How do you keep your plants lush?

marmaaa

Member
So hopefully sooner then later, I plan on setting up a 55-75g tank (still unsure on size). Now I am by no means a pro at plants, very far away from that actually and I keep seeing these amazing tanks on here with beautiful plants! I am super jealous every time I see everyone's tanks and I am now motivated to start a planted tank even more. So I have a couple of questions, I would like peoples inputs on how they did their planted tanks and if they would change anything about what they did.

I plan on making a simple planted tank, so no CO2 (since I am not ready for that just yet) but I would like to have some low/medium plants; I know I will use ferts and some good lighting but here is what I want to know:

What is your favorite method for having a planted tank?

What substrate do you prefer? Would inert truly make any difference the aquasoil if I use root tabs?

What plants would you recommend that are good for low/medium plants? (I would prefer more medium plants since I have tons of low plants already)

Would red plant work in my tank if I dose iron? I know it wont be bright due to the CO2, but is it possible?

What are the best fertilizers for the low/medium plants?



Thank you to everyone in advance who answers! Sorry for the huge amount of questions!
 

Cherryshrimp420

Member
A good light with fast growing weeds is what worked for me. Hygrophila corymbosa, rotala rotundifolia, guppy grass have grown really easily.
 
  • Thread Starter

marmaaa

Member
Cherryshrimp420 said:
A good light with fast growing weeds is what worked for me. Hygrophila corymbosa, rotala rotundifolia, guppy grass have grown really easily.
Ill have to look around for those plants then! Do you give any fertilizer?
 

Cherryshrimp420

Member
marmaaa said:
Ill have to look around for those plants then! Do you give any fertilizer?
No, I have never used any fertilizer on my current or past tanks so can't say much about them
 

Mudminnow

Member
marmaaa said:
I plan on making a simple planted tank, so no CO2 (since I am not ready for that just yet)...
If you can afford the initial set up, I would highly recommend using CO2--especially for beginners. Although it seems counter intuitive, I have found growing a lush planted aquarium in a non CO2 tank requires more knowledge and experience to pull off than a tank with CO2. With CO2 you can grow more species, the plants will grow faster, and the plants make better use the the fertilizers and light available to them. It is easier to strike an algae free balance in a tank with injected CO2.
marmaaa said:
What is your favorite method for having a planted tank?
Most methods have their merits. And, it is more a matter of choosing the right method to reach your goals. For me, I like a tank that can grow most anything, is easy to balance, and doesn't require an insane amount of trimming. The best method I've found to reach these goals is a low-medium light ADA method tank. To me, that means rich substrate, lean water column dosing, CO2, and the lowest light I can get away with.
marmaaa said:
What substrate do you prefer? Would inert truly make any difference the aquasoil if I use root tabs?
My favorite is ADA Amazonia. But, I've also had good success with controsoil, stratum, and dirt. I've used inert substrates with root tabs and/or other amendments in several tanks as well, and it works. In fact, in my experience, you don't even have to add anything to inert substrates to keep plants; you'll just need more ferts in the water. With all that being said though, I have noticed my plants are just happiest in soil.
marmaaa said:
What plants would you recommend that are good for low/medium plants? (I would prefer more medium plants since I have tons of low plants already)
I am assuming you mean low/medium light plants or perhaps low/medium difficulty plants. Either way, I would suggest going to buceplant's website and looking at all the plants they have listed as low tech. There are a lot of options.
marmaaa said:
Would red plant work in my tank if I dose iron? I know it wont be bright due to the CO2, but is it possible?
To my knowledge, red plants don't need more iron than other plants. Again, check buceplant's low tech list to find some red ones that could work for your needs. Many plants are greener in low light and redder in high light. Some cryptocorynes and bucephalandras stay red even in low light.
marmaaa said:
What are the best fertilizers for the low/medium plants?
The best fertilizer for your tank will depend on your tank. It depends on things like your substrate, your bioload, what you feed your fish, if you use tap water (and what is in that tap water), what kind of plants you have, your stocking density, etc. Generally though, if you plan to use root tabs and/or soil, have a moderate to heavy bioload, and plan to use "low tech" plants, I would say APT Zero from 2HR Aquarist might be a good choice.
 

Elkwatcher

Member
I mix small gravel, Fluorite, and sand together. Seachem root tabs, with Thrive "all in one" liquid fert for the above substrate plants. Sticking mainly to Hygro, Anubia's, Crypts and Java fern. I love my Fluval Plant 3.0 LED's, dimmable and I manually time them. Tanks have been going for years and I only have a little green spot on the Anubia's. Other wise plants are healthy and robust. Thinking about indulging in Co2 soon on my 40 gallon.
 
  • Thread Starter

marmaaa

Member
Mudminnow said:
Thank you so much for all the information, Im going to look into everything before I start my tank. I want to make sure I am extra prepared! What CO2 kit would you recommend for a tank 50+ gallons?
 

Mudminnow

Member
marmaaa said:
What CO2 kit would you recommend for a tank 50+ gallons?
I'd recommend using 5lb CO2 tanks. A lot of places will fill the 5lb ones or swap your empty one for a full one. Sometimes it's tough to find a place that will fill up a bigger tank. That's been my experience anyway. As a luxury, I like to have one more CO2 tank than planted aquariums. This way I always have one ready to swap out when the tank runs out, and I can find the time to fill the empty one at my leisure.

