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Old 01-14-2010, 03:11 PM   #1 
kuklachica
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plants

What substrate can plants be grown in? i.e. can I put them in gravel in my 20 gal? and do they substantially increase upkeep? what kinds are the best?

thanks for the info... i'd like to put some long plants in my tank, but don't want to do it if it is too much work.

oh.. and any ideas on good ideas to convince the hubby to let me fill the now-empty 10 gal?? :):)
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:39 PM   #2 
kelly528
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There are some general guidelines to plants.

-The more light they require, the faster they grow and the more nutrients they need, therefore the more maintenance they require.
- To grow plants you must have a fluorescent light (or you could have no light at all if they are really low-light like java moss).
-The amount of light plants require correlates with the wattage of the tank light. To determine this divide the wattage of your tank light over the number of gallons in your tank. This will give you a watts per gallon (wpg) level. High light = 3 or more WPG wheras low light would be under 1 WPG.
-In small tanks (less than 10g) the WPG rule breaks down and you will want to multiply required WPG by about 5. So a low-light 5g would need about 15 WPG, even though that gives you 3 WPG when you divide it the actual effect you will get is less than 1 WPG. If you run 15 watts over a 10 gallon that gives you will get low-medium (1.5 WPG) of light.
-Most beginners are better off with low light plants because unless you run out and drop $50 on a spankin new light fixture there is little you can grow with the light that came with your tank.

Some good plants for you to start out with would be any anubias, moss, or cryptocoryne species. Another low-light favorite is Java Fern.
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:56 PM   #3 
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Since you have gravel I would go with "easy" plants.. or ones that you tie to a rock or drift wood.

You need to figure out what your WPG is (wattage of your light/ gallons in your tank).. for instance I have a 15watt bulb and a 10 gallon tank= WPG of 1.5

Great beginner plants are Java Moss, Java Fern, Crypts, Anubias, and Vals. I would say Java moss and Java fern are the most popular. They are low light and easily cultivated. For my 10 gal I'm getting some Java moss, Broad leaf Java Fern, and either an anubias or crypt of some sort (depending on how cheap they are).. I'm hoping to get planted next month so I should have pics then

A ten gall is a great starter tank when you begin planting (IMO.. but I'm biased )

Plants can be troublesome but if you get the "easy" or starter plants you shouldn't have many problems.. just vacuum sparsely (so the fish poo can fertilize) and add a fert tab every so often. Plants also decrease your water changes (at least in a cycled tank) because they use nitrites (or is it nitrates??.. can't remember). If your doing everything right you'll find you have to prune bc you'll have so much growth!

I hope that eventually I'll be able to take java moss and java fern cuttings and plant them in my 3 and 2.5 gal tanks.

Ideally you want short, med, and tall plants.. to create a foreground, middle ground, and back ground.. but if you just want a plant here or there thats cool to.
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Old 01-14-2010, 06:52 PM   #4 
Scienceluvr8
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Alright, well reading up on this I just wondered what would be the best to do water changes with plants?
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:02 PM   #5 
kuklachica
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Wow, thank you for all of the info - I really appreciate it.
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Old 01-17-2010, 10:26 PM   #6 
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If you like gravel, you can add a layer of sand first and then put the gravel on top. I have found that plants grow much better roots in sand than gravel.
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Old 01-18-2010, 12:55 PM   #7 
AlfaTheBeta
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so are you guys saying that if you have plants you dont have to mess with cleaning the poop out of the gravel because the poop fertilizes plants?
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:18 PM   #8 
dramaqueen
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You still have to gravel vac the bottom of the tank.
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Old 01-18-2010, 02:10 PM   #9 
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Plants will absorb some nitrate but nowhere near all of it. Plus, plants only suck nutrients as fast as they grow so in theory if you wanted your plants to absorb all of a betta's waste you would probably need at least a 20g tank stuffed to the brim with high-light plants and run some serious lighting and C02 on top of that. Which would set you back about 400-500 dollars.
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Old 01-18-2010, 03:54 PM   #10 
veganchick
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I have some bamboo(the hardiest plants eve! its can live through anything!!), anuabis (sp), swordplants, jave moss, java fern, and a bunch of those plants that come in the clear cylinders at pet stores and are always labeled snail free (sorry, not sure on names of those) I have some others too, but I forgot names and Idk how to explain them...
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