Easiest Plants Possible

Lynn78too
  • #1
I've asked this before but that was before my BBA wiped out almost everything in my one tank. Ok, I wiped out almost everything when I pulled everything up and didn't do a good job replanting. I've asked about easy plants but I seriously need easy, a child could keep these alive sort of plants. As in, I've killed off java fern and hornwort and almost killed off my one "unkillable" bulb. Seriously, who can kill off something that is practically a weed? I was finally getting good with my spiral val and I'll put more of that in. Sadly, I don't think my one annubias I've had for 2 years is going to make it but I have others that are going strong. I've tried carpet plants but the only one I've done ok with is the staurogyne repens, I'll get more since I don't like things always dying. I'm looking for suggestions but not just general "annubias" I'm looking for specific types since some grow better than others.
I had visions of a planted tank but at this rate I'm going to go out and buy some beautiful realistic fake plants, it's getting expensive and frustrating. I have 40 gallon corner pentagon tank so it's kind of tall, 6.8 pH and about 76-77 degrees and stocked with harlequin rasporas, cardinals, panda cories, a couple of amanos and a bunch of cherry shrimp.
 
tunafax
  • #2
From my limited experience with plants that I haven't killed, I recommend Cabomba.

I've had this thing for a month in my shrimp tank, and I was looking at it one day and thought "darn, I bought a big one, lucky!"
Nope. It grew. I've managed to keep it alive long enough for it to actually grow. I went back and checked old pics and everything. This thing is bulletproof, considering the first thing I did to it was dip it into bleach.
 
Piaelliott
  • #3
Maybe you could tackle the problem from a different angle. Like fertilizers, light intensity, etc.

I assume since your tank is so tall, your light is not strong enough to reach the bottom.
Quite honestly, I think it is almost impossible to kill anubias if you don't bury the rhizome in the substrate.

IF I had a tall tank, I would use long pieces of wood reaching to the top and tie anubias to the wood so that they closer to the light.

Something like this


That said, I never had problems with Anubias barterI var. Nana and anubias coffeefolia.
 
Lynn78too
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
I do have fertilizers, both tabs and liquid. I use a Fluval 2.0. I have a nana in my other tank and it's doing quite well even when the others haven't but you're right, I do have a deep tank and for some odd reason it never, ever occurred to me that it being a deep tank would make a difference on what would grow. I mean, I read about it and all and knew that was why my carpet plants weren't growing but didn't really think that maybe I should get something that would do better specifically for tall tanks. I'm going to go check out the forum. Hopefully that was all, for now you can consider yourself a genius.
 
Lynn78too
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Talk about having ah-ha moments. Things are suddenly making sense. Better late then never?
 
Paradise fish
  • #6
What's the strength of your lighting, what substrate do you have, and how do they die?
 
Lynn78too
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
What's the strength of my light... that's the thing I've never understood how the lighting works. In both tanks I have a Fluval 2.0, the 40 is 24" deep, the other is a standard 29 gallon. Here are the specs on the Fluval, maybe someone can explain how it works.

Item # : A3990
UPC : 015561139908
Extendable range: 61-85 CM (24-34 IN)
Number of LEDs: 168
Wattage: 32 W
Lumens: 2,350 LM
Colour temperature: 7500K
Lifetime hours: 50 000

The 40 has Fluval Plant and Shrimp substrate. pH is about 6.8.
The 29 has Gro-Pro from Planted Aquarium.

They die a sad, droopy death...

No, but seriously, their leaves will start to get weak/you can see through them. They will get spotty. Stem plants leaves will have leaves fall off. They never take root.

I use Seachem root tabs and Top Fin liquid fertilizer. I'm almost out of the liquid and once I am I'll switch to something else.

My bulb does seem to be making a comeback though I had to take off about 8 of the leaves. One of my swords the leaves just stopped growing, the outer leaves died and I was left with a plant that was about 2" tall. It's still in there because technically it's still alive. The only plant that hasn't died are my annubias, staurogyne repens, and elodea the last 2 I pulled up because I had all 3 in at the same time and I thought I was a good aquarium gardener and re-scaped when I took down my tank (oops).
 
