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Old 01-06-2011, 05:09 PM   #1 
Omega3
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Can live plants go into a 2.5?

I'd love to add live plants to my 2.5 minibow, but I'm not sure where to start. What plants are easy to maintain? How does one fertilize aquarium plants? I like lillies and java ferns as well as bamboo and aponogeton. All I really know is that the bamboo leaves need to be above water level or they'll rot. I've heard java ferns are easy to grow. What does difference does the ground make (fore, mid, back)? How many plants should be planted per gallon? I've been looking for this info, but it seems evasive. Does anyone know any good websites about compatibility, lighting, growth, etc?
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:24 PM   #2 
CatherineMPLS
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I've planted "tanks" as small as 1/2 gallon! Size doesn't matter ;)

Java ferns are a great starting plant. Any slow-growing, low-light plant should be ok. Aquarium lillies might be ok with your current setup... but depending on what lighting you decide to use, even "dwarf" lillies can grow very fast.


If you want to go to medium/high light plants, you may need to upgrade the bulb that came with the mini-bow (such as a 10W mini compact fluorescent) and possibly get some ferts.
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:32 PM   #3 
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Lucky bamboo is good if the leaves are above water. A very good plant is anacharis. It grows fast and is very forgiving of mistakes. It also looks like kelp if planted right. For fertilizers use root tabs for rooted plants and liquid fertilizer for rooted and floating plants. Just buy fertilizer at a fish store. I heard seachem flourish is bad for anacharis, but I may have it wrong. The amount of plants per gallon depends on the ferts and Co2 system. For lots of plants a CO2 system is necessary, but not for anacharis, java fern, java moss, etc.... if it is not in a huge group. Plant small plants up front and large plants near the back for a better look.
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:42 PM   #4 
Arzela
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You can have live plants in any amount of water, so long as the roots are submerged. Easy plants to have include java fern, various mosses such as java moss, anubias (i personally like petite nana, i really need to order some! it stays tiny!) and water wisteria. Also, you can never have too many plants! Well, I suppose you'd like to see your fish...:P As a general rule, keep tall plants in the background, and shorter ones in the foreground.

I have a 2.5 mini bow, and to successfully grow plants in mine, it took some effort on my part. The bulb that the tank came with was a incandescent bulb that would have absolutely no effect on plant growth. I replaced it with a 7w 6500k (daylight) tubular CFL. Second, I replaced the filter that the mini-bow came with. It's a terrible filter, (I took out the carbon in the cartridge and it just...kept overflooding? I don't know) and it blocked a lot of the light. This was the more difficult thing to do, as the filter has housing built into the plastic rim that holds the hood. I used an exacto knife to cut the plastic. (And had to go get a tetanus booster because I sliced my hand open in the process. =/ If you decide to do that, be careful!) I replaced the filter with a Red Sea Nano Filter and couldn't be happier. It has an adjustable flow. Since I decided to use inert black sand in my tank, I fertilize. I use API Leaf Zone 1-2x a week, and I have root tablets in my substrate. I also use a very tiny amount of Seachem's Flourish Excel(.25ml) every day as a CO2 source. You don't have to have CO2, but it does help the plants grow.

And if you're interested, here's Calypso's 2.5 mini bow...

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Old 01-06-2011, 05:43 PM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shinybetta View Post
Lucky bamboo is good if the leaves are above water. A very good plant is anacharis. It grows fast and is very forgiving of mistakes. It also looks like kelp if planted right. For fertilizers use root tabs for rooted plants and liquid fertilizer for rooted and floating plants. Just buy fertilizer at a fish store. I heard seachem flourish is bad for anacharis, but I may have it wrong. The amount of plants per gallon depends on the ferts and Co2 system. For lots of plants a CO2 system is necessary, but not for anacharis, java fern, java moss, etc.... if it is not in a huge group. Plant small plants up front and large plants near the back for a better look.
From Seachem, Anacharis is a particularly sensitive species (known to be sensitive to high temperature, trace copper, formaldehyde etc.). It is also sensitive to Flourish Excel. If you have Anacharis in an aquarium in which you are dosing Flourish Excel we recommend using Flourish Excel every other day rathter than daily.

I just started using the Flourish Excel, and while that was being shipped I used some kind of Jungle tablet for the plants. Also I have Anacharis. Size really doesn't matter for plants, but some and most will outgrow smaller tanks, As said Jave Fern would be a great plant, of some type of floating plant, like Amazon frogbit or Duckweed I think should be fine.
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:21 PM   #6 
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Finally a subject I can be semi expert in...