For a regulator, I highly recommend finding one that is dual stage. Don't confuse this with dual gauge. Dual stage regulators release a steady amount of CO2 regardless of tank pressure. This means you don't have to keep going back to fine tune your regulator all the time. My favorites are the ones by CO2Art. I've also had good luck with the FZONE mini series v3.0 dual stage regulator.

You'll also need CO2 tubing, bubble counter, check valve, diffusor (or reactor), and drop checker. Many places that sell CO2 regulators for aquariums will have complete kits available for sale as well.
 
  • Thread Starter

marmaaa

Member
Mudminnow said:
I'd recommend using 5lb CO2 tanks. A lot of places will fill the 5lb ones or swap your empty one for a full one. Sometimes it's tough to find a place that will fill up a bigger tank. That's been my experience anyway. As a luxury, I like to have one more CO2 tank than planted aquariums. This way I always have one ready to swap out when the tank runs out, and I can find the time to fill the empty one at my leisure.

For a regulator, I highly recommend finding one that is dual stage. Don't confuse this with dual gauge. Dual stage regulators release a steady amount of CO2 regardless of tank pressure. This means you don't have to keep going back to fine tune your regulator all the time. My favorites are the ones by CO2Art. I've also had good luck with the FZONE mini series v3.0 dual stage regulator.

You'll also need CO2 tubing, bubble counter, check valve, diffusor (or reactor), and drop checker. Many places that sell CO2 regulators for aquariums will have complete kits available for sale as well.
Thank you so much for all the help! After some consideration I think I will go with a 40g breeder due to price as well as it will fit much better in the house. I will look into CO2 now as well! Do easy plants work with CO2 or is it too much on the plants?
 

Mudminnow

Member
marmaaa said:
After some consideration I think I will go with a 40g breeder due to price as well as it will fit much better in the house. I will look into CO2 now as well! Do easy plants work with CO2 or is it too much on the plants?
I think a 40g breeder is a great choice for a planted tank.

Easy plants love the CO2 just as much as the more difficult ones.
 
  • Thread Starter

marmaaa

Member
Mudminnow said:
I think a 40g breeder is a great choice for a planted tank.

Easy plants love the CO2 just as much as the more difficult ones.
Thank you so much for all the help!!
 

Mudminnow

Member
My pleasure.

There is one more tip I would add. Get a lot of hardy, fast growing stem plants in there. Again, it seems a little bit counter intuitive, but tanks full of lots of plants are so much easier to balance than tanks with only a few plants. Some of those tanks you see with a lot of hardscape and relatively few plants (even if they are "beginner" plants) are actually pretty tough to pull off. So, when you're ready to buy plants, get as many as you can right from the start.
 
  • Thread Starter

marmaaa

Member
Mudminnow said:
My pleasure.

There is one more tip I would add. Get a lot of hardy, fast growing stem plants in there. Again, it seems a little bit counter intuitive, but tanks full of lots of plants are so much easier to balance than tanks with only a few plants. Some of those tanks you see with a lot of hardscape and relatively few plants (even if they are "beginner" plants) are actually pretty tough to pull off. So, when you're ready to buy plants, get as many as you can right from the start.
I will keep that in mind.
 

emmykenzie

Member
Hi! It’s always so fun planning out a new tank especially one so big! Best of luck!
I just set up a 120g fully planted a month ago. This is my first fully planted tank of this size. I am having explosive growth in my tank so here’s some things I’ve found helpful.

First I keep Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants by Peter Hiscock on hand at all times. I like to have physical copies of information so that way it doesn’t get lost in the internet shuffle.

“what is my favorite method”
Honestly I plant by hand and I like to have an extra set of eyes outside the tank to help perfect the aquascape. I try to make sure the plants I’m keeping match the water conditions.

Substrate Preferences”
This depends on the look youre going for but most plants do significantly better in sand or a finer substrate. I’ve always had better results with plants in my sand tanks as opposed to my gravel tanks. The biggest exceptions being Java Fern, Anubius, and Java Moss.
I personally use CaribSea sand but for my next tank I am planning on buying SeaChem Black Sand. I am propagating dwarf hair grass right now and I am using Fluval plant and shrimp stratum. It’s fertilizer lava rock and it’s doing wonders for the hair grass.

Plant Suggestions:
I know you asked for Med/Low but I’m not quite sure if you meant light requirements growth rate or skill requirements. I’ve had exceptional success with the following;
Water Sprite (fast growing)
^ can’t say enough about this plant. I bought 3 sprouts and I now have beautiful cuttings from those plants in other 3 tanks! In a months time
Water Wisteria (medium growing)
Hornwort (medium)
Java Fern (medium)
Java Moss (medium)

Red plants
I do believe red plants require significantly more light that’s what helps with the red color but nutrition is also very important.