Lynn78too
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Another thing that happens with stem plants is the bottom leaves fall off. Is this normal or are they not getting enough light? Am I planting them too close? You watch the pros plant and they have things planted practically on top of each other and I plant things so the leaves aren't one plant to the next.
 
Lynn78too
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Correction, it's a 36 gallon, 21" deep. It's a corner pentagon with the sides measure 22,22,9,18.5,9 and the height is 21 then shortened to 18 because of the substrate.

If I calculated with the substrate dimensions it gives me 31.1 gallons for the fish to swim in, would that give me approximately 1 watts/gallon? I'm sorry. You'd think I'd never done a geometry class. It's just been a few years and sometimes you forget!
 
Paradise fish
  • #10
From my experience, the LED lighting works differently than the watts per gallon rule.

If you have 1 watt per gallon with a plant depth of about 12", you have a decent moderate lighting. 18" depth will be low lighting. <10" with crystal clear water and now you have a low range high lighting, not enough to truly support high light plants but great to give more growth to moderate light plants. So with your pretty decent LED fixture and 18" depth it'll be within the high end of low lighting.

You have a pretty good substrate. That'll help you a lot. I think switching to a better fertilizer will really determine if it's a deficiency problem. If not, it kind of sounds like you have a plant disease. I recommend doing a proper bleach dip on any new plants you get from now on, cut off the affected leaves/plants, dose some peroxide, and do some massive water changes.
 
Oddie65
  • #11
From my limited experience with plants that I haven't killed, I recommend Cabomba.

I've had this thing for a month in my shrimp tank, and I was looking at it one day and thought "darn, I bought a big one, lucky!"
Nope. It grew. I've managed to keep it alive long enough for it to actually grow. I went back and checked old pics and everything. This thing is bulletproof, considering the first thing I did to it was dip it into bleach.
What is the water temp of the tank with Cambomba? It has been my experience that it's very sensitive to warm water temps. Mine did nothing but shed all it's needles and die off. My tanks are around 78-80 with good lights and ferts.
 
tunafax
  • #12
I have my tank cranked up to 80. I use no ferts, an LED bulb from ebay, and my soil is baked dirt from the ground topped off with pebbles. My ph is 6.4 and under. Any of this seem different than yours?
 
Oddie65
  • #13
I have my tank cranked up to 80. I use no ferts, an LED bulb from ebay, and my soil is baked dirt from the ground topped off with pebbles. My ph is 6.4 and under. Any of this seem different than yours?
At the time I was using ecocomplete and was certainly on the low end of the light spectrum. Maybe it was my lights. That tank has since been retired and upgraded from a 45 hex to a 55.
 
tunafax
  • #14
Maybe it wasn't strong enough to penetrate water? My tank is 2.5g and the cabomba is literally 1 inch away from the bulb.
 
Oddie65
  • #15
Maybe it wasn't strong enough to penetrate water? My tank is 2.5g and the cabomba is literally 1 inch away from the bulb.
That's definitely possible. I had a bunch of 6500k fluorescent tubes lighting the tank and it was like 18" to the substrate.
 
Lynn78too
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
I have cabomba and it's doing well, it's just a matter of keeping the things in long enough to root. I'd be surprised if it was deficient, it gets iron supplements as well. I was just told by the local fish store that I should take the carbon filter out of my filter because it competes with the plants. Figures, I just bought new carbon cartridges. He also recommended I dose with Excel on a regular basis which is ironic because I used to do it all the time and then I thought it was for an "as needed" basis and stopped.

The owner said don't worry about CO2, try to figure out what's going on before making the huge purchase and he doesn't use it in any of his tanks. The other guy in the store did and said it wasn't a huge issue to use it or not but not to make the purchase at this time which I appreciated.
 
Oddie65
  • #17
What's the strength of my light... that's the thing I've never understood how the lighting works. In both tanks I have a Fluval 2.0, the 40 is 24" deep, the other is a standard 29 gallon. Here are the specs on the Fluval, maybe someone can explain how it works.

