new to plants

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wolfman21

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I was thinking about getting some live plants as opposed to plastic ones and I need a little info. So please just let me know anything you can about the care of live plants, what I need to have (lighting, substrate, water conditions, etc) and the pros and cons of having live plants. Any info is helpful. Thanks.
 

hamstermann

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Lighting, substrate, and other factors depend on the plants. In general, make sure there's enough iron in your tank and you have apropriate lighting. before you buy anything, study pictures of planted tanks and decide what you like as far as lighting, aquascaping, number of plants, placement of plants, etc. when you find a few you like, research them and THEN buy them and set them up.

My current favorite substrate is Eco Complete because it has lots of minerals and claims to help cycle your tank. Plus it's black, so the contrast with the plants is really pretty. Good Plants to start with without having to change lighting your tank lid comes with are: Java Moss, Java Fern, Anacharis, Hornwart, and Guppy grass (If you're trying to have a place for fry to hide).
 
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wolfman21

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I have fluorescent lights right now. Are the plants that you listed good under a fluorescent light?
 

hamstermann

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yep, they should be fine.
 

PrayforMojo

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is it all right to plant straight into gravel? do i need anything special?
 
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wolfman21

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I was looking for some plants and they showed light requirements. For low light, is that like an incandescent bulb, medium a fluorescent, and high light a UV? Just wondering so I know what I can buy.
 

sirdarksol

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You can plant many plants directly into gravel. If you do so, however, you need a supplement that provides minerals that the plants need, like iron.
 

PrayforMojo

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will the iron mess with my fish or the fish i may add in the future?
 

sirdarksol

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You can get supplements made specifically for aquariums.
 
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wolfman21

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when a plant says that is requires low to medium light, does that mean that it would be fine under a fluorescent light bulb?
 

Gunnie

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wolfman21 said:
when a plant says that is requires low to medium light, does that mean that it would be fine under a fluorescent light bulb?
Yes. Take the total wattage of the bulb(s) and divide that number by the gallon size of your tank. This should give you your watts per gallon on your tank. I have a 10 gal. tank with 2 15 watt fluorescent bulbs, which would be 30 divided by 10 = 3 watts per gallon. 1 wpg is low light, 2 wpg is medium light, and 3 and above is high light.
 
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wolfman21

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awesome thanks!
 

vin

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I have a couple of Anubeus Nana and Red Crytocorine plants that I've split and given several of them away and replanted my tank as well. Very easy to care for. I never have to use plant food as the nitrate in the tank seems to be helping them to thrive.
 
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wolfman21

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Generally what's the best type of lighting for growing plants and being good for the fish. I've heard both UV and fluorescent, but I don't know which one. Anyone know or have ideas?
 

griffin

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i'd tend to think fluorescent since most fish don't really need uv. uv is also shielded by glass, so you'll want to take that into consideration as well.

plants do fine with fluorescent.

hope that helped
 
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wolfman21

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Which light is better for the fish-which one most closely resembles their natural lighting?
 

Gunnie

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Here's a great article to help you with some of your questions:
 

Xenomorph

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My local fish shop tried to tell me that I only need one fluro globe for my 4' tank - I'm now shopping for a new fish shop.....

Is there a danger in exceeding 3wpg?
 

Gunnie

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Xenomorph said:
My local fish shop tried to tell me that I only need one fluro globe for my 4' tank - I'm now shopping for a new fish shop.....

Is there a danger in exceeding 3wpg?
I don't think there's a danger of exceeding 3 wpg except for the increased possibility of extra algae growth. I have read that if you have 3 wpg or higher over your tank, that you must supplement with CO2 or your tank will be overrun with algae, but that has not been true with my tank. It does have some algae, but it's not out of control.
 

marek313

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Going over 3wpg doesn't mean that you will get algae outbreak. It means that you have better chance of getting it if you are not carefull with your ferts. I guess the only analogy that comes to my mind is running a tank is like driving a car. If you want to go faster you'll need better car, better road, good weather conditions and you will travel distance faster. That also means that if you make a mistake there isn't much room for it or you will crash and burn. To grow faster you need strong light, CO2 and fertilization program but once again if you make a mistake you'll get bad algae. How fast you want to go is up to you. You can go slow with low maintenance, 1wpg no CO2 and maybe wont even need any ferts to grow easy plants such as anacharis, anubias, java fern, java moss. Some people are looking just for that and are happy with it. Some like to go fast with 4wpg pressurized CO2 and complete fert program. Plants grow extremely fast in that environment and it gives you great pleasure but its time and money consuming. It all depend on individual. The only advice that I can give is to start slow and progress from there. I don't advice going fast from the start because you need experience to do that and its not pretty to look at a green tank when you crash and burn.
 
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