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Old 08-27-2011, 09:10 PM   #1 
SonOfMoon
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Question Plants?

I currently have a 10 gallon tank with fake plants. I am planning to grow some real plants. Is there a special kind of substrate you need in order to grow plants?
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:46 PM   #2 
Laki
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There are some that don't root (moss balls) and some you can attach to things like driftwood (mosses, java fern etc). Some plants are sold in a pot already and I guess you don't need to worry about them until they grow. I really enjoyed my floating plants years back.. It was called duckweed I think. Grew so fast I was able to feed my turtles with the excess and give some away to other people!! lol

For my betta tank I have a moss ball (people here have multiple ones!!) they're unique and very low maintenace.

I'm no expert on plants and their care but mosses I know are easy. Someone else here should help give more detail! :)
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Old 08-27-2011, 10:11 PM   #3 
SonOfMoon
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Thank you! I will get a moss ball as soon as i get the chance to do so. they sound and look really cool (:
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Old 08-27-2011, 10:44 PM   #4 
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To grow plants it's best to have a finer substrate than normal aquarium gravel, which is hard for plants to root in. Sand or any commercially sold plant substrate (eco-complete, fluorite, etc) are good choices.
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:23 PM   #5 
SonOfMoon
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is it expensive O.o
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Old 08-28-2011, 09:19 AM   #6 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the forum......

Planted tanks are awesome and really easy, however, most failures are related to the wrong lights.....Plants see light differently than we do....color spectrum/wave length or kelvin rating is more important than watts......Proper lighting for plants doesn't have to be expensive either......for the regular 2 pin fluorescent type bulbs/hoods....you can use regular "Daylight" 6500k bulb you get in the lighting dept at most stores like walmart, lowes, home depot....they need to be changed out at least yearly since the color spectrum the plant needs can degrade over time/use...we can see the light but the plant can't see it to use for energy...photosynthesis.......

Planted tanks are a balance....it is normal to get some algae and some species of algae can be a good sign of a healthy system, help make the tank look more natural by softening edges, provides a place for microorganism to feed and colonize that the fish will graze on, however, since this is a closed system some manual removal will be needed along with the weekly water change....you want to start a planted tank on 10h/day photoperiod and if you see algae growing too fast...increase to 12h/day to help the plants out compete the algae for light and nutrients...its a balance....active plant growth is needed to maintain the balance.....

Substrate.....small diameter gravel is better than sand IMO...unless you are going to use dirt under the sand....Sand can compact around the root and this can limit nutrients and oxygen and you can risk anaerobic or dead spot from the lack of oxygen....Small diameter gravel will prevent this....too large diameter and the nutrients can be washed away too fast....
The plant specific substrate are a good choice, however, they can be expensive......

Good low-mod light plants-naja grass, rotala,, ludwigia, water wisteria, valllisneria, sagittaria, java fern, java moss, anubias...floating plants like water lettuce, frogbit.......and the list goes on.....lots to pick from...

Look forward to seeing pics once you get it setup.....

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 08-28-2011 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 08-28-2011, 11:51 AM   #7 
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Quick Add to OFL light rating statement

Most Fresh water Planted Tank use 6500k to 8500k( Kelvin ) lights...
Reason for this is anything above 8500k is too blue and does not support photosynthesis in freshwater application...

Salt water Photosynthesis happens between 8500k - 10,000K

Compact florescent Lights which are on most Nano Tanks have a 2700K rating.

LED compact lights which are on some of the newer Nano Tanks have a 6400k



That being Said " LOW LIGHT PLANT " like the one listed here
http://www.shop.plantedaquariumscent...Plants_c17.htm
Will survive in 2700k-6400k lighting situation because nano tank light penetration is very good... ( Moss Balls ) do fit into this.. Banana Plants will also work...

Plants Like Banana Plants Modify there growth in low light situations, They will grow taller in an attempt to obtain more light...

A nice Floating plant which can also be attached to something is Riccia Fluitans
Hard to find in the U.S. but here a link so you know what it looks like..
http://www.thegreenmachineonline.com...iccia-fluitans

A nice plant the will cover the bottom of your tank spreading on it own is Pigmy Chain Sword
http://www.shop.plantedaquariumscent...us-pigmy01.htm

I attached a couple pictures of some of my plants, If you want to know what some of them are ask ill post a list.. Crappy Cell phone pics couldnt find the camera...

NOTE:
This tank is 55 Gallons and is on a 24 hour cycle...
Main Light: Dual T5HO 7500k and 8500k 10 hours
Night Light: ( 6 ) 453n LED Moonlights 14 hours
And had Engineered Substrate for planted tanks, From here ----> http://www.aquariumplants.com/Freshw...trate_p/ss.htm
Attached Images
  

Last edited by lordadamar; 08-28-2011 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 08-28-2011, 02:40 PM   #8 
Oldfishlady
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I keep the natural planted systems-I use dirt from my yard capped with sand an a little gravel (most of the gravel has been removed-used to temporary anchor) in most of my tanks...some have potting soil, some with 25/75 mic with kitty litter/soil, top soil in some as well....some of the tanks have filters for water movement that I use poly fill, canister and sponge filters in other and several without any filtration...all but a couple are open top for better light penetration and everyone of them have 6500k daylight bulbs on 12h/day photoperiod...no added ferts or CO2 used-stocked with Bettas, guppies, BN plecos, neon, longfin danios and lots of red cherry shrimp, one tank has the yellow color morph shrimp and the only unplanted tank is the marble crayfish but it does have lots of floating plants and stem plants that float...tons of common snails=ramshorn, pond, trumpet.....that all have a job in my systems...lol......and about 18 different species of plants mixed matched in different tanks.....

Low tech, low cost, easy to care for....as near to a complete ecosystem that you can create in a closed system.......biggest problem I have with my systems....the massively fast plant growth......lol......

More pic in my album if you would like to see them....here are a couple of my tanks.....

Mine are a bit more like a jungle......lol.....


I was spawning long fin danios in this pic
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Old 08-28-2011, 03:04 PM   #9 
lordadamar
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OFL

Nice lookin Tanks, I just planted this one over the last few months.. Tried a few plants I was interested in ended up ripping them out, didnt like the over all look...

Tried a few that were too light intensive didnt feel like spending $250-350 on a light fixture to get 4 watts per gallon...
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Old 08-28-2011, 03:48 PM   #10 
Oldfishlady
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Your tank looks nice lordadamar, just a matter of time before it fills in......I like the look of your substrate...the darker substrate can really help the Bettas color pop and the plants too......and so true, some plants are not suited for lower watt lights and with the higher watts you really need CO2 or you end up with a nice algae farm...lol.....I have found that I can keep some of the higher light need plants with the soil substrate-although they do tend to get a bit leggy and the red color will not be as red....but I don't want to use CO2....lol......this is when picking the right plants is important...most failures are related to lights-but some can be the wrong plant all together that not suited for the setup....planted tanks are a lot easier than most think and they don't have to break the bank to do it...well...unless you want it too....lol......

I have also found that some plants will do better in some tanks than other even with all the same stuff basically....maybe a bit different substrate...but all have the same lighting or pretty close......when I find one tank grows a certain species of plant better than another-I find it easier to just go with it......lol.....sometimes it takes a little trial and error to find the best suited plant for the system........
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