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Old 04-24-2009, 12:51 PM   #1 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Plants and gravel

Hey, guys. As always, thanks for your help thus far. Now I have another question.

Back when I used to have an aquarium, I just stuck to fake plants but now with my Betta, I'm avoiding that and going for real plants, primarily just because I really like plants and it's cool to have them in my aquarium.

Right now, I just have some kind of grass. One thing I am having a problem with is that if the plant gets much light, a bunch of algae grows on it. If the plant doesn't get light, obviously it dies. Any suggestions?

My second issue - I want to get a lot more plants but I'm having trouble figuring out how to coordinate the whole thing and still be able to use a gravel vaccuum. Doesn't the vaccuuming disrupt the gravel and uproot the plants? Do you just not vacuum around the plants? I recently took out all my gravel and replaced it with pebbles and marbles and the like. I am keeping one of my plants in a glass candle votive filled with gravel (potted, basically) and the other one I just ancored down with some rocks. But, I think if I really want to get a lot more plants (I do) I'm going to want to just go back to gravel. But, with that, I want to keep my gravel REALLy clean. How can I do that but keep my plants from being uprooted each time I vacuum?

Basically, I just want plant tips in general.

And, has anybody ever used those little bulbs they sell at, like, walmart and stuff? Any luck?
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Old 04-25-2009, 08:03 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Ohio
What size tank are you planting?
If the blue bulbs are the screw socket incandescent light that say they are 15w, dont waist your money. I bought a pack, put in my 10 gal tank (for about 2 min), it was so dark in there, I could not see my fish. Walmart does sell a a srew in bulb of 10w,($6 or7 dollars) that looks like a fluorescent. I forget the name, but I believe you can find it on their website. I have this in a planted 5g and 10g, plants are doing well in both.
Its best to just clean around the plants. If you buy some plant substrate, such as Eco-complete, it is suppose to break down fish waste into plant food. In my tanks with the Eco-, I just swirl the gravel cleaner above the substrate to pick up any dirt.
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Old 04-25-2009, 10:07 AM   #3 
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Canada
I replaced all my bulbs with ones from the dollar store, 9 & 11 watts, But equal to a 40 watt bulb,
My lights run from the time I get up. 8 ish to the time I go to bed, 1 ish. and I don't have to much algae troubles,

I only vacuum my gravel at each corner and where the main food floats to the bottom, plus skim it along the top of the gravel for any loose debris,

I don't add any type of special gravel or plant fertilizer, none of that stuff, and all my plants are doing great.... I plant Water sprite and let some float, Banana plants and Java Moss mostly, but have a few others like the Cardinal plant,
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Old 04-25-2009, 12:41 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: United States
I haven't had good luck with live plants. I currently have a five gallon with one live and two silk plants, and a 2.5 with two silk. I like the look of live plants, but the ones I buy always have snails on them, and they are hard for me to place.
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