it get nitrogen from anywhere? I'm sorry for all the questions, it's just plants confuse me.
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Old 11-24-2014, 09:01 PM   #7 
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Originally Posted by Aqua Aurora View Post
I'd get osmocot + root tabs from ebay (they're really cheap like 100 for $10 total.) make sure it's the one with a "+", it will have what you need. Take one and stuff it deep in the substrate quickly by the base of the sword. Put a new one in every 6-9 months. You may also look into an iron specifc root tab to add, but I've not used the to reccomend one. If you want to try liquid ferts I use seachem, they have a iron specific one too. I use flourish, pottasium, phosphorus, excel, and iron from the seachem line.

Great! So, I have to look for osmocot +. Okay, this is really helpful! I know what I'm going to get for Christmas now.
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Old 11-24-2014, 09:52 PM   #8 
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Great! So, I have to look for osmocot +. Okay, this is really helpful! I know what I'm going to get for Christmas now.
osmocote + is a dry fert used for gardening but many people get it and use empty gel capsules to turn them into root tabs, which is why you usually have to look on ebay, it won't be available at a regular store in that form (ready to go in a tank) you can also capsule them yourself but i don't know where you get the empty capsules (probably also ebay)
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Old 11-24-2014, 09:56 PM   #9 
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Top photo is WW grown emersed (dry) and bottom is WW grown submersed (wet). Completely different looking plants. There is usually enough nitrogen from the fish waste to keep this plant happy. It's very undemanding, excellent first plant once it transitions into submersed growth. Until then, it'll look pretty sickly.

I get empty capsules from Walmart. (They really DO have everything! >.<) You might be able to find them in vitamin/nutrition shops too. Because Fluorish root tabs get expensive... Like AquaA, I also use fluorish and excel.

Last edited by Zhylis; 11-24-2014 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:39 PM   #10 
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The first photo might be a moneywort :/
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