Need Plant Ideas!

wolfdog01

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Okay, I am fed up with Java Fern. I have them tied to arches I made and they didn't grow very much since the two and a half months I've had them. I did have new growth and leaves and such, but not at the rate I would like. I have tried super gluing them to a flat surface in the tank to help them grow but that didn't work, the super glue didn't hold. I've wasted a fair bit of money and time on these things and I want to try something else now that I know I can at least keep these things alive.
My tank is a 20 gal long with a betta and two nerite snails (might get four amano shrimp later). My light is a finnex stingray razor thin LED that lays diagonally across the top, it's on from 10:00am-8:00pm. My lid is a fluorescent light cover cut to size so hopefully it'll spread the light out a bit. I do weekly water changes. I dose API Leafzone every week and API CO2 Booster everyday. If you need anymore info please let me know!
As for plants...I was looking into Hornwort at first but then read it can tear up betta fins. So I saw Asian Ambulia, but I don't think I can get that in Florida real easy, it's not on Amazon I don't think. Then I found Anacharis and I REALLY like it, but I want to know what the community thinks about it. I would use plant weights or make some small decor to keep some pieces standing but I will float some too. It looks soft enough for bettas and has a jungle look that I like without having running roots or rhizomes like Java Fern or something.

P.S. Does anyone want some Java Fern? Maybe a 6.6 gal tank? Topfin light?...I gotta post these things on Letgo or something lol.
 

endlercollector

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Since it's a shallow tank, you could go with smaller swords and hygrophila. They're very easy. What kind of substrate do you have? I highly recommend an inch of organic potting soil underneath as it makes growing plants so much easier. I cap with glass pebbles because I'm OCD and like to spray them down with 70% rubbing alcohol every time I tear down and rebuild. Most people cap with an inch of sand. If you're not using soil, the swords will require ferts. Growing up, I had anacharis floating in tanks with low light and no trouble at all, but I've had no luck with it in recent years. It just melts every time. Ugh. If it works for you, you're lucky
 
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wolfdog01

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Just plain old gravel, I'm not big on the idea of putting something in the substrate to root, I want something to kinda take over and still be able to toss it around lol looking for a naturally overgrown look, ya know? I did see some Hygrophila, it is very interesting looking.
I just read somewhere that liquid CO2 can kill Anacharis...if I do decide to get it I guess I got do it in tiny amounts like every other day then lol not pouring that down the drain.
 

aussieJJDude

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I love my java... oh well, im sure you'll find something you will like.

I would suggest crypts, very easy to grow, slow growing but still grows at a pace once established. Multiple species, colour, shapes and sizes to choose from.

Other than that, I would suggest floating plants, like Amazon frogbit and whatnot.

Other than that, guppy grass, hydrocotyle tripitara... mosses for the arches would look nice as well.
 
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wolfdog01

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I mean I don't mind the Java Fern, I just need something to grow faster and bushier, like something that needs trimming every week. This is the last thing I want done to this tank and it's driving me crazy lol
 

aussieJJDude

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Oh, fast growing. Ludwigia! I had to get rid of it in my tanks, as it took over my slower growing crypts, java ferns and mosses...

Once the mosses, crypts and ferns grew.... the ludwigia didn't do so well...
 
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wolfdog01

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Keep the suggestions coming! Looking up all these plants as they get listed lol just to get a basic idea
 

SFGiantsGuy

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I love my Java Ferns as well. Although do keep in mind that frogbit is very hard to find, even online! It sells out extremely fast and there are only a small number of online dealers that actually sell it. And as I said, when they DO have it in stock, it can and will disappear within an hour consequently from email alerts distributed to everyone! Sucks! Maybe you could get lucky though...took me over 2 months to get mine...but what made me rage was, about 2 days AFTER I ordered that via online, one of my lfs's got some in--aaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrggggghhhhhh!!! lol And if you do opt to purchase any plants online, I usually choose plantedaquariumscentral, H2O plants and a few others. And A. Swords smaller or larger ones are also great, but do keep in mind that they are very finicky when it comes to major ph or water changes, temps. etc. A. Swords also aren't that fond of harder water, FYI. Blyxa Japonica's a good one for a large bushy plant. Mine is massive now in my 55. I'll maybe post some pics soon! Took a while to get really big though...hmmm, Vallisneria...dwarf sag...those all grow pretty well and are very easy to maintain.
 

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Java fern is a super slow grower and doesnt do well with hi light. You need patients and to dial back your lighting and you wont have any problems with it.
 

bitseriously

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Re java fern: I don't have the regular java fern, but I do have some needle fern (same species, just a cultivar), and it took 6 months to start taking off. Even then, not a fast grower. It needs light, but not bright light.
Recommend water sprite. 2-3 clumps, close together, and you'll have a jungle. Dense but not impenetrable. Also swords and vals.
One of my faves, but not right for every situation, is limnophilia sessiliflora. In low light, it puts out runners along the substrate, and shoots up quickly from them. Easy to trim, prolific grower.
For your arch, weeping moss is a better alternative to java moss. Tidier, better look. Grows well in just-above-low-light.
 

chantnplant

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Am I understanding you correctly in that you’re not a fan of soil in the substrate? Just wondering.

How about styrogyne repens? They are short and bushy. And they love light.
 

DuaneV

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First, anything in the bottom of the tank is substrate. It can be soil with a cap, sand, gravel, etc.

Any plant that requires hi light usually requires C02 also, or at a minimum extra fertilization beyond the tanks bioload.
 
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wolfdog01

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I had a **** light before from Topfin, no idea what the wattage was. I just don't like how slow it grows, even with the ferts and CO2 I was adding. Just not the plant for me.
I never got any of these conversation notifications!
I just got done salt dipping my plants, I did get Anacharis. Seemed like no one had anything really bad to say about it lol. I didn't want anything that had to be planted, I want to be able to move these around freely and I gravel vac every week. Plus they can be floaters or weighted. It only cost me four dollars for a decent sized clump.
A lot of ideas though in case these don't work out! Thank you everyone, I will be sure to come back here if these die on me.
 
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