Need help choosing plants.

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fraserm

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I purchased a 31 gallon tank and it has been running for 2 weeks the first week without fish then I added five black skirt tetras. It will have a pair of kribs, Bushy nose Pleco and a few more tetras. I would like to add live plants to the tank but need help choosing which ones would be the best. I am hoping to have some plants that don't require much work. I wouldn't mind some bigger plants in the back and then have some sort of grass in the front. I don't really know what I am talking about as I have never had a planted tank. Thank you for all of the help. It has 2x Lifeglo 20 watt 24 inch lighting and about 2 inch fine river gravel

Fraser
 

Jake the Fish

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You could use fake plants, they last longer and still look as good.
 

Nutter

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Your kidding arn't you Jake? Fake plants do NOT last longer than a well cared for live plant. I don't know where you got that idea from. There is no way fake plants look even half as good as real live plants & I don't care how good the fakes are.

Anyway, Fraserm, before I can recommend any plants I really need to know some details about the kind of light you have & how much of it is there. EG: 1 x 15w compact fluorescent or 2 x 18w standard diameter fluorescent tubes. You should be able to find this information written somewhere on the bulbs/tubes. If you can't decipher the numbers, just post them up here along with the brand of tube if you know it & I'll work out what you have. Once I know the lighting details I can make some recommendations for you.
 

Jaysee

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Fake plants last longer than real plants in my house
 

Kunsthure

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Jaysee said:
Fake plants last longer than real plants in my house
That's because you have a black thumb and/or probably suck them up with the python.

I second Nutter: we can't advise unless we know about your lighting and substrate.

-Lisa
 

Jaysee

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I wasn't even talking about aquatic plants
 

Kunsthure

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Jaysee said:
I wasn't even talking about aquatic plants
My previous statement still stands.

-Lisa
 
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fraserm

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Hi it has about 2 inches of fine gravel I have alot more of it so I can add anydepth you think would work. It has 2 Life glow 2 24 inch 20 watts in it.

Thanks
 

Nutter

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Assuming they are T8 (1" diameter tubes) then you have about 1.3watts per gallon. That is enough for you to grow low light plants. You will struggle to find a grass type plant that will grow under that intensity of lighting. You may be best served by attaching Java Moss to mesh & anchoring the mesh to the substrate. You might be able to get away with Dwarf Sag (Sagittaria Subulata) but I think you would really need to add a third 20w tube to bring you up to it's light requirement. The Dwarf Sag could be worth a try though.

Plants that should do well under your lighting are: Java Moss (Vesicularia sp), Pellia (Monosolenium Tenerum), Java Fern (Microsorum Pteropus), African Water Fern (Bolbitis Heudelotii), Water Sprite (Ceratopteris Thalictroides), Marimo Balls (Cladophora Aegagrophila), Anacharis (Egeria Densa), Fissedens (Fissedens Fontanus), Water Wisteria (Hygrophila Difformis), any Anubius species & most Cryptocoryne species. You could most likely also do Sunset Hygro (Hygrophila Polysperma 'Sunset').
One the borderline but would probably grow ok are Ozelot Sword (Echinodorus Ozelot) & Red Tiger Lous (Nymphaea Lotus Zenkeri 'Red'). I've probably missed a few so keep looking for other options & wait for other responses.

2" of substrate is fine towards the front area of the tank but I would add an extra 1" to the rear half & the sides of the tank to create a shallow bowl area in the centre foreground. That will provide the larger plants towards the back with more media for their larger root systems & it will also help with collecting detrius towards the front of the tank where it will be easier for you to vacuum out.
 
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