Best beginner low light aquarium plants?

jkkgron2

Member
I’m thinking of remodeling my 10g divided betta tank and turning it into a planted tank, does anyone have any recommendations on what the substrate or lighting should be? I’m not going to do Co2 and if I add ferts it’ll only be osmocote root tabs. I’m considering doing Anubias, Java fern, marimo moss balls, and some sort of “centerpiece” plant. Oh and I’m not sure if this matters but I have a ph of 8.2 If anyone has any recommendations or suggestions I’d love to hear them! Thanks in advance :) !
 
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babykitten

Member
I kept my dwarf lily in low light. Didn't grow very fast but it lived.
 

Meg123P

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jkkgron2

Member
I’m looking at some stuff on eBay and I found green foxtail. I haven’t found much info on it though except that it’s a beginner plant. Anyone know if it’s poisonous to pets?

Sorry for the double post but also does anyone know what lighting would be best for low-medium light plants? I’m also wondering if I should only do root feeders since I’m not doing ferts and I’m using Seachem fluorite for the substrate?
 

kattiq

Member
I bought my first plants from MarcusFishTanks- hes on ebay and also has a website, I just got some more from him too. My plants came in super healthy (Got swords, anubias and java moss first) and no snails!
This is the light I use and it works great and doesn't break the bank. I may upgrade to something fancier later but I don't have anything but low light plants so this works well with a timer.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01C84SLRO/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I also use Fluval Stratum substrate and Osmocote as well and then some liquid ferts too. My swords are growing great!
 
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jkkgron2

Member
kattiq said:
I bought my first plants from MarcusFishTanks- hes on ebay and also has a website, I just got some more from him too. My plants came in super healthy (Got swords, anubias and java moss first) and no snails!
This is the light I use and it works great and doesn't break the bank. I may upgrade to something fancier later but I don't have anything but low light plants so this works well with a timer.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01C84SLRO/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I also use Fluval Stratum substrate and Osmocote as well and then some liquid ferts too. My swords are growing great!
Thanks for the info and recommendations! I actually was planning on getting that light, just wanted to get some other opinions :). Any ideas on what plants would do good without the liquid ferts? I can invest in them if needed but I’m trying to avoid spending more money on tanks.
 

MomeWrath

Member
Java fern will grow in ambient room light and does not require any substrate at all. That is always my #1 recommendation for first-time plant people. Java moss grows well too but it can be leggy and messy. I have java fern in all of my tanks and have been propagating multiple generations from one java fern I bought probably a decade ago. Actually too strong of a light will stress is and it will look better under low light - like whatever came with your tank. You can tie it to a piece of whatever or just let it float and find its own place.
Another good one for low light is crypts...wendtii I think is the cultivar that I have. Sort of long bronze leaves and does not need a lot of TLC. Again, been propagating babies out of a ten-gallon tank into all my other tanks for several years. It's just about un-killable.
 
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jkkgron2

Member
Magicpenny75 said:
Java fern will grow in ambient room light and does not require any substrate at all. That is always my #1 recommendation for first-time plant people. Java moss grows well too but it can be leggy and messy. I have java fern in all of my tanks and have been propagating multiple generations from one java fern I bought probably a decade ago. Actually too strong of a light will stress is and it will look better under low light - like whatever came with your tank. You can tie it to a piece of whatever or just let it float and find its own place.
Another good one for low light is crypts...wendtii I think is the cultivar that I have. Sort of long bronze leaves and does not need a lot of TLC. Again, been propagating babies out of a ten-gallon tank into all my other tanks for several years. It's just about un-killable.
that’s awesome info! I’m hoping to order the plants once my substrate, rocks, Lighting, and driftwood arrive :).
Ok, three more questions.
1. So the LED light that came with the lid should be fine? 2.Also, can they live with the nicrew light?
3. I’ve read that java
 

MomeWrath

Member
jkkgron2 said:
that’s awesome info! I’m hoping to order the plants once my substrate, rocks, Lighting, and driftwood arrive :).
Ok, three more questions.
1. So the LED light that came with the lid should be fine? 2.Also, can they live with the nicrew light?
3. I’ve read that java
i think your message got cut off at the end.
the LED that came with the tank will be fine for java fern. My best looking one is under a 5 year old Fluval Spec V light lol. I have grown them (years ago...) in bowls with no issue.
I also have a large one in my 30 gallon under a hygger full spectrum LED that is doing very well.
Here is the 10 gallon containing the mother plant crypt and one of the second generation java ferns...
10 gal 3.6.2020.jpg

The light on that one is a Fluval LED bar we bought at Petco

Here is the 30 gallon with the Hygger light. The java fern is the daughter of the plant above. The ten gallon has to be cleared out of about half of its java fern once a year or so or it chokes it out...
30 gal 5.21.2020.jpg
 