Item # : A3990
UPC : 015561139908
Extendable range: 61-85 CM (24-34 IN)
Number of LEDs: 168
Wattage: 32 W
Lumens: 2,350 LM
Colour temperature: 7500K
Lifetime hours: 50 000

The 40 has Fluval Plant and Shrimp substrate. pH is about 6.8.
The 29 has Gro-Pro from Planted Aquarium.

They die a sad, droopy death...

No, but seriously, their leaves will start to get weak/you can see through them. They will get spotty. Stem plants leaves will have leaves fall off. They never take root.

I use Seachem root tabs and Top Fin liquid fertilizer. I'm almost out of the liquid and once I am I'll switch to something else.

My bulb does seem to be making a comeback though I had to take off about 8 of the leaves. One of my swords the leaves just stopped growing, the outer leaves died and I was left with a plant that was about 2" tall. It's still in there because technically it's still alive. The only plant that hasn't died are my annubias, staurogyne repens, and elodea the last 2 I pulled up because I had all 3 in at the same time and I thought I was a good aquarium gardener and re-scaped when I took down my tank (oops).

At 18" to the substrate you should be around 57 PAR which is actually pretty decent. I'm leaning towards you needing better ferts and a good fert regiment. I use liquid ferts from seachem but many would recommend dry ferts because in the end its cheaper. I just have no experience with them so I can't comment too much. Is the light at full power? I don't know much about fluval lights but my finnex lights are fully adjustable, if it's not on maximum I would try that along with different fertilizers other than the topfin stuff you're using.
 
Lynn78too
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
At 18" to the substrate you should be around 57 PAR which is actually pretty decent. I'm leaning towards you needing better ferts and a good fert regiment. I use liquid ferts from seachem but many would recommend dry ferts because in the end its cheaper. I just have no experience with them so I can't comment too much. Is the light at full power? I don't know much about fluval lights but my finnex lights are fully adjustable, if it's not on maximum I would try that along with different fertilizers other than the topfin stuff you're using.
I would definitely agree that I'm probably not good about having a consistent fertilizer regiment and that could be what is affecting it. Yes, the light is adjustable and yes, it has been on full power. I'm basically out of the Topfin. I bought it before I knew about other good stuff but it was a large container and I didn't think it would make that much of a difference. It probably has the equivalent of 2 capfuls left. I'll replace it with something better.

I'll try to be better with fertilizing, and then kick myself if that's all that it is. Thank you for helping!
 
techfool
  • #19
The pros are injecting CO2 and they make sure there is enough flow. Stem plants will drop lower leaves as they bolt for the surface were CO2 is plentiful. Mine have thickened up with liquid carbon though I get that not everyone wants to use it. I still periodically have to pull them up, remove the straggly bottoms and replamt the tops.
Slower growing plants like Crypts are less work. I've got some doing well in virtual darkness.
My approach was to throw everything in and keep what makes it. it makes you less attached to keeping no-hopers.
Don't increase the light without doing a lot of reasearch on Carbon and ferts or you could end up with an algae farm. Plants can't handle high light without sustenance and will start melting. They end up becoming a food source for algae.
 
Lynn78too
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
The pros are injecting CO2 and they make sure there is enough flow. Stem plants will drop lower leaves as they bolt for the surface were CO2 is plentiful. Mine have thickened up with liquid carbon though I get that not everyone wants to use it. I still periodically have to pull them up, remove the straggly bottoms and replamt the tops.
Slower growing plants like Crypts are less work. I've got some doing well in virtual darkness.
My approach was to throw everything in and keep what makes it. it makes you less attached to keeping no-hopers.
Don't increase the light without doing a lot of reasearch on Carbon and ferts or you could end up with an algae farm. Plants can't handle high light without sustenance and will start melting. They end up becoming a food source for algae.
Liquid CO2, is that the same as CO2 Booster?
Why do I feel like I didn't read anything?
 
techfool
  • #21
Liquid CO2, is that the same as CO2 Booster?
Why do I feel like I didn't read anything?
Yes, it's the same.
 
techfool
  • #22

image.jpeg
Here are my stems. At a certain density it becomes less obvious that the lower leaves are dropping and there are holes due to carbon deficiency. Hygrophila siamensis has done v well in this tank. Fish love to hide in there.
All these tall plants are pointing at the window as the tank lighting is quite poor. 7watt LED for 50 litres.
 
