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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all, I'm mostly a beginner at planted tanks, I've only worked with java fern and anubias for a short time. Im thinking of trying water wisteria and a bit of water lettuce in most of my tanks with the anubias and java fern that i already have.. i use only gravel substrate, the water temps stay at about 80 F and about 7.8 alkalinity.. the LED lights i have on my 10 gal tanks are in the low wattage, not sure exactly what strength, they came attached to the tank lids. Should the wisteria and lettuce work with everything? Should i get better lighting? I know I'll probably need root tabs for the wisteria. Advice would be appreciated..
 

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Wisteria is said to require a PH of between 6.5 and 7.5 with water temps of 78-82 degrees. However I have found this plant to grow and thrive in the water conditions you have in your tank. The use of plant tabs is highly recommended.

As far as the water lettuce the soil requirements are are a mix of loam and sand with water temps between 66 and 72 degrees. So I don't think this plant will do well in your tank. If your looking for a foreground plant that grows well and you can maintain by pruning I have used Crested Java fern in a few of my tanks. It does not grow at the same rate Java Fern does and you can maintain this plant by pruning.

Another Idea for foreground is Moss. Java moss is easy to grow and stays in a very low carpet. Christmas moss is another that is easy to grow and doesn't require higher lighting or any other special considerations. PH requirements are 5.5 to 7.5 water temp of 80 degrees is fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Old dog, thank u for confirming about the wisteria. I see water lettuce probably wont work.. i was thinking about the lettuce bcuz i wanted a floating plant to give the bettas a little cover while they are at the water surface. Know of anything floaty like the lettuce that should work for me?
 

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Welcome to the Forum!

Water Lettuce is usually floated. I've used it in many of my tanks. That or Frogbit. I hate Duckweed as it can take over and get into your filter and any little crack or crevice.

FWIW, you can keep floating plants in specified areas by using floating rings. I think they can be made out of airline tubing connected back to itself. But someone else can tell you for sure.

A bit of advice: Let any stem plant float until it begins to develop roots. I am a lover of the "bunch" look so I weight the plants down (basically same as floating) and let them root themselves. Never try to plan Hornwort as it does not grow viable roots.
 

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Like Russell said Frogbit is a good floating plant and most bunch plants do a really nice job for top cover. Hornwort is a great floating plant ( just don't try and plant it.) I am floating some scarlet ludwigia in one of my tanks to help with flow control. and it is soon time to prune it and I'll have some for another tank to start the same process, That's what's nice about bunch plants. they grow fast and you can prune them and use them in other tanks. They are basic plants that don't require much in the way of care. Most are low light plants.
 

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I would say be wary about the frogbit. It doesn't like its leaves getting wet and will rot quickly despite wiping down the leaves and the addition of fertilizer. Perhaps start with some larger rooted plants that curve up to cover the surface?
 

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As Caelth has said for Frogbit the tops of the leaves must not get wet or stay wet for very long. If they do they will rot. It seems like a good floating plant as long as there is no canopy or top on the tank or anywhere spray from aeration will collect on top of the leaves. Another good plant for floating is water sprite. Hardy and fast growing
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the info! Yeah i think duckweed and frogbit are not much option for me.. duckweed would be too messy for me and frogbit probably would not work for me since i keep lids on all tanks and they do drip perspiration a lot. What do you guys mean by 'bunch' plants??
 

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No floating plants like Dwarf Water Lettuce, Frog Bit, etc., tolerates getting its surface wet.

Stem plants are just that, stemmy. They do not have center points like Swords or Crypts; nor do they have rhizomes like Anubias or Java Fern.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oh, i didnt know all the 'lily pad' looking type plants cant get wet on top. Uh, are bunch plants and stem plants the same thing?
 

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I found out the hard way they only like their undersides and roots wet.

Yes, bunch and stem plants are the same. I wasn't quite sure how to describe stem plants and "stemmy" came to mind even though my spell check doesn't recognize it. Almost forgot, you really don't need root tabs for stem plants as they can feed from the water column.

Can't wait to see your tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
A bit of advice: Let any stem plant float until it begins to develop roots. I am a lover of the "bunch" look so I weight the plants down (basically same as floating) and let them root themselves. Never try to plan Hornwort as it does not grow viable roots.
Sry lol (noob), can you plz explain more about letting new stem plants 'float' when u get them?
 

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Don't plant in the substrate. Either use the weights they come with to sink them or let them float individually all over the tank.

This is one of my old divided tanks. Hope it shows you what I mean. Plants in the middle were weighted instead of planted and kept in a "bunch." The plant is Myriophyllum "Green." There are several species/colors of Myrio.

LittleWillie1.jpg
 

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Bunch plants and stem plants in most cases are the same. When plant farms sell their stem plants to a buyer they are sold in bunches not by the stem. So the phrase bunch plants.
These stem plants are cultivated and pruned to certain lengths and bundled into bunches for sale. From the farm to the buyer and stores the bunches ate separated into smaller bunches for sale to us. These bunches of stems have no roots but will grow them in time and can be planted once they do take root. That's why we float them first to let the roots grow until we can plant them.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Bunch plants and stem plants in most cases are the same. When plant farms sell their stem plants to a buyer they are sold in bunches not by the stem. So the phrase bunch plants.
These stem plants are cultivated and pruned to certain lengths and bundled into bunches for sale. From the farm to the buyer and stores the bunches ate separated into smaller bunches for sale to us. These bunches of stems have no roots but will grow them in time and can be planted once they do take root. That's why we float them first to let the roots grow until we can plant them.
Oooh, i see. You just answered my later question
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well m about to order some wisteria, stargrass, micro sword, and red flame sword! I should float all of those until roots grow?
 

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Not the Swords; they are not "bunch" plants. They are rooted plants and feed from the substrate. Stem plants are often sent without roots. To prevent rotting you want to float them until roots develop.

I have a discount code for www.aquariumplants.factory and www.plantedaquariumscentral.com. You will need to send me a message as they are for Forum members only.

I know this is confusing. But to summarize:

Individual plants you can buy potted, plants with centers (like Swords and Cryptocorynes) are rooted plants that feed from the substrate. They develop very strong, thick root systems. Look at the roots on your Anubias as an example of those thick roots.

Plants you can buy in bunches are stem plants. They can feed mainly from the water column. They do not develop the same heavy root system as do rooted plants. Circled area is a root. Note it is individual, slender, thin and weak comopared to the Anubias or Sword roots.

View attachment 964540
 

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Any plant can be planted.

Stem plants can be planted *if they have roots*. If you plant them without roots how are they going to feed? They can't (unless you use liquid ferts) and while some survive many will rot from the bottom up. That is why it is recommended to let them float until they develop roots before planting. The problem is with such flimsy roots and light weight it is difficult to keep them down without them continuously floating back up. That is why it was noted elsewhere you can weight them down and their roots will eventually anchor the plant in the substrate

The below is the root system of a plant that feeds from the substrate. Note the difference in roots? These are thick and together. They will anchor the plant in the substrate.

healthy-amazon-sword-roots-260x146.jpg
 
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