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Old 07-24-2013, 05:39 PM   #1 
shannonpwns's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Simi Valley, California
How to care for aquatic plants?

I'm new to keeping planted tanks, and I'm kinda confused on what I need to do to help them grow, besides light.

I have a CFL 6500k daylight bulb on my tank that I have on for 12 hours a day.

What do I need to do to fertilize my plants?
I've seen this stuff called Flourish Excel, but from what I've read that just adds co2 I think? Do I need that? Is there an alternative method? I've been poking the gravel around, because I think I read that what another way to do it.

But what about fertilizing? Is there something else my plants need?

In my tank I have anubias, and java fern right now. But I have ordered duckweed, dwarf water lettuce, and amazon swords which should be here any day now.

The duckweed and water lettuce are also going in my pond, so I planned on growing them in a bucket first outside and then distributing it between tanks and the pond, or is that a bad idea? It's just a 20 gallon green bucket like this one. Would I need to fertilize these ones too?
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:58 PM   #2 
hopeful fish
Join Date: May 2013
Seachem Flourish is a fertilizer. Seachem Flourish Excel is a CO2 booster. It took me a while to figure that out too :)

How big is your tank? What substrate do you have?

As far as I know, anubias and Java fern need nothing to grow. My friend has a betta in an unfiltered/heated bowl and her Java fern and Anubias look great. You don't need ferts for those two plants, but it wouldn't hurt them.

I don't know much about the other plants, so someone else can tell you more about whether or not you need to use ferts, but as far as ferts go, there are a lot of methods. If you have plants that don't use roots to get nutrients, but take them out of the water (like duckweed and hornwort), you can use a liquid fert. For plants that use their roots more (like amazon swords), you can use solid things like root tabs, or put a layer of top soil under your sand or gravel that the plants can get nutrients from.

As for your duckweed, personally I would be worried about it outside. I am a worry wort, so I would be scared some animal would fall in the bucket and die or something. I know that duckweed grows like crazy and is almost impossible to kill, so be prepared for major population control of it. If you get enough, just put a bit in the pond and a bit in the tank, and watch it take over. You probably could also just put all of it in the tank, and once it takes over, take a handful or two and stick it in the pond.
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:48 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: PA
You won't need anything but light for the anubias, java fern, duckweed, and water lettuce. Not sure about the swords.
I accidentally left some java moss in a cup on a dark shelf for a week and a half or so. It's still alive and I highly recommend it!

There's a really good thread about setting up Natural Planted Tanks, which use low light plants and no co2
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