I'd have to say NO to Lucky Bamboo... I have several jars around the house with all types from 3ft tall stalks in large wine bottles to little clusters in small vases.

When and if the Bamboo is healthy it causes no issues but once the bamboo has issues it causes the water to turn a horrible green. One of my small ones Is dying (I should just trash it but every time I pass it I'm always busy) and the water is just filled with gross lumpy green debris (No the leaves were never submerged.

Final Note: Mmmm if your bamboo is VERY vibrant and healthy than you get my ok but if it's kinda... MEH don't chance it.



I just got a Java Fern, Wysteria, Anacharis, Anubias, and Kyoto Grass.

Java Fern seems pretty kill-proof so far.

Anacharis had nothing but problems and does NOT like to be bound by rubberbands (It slowly rotted away till it broke from the Anchor so now it's floating) it half died away and now is regrowing... I doubt you can kill it but it does die back and regrows to acclimatize to your water takes a few weeks (Thats how long I've had mine and it's getting healthy now.)

Anubias has only been in my tank just 3 days and already it's growing nicely.

Wysteria I found out changes it's leaves around from being sold as regular plants grown on land but then changes it's leaves when in water (Smells awesome too) but will be fine.

Kyoto Grass... you all told me is not an aquatic plant but a Used-To-Flooding-Plant so should be allowed to Air out it's roots every now and then (Put it rather loosely in a shell so I can retrieve it easily even if it grows)

Hope I helped! Oh! All of these I got at Petsmart.

Also look around your house... if you have any old vines or ferns... show us pics you may be able to put their roots in the water! I found an ancient Variegated Philodendron Vine (Easily over 30yrs old) and was in sad conditions yet is now flourishing in my tank even when half of it's leaves are submerged (It's been submerged for a month and no signs of leaf rotting)

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Old 01-07-2011, 02:52 PM   #7 
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Your tanks are beautiful! What's the grassy looking stuff some people grow? I love the look of kelp! How does one need to plant anacharis to achieve that look? I only wish I could have a current strong enough to get that lovely wave going on.

Ok, so far I'm thinking large java fern (I don't want to have to wait for everything to grow), lilly bulbs, anacharis, lucky bamboo (I know where it's dirt cheap, so why not?), water wisteria, and anubias. Basically a little bit of everything.

Since I live on the coast, I may go drift wood hunting. Any clues on how to get the salt water out? Boil it?

My mini bow has no hood, ergo no light (goodwill). I have a desk lamp and an overhead light, though. Will this much light kill the low lighting plants? Which ones need anchoring and how does one anchor them?

DormDrax, how did you manage to kill bamboo? It grows on rocks! My dad about killed some by putting it in nutrient rich soil, but re-potted it and it's fine. My parents have issues with bamboo overtaking their yard and I had to recruit my dog to help cut it down.

Attached is my current set up. I really don't like using my snake's shedding device as a cave since it's rough and sharp in some places (hence it being good for shedding), but Quasimodo seems to love it and I do think it would look lovely covered in moss. However, it will be risky if Quasi ever gets external parasites and wants to rub against it...

Here's my set up! Don't mind the cloudy water or low temperature, I had just changed the water before the picture was taken and waiting for the temperature to increase and the water clear up, which it invariably does.
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Last edited by Omega3; 01-07-2011 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 01-07-2011, 03:47 PM   #8 
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The grassy plant at the bottom of my tank is dwarf sagittaria. It's pretty easy to grow.

I have to admit the skull is pretty cool looking. I'm not sure how well any moss, the java fern, or the anubias would attach though. I know you say it has some fairly sharp parts, but is the paint on it smooth? Plants use the ridges in natural driftwood and rocks to attach themselves. You can use cotton sewing thread to anchor plants. It eventually deteriorates and disappears. I typically just take the lazy way out and find small spots I can cram the roots into. As long as it'll stay, it'll attach itself fairly quickly. I'm not sure how you would sterilize any driftwood that you could find. I'd be worried about pollutants and any parasites that might be hiding within...=/ I'd recommend boiling the driftwood regardless of where you obtain it, however. Stops the release of tannins into the tank water.

Your light shouldn't be too terrible on the the low light plants. Depending on how strong it is, however, it can cause them to 'burn' or have a lot of algae growing on them. It probably won't be a problem.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:30 PM   #9 
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Thanks! I have a freind who has a lot of GORGEOUS tanks and has had such success with various fish and plants that they've had to get more tanks to accommodate the growing population. I may ask her if I can have some when it she decides to thin it out. Is there any species that SHOULDN'T be put in with a betta?
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:44 PM   #10 
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As far as I know, any live plants are safe for bettas.
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