Nutrition
I use Sea Chem Flourish! The whole line; Root Tabs, Flourish Base, Flourish Advance, Flourish Excel. I have well water for my tanks so I think that’s why I am seeing so much success... Excels purpose is to help transfer water soluble iron into iron that plants can break down easier. Considering I do have iron in my water this helps me significantly.

my general rule of thumb is to research the plants your planning on keeping before you pick them up. Another plant id suggest: though it can be tricky is Madagascar lace. It’s gorgeous and I’ve seen wonderful results with my nutrients. I’ll attach a few photos of my tank.
I really hope this helps; another thing that could help me pick out plants for you would be your planned stocking.
PS. Please excuse the brown algae, filter was down for a week
PPS. This article is (a touch dated as seachem has changed their products) very helpful Info Before You Buy Flourish And Ferts In General | Plant Fertilizer Forum | 275661
best, Emily
 

jake37

Member
I'm mixed on your comment since most of the plants you selected should grow in any sort of substrate - here is my 120 (18 months old). Now I consider myself pretty clueless. The substrate is eco-complete which i find disgusting and will never use again (I do use caribsea moonlight and crystal river in 2 of my tanks and estes river black substrate in a third). My plants do well in all the tanks. Like you I have easy to grow plants and the only red ones i have are a dwarf lily a flame sword near the front and a melon sword that has a lot more colour in the back behind the jungle val (not visible) though if you look carefully you can spot a few leaves as it is 20 inches high. I did have a rotala but it grew too fast and i pulled most of it but kept a little. The java fern (on the right is a giant mess with the older plants having leaves 15 to 18 inches). The bar. anubia (front left was a tiny plant a year ago but now it is getting large and i have some very large coffee anubia (small a year ago) that put out new leaves every week or two. You have several bulb plants - a narrow lace and i think i noticed another which should grow in any tank.
-
The plants I remember putting in the tank include 6 different types of anubia, jungle val, java fern (2 types), dwarf lily - 3 types of aponogeton (crypus, ulvaceus- hibernating, huge lace plant - look back left that out grew the 40B). I have tried various fertlizers and to be honest never really notice a difference - i currently use thrive. On the other side of this room i have a pair of 29 - they are nearly identical but the guppy tank grows extremely well (maybe because there are always too many guppies?) the one next to it never does as well and gets messier. Anyway i applaud your attempt but i think easy to grow plants are well easy to grow and the challenge begins with harder to grow plants (most of them are red - some harder than others). However - one thing that has a big impact is water (hardness). Not mentioned is some plants demand hard water and other plants demand soft water and no amount of light or fertilizer is going to offset these requirements.
-
And if my tank looks like a bloody mess that is because it is because i had no clue how these plants were going to grow out over-time.


emmykenzie said:
Hi! It’s always so fun planning out a new tank especially one so big! Best of luck!
I just set up a 120g fully planted a month ago. This is my first fully planted tank of this size. I am having explosive growth in my tank so here’s some things I’ve found helpful.

First I keep Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants by Peter Hiscock on hand at all times. I like to have physical copies of information so that way it doesn’t get lost in the internet shuffle.

“what is my favorite method”
Honestly I plant by hand and I like to have an extra set of eyes outside the tank to help perfect the aquascape. I try to make sure the plants I’m keeping match the water conditions.

“Substrate Preferences”
This depends on the look youre going for but most plants do significantly better in sand or a finer substrate. I’ve always had better results with plants in my sand tanks as opposed to my gravel tanks. The biggest exceptions being Java Fern, Anubius, and Java Moss.
I personally use CaribSea sand but for my next tank I am planning on buying SeaChem Black Sand. I am propagating dwarf hair grass right now and I am using Fluval plant and shrimp stratum. It’s fertilizer lava rock and it’s doing wonders for the hair grass.

Plant Suggestions:
I know you asked for Med/Low but I’m not quite sure if you meant light requirements growth rate or skill requirements. I’ve had exceptional success with the following;
Water Sprite (fast growing)
^ can’t say enough about this plant. I bought 3 sprouts and I now have beautiful cuttings from those plants in other 3 tanks! In a months time
Water Wisteria (medium growing)
Hornwort (medium)
Java Fern (medium)
Java Moss (medium)

Red plants
I do believe red plants require significantly more light that’s what helps with the red color but nutrition is also very important.

Nutrition
I use Sea Chem Flourish! The whole line; Root Tabs, Flourish Base, Flourish Advance, Flourish Excel. I have well water for my tanks so I think that’s why I am seeing so much success... Excels purpose is to help transfer water soluble iron into iron that plants can break down easier. Considering I do have iron in my water this helps me significantly.

my general rule of thumb is to research the plants your planning on keeping before you pick them up. Another plant id suggest: though it can be tricky is Madagascar lace. It’s gorgeous and I’ve seen wonderful results with my nutrients. I’ll attach a few photos of my tank.
I really hope this helps; another thing that could help me pick out plants for you would be your planned stocking.
PS. Please excuse the brown algae, filter was down for a week
PPS. This article is (a touch dated as seachem has changed their products) very helpful Info Before You Buy Flourish And Ferts In General | Plant Fertilizer Forum | 275661
best, Emily
 

