I'm going to try real plants.

  1. S

    Seatown12 Valued Member Member

    Hey everyone lately I have been using fake plants for my aquarium but I am going to try real ones for a change. I barely knew anything about planted tanks and how to take care of them until I read the stickied thread at the top that has a guide to plants. I calculated my watts per gallon and I got 1.5 wpg. I divided my 15 watt fluorescent bulb by my 10 gallon tank. My tank is 12 inches tall. I was thinking about either getting 3-4 java fern or anubias. If I were to get either of these low light plants how long would I leave my light on? Do you recommend these plants? I read that the roots of these plants have to be out of the gravel so they have to be tied to something can I just rubber band them to a rock to hold down the plants?

    I had another question that isnt in the right place for this thread but is my tank aged enough for some otocinclus? My tank has been running for about 5-6 months and has started a brown diatom algae bloom and I was hoping I can get maybe 3 otocinclus to help clean it and I will proboly need them if I get a planted tank anyways.

  2. D

    David C Well Known Member Member

    If you have green algae growing on your glass or decorations that needs to be cleaned every so often, then your tank is perfect for oto's. The general rule for oto's is one per 5gal's but they do like to be kept in small schools, I had 3 in a 10gal and they worked out just fine.

    The best way to get the java fern to stick to a rock or anything else is use a little piece of string and wrap it around. By the time the string bio-degrades, the roots will have grown out enough to hold the plant to decoration. I have 3 different kinds of fern and I love them, especially the lace. I leave my lights on 11 hours a day.

  3. Nutter

    Nutter Fishlore VIP Member

    I would reccomend Anubius Nana & Java Fern for your size tank with the low lighting you have. You could also have some Java Moss for some contrast. You can use a rubber band for attaching, like you mentioned, but I prefer to use either the string like Dave mentioned or some fishing line. Get yourself a good liquid aquarium fertilizer to feed your plants. Liquid ferts will be better as your plants won't be in the substrate so you need to fertilise the water column, not the substrate. I reccomend Seachem Flourish. Your lights you will have to experiment with a little. Somewhere between 8-12hrs of light per day will be enough. Start at 8hrs & once your plants are established, start to lengthen the light period slowly until you start to see the first signs of new algae. As soon as you see the new algae start, turn your lights back 30mins.

    Otos can be introduced into a brand new tank so long as Ammonia & Nitrite levels are carefully monitored. As your tank has been set up a little while, you should have no problems introducig 2-3 of them. They love diatom algae, so your tank should be sparkling clean in no time.