Beginner(ish) to Plants

parxs

I've been somewhat on and off with the fish keeping hobby over the past few years but I've had tanks running solidly for the past 5 years or so and consider myself pretty knowledge on the fish side of things. However, I've only kept very low tech plants because that's because that's what I can keep alive and thriving haha. With covid quarantine I've had plenty of time to refresh my tanks and about 2 weeks ago I bought a couple plants that are a bit more out of my comfort zone (melon sword, crypt costa, and some stem plant that I honestly have no idea what it is) and they looked a little rough for about a week, I have Flourish but I know that swords and I think crypts (?) are root feeders so I got the Flourish root tabs for them and they perked up but now I'm overanalyzing every brown spot and yellow tip and wondering if I'm missing something. I have a habit of diving full force into something when I have the time/resources too and then not being able to keep up with it when life picks back up. With 24/7 free time, micromanaging and nitpicking becomes a lot easier to do. So am I doing just that? Unnecessarily worrying and fussing over my plants? Or should I look at every spot and try to fix any potential deficiencies OR is having the root tabs enough?
 

ArtFish

I do that to lol, i honestly am horrible at keeping aquarium plants, i often cut off the larger dying leaves and leave myself with small leaves, and then somehow the plant doesn't grow.(who knows lol)
Its ok to "overanalyze" your plants but don't mess with them a lot. more just watch them over a few days and look for major concerns with your plants.
If they are new plants they most likely are going to change a little bit to your specific water from what they grew in.
I just got some new plants and some leaves are dying and some aren't. I'm just watching them and will learn from my mistakes if they all end up dying lol.
 

ArtFish

Also, if you are successful with these plants, and your life gets busier, you will probably know your routine and know how to take care of them and it will be easy.
 

parxs

Whew, good to know I'm not the only one
 

ArtFish

Not sure if you did this research but I would recommend for you (and myself haha) to look into if all your plants work with your water. Like Ph, hardiness, and other things.
 

tuggerlake26

I can never get swordplants right. Even with fertilizing with root tabs. My issue is they always live, but either grow really slow or have a ton of tiny little leaves (even Amazons). I've found that bunch plants and anubias are difficult for me.

I swear by val. I think it's very easy to grow, spreads across the tank, and isn't too finicky with light. I also for some reason this year have had a ton of luck with purple cabomba. Usually mine just breaks apart, but this batch that I've had won't stop growing. At one point it had to have been almost 3' for each stem.

Plants can be tough!
 

ArtFish

I tried hornwort (like the easiest plant ever) and they both died.
One froze in while sitting in my mailbox, there was no heat pack like the first time I bought them (it was middle of winter and I live in Minnesota. I won't buy plants in winter anymore), and I didn't realize they got delivered early then it said they would and I wasn't home.. so they died a few days after I got them.
The first time all the "pines" fell off and it got some regrowth but ended up dying and making a mess.
 

BlackOsprey

I'm kind of skeptical about the whole idea of "easy" plants. The allegedly easiest have always given me issues- anubias leaves turn all funky, bulb plants melt down randomly, java ferns do the thing where they get full of black holes and dissolve, subwassertang just vanishes, mosses either brown to death or get infested with hair algae...
Those anecdotes that those Easys don't need extra ferts and can survive the suckiest conditions? Mostly bull. Everything I've ever tried did a lot better when I either used a more potent fert than seachem flourish, or just used soil as the substrate.

Anyways, planted tanks will often do best if mostly left alone. One time, I left a 10g alone for 3 months- no water changes, no ferts besides the soil substrate, I didn't even enter the room it was in. And when I came back, the plants had exploded. The tank was healthier than it had ever been while I was around to poke with it. I know it's hard 'cause you're stuck with it all day every day, but leaving it be might do a surprising amount of good.

... that being said, ya might want to upgrade your ferts. I've had the most success with a ton of low-demand plants growing in nutrient-rich conditions. Flourish liquid and tabs are ok but not the best. Look into nilocg Thrive or Aquarium Co-op's Easy green.
 

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