emmykenzie

Member
jake37 said:
I'm mixed on your comment since most of the plants you selected should grow in any sort of substrate - here is my 120 (18 months old). Now I consider myself pretty clueless. The substrate is eco-complete which i find disgusting and will never use again (I do use caribsea moonlight and crystal river in 2 of my tanks and estes river black substrate in a third). My plants do well in all the tanks. Like you I have easy to grow plants and the only red ones i have are a dwarf lily a flame sword near the front and a melon sword that has a lot more colour in the back behind the jungle val (not visible) though if you look carefully you can spot a few leaves as it is 20 inches high. I did have a rotala but it grew too fast and i pulled most of it but kept a little. The java fern (on the right is a giant mess with the older plants having leaves 15 to 18 inches). The bar. anubia (front left was a tiny plant a year ago but now it is getting large and i have some very large coffee anubia (small a year ago) that put out new leaves every week or two. You have several bulb plants - a narrow lace and i think i noticed another which should grow in any tank.
-
The plants I remember putting in the tank include 6 different types of anubia, jungle val, java fern (2 types), dwarf lily - 3 types of aponogeton (crypus, ulvaceus- hibernating, huge lace plant - look back left that out grew the 40B). I have tried various fertlizers and to be honest never really notice a difference - i currently use thrive. On the other side of this room i have a pair of 29 - they are nearly identical but the guppy tank grows extremely well (maybe because there are always too many guppies?) the one next to it never does as well and gets messier. Anyway i applaud your attempt but i think easy to grow plants are well easy to grow and the challenge begins with harder to grow plants (most of them are red - some harder than others). However - one thing that has a big impact is water (hardness). Not mentioned is some plants demand hard water and other plants demand soft water and no amount of light or fertilizer is going to offset these requirements.
-
And if my tank looks like a bloody mess that is because it is because i had no clue how these plants were going to grow out over-time.
Gorgeous tank!!
I only suggest sand over gravel for plants based on my experience. I’ve had very little luck with gravel over sand with exactly identical water parameters. I will say though some fish are just not suited for planted aquariums. My rainbow sharks tank is fully planted and he makes a point to rip out plants at least once a week.

I cannot second your point enough about water hardness!!
that’s why I suggest doing research and picking plants that are appropriate for the fish you are keeping.
 

Dennis57

Member
I have had planted tanks for years. In all my tanks I use eco complete capped with river rock.
I do use 3 lights on both of my 125, and just the fluval 3.0 on the other 3 smaller tanks. 1 is the fluval 3.0, the other 2 are vivagrow 24/7.
I do not use co2, I do use Nilocg Thrive, root tabs and iron in all my tanks.
 
  • Thread Starter

marmaaa

Member
emmykenzie said:
my general rule of thumb is to research the plants your planning on keeping before you pick them up. Another plant id suggest: though it can be tricky is Madagascar lace. It’s gorgeous and I’ve seen wonderful results with my nutrients. I’ll attach a few photos of my tank.
I really hope this helps; another thing that could help me pick out plants for you would be your planned stocking.
PS. Please excuse the brown algae, filter was down for a week
PPS. This article is (a touch dated as seachem has changed their products) very helpful Info Before You Buy Flourish And Ferts In General | Plant Fertilizer Forum | 275661
best, Emily
Thank you so much for the detailed answer!! I also prefer sand as well since I have had way better root growth in my plants compared to gravel. So I know I will have sand. I'm gonna have to read through the book before make any purchases. Ill also check to see if any of LFS have water sprite, unfortuately I have had really bad luck with moss and it always dies on me; so I dont know if I want to get it again lol. What light do you use for you 120g?

For the plants, I know I will have in the tank 8 cherry barbs and 6 cories (theyre in my 20g L and I plan on moving them). I know I wanted angel fish and a pleco but now I want rainbow fish as well lol. So Im honestly open to any fish. I love the madagascar lace plant, if I could find some near me it would be perfect! Would love any plant suggestions for the stocking I already have or even stocking suggestions!
jake37 said:
I'm mixed on your comment since most of the plants you selected should grow in any sort of substrate - here is my 120 (18 months old). Now I consider myself pretty clueless. The substrate is eco-complete which i find disgusting and will never use again (I do use caribsea moonlight and crystal river in 2 of my tanks and estes river black substrate in a third).
I also have eco-complete in my 20g L and I hate it! I hate gravel in general for me, it just never roots my plants for some reason. I have carib sea sand in my 10g and I love it so I probably use it in my 40g, when i set it up. Do you put any root tabs for any of the plants? What light is on your 40g?
Dennis57 said:
I have had planted tanks for years. In all my tanks I use eco complete capped with river rock.
I do use 3 lights on both of my 125, and just the fluval 3.0 on the other 3 smaller tanks. 1 is the fluval 3.0, the other 2 are vivagrow 24/7.
I do not use co2, I do use Nilocg Thrive, root tabs and iron in all my tanks.
Does the capped substrate make it root any different? Ive had issues with my plants rooting in gravel-kind substrate.
 

Dennis57

Member
marmaaa said:
Thank you so much for the detailed answer!! I also prefer sand as well since I have had way better root growth in my plants compared to gravel. So I know I will have sand. I'm gonna have to read through the book before make any purchases. Ill also check to see if any of LFS have water sprite, unfortuately I have had really bad luck with moss and it always dies on me; so I dont know if I want to get it again lol. What light do you use for you 120g?

For the plants, I know I will have in the tank 8 cherry barbs and 6 cories (theyre in my 20g L and I plan on moving them). I know I wanted angel fish and a pleco but now I want rainbow fish as well lol. So Im honestly open to any fish. I love the madagascar lace plant, if I could find some near me it would be perfect! Would love any plant suggestions for the stocking I already have or even stocking suggestions!

I also have eco-complete in my 20g L and I hate it! I hate gravel in general for me, it just never roots my plants for some reason. I have carib sea sand in my 10g and I love it so I probably use it in my 40g, when i set it up. Do you put any root tabs for any of the plants? What light is on your 40g?

