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So, I am going to Petsmart to pick up a new tank in about 1.5-2 hours and I would like to get some plants. I am thinking I will just get silk plants, but I may get real ones. What would you recommend for a beginner? I don't want to over plant either.
 

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No such thing as over planting! Plants are wonderful, and fish love them! They also aid to remove toxins from the water and add oxygen to the water.

You could try any of the anubias sp., java fern, marimo moss balls or ancharias. Those are all the low light plants my PetSmart carries.

Depending on your light, you may even be able to try S. repens, temple compacta or wisteria. These are all "moderate" light plants.

Thinking outside of just PetSmart, you could do some java moss or any Cryptocorynet sp. They also do well in low light environments. There are many many more. These are just a few of my faves.

Good Luck!
 

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Thanks Tori! The tank I am getting has LED lights, but I am not sure how bright they are. The lights in my room are usually off most of the day while my roommate and I are in class.
 

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I would plan for a "low light" environment.

Here is a rough guide to lights:
Light temperature in Kelvin must be 6500K-7000K to support plant growth.
Next up is your watts per gallon.
Low light: <2watts per gallon
Moderate Light: 2-3watts per gallon
High Light: >4 watts per gallon
 

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Java Moss or Java Fern, guppy grass and Anubias are all easy beginner plants. The moss and grass can take over a tank fast if not trimmed regularly. The other two are very manageable with rhizome growth that can be easily clipped and removed if it becomes to large. Live plants also help to absorb nutrients from the water and aerate your substrate to prevent anaerobic conditions that can be deadly to fish. I used to use plastic or silk plants because I had Oscars and Cichlids but now I have remover them all and replaced with live because of the benefit of the oxygenation they provide and the nutrient reduction, so if I miss a water change it is not as big a deal as before when the nutrient, nitrates would build up rather quickly in the water. Anubias are free growers which means they pull nutrients directly from the water column and do not need to be rooting into substrate, it looks great on a piece of drift wood because it makes it look like a living tree under the water and because it has tough bitter leaves most fish won't even nip at it at all if you just leave it to free float. I hope this helps.
 
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