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Old 10-11-2010, 01:34 AM   #1 
kinderwaffle
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Planted Tank

HI!
I got my first 5 gallon aquarium! whooo!
I haven't set it up yet (I'm at my parents for thanksgiving) but I am SO freaking excited to!

I want to do a fairly heavily planted tank.
When cycling your tank, do you put the plants in first? Or after?

Also I worry about algae... I hear with plants comes algae. Is there a way to control it or a critter i can buy that won't be eaten or eat my little betta?

Here is list of plants I am thinking of adding.. not all of them, these are just options.
So any thoughts on these or any "OMG NO!" on any would be appreciated so I can cull my options :)

Cardamine lyrata
Ceratopteris thalictroides
Marimo Moss Ball
Cyperus helferi
Limnophila aquatica
Limnophila sessiliflora
Lindernia rotundifolia
Riccia fluitans
Weeping Moss
Java Moss
Christmas Moss
Utricularia graminifolia
Vallisneria americana "mini twister''

Thanks!
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Old 10-11-2010, 02:01 AM   #2 
kinderwaffle
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Also, how many plants would be sufficient, do you think?
I want a lot of foliage, but I don't want to overcrowd it.
I'd probably like a driftwood log too, if that helps.

Cheers!
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:32 PM   #3 
Oldfishlady
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Cardamine lyrata-stem plant
Ceratopteris thalictroides-water sprite
Cyperus helferi-may need CO2
Limnophila aquatica-can get really big
Limnophila sessiliflora-stem plant and low light
Lindernia rotundifolia-nice stem plant
Riccia fluitans-hard to keep down-nice floater but messy-does best with CO2
Utricularia graminifolia-Carnivorous plant and needs CO2-hard to care for and grow-needs lots of special care to do best
Vallisneria americana "mini twister''-rosette plant-nice back ground plant
Weeping Moss (Taxiphyllum ferriei) can be hard to grow and needs high light and low pH
Christmas Moss-easy

In a 5g tank I would pick a couple of mosses and some of the smaller or dwarf type species of stem plants, limit the rosette species-otherwise it will get overgrown really fast
Do you plan on using CO2-
Algae is not caused by plants per se-but seen more in planted tank because of the high amount of organics that are caused by the decay of plant material that naturally happen-you get algae from light and nutrients in the tank-once the planted tank is balanced and the plants use the nutrients faster than algae to out-compete them-you should not have any algae problems
Light is a big factor in successful planted tank-too much or too less and the plants will not thrive and out compete the algae-same as with the photo-period-the plants need the light long enough to thrive and grow-too short or too long...poor growth and algae.....
The right type and number of plants in a lightly stocked tank-IMO-you don't need to worry so much about the nitrogen cycle per se
I would plant and add the fish-monitor the water and make needed water changes if ammonia and/or nitrite read 0.25ppm or greater.
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Old 10-11-2010, 03:54 PM   #4 
kinderwaffle
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Thanks!

Is CO2 hard? or expensive?
I know very little about "adding it" but if it is a good idea, I wouldn't mind putting the effort into it!
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:06 PM   #5 
Oldfishlady
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I don't use injected CO2 in any of my natural heavy planted tanks and they grow just fine...I don't want to mess with it or have the added expense......you can also use a product called Excel by SeaChem as a liquid CO2-I don't use that either...again...don't need it...lol....and it is pretty costly if you have lots of tanks
Use of injected CO2 is needed with some aquatic plants but there are lots of plants that don't need it that are fine an look and grow great.
It all in what and how far you want to go with planted tanks-I would start out with the species of plants that don't need CO2 first and get a feel for them before you invest lots of money into CO2 injection or research the DIY and give that a go......nothing wrong with learning something new if it interest you.....
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:15 PM   #6 
Alex09
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Im using DIY co2. Did ALOT of research on it. its only been a few days. Havent really noticed anything out of the ordinary with the plants yet. Some useful guides:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHS6yEDPKSU
http://www.plantedtank.net/articles/DIY-Yeast-CO2/7/
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:17 PM   #7 
Adastra
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I'm a big fan of Seachem Excel in lieu of CO2, it's quick, easy and you don't have to deal with any fragile, expensive, or potentially unreliable home-made equipment. If you do it right, DIY CO2 can be a fun and useful tool, but I don't use it because I'm too afraid something would fail and I'd end up starving my plants or suffocating all my fish.

Stem plants are my favorite, personally. They're easy to keep, and you don't need much to start out with--as soon as they need to be pruned, just replant your cuttings and you'll have twice as many plants as you started with. Rotala rotundifolia is a great plant for beginners--it's got a very nice color to it and it's very forgiving. Crypts are another favorite, if you are using root tabs--there are a lot of varieties of very easy to grow and beautiful plants--I love my C. wendtii. Christmas moss is nice--my favorite moss, it's so easy to grow and is much less sloppy than java moss. If you are thinking about a grassy groundcover, lilaeopsis (microswords) make a nice dense grassy lawn without the light and CO2 demands of hairgrass.
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Old 10-12-2010, 03:47 PM   #8 
wallywestisthebest333
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I can't wait to see what you do with your tank! =]
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Old 10-12-2010, 03:59 PM   #9 
kinderwaffle
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Whee!
I planted it a little while ago.

HOLY CRAP IT IS NOT EASY! LOL.
I had plants floating everywhere as soon as I put the water in and it was SUCH A MESS!
It still is, but at least there are no more floating plants... I hope :p
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Old 10-12-2010, 04:01 PM   #10 
Oldfishlady
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We want pic.......can't wait to see it.......
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