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Old 11-29-2009, 01:33 PM   #1 
ninjafish's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Upstate NY
Live plant questions

I was thinking of getting some live plants for my 30 gallon when I set it up, but I was wondering if there are any special things you need to do for the plants to keep them healthy? Do they require a special kind of food, and where can I find it? Thanks for reading..

Oh and I didn't plan on buying any exotic plants..Just the ones I've seen in the petstores.
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:39 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Okay first of all, you need a fluorescent light.

If you have one of these, check the wattage and divide it by the gallonage. Low light plants need 0-1 watt per gallon, medium around 2 wpg and high light plants are 3 wpg and up.

Go for low light plants. First off, high light plants will totally flop under insufficient lighting, which is probably what you have unless you have dropped $80 on a specialty light fixture. Even with enough lighting, high-light plants need CO2 and more ferts to thrive. So whatever you do, stay away from hig or even medium light plants... they are just a setup for frustration if you have never planted a tank before!

Some awesome low light plants are: Water wisteria, moss of pretty much any kind, anubias species, amazon sword species, cryptocoryne species, java fern. You can usually score some good low-light plant lists by prowling around planted tank forums.

As far as ferts go, if you are running a low-light setup you shouldn't need a demanding fert regime. If you have gravel substrate, some flourish tabs will beef it up. Other than that, you should be fine to dose some micro-nutrents eg Flourish Comrehensive. I am a big fan of the Flourish line of ferts.... definitely the best value for your money. Beware of cheap ferts like Nutrafin Plant-Gro... they are more watered down, so you actually need to dose more of them, making them less cost-effective than more expensive ferts.
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:49 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Middlesex County, NJ
I agree with what Kelly said. I have water wisteria and anubias nana in a 16 tall with a Florasun lamp and they thrive. The water wisteria is very, very pretty and very easy to grow and divide. You could also have marimo balls. They're really an algae but I think they add a very interesting look to a tank.
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:49 PM   #4 
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Thanks so much for all the info Kelly and vaygirl. :) I'm going to bookmark this post so I can refer to it next time I head to the store!
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