Does the capped substrate make it root any different? Ive had issues with my plants rooting in gravel-kind substrate.
No, i have 3" of eco complete and then 1-1/2" to 2" of river rock on top. Roots are down in the eco complete
 
  • Thread Starter

marmaaa

Member
Dennis57 said:
No, i have 3" of eco complete and then 1-1/2" to 2" of river rock on top. Roots are down in the eco complete
Ohh okay, thank you so much!
 

BlackOsprey

Member
I feel like nutrient rich soil-based substrate is a must if you're not planning on going all in on dosing nutrients and CO2. I've tried using all-in-one ferts like Easy Green and it just did not compare to the nutrition I got from substrate. I've had various planted tanks with different lighting, temperature, and pH, and they have all grown great when the substrate included soil of some kind.

Soil includes anything from organic potting soil to special pelleted aquasoil like ADA or Fluval Stratum. In the case of aquasoils, you can put a layer in without capping it with an inert sand or gravel, but I'd recommend doing this anyways so the aquasoil retains its nutrients longer.

From my own experience, I think that keeping a large tank looking lush is harder than a smaller tank. I figure it's due in large part to a tank's increased depth, which makes the light much less intense than it would be in a more shallow tank. This tends to make plants grow very leggy and thin. There's also the simple volume that you need to fill, you'll need more plant to create the appearance of lushness.

So, it's important to choose plants that can deal with these conditions and can grow to large sizes or propagate easily. I'd recommend amazon swords and various species of vals. Subwassertang and various mosses are great for creating a variety of textures and large amounts of green, though they grow slowly. Anubias is good, but you will need a LOT of it to get a lush look and they are very slow growers. Guppy grass can become nice and bushy and grows rapidly, but grows in a detached mass and can get a little messy if you pull it apart. Crypts will tolerate very low light so long as they have rich soil.

Side note, I can't recommend hornwort based on personal experience. The bunch I had usually ended up floating around in a detached mass and shed needles all over the place. Plus, they're such nutrient sponges that I think it was detrimental to everything else in there.

As for reds, tiger lotus is your best bet for a lot of red in a setup like this. Red root floaters can also provide a startling amount of red, though they will shade the tank and make it harder for everything below to grow and require low flow.

I wish you luck on this project. For me, planted tanks were a process of trial and error, and I mostly felt my way around using 5g and 10g projects and replicated those methods in larger tanks later. I think it's important to get a feel for things before taking on a large scale tank, but that's just me.
 
  • Thread Starter

marmaaa

Member
BlackOsprey said:
I wish you luck on this project. For me, planted tanks were a process of trial and error, and I mostly felt my way around using 5g and 10g projects and replicated those methods in larger tanks later. I think it's important to get a feel for things before taking on a large scale tank, but that's just me.
Thank you so much for all this information! My understanding of aquasoil is that it can lower PH? If I were to cap aquasoil with sand, would it prevent that from happening? Is there an aquasoil that works without lowering PH?

For the plants, I have had really good luck with amazons in my 10g so I know I will have them in my 40g tank. Ill also look for the tiger lotus because I really do want some different colors in my tank besides green, so I will probably get some different kinds of crypts as well.
 

emmykenzie

Member
marmaaa
marmaaa said:
Thank you so much for the detailed answer!! I also prefer sand as well since I have had way better root growth in my plants compared to gravel. So I know I will have sand. I'm gonna have to read through the book before make any purchases. Ill also check to see if any of LFS have water sprite, unfortuately I have had really bad luck with moss and it always dies on me; so I dont know if I want to get it again lol. What light do you use for you 120g?

For the plants, I know I will have in the tank 8 cherry barbs and 6 cories (theyre in my 20g L and I plan on moving them). I know I wanted angel fish and a pleco but now I want rainbow fish as well lol. So Im honestly open to any fish. I love the madagascar lace plant, if I could find some near me it would be perfect! Would love any plant suggestions for the stocking I already have or even stocking suggestions!
No problem! I am glad you I could provide some insight.
Make sure the sand you buy does not contain silica as that can contribute to the growth of Brown Algae. You could check Etsy and depending on how long it'll be for your new tank I may even have some I can share (after my brown algae problem dissipates). I have never purchased aquatic plants on etsy so I can't really send you in any particular direction.
Right now; I am using a Fluval 6500k its a great light. It has an app that is connect to your phone so you can self monitor and adjust the light as you desire.

I agree with BlackOsprey about the hornwort actually. Today, I actually noticed (in only one of my tanks) that the hornwort is not happy and is spreading needles everywhere; YUCK.

Cherry barbs are so cute! Love the pop of color. I have read that Cherry barbs could be a valid tank mate for angelfish. While I haven't personally kept these beauties, I keep golden barbs myself! From my experience with Golden Barbs, I would heed caution when keeping barbs with angel fish. Barbs can be nippy and angelfish have the perfect fins for nipping. My lack of experience with Cherries prevents me from telling you if this would be a good move. It's always good to keep an extra tank on hand just incase there's any disagreements. I just want to air a word of caution, but again do not take that for fact.
Back before I knew the evils of Petco I stocked my tanks with GB and angelfish and the nightmare that ensued made my soft heart melt.