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jkkgron2

Member
Magicpenny75 said:
i think your message got cut off at the end.
the LED that came with the tank will be fine for java fern. My best looking one is under a 5 year old Fluval Spec V light lol. I have grown them (years ago...) in bowls with no issue.
I also have a large one in my 30 gallon under a hygger full spectrum LED that is doing very well.
Here is the 10 gallon containing the mother plant crypt and one of the second generation java ferns...
10 gal 3.6.2020.jpg

The light on that one is a Fluval LED bar we bought at Petco

Here is the 30 gallon with the Hygger light. The java fern is the daughter of the plant above. The ten gallon has to be cleared out of about half of its java fern once a year or so or it chokes it out...
30 gal 5.21.2020.jpg
Ok thanks, the last question was about my ph. I was wondering if since it’s 8.2 it will affect the plant growth because I read that Java fern prefers a ph of around 7.
Edit: forgot to ask early sorry. How do I attach a Java fern to a rock or driftwood?
 

MomeWrath

Member
jkkgron2 said:
Ok thanks, the last question was about my ph. I was wondering if since it’s 8.2 it will affect the plant growth because I read that Java fern prefers a ph of around 7.
Edit: forgot to ask early sorry. How do I attach a Java fern to a rock or driftwood?
i don't know about pH...
i have never attached them, myself, i have always sorta wedged them in place for a couple weeks and they will grab on by themselves. My understanding is that you can use cotton thread or fishing line.
 

kattiq

Member
jkkgron2 said:
Thanks for the info and recommendations! I actually was planning on getting that light, just wanted to get some other opinions :). Any ideas on what plants would do good without the liquid ferts? I can invest in them if needed but I’m trying to avoid spending more money on tanks.
I think swords can live without liquid fert, I just wanted to try it out (I'm not that completely regular with it anyways). They have a good root system so root tabs will work well too. I am also about to try my hand at Crypt Wendtii Red, Rotala Rotundifolia, and Hygrophila Angustifolia.
I also really like java ferns too, I had them in a few other tanks a long time ago and they grew just fine on a rock I tied it too.

Edit added picture:
IMG_1266.jpg
 
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jkkgron2

Member
Ok so here’s the list I’ve come up with:
Seachem Flourish freshwater plant supplement
Seachem flourite
Osmocote root tabs
Nicrew light
Amazon sword
Java fern
Anubias
Sound good?
 

MomeWrath

Member
jkkgron2 said:
Ok so here’s the list I’ve come up with:
Seachem Flourish freshwater plant supplement
Seachem flourite
Osmocote root tabs
Nicrew light
Amazon sword
Java fern
Anubias
Sound good?
Anubias...I don't know how I forgot those. They are lovely, don't need to be planted in substrate (don't bury the rhizome) and the best part is if you get more interested in lighting and higher intensity planting...they can and will flower underwater. Surprised the heck out of me when my anubias nana bloomed. It was so cool too because the flower puts off a little stream of bubbles :)
 

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jkkgron2

Member
Uh.. looks like my plans are gonna be postponed :(. I just had to move my female bn pleco into the 10g (not permanently) because she has a concave in her head that appeared overnight. I’m guessing HITH but I’m not sure so I’m going to dose my 55 with general cure just in case. If I dose the 10g too will it affect the plants once I get them?
 

-Mak-

Member
jkkgron2 said:
Ok so here’s the list I’ve come up with:
Seachem Flourish freshwater plant supplement
Seachem flourite
Osmocote root tabs
Nicrew light
Amazon sword
Java fern
Anubias
Sound good?
Ditch the flourite for sand, and use the saved money to get Nilocg ThriveC instead of flourish :) Way better ratios of nutrients, and flourite is not nutrient rich at all
 
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jkkgron2

Member
-Mak- said:
Ditch the flourite for sand, and use the saved money to get Nilocg ThriveC instead of flourish :) Way better ratios of nutrients, and flourite is not nutrient rich at all
Just searched it up. Seems like the Nilocg is wayyy better! Thanks for telling me :) I already have sand but since the tank isn’t going to be very heavily stocked I think I still want the substrate to be the flourite. Should I ditch the osmocote root tabs?
 

-Mak-

Member
jkkgron2 said:
Just searched it up. Seems like the Nilocg is wayyy better! Thanks for telling me :) I already have sand but since the tank isn’t going to be very heavily stocked I think I still want the substrate to be the flourite. Should I ditch the osmocote root tabs?
No problem! I'm not sure I understand, sand vs flourite doesn't really have much do do with stocking, flourite is also rather inert like sand is. It's like paying a premium price for... sand. Sand + root tabs would be cheaper than flourite + root tabs :)
 

Chanyi

Member
I second the motion to avoid Flourite, it's completely inert and and is easier to plant into.

