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Old 07-03-2013, 07:44 PM   #1 
Racoon293
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Questions about plants, lighting, and hoods

So, I'm getting frustrated with the silk plants because it seems like they all have metal wire in them starts to rust after a few weeks. I'd like to get some natural plants, but the light socket in my hood, the metal piece that contacts the light bulb broke. Is there any replacement hoods that fit the Top Fin 5.5 gal?
The original hood sits in the plastic trim around the top of the tank, it measures
15&5/8in. long by 7&3/4in. Wide.

Can plants grow in gravel substrate? If not, what kind of substrate would I need?
What kind of plants grow dense and bushy? (My betta really loves to swim and hide in her silk plants )
What plants are hardy and good for a beginner?
Do plants need a quarantine period? How long and should it be in conditioned water?
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:30 PM   #2 
lilnaugrim
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You should be able to either find that hood in the store or check online, most likely the best place you can find one.

And yes, plants can grow in gravel as well as sand or dirt or small river rocks.

Good plants for low lights and beginners are: Java Fern, Java moss, Anubias, Anacharis, Vallisneria, Rotala, Ludwigia, Hornwort, cabomda, water sprite, water wisteria and common Cryptocorynes.

Java Fern and Anubias both have things called Rhizomes, basically it's the part that roots come out of on bottom and leaves shoot from on top, so it's sort of like a crown. But that thing cannot be buried in anything, the roots can be buried just fine but not the Rhizome. Java Fern and Anubias can also be attached to decorations, rocks and driftwood and they will grow! You just have to tie it lightly with thread or fishing string and in about a month or so, voila, you have a plant on an ornament/rock/driftwood.

Some of those that are more bushy would be the stem plants; Cabomda and Hornwort although Water Sprite and Water wisteria are both great choices too! You can also float Water Sprite, Hornwort and Anacharis.

So those would be good easy plants, they help with water quality too. Also know that sometimes (especially crypts) will melt or lose leaves when first introduced to the aquarium, this is completely normal and will grow back in a week or two. It's basically just acclimating to your water. And no, plants don't need a QT time unless you feel it should be, then you can leave them in regular Tap water with a light or on a window sill to get sun. But I throw mine in right away after trimming the roots a bit and plucking off dead leaves.

When you see leaves turn brown then yes that is a dead leaf and just pluck it off so the plant can grow a new leaf Also it might benefit your plants to get a liquid fert like SeaChem's Flourish Comprehensive. It's a little pricey but it's so worth it. I use 1 drop per gallon twice a week and my plants have never looked better! So I highly suggest it and it's pretty easy to use
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:40 PM   #3 
darkangel
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If you want to save money, you can always buy a mini clip on lamp from Target for about 10 bucks and just use a glass/mesh lid.

1. Any rooting or bunch plant, swords, java fern, crypts, hornwort, fanworts,... etc.

2. For any plant to get "bushy" you will need lots of light and possibly fert. Fast easy growing plants I can think of are wisteria, dwarf hygro, hornwort, java moss and cabomba. Try to have at least 40watts + fert if you want lots and lots of growing, my 2.5 gallon is sitting at 60watts. If you don't, try 10watts-20watts and no fert.

3. Some easy beginners plants are java fern, cabomba (fanworts), hornwort, wisteria and almost any of hygro species. Stay away from plants that aren't green, they are much harder to grow.

4. Yes, just in case if there are parasites, I did it for 5 days but most people do a week. I got impatient and left out 2.

Last edited by darkangel; 07-03-2013 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:19 PM   #4 
lilnaugrim
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^ just want to point out that wattage has no effect on whether the light is good for growing plants or not. if you're really interested in it look up PAR rating (parabolic aluminized reflector rating) wattage is just how much electricity the bulb is using.

Look for a CFL if you can (compact fluorescent light) that's around 5 watts would be good for your tank.
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:01 PM   #5 
darkangel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilnaugrim View Post
^ just want to point out that wattage has no effect on whether the light is good for growing plants or not. if you're really interested in it look up PAR rating (parabolic aluminized reflector rating) wattage is just how much electricity the bulb is using.

Look for a CFL if you can (compact fluorescent light) that's around 5 watts would be good for your tank.
Oh I know, what I meant was like the intensity of the light to be like 60 watts/40 watts, I use a 13 watt light bulb but its equivalent to 60 watts.

I am just really use to referring to watts!
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