Corys are a great idea!
General stocking suggestions in replacement of Barbs:
I would maybe consider a variety of warm water tetras.
Rams
Being a HUGE loach lover I am going to suggest Kuhli Loaches
gourami's
apistos
Here's my suggestions for plants:
Water Sprite
Amazon Sword
Water Wisteria
Java Fern
Vallisernia
Cabomba
Something I can't suggest out of experience but I LOVE the look of and I will be getting very soon for my 55 gallon.
Myrophyllum
Rotala

Something I'm growing now that I'm not very in love with:
Bacopa, I'm not really seeing very much success with this plant but this could be very much just me.

Sometimes more of one type is better because it gives much more of a dense look. It also makes it so there's not as much to compete with as far as lights and nutrients.
 

jake37

Member
I disagree with these comments on hornworth - well the part about it producing a lot of needles et all. I have it in my guppy tank (a 29 low tech tank) and it never produces any needles - i can put a tiny 1 inch piece in and 2 months later have a huge lush mesh of the stuff - no needles - it looks like a huge bunch just purchased at the store. It grows reliably in the guppy tank (no clue why). Now i do have issues with it in the tank next to it (the apisto tank) and for whatever reason in that tank it does tend to break down (but it doesn't produce needles - it just looks yucky).
-
So if you have guppies grow mounds and mounds of hornworth I'd take a picture but the lights are out on the guppy tank for tonight (actually they are out on all the tank).


emmykenzie said:
I agree with BlackOsprey about the hornwort actually. Today, I actually noticed (in only one of my tanks) that the hornwort is not happy and is spreading needles everywhere; YUCK.
 

Ryngwrayth

Member
my setup: Sand substrate, root tabs, liquid ferts a few times a week, good lighting. No Co2, and no interest in it.

Rotala Indica, Wisteria, Vall, Cabomba, Ludwigia Repens, Flame Swords, Brazilian Pennywort, Crinum Calamistratum.

 

BettaCyrus

Member
Mudminnow said:
My favorite is ADA Amazonia. But, I've also had good success with controsoil, stratum, and dirt. I've used inert substrates with root tabs and/or other amendments in several tanks as well, and it works. In fact, in my experience, you don't even have to add anything to inert substrates to keep plants; you'll just need more ferts in the water. With all that being said though, I have noticed my plants are just happiest in soil.
Do you cap your Amazonia?
 

Mudminnow

Member
BettaCyrus said:
Do you cap your Amazonia?
I don't. I should add though, that I don't think ADA Amazonia is the most beginner friendly option. It leaches a significant amount of ammonia, especially after the tank is first set up. So, if one doesn't want to do frequent large water changes, Amazonia might not be the best choice.
 

BettaCyrus

Member
Mudminnow said:
I don't. I should add though, that I don't think ADA Amazonia is the most beginner friendly option. It leaches a significant amount of ammonia, especially after the tank is first set up. So, if one doesn't want to do frequent large water changes, Amazonia might not be the best choice.
Good to know... I mixed Amazonia + Japanese lava stone together and rinsed them (stupidly, can read more in my post about it), before adding to my tank and have a thin mini river stone layer and thin sand layer over that in front... prob will add more sand & stones too bc I think I need more of a cap. Did a test tank w/cap at that height and yep - MUDDY! Good thing I'll have a few weeks of cycling at least in case of crazy spikes.
 
  • Thread Starter

marmaaa

Member
emmykenzie said:
marmaaa

No problem! I am glad you I could provide some insight.
Make sure the sand you buy does not contain silica as that can contribute to the growth of Brown Algae. You could check Etsy and depending on how long it'll be for your new tank I may even have some I can share (after my brown algae problem dissipates). I have never purchased aquatic plants on etsy so I can't really send you in any particular direction.
Right now; I am using a Fluval 6500k its a great light. It has an app that is connect to your phone so you can self monitor and adjust the light as you desire.

I agree with BlackOsprey about the hornwort actually. Today, I actually noticed (in only one of my tanks) that the hornwort is not happy and is spreading needles everywhere; YUCK.

Cherry barbs are so cute! Love the pop of color. I have read that Cherry barbs could be a valid tank mate for angelfish. While I haven't personally kept these beauties, I keep golden barbs myself! From my experience with Golden Barbs, I would heed caution when keeping barbs with angel fish. Barbs can be nippy and angelfish have the perfect fins for nipping. My lack of experience with Cherries prevents me from telling you if this would be a good move. It's always good to keep an extra tank on hand just incase there's any disagreements. I just want to air a word of caution, but again do not take that for fact.
Back before I knew the evils of Petco I stocked my tanks with GB and angelfish and the nightmare that ensued made my soft heart melt.

Corys are a great idea!
General stocking suggestions in replacement of Barbs:
I would maybe consider a variety of warm water tetras.
Rams
Being a HUGE loach lover I am going to suggest Kuhli Loaches
gourami's
apistos
Here's my suggestions for plants:
Water Sprite
Amazon Sword
Water Wisteria
Java Fern
Vallisernia
Cabomba
Something I can't suggest out of experience but I LOVE the look of and I will be getting very soon for my 55 gallon.
Myrophyllum
Rotala

Something I'm growing now that I'm not very in love with:
Bacopa, I'm not really seeing very much success with this plant but this could be very much just me.

