First planted tank, help choosing supplies.

IzabelB

I have a 33 gallon tank with 6 peppered corys, a mystery snail, and a betta. My plan as of now for the completed stocking is going to be 8 corys, mystery snail and a big school of 20-30 nano schooling fish. I will be rehoming the betta for various reasons.
The plants I have so far are a bunch of different types of Java fern and anubias, as well as dwarf water lettuce (it’s not doing too well), Java moss and Marimo moss balls. I’m not sure what I’m going to do as far as hard scape goes, but I really like the look of tearing moss balls apart so they’re flat and glueing them on rocks. I also want a couple lush bushes of java fern.
I want to start all over with this tank by switching out the substrate for a nutrient rich one and heavily planting it, I want it to look like a jungle. Right now I have normal white sand/gravel and flourish fertilizer.
I would like help choosing a liquid fertilizer, root tabs, and a good substrate for rooted plants. Ive heard that normal flourish fertilizer does close to nothing because of no macro nutrients, i don’t really know what macro and micro are. I don’t know much about dirted tanks but I’m also open to learning about that if it works better than a substrate. I’d like to keep my corys on sand if that’s possible, maybe the nutrient substrate underneath a small layer of normal black sand. I’d rather have a nutrient substrate that is sand, but I’ve heard that rooted plants need it to be less compact.
Thanks in advance for replying! I‘m really excited to get this project started but I’d like to get everything right the first time.
 

NevermindIgnoreMe

I have a 33 gallon tank with 6 peppered corys, a mystery snail, and a betta. My plan as of now for the completed stocking is going to be 8 corys, mystery snail and a big school of 20-30 nano schooling fish. I will be rehoming the betta for various reasons.
The plants I have so far are a bunch of different types of Java fern and anubias, as well as dwarf water lettuce (it’s not doing too well), Java moss and Marimo moss balls. I’m not sure what I’m going to do as far as hard scape goes, but I really like the look of tearing moss balls apart so they’re flat and glueing them on rocks. I also want a couple lush bushes of java fern.
I want to start all over with this tank by switching out the substrate for a nutrient rich one and heavily planting it, I want it to look like a jungle. Right now I have normal white sand/gravel and flourish fertilizer.
I would like help choosing a liquid fertilizer, root tabs, and a good substrate for rooted plants. Ive heard that normal flourish fertilizer does close to nothing because of no macro nutrients, i don’t really know what macro and micro are. I don’t know much about dirted tanks but I’m also open to learning about that if it works better than a substrate. I’d like to keep my corys on sand if that’s possible, maybe the nutrient substrate underneath a small layer of normal black sand. I’d rather have a nutrient substrate that is sand, but I’ve heard that rooted plants need it to be less compact.
Thanks in advance for replying! I‘m really excited to get this project started but I’d like to get everything right the first time.
Ooo, sounds cool!
I'm about to set up a planted tank (hopefully) in a few weeks, and I plan to do about 1inch of dirt below 2-3 1/2 inches on sand, which (to my understanding) is perfect for rooting plants.

Also, to my understanding, the difference between micro and macro nutrients is micro are the things not in your test kit basically, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, ect. and macro are what I usually think of more as fertilizer--waste products, and the converted forms of those into ammonia, nitrite ect.

Best of luck!!
 

barbiespoodle

Welcome to fascinating the world of aquascaping.

I'm fairly new to it, but I'll throw in my 2 cents and it might not even be worth that. First I'm glad I started this, not only do I think my tanks are more beautiful, but they are so much healthier.

What started me was when I decided to convert the 20 gallon live bearer fry grow out tank to a shrimp/snail tank.

At the time the tank had a gravel bottom and my first live plants planted in small terra cotta pots. When I did the conversion I decided on eco complete. I did my research, planted the plants that are suppose to be planted which were amazon swords and dwarf sags. And then added some unplanted attached type plants, java moss, anubia's, java ferns. Plus being a shrimp tank, marimo balls, drift wood and cholla wood. The tank is all low tech, nothing more than the substrate and overhead light. The plants did so well it gave me the bug.

So for the next tank, another 20 gallon shrimp tank, I decided to try something different, dirt bottom with gravel on top to hold the dirt down. Again low tech and using most of the same plants with an addition of one of the few stem plants that grow for me. This is something to consider since you can add a layer of sand over the dirt for your cory's.

I like the over all affect and ease of plant growing in that tank that I did the same thing in the 10 gallon cull shrimp/wcmm tank, adding a few new plants like a couple types of crypts that I don't know the name of, subwassertang and riccia. Again, low tech and the plants are all kinds of happy. Some so happy I had to remove them to a larger tank.

Now for my constant battle in converting from plastic to all live, the 55 gallon community. It is a only a gravel bottom, but since it's been going continually for over 30 years, that gravel has accumulated all kinds of biological matter in the gravel to feed the planted plants no matter how much I vacuum. Even so, I do push a root tab around the roots and add flourish in the water. And of course there is the attached plants. The battle in this tank is with my plant assassins, aka, silver dollars. It hasn't been easy to find plants they don't destroy, but I'm keeping at it and slowly I'm getting there.

In short, plant substrate, works well, but expensive and limited colors. Very well aged gravel, also works well but also needs added nutrients. Dirted bottom, inexpensive, unlimited color and material choices to top the dirt and the plants do well. So I'm kind of in the dirted bottom camp. But then again, jmho.

Side note, java ferns. I like them, but you have to remember that their form of reproduction is creating plantlettes on the leaves. When these plantlettes get big enough to live on their own, the main leaf dies and the plantlettes are released. So what started as a beautiful plant starts turning brown and the plantlettes end up moving around the tank until they find a spot to attach. So if you are set to a certain look, I find java ferns not to the best for that. But on the up side, you have a constant supply of plants to put where you want to change your decor. Again, just my experience with them.
 

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