Lynn78too
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
They look nice and green!
 
Oddie65
  • #24
Liquid CO2, is that the same as CO2 Booster?
Why do I feel like I didn't read anything?
Liquid carbon would be something like Seachem's Flourish Excel or API's CO2 booster. I have had great success with it, but the ingredient is glutarldehyde which is technically very toxic to anything living. Its used in hospitals to disinfect instruments and such. Some plants simply won't tolerate it and die, but I've never had a plant that wouldn't tolerate it thankfully. It's very good stuff in my opinion if you follow the dosing instructions. Too much can kill fish because when overdosed its very hard on their gills. I personally have had great luck with it and I haven't lost a single cherry barb, cory, raspbora, or forktail rainbowfish in over a year in tanks that all are dosed with excel. Tetras on the other hand, I've lost around 6 cardinals and 3 glolight tetras. I don't believe any of their deaths were caused by glutarldehyde though, tetras are incredibly weak fish anymore due to how they're farmed and raised anymore. The ones that have died ended up dying because of bloat, one of a fungal infection that I could not for the live of me get rid of, and one mysteriously died overnight. (I spend a lot of time with and around my tanks ever since my cat passed away a year ago. He loved to sit and watch the fish, never once did he try to catch any or mess with the tanks.) If you follow the dosing instructions of excel, it's a great supplement to use.
 
Jay866
  • #25
Hey. I have two 5 gallon tanks without any substrate, and I'm looking for the easiest plants out there to make them look alive. For reference, I have a single daylight simulating 50W bulb suspended a foot or so above the tanks.

Just a heads up I'm absolutely terrible at keeping plants alive, but figured I would take another go at it.

Are there any plants out there that can be used without substrate and will survive with the lighting I have? (I'll be tying them to driftwood and rocks).

Thanks
 
FishBoy101
  • #26
Hey. I have two 5 gallon tanks without any substrate, and I'm looking for the easiest plants out there to make them look alive. For reference, I have a single daylight simulating 50W bulb suspended a foot or so above the tanks.

Just a heads up I'm absolutely terrible at keeping plants alive, but figured I would take another go at it.

Are there any plants out there that can be used without substrate and will survive with the lighting I have? (I'll be tying them to driftwood and rocks).

Thanks
Elodea is an amazing plant!
 
Algonquin
  • #27
Guppy Grass for sure.
 
Jay866
  • #28
wishuponafish
  • #29
Susswassertang has been a winner for me, always pulled through whether it's freshwater or brackish, coldwater or tropical, light or no light...
Java fern, anubias, and elodea are some other good, hardy non-rooting plants that are easy to find. For me, the 'tang has survived in conditions where even they suffered.
The only problem is bits of it might break off and get everywhere, but I do love the look.
 
Jammyfish
  • #30
Agreed, I have some Elodea densa and it lasts forever and survives with everything
 
JamesVader
  • #31
I would go with a java fern they are simple and easy, and they love being attached to rocks and decorations and wood.
 
Ssnaaiil
  • #32
I’ve had great success with java fern and anubias
 
BlackOsprey
  • #33
Any kind of small floating plant. Red root floaters, spangle, azolla, duckweed. They rapidly spread themselves, they're excellent at sponging up excess nutrients, and they'll never need added CO2 because they absorb it from the air.
 
BeardedTetra
  • #34
Am I the only person on our planet that can't grow elodea?
 
FishBoy101
  • #35
Am I the only person on our planet that can't grow elodea?
How are you growing it? Floating or in substrate?
 
mimo91088
  • #36
Anubias. Not only is it easy to care for, it actually THRIVES off being just put in a tank and never touched again.
 
BeardedTetra
  • #37
How are you growing it? Floating or in substrate?

I've tried both.
 

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