Sometimes more of one type is better because it gives much more of a dense look. It also makes it so there's not as much to compete with as far as lights and nutrients.
Thank you sososo much! I know the sand I want to get has no silca because I have it other tanks and they are doing amazing! I have actually looked into etsy for plants but I havent ever bought from them, I may look around on here for some plants if anyone is selling/giving away because the fish stores near me dont have the best quality of plants unfortunately.

I will say my cherries are one of the nicest cherries ive seen they dont even touch my shrimp or their babies, infact theyre scared of them sometimes. I love kuhlis but I dont know if my tank can fit everyone, i know i want a pleco because my dad loves them lol and he wants one in the tank and I already have some cories and cherries. Would it be too much if I had a school of kuhlis, and the rest as well as some center piece fish for a 40g?

About the hornwort, I actually had a whole bunch once in my 20g and they shed like CRAZY, they all died besides one tiny piece. that small piece now is about 18in long that is also propagating and it hasnt shed so I am kinda neutral about hornwort after the shedding but I do like the look of them, however I would rather have some kinda of rotala instead of it in my 40g.
jake37 said:
I disagree with these comments on hornworth - well the part about it producing a lot of needles et all. I have it in my guppy tank (a 29 low tech tank) and it never produces any needles - i can put a tiny 1 inch piece in and 2 months later have a huge lush mesh of the stuff - no needles - it looks like a huge bunch just purchased at the store. It grows reliably in the guppy tank (no clue why). Now i do have issues with it in the tank next to it (the apisto tank) and for whatever reason in that tank it does tend to break down (but it doesn't produce needles - it just looks yucky).
-
So if you have guppies grow mounds and mounds of hornworth I'd take a picture but the lights are out on the guppy tank for tonight (actually they are out on all the tank).
marmaaa



I agree with BlackOsprey about the hornwort actually. Today, I actually noticed (in only one of my tanks) that the hornwort is not happy and is spreading needles everywhere; YUCK.
[/QUOTE]
Would love to see your guppy tank once the lights are on again! I have had an okay luck with hornwort, where they all shedded and only one lived but now I love the one long piece of hornwort that i have lol.
Ryngwrayth said:
my setup: Sand substrate, root tabs, liquid ferts a few times a week, good lighting. No Co2, and no interest in it.

Rotala Indica, Wisteria, Vall, Cabomba, Ludwigia Repens, Flame Swords, Brazilian Pennywort, Crinum Calamistratum.

I love your tank! It looks very well put together! I am still debating on the Co2 as of now, but looking at your tank makes me think I dont really need it. How often would you say you add root tabs in?
 

emmykenzie

Member
marmaaa said:
Thank you sososo much! I know the sand I want to get has no silca because I have it other tanks and they are doing amazing! I have actually looked into etsy for plants but I havent ever bought from them, I may look around on here for some plants if anyone is selling/giving away because the fish stores near me dont have the best quality of plants unfortunately.

I will say my cherries are one of the nicest cherries ive seen they dont even touch my shrimp or their babies, infact theyre scared of them sometimes. I love kuhlis but I dont know if my tank can fit everyone, i know i want a pleco because my dad loves them lol and he wants one in the tank and I already have some cories and cherries. Would it be too much if I had a school of kuhlis, and the rest as well as some center piece fish for a 40g?
I think you should try a community tank if you're planning on putting the cherries in there! Check out Blue Phantom Plecos! Also check out Black Ruby Barbs too I just discovered this fish myself!
 
  • Thread Starter

marmaaa

Member
emmykenzie said:
I think you should try a community tank if you're planning on putting the cherries in there! Check out Blue Phantom Plecos! Also check out Black Ruby Barbs too I just discovered this fish myself!
Wow the blue phantoms are really pretty but pricey as well! I do plan on making it a community tank and the black ruby barbs are also very pretty, not sure if they would be aggressive or not with my other fish in.
How does this stocking sound?

8 cherry barbs
6 cories
2 "insert centerpiece fish (could be angels or something else)"
1 6-8" pleco (any kind)
maybe another school of some fish?
 

Ryngwrayth

Member
marmaaa said:
Thank you sososo much! I know the sand I want to get has no silca because I have it other tanks and they are doing amazing! I have actually looked into etsy for plants but I havent ever bought from them, I may look around on here for some plants if anyone is selling/giving away because the fish stores near me dont have the best quality of plants unfortunately.

I will say my cherries are one of the nicest cherries ive seen they dont even touch my shrimp or their babies, infact theyre scared of them sometimes. I love kuhlis but I dont know if my tank can fit everyone, i know i want a pleco because my dad loves them lol and he wants one in the tank and I already have some cories and cherries. Would it be too much if I had a school of kuhlis, and the rest as well as some center piece fish for a 40g?

About the hornwort, I actually had a whole bunch once in my 20g and they shed like CRAZY, they all died besides one tiny piece. that small piece now is about 18in long that is also propagating and it hasnt shed so I am kinda neutral about hornwort after the shedding but I do like the look of them, however I would rather have some kinda of rotala instead of it in my 40g.
Would love to see your guppy tank once the lights are on again! I have had an okay luck with hornwort, where they all shedded and only one lived but now I love the one long piece of hornwort that i have lol.

