Plant Newbie Needs Help

JGombs99

Member
Hello, all. As the subject heading suggests, I'm a relative newbie to plants, and I need help. I have one other thread in the plant section that I started awhile ago, when I was just considering live plants, through when I very first began with them. I hope to build off of the knowledge that I learned through that thread, and become more successful in keeping aquarium plants.

First, just a little history. When I first set my tank up, I had no interest in live plants at all. Because of this, I have gravel substrate, and a light that may or may not be great for growing plants (research I've done suggests it's good for low to medium light plants, but so far, my success has been low, at best, so I don't know). The light I use is the Fluval Aquasky LED, and I use it on a setting that has the white lights and red lights (because I was told this setting would be appropriate for growing plants). I really have no interest in changing my substrate, or my lighting, so if live plants aren't for me due to either or both of these, I understand, and I will stop trying to grow plants. I just need to find out if this is the case, or if my problem is something else, because if I can grow plants with what I have, I'd really like to. Lastly, I use Seachem Flourish. I'm willing to continue to use this, or to use something else, but I'd rather not use a lot of different chemicals, and I certainly have no interest in getting into a CO2 system, or anything like that. I really want to have a set up that's relatively easy and low maintenence. Again, if this isn't possible, I just want to know that.

I currently have Anubias Frazeri, and Hygro Augustofolia. Both plants are doing the same thing, which is that they're living, but they're not growing, or thriving. I understand the Anubias is very slow growing, but I've had it in my tank for 3-5 months, and it hasn't grown at all. It's got holes (some, not completely covered in holes) in the leaves, and although it's not completely brown by any means, it has more brown on it than when I bought it. The Hygro seems to have less holes, but it certainly isn't growing at all, and it is also turning brown (again, not completely brown, but more than when I bought it). The brown on the Hygro seems to be coming more from the bottom portion of the plant. I've had the Hygro in my tank for a much shorter time (not much over a month), but it's my understanding that this plant grows much quicker than the Anubias. My goal is not to have a heavily planted tank, but I do have a goal to have some nice looking live plants. I'd like enough plants to hide equipment, and to provide hiding places for my fish. And, again, another goal is for easy/low maintenence. My 100 gallon tank is the one I'm attempting to plant, so I have Blood Parrots, Severum, a few Syno Catfish, schooling fish, etc. Please feel free to check out the info about my tanks in my profile section for the exact stocking. Thanks so much for any suggestions or advice!
 

Dave125g

Member
Do you have any specs on your lights? Particularly the color temperature. 6500k is about what you want.

Gravel is not the best substrate for plants, but its doable. Roots will have tough time growing in it. Floating plants are also an option. Certain plants can also be tied to driftwood. Java fern comes to mind. Moss balls will do well too.
 

Wraithen

Member
For what you're looking to do I suggest wisteria and hygro compacta (temple plant.) Neither of them needs much, they aren't really root feeders, and they will grow fine in your setup. As a bonus you can carefully plant them in the gravel to hold them in place.
 

Dch48

Member
My Anubias Nana is getting a new leaf stalk. It split off from the stalk of another leaf. My light is whatever comes in the hood for the TopFin Enhance 3.5 gallon tank. It has 3 LED's and can cycle through the colors automatically. I think the changing colors look stupid so I set it to be white all the time. The plant seems to like it. It's a deeper green and as I said, growing. I also have a Windelov Java Fern I just put in and it looks to be doing fine but not growing yet. These plants do well in just about any degree of lighting it seems.
 

ljg

Member
I think that driftwood with some plants like java ferns might do well. Sometimes it helps to put start them in another tank till they thrive and move them over.
 
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JGombs99

Member
Thanks for the replies! So, is it safe to say that I have the wrong plants for the substrate and lights I have?

From the Fluval website about the light: 18 watt LED bulb. 3000-25000k temperature rating for a customized light spectrum. 6500k white and tri-colored RGB LEDs. Not sure what that means, but hopefully it will help someone understand what I could do for plants with this light.
 

Wraithen

Member
JGombs99 said:
Thanks for the replies! So, is it safe to say that I have the wrong plants for the substrate and lights I have?

