Better Equipping My Tank For Plants On A Budget

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Ozzy, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. OzzyValued MemberMember

    I'm determined to get these plants to stay alive. I want to have a decently heavy planted tank but I'm having issues.

    What substrates and ferts work well on a budget?

    I was looking into getting seachem flourite clay substrate with flourish tabs as I only have typical run of the mill gravel in my tank at the moment, not to mention its not very deep. I only have temples right now and they have barely grown since I got them since I bought them a month ago.

    I have a 20 gal with 4 otos, 2 ADFs and a betta hence why I'm trying to better plant this aquarium.

    plant suggestions are also very welcome!!
  2. CulpritFishlore VIPMember

    Imo your light is the most important part right now. What light do you have? Not all lights will grow plants. You actually don't need ferts for a low tech aquarium! You can fertilize if you want faster growth but its definitely not necessary.

    Flourite works well, only thing is, imo its kind of ugly (yes I do have it)... you can use sand instead! I personally think its one of the prettiest substrates and it works perfect. Far cheaper too!

    So we can give you a list of low light easy plants if you want. They will grow with nothing but lights and fish poop. However, if you want root feeders you will have to buy root tabs.

  3. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    You have stocking issues, if you'd like to discuss them :)

    I would also use sand - pool filter sand and Black Diamond Blasting Sand are both around $8 for 50 lbs. You can use Osmocote Plus root tabs (much cheaper than name brand root tabs, can buy off Ebay or DIY). Added ferts are necessary for some plants, but not all (some can get what they need solely from fish waste).

  4. OzzyValued MemberMember

    I'm currently only using a little LED light, I'm definitely gonna invest in something new when pay day comes around. I have to get everything piece by piece since I have plenty other pets to take care of as well ! lol I was actually wondering if a desk lamp, a fair distance away from the tank would work well as a temp light?

    The only thing with sand is I worry my frogs might eat it. I'm not too concerned about the looks of the substrate, just so long as its black as thats what my fish are used do and I dont want to freak them out too much. I'm also going for a more natural/ creek look.

    I currently use API root tabs and CO2 booster and it ... Keeps them alive aha.

    Sure lay it on me! If it's about my otos I know they need a little bigger of a school I just didn't want to overload my new filter. I've been contemplating moving the betta back to my 5 gal though :0

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2017
  5. CulpritFishlore VIPMember

  6. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    Otos aren't temp compatible with bettas, so I'd move the betta to the 5 gal.
  7. OzzyValued MemberMember

    When you say aren't temp compatible do you mean temperature or temperament?

    What I've read is Oto's need a 72-79 temperature range where as bettas need 78-80, having only one heater my tank stays around 78 degrees Fahrenheit I could be wrong but shouldn't that be fine for them? They do come from the same environment in the wild so I honestly thought they would make great tank mates. However your comment about moving my betta is noted!

    Thank you so much!
  8. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    Temperature. 79 F is too high for them; you don't want to keep them at the extreme ends of their range either, making them temperature incompatible with bettas.

    Bettas and otos do not come from the same environment, at all. Otos are from South America, bettas are from Asia.
  9. OzzyValued MemberMember

    I stand corrected. I could have swore I found a source that stated they came from rice patties. Thanks for informing me.
  10. Tiny_TanganyikansWell Known MemberMember

    I'm not reading the whole thread.

    Amazon, dry fertz macro and micro cheapest and best way imo

    Substrate doesn't matter. Flourite is great tho, mix it with multi purpose sand and gravel if you want.

    Lights. The absolute BEST lights for growing plants are coincidentally the cheapest. Get SHO cfls. Not from an aquarium company. .. hardware store or online. Cheap, better than leds, same as HO t5s but cheaper so better imo.
  11. FishL:))Well Known MemberMember

    Hey! Have you ever tried Pothos Ivy? It is my #1 favorite floating plant and VERY easy to take care of( I don't have to really do anything to care for it :) ) If you want to try it, I can PM you a good video. :)
  12. Tiny_TanganyikansWell Known MemberMember

    Pothos is ridiculously easy to grow. Just put it in your HOB or directly in the aqaquarium.

    These are clippings of the mother plants which are still potted.

  13. navarro1950Valued MemberMember

    Take a look at you can learn a lot from this forum . It is owned by green leaf
  14. RyleighJValued MemberMember

    I really like CaribSea Eco Complete Planted Tank Substrate (  ). It's definitely on the pricier end, at about $25 for 20 pounds, but you should only need one bag (or two at most). It's black, and it has a consistency somewhere in between sand and gravel. I love it!

    As for plants... I love them, but I'm terrible with them. That being said, I have a banana plant that I've managed to keep alive even though all of my other plants from that batch died. So that might be something to try if you're looking for hearty plants!

    (Note: like I said, I'm terrible with plants, and I don't know a lot about them, so that might be a bad suggestion. All I know is I haven't managed to kill mine yet!)

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