I love your tank! It looks very well put together! I am still debating on the Co2 as of now, but looking at your tank makes me think I dont really need it. How often would you say you add root tabs in?
[/QUOTE]

Once every few weeks.
 

jake37

Member
Some types of pleco to consider include:
blue phantom
green phantom
tigris pleco
flash pleco (a favorite of mine)
gold nugget pleco
zebra pleco
false zebra pleco (cheap version of zebra pleco)
clown pleco
bristle nose pleco (i prefer lemon blue eye, but there are super red, green, starlight and several other colours)
L333 pleco
(and many more)

---
Be aware that different types of pleco have different diets. Many require wood, some mostly eat meat and other are primarily veggie eaters. A few will eat plants.


marmaaa said:
Wow the blue phantoms are really pretty but pricey as well! I do plan on making it a community tank and the black ruby barbs are also very pretty, not sure if they would be aggressive or not with my other fish in.
How does this stocking sound?


1 6-8" pleco (any kind)
 

Ryngwrayth

Member
As far as plecos in a planted tank, mine is a bristlenose (smaller end of the spectrum) and he regularly uproots my stem plants. Larger ones can cloud water and move decor daily by simply moving about, let alone actively looking for food.

They are very helpful fish when they work hard (not all plecos are good at cleaning algae or biofilm) but also have the potential to create a mess in addition to their gigantic for size bioload.

just something to factor in.
 

jake37

Member
Guppy tank:



Close up of some of the hornworth on the left:



Ryngwrayth said:
Would love to see your guppy tank once the lights are on again! I have had an okay luck with hornwort, where they all shedded and only one lived but now I love the one long piece of hornwort that i have lol.
 
  • Thread Starter

marmaaa

Member
jake37 said:
Some types of pleco to consider include:
blue phantom
green phantom
tigris pleco
flash pleco (a favorite of mine)
gold nugget pleco
zebra pleco
false zebra pleco (cheap version of zebra pleco)
clown pleco
bristle nose pleco (i prefer lemon blue eye, but there are super red, green, starlight and several other colours)
L333 pleco
(and many more)

---
Be aware that different types of pleco have different diets. Many require wood, some mostly eat meat and other are primarily veggie eaters. A few will eat plants.
Ill have too look into them then even more because I do not want them eating my plants or uprooting them, thank you the long list!
 

2fishinabowl

Member
emmykenzie said:
Hi! It’s always so fun planning out a new tank especially one so big! Best of luck!
I just set up a 120g fully planted a month ago. This is my first fully planted tank of this size. I am having explosive growth in my tank so here’s some things I’ve found helpful.

First I keep Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants by Peter Hiscock on hand at all times. I like to have physical copies of information so that way it doesn’t get lost in the internet shuffle.

“what is my favorite method”
Honestly I plant by hand and I like to have an extra set of eyes outside the tank to help perfect the aquascape. I try to make sure the plants I’m keeping match the water conditions.

“Substrate Preferences”
This depends on the look youre going for but most plants do significantly better in sand or a finer substrate. I’ve always had better results with plants in my sand tanks as opposed to my gravel tanks. The biggest exceptions being Java Fern, Anubius, and Java Moss.
I personally use CaribSea sand but for my next tank I am planning on buying SeaChem Black Sand. I am propagating dwarf hair grass right now and I am using Fluval plant and shrimp stratum. It’s fertilizer lava rock and it’s doing wonders for the hair grass.

Plant Suggestions:
I know you asked for Med/Low but I’m not quite sure if you meant light requirements growth rate or skill requirements. I’ve had exceptional success with the following;
Water Sprite (fast growing)
^ can’t say enough about this plant. I bought 3 sprouts and I now have beautiful cuttings from those plants in other 3 tanks! In a months time
Water Wisteria (medium growing)
Hornwort (medium)
Java Fern (medium)
Java Moss (medium)

Red plants
I do believe red plants require significantly more light that’s what helps with the red color but nutrition is also very important.

Nutrition
I use Sea Chem Flourish! The whole line; Root Tabs, Flourish Base, Flourish Advance, Flourish Excel. I have well water for my tanks so I think that’s why I am seeing so much success... Excels purpose is to help transfer water soluble iron into iron that plants can break down easier. Considering I do have iron in my water this helps me significantly.

my general rule of thumb is to research the plants your planning on keeping before you pick them up. Another plant id suggest: though it can be tricky is Madagascar lace. It’s gorgeous and I’ve seen wonderful results with my nutrients. I’ll attach a few photos of my tank.
I really hope this helps; another thing that could help me pick out plants for you would be your planned stocking.
PS. Please excuse the brown algae, filter was down for a week
PPS. This article is (a touch dated as seachem has changed their products) very helpful Info Before You Buy Flourish And Ferts In General | Plant Fertilizer Forum | 275661
best, Emily
Gorgeous!
 

BlackOsprey

Member
Using any kind of organic material tends to lower pH, including driftwood, leaf litter, and ofc soils. You can offset this by adding baking soda to the water.
 

taj13

Member
Ryngwrayth said:
my setup: Sand substrate, root tabs, liquid ferts a few times a week, good lighting. No Co2, and no interest in it.

Rotala Indica, Wisteria, Vall, Cabomba, Ludwigia Repens, Flame Swords, Brazilian Pennywort, Crinum Calamistratum.

Beautiful setup!
 

Most photos, videos and links are disabled if you are not logged in.

Log in or register to view

Top Bottom