From the Fluval website about the light: 18 watt LED bulb. 3000-25000k temperature rating for a customized light spectrum. 6500k white and tri-colored RGB LEDs. Not sure what that means, but hopefully it will help someone understand what I could do for plants with this light.
You don't have the wrong plants. Some will just do better for you. The light range you want is 6 to 7k, with using as much green as you can to get there with the brightest available setting. I have no idea how to get you there with that light, but your lighting is fine. Adding a macro fertilizer will help. The flourish is mostly micros. Nilocg makes some super easy to use liquids (read not really cheap.) I use the 2 bottle setup and am having good results for a 2 foot deep 65 gallon tank.
 
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JGombs99

Member
Wraithen said:
You don't have the wrong plants. Some will just do better for you. The light range you want is 6 to 7k, with using as much green as you can to get there with the brightest available setting. I have no idea how to get you there with that light, but your lighting is fine. Adding a macro fertilizer will help. The flourish is mostly micros. Nilocg makes some super easy to use liquids (read not really cheap.) I use the 2 bottle setup and am having good results for a 2 foot deep 65 gallon tank.
So, my next step is to add green lights with mostly bright white, and get rid of the red...and, also to continue with Flourish but add a macro fertilizer, right?
 

Wraithen

Member
No. You can customize your current lighting set up, at least I thought you could. Turn the whites all the way up and then adjust the other colors to get the light a tinge green. The combination of the reds and other colors mixed with the white is just a slightly better spectrum. The white all by itself will do fine though for what you're needing.

Yes, continue the flourish but add a macro dose. If you don't get an all in one, I wouldn't bother getting a nitrogen. Be aware there are issues with all in ones. You can't be specific with your dose by type. It shouldn't matter with what you're growing though. If you add a root feeder plant, you need to add a root tab under the gravel near it and I'm not sure how well that will work out. Have you studied the nutrients plants need and how plant respiration works? It will also help you find ways to ensure your plants stay healthy and keep algae at bay.
 
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JGombs99

Member
Wraithen said:
No. You can customize your current lighting set up, at least I thought you could. Turn the whites all the way up and then adjust the other colors to get the light a tinge green. The combination of the reds and other colors mixed with the white is just a slightly better spectrum. The white all by itself will do fine though for what you're needing.

Yes, continue the flourish but add a macro dose. If you don't get an all in one, I wouldn't bother getting a nitrogen. Be aware there are issues with all in ones. You can't be specific with your dose by type. It shouldn't matter with what you're growing though. If you add a root feeder plant, you need to add a root tab under the gravel near it and I'm not sure how well that will work out. Have you studied the nutrients plants need and how plant respiration works? It will also help you find ways to ensure your plants stay healthy and keep algae at bay.
Thanks! I think we're saying the same thing, but just in a slightly different way with the light colors. I can customize it, I just need to figure out exactly how to do it. So, do I want red and green with the white, or just green and white?

I think I need to figure out more about micro and macro fertilizer, and decide what exactly I'll need. No, I haven't researched anything like that to be honest.
 

Wraithen

Member
If you have green LEDs on that light just turn them up a bit to make the light look a little green. It's difficult to tweak to just the right spectrum but if you google your light and then add plant setting someone has probably nailed it down pretty well.

The trick with lighting and fertilizers is to strike the perfect balance. I started growing 3 kinds of algae so I had to step back and tweak a bunch of things. Turns out the spring sun was nailing my tank all afternoon without my realizing it. (Stupid decorative half circle windows above the regular windows so I can't get curtains for it.)
 
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JGombs99

Member
Wraithen said:
If you have green LEDs on that light just turn them up a bit to make the light look a little green. It's difficult to tweak to just the right spectrum but if you google your light and then add plant setting someone has probably nailed it down pretty well.

The trick with lighting and fertilizers is to strike the perfect balance. I started growing 3 kinds of algae so I had to step back and tweak a bunch of things. Turns out the spring sun was nailing my tank all afternoon without my realizing it. (Stupid decorative half circle windows above