Thrive or easy green trumps Flourish and O+ tabs are 1000x more valuable than Flourish tabs (just look at the ingredient list, Flourish tabs are 70% inert filler material).

Root tabs aren't even necessary so long as you dose the water sufficiently, if you choose that route.
 
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jkkgron2

Member
Chanyi said:
I second the motion to avoid Flourite, it's completely inert and and is easier to plant into.

Thrive or easy green trumps Flourish and O+ tabs are 1000x more valuable than Flourish tabs (just look at the ingredient list, Flourish tabs are 70% inert filler material).

Root tabs aren't even necessary so long as you dose the water sufficiently, if you choose that route.
-Mak- said:
No problem! I'm not sure I understand, sand vs flourite doesn't really have much do do with stocking, flourite is also rather inert like sand is. It's like paying a premium price for... sand. Sand + root tabs would be cheaper than flourite + root tabs :)
Ok then I won’t go with flourite :). How many O+ root tabs should I get to start out with?? The first plant I’m going To get is probably going to be either a amazon sword or Java moss. The things I’m going to get immediately are the sand, root tabs, and ferts. Which plant would be better until I get the light?
 

Chanyi

Member
Place a couple under the sword, once the tank is fully planted and you're on a good water column dosing regime you can likely skip out on the tabs completely.

Java moss will grow anywhere, no ferts needed, maybe Thrive at 1/3 the normal rate?? A little water column fertilizer won't hurt anything. Swords are nutrient hogs and will pull nutrients from wherever possible.
 
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jkkgron2

Member
Ok then I think I’ll go with the Java fern first. I’m probably going to just do a normal dose of thrive and place a few root tabs under the sword once I get it. Lol just realized I typed Java moss instead of Java fern. If sword really are nutrient hogs then maybe I should do the Java fern first until I get the light?
 

dwc13

Member
Annubias barteri var. nana and Java Fern are two of the best low light, low maintenance aquarium plants. And they won't outgrow your 10G aquarium.
 

kattiq

Member
I really like Java Ferns, I personally do not like the moss anymore because it just looks bad after awhile and always manages to gather the most algae + impossible to clean. Haha
Now you've got me wishing I had ordered the fern now.
 
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jkkgron2

Member
dwc13 said:
Annubias barteri var. nana and Java Fern are two of the best low light, low maintenance aquarium plants. And they won't outgrow your 10G aquarium.
Ok, I think I’ll order the Java fern then :). First I gotta deal with this HITH issue but once that’s done then I’ll actually get the plant. For now I’m just getting the supplies :)
 
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jkkgron2

Member
Did some more research and I’m thinking it might be better to get black diamond blasting sand. It’s about half the price and double the amount. Thoughts?
 

Chanyi

Member
jkkgron2 said:
Did some more research and I’m thinking it might be better to get black diamond blasting sand. It’s about half the price and double the amount. Thoughts?
Much better option over Flourite
 

MomeWrath

Member
jkkgron2 said:
Did some more research and I’m thinking it might be better to get black diamond blasting sand. It’s about half the price and double the amount. Thoughts?
Make sure you get the coarse variety. I put too fine a grade (all tractor supply had that day) in my 30 and the current and the fish have moved it all over. The slightest movement and it poofs up into the water...very annoying.
 
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jkkgron2

Member
Chanyi said:
Much better option over Flourite
Magicpenny75 said:
Make sure you get the coarse variety. I put too fine a grade (all tractor supply had that day) in my 30 and the current and the fish have moved it all over. The slightest movement and it poofs up into the water...very annoying.
Ok thanks for your reply’s. I just had a very scary experience with the bn pleco that’s temporarily staying there so I think I won’t be getting any stuff right now until she’s recovered :(.
 
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jkkgron2

Member
Here’s what the tank looks like ! I’m still going to add plants but I have to get the ferts and lighting first. Probably going to get one amazon sword and one Java fern. I’ll trim the sword when needed :)
B9B7AACE-4E70-4AA7-839D-7462F642E4FD.jpeg
 

kattiq

Member
That looks great!! I love the look of the sand. If you ever want a cheap background for it, I used a thick black poster board I got at the store and just cut it to size.
 
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jkkgron2

Member
kattiq said:
That looks great!! I love the look of the sand. If you ever want a cheap background for it, I used a thick black poster board I got at the store and just cut it to size.
That’s a great idea! For now I’m going to hold off on a background until I finish planting my tank, but then I’ll try and find a background :)
 
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jkkgron2

Member
I went a little overboard and got too many plants :oops:
Once my light turns on I’ll post a pic of how the tank looks but here’s a list of what I got/am waiting for:
2 bunches of Dwarf hair grass
2 bunches of Pygmy chain sword
And I’m waiting on amazon sword, a crypt, and a water wisteria
Do you guys think that the hair grass and chain swords will be ok without Co2? I’m using thriveC so I think it gives them some carbon already.
 
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