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Choosing plants for my tank

1277 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Salamandair
Hi, all!

I want to start using live plants in my tanks because I think that they'd look a lot better than the fake ones that I have in there now. I know that different plants needs different lighting, so I was curious as to which plants would be good for my tank.

I have a 3.5 gallon tank with LED lighting (it has red, green, blue and regular lights.) I usually keep the lights on the setting with all four of them on during the day for about 12-13 hours and I have gravel substrate. I have a Hawkeye Aquarium 180, if that helps (

I was thinking of getting some Anubias for sure, maybe some Java Fern and I was gonna get a Moss ball. Any help/ideas?

P.S: What about trimming the plants? I've been doing mild research, but I haven't learned a thing about it :(

Thank you for any help!
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You're on the right track. Anubias and Java fern are great for low-tec setups. I have those plants in every single one of my plants. Anubias grows so slowly you will probably never have to prune it. It stays small no matter what. The leaves also make good resting places for bettas. Java fern will probably need to be trimmed. It propages by making little plants on the end of the leaves; you can just pinch those off with your fingers. You can also trim it by cutting the rhizome (the thing that the leaves grow from).

Duckweed, hornwort, water sprite, and pennywort are other good plants for a low-tec setup. I use all of those except the pennywort. I plan to get some when the cold season ends. Hornwort and water sprite can be grown either floating or planted. I like to plant my hornwort and let the water sprite float. Duckweed is a floating plant only. Hornwort grows rather fast and makes a great background plant.

Oh I also like the attach anubias and java fern to driftwood because they don't like to be rooted in the substrate.
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Anubias doesn't have to be attached to driftwood. It can be left to float, but I don't like doing that because anubias are a low-light plant. They can be damaged by sticking it right next to the light. I attach mine with rubber bands and thread. Once the anubias grows roots into the driftwood, you can remove them. I've seen them rooted in the substrate (without the rhizome buried), but I think they look much more natural rooted to wood. So I guess you can either bury the roots (not the rhizome) in the substrate or root it to driftwood but not float.

Where to get driftwood is another story. Some types of wood are safe for aquaria and others aren't. GRAPEWOOD IS NOT SAFE!! I have heard pure horror stories about entire tanks dieing after grapewood was introduced. Dark Malaysian driftwood is the best. It sinks immediately and can release tannins. I've seen it sold on aquabid. Some people have had luck with mopani wood; others have had similar experiences to the grapewood with it. I use it but only with caution.

For water changes, what do you normally do? My smallest tank is a 10 gal, so I'm not really well versed in small tank water changes. My thoughts would be to slightly reduce the amount but not by that much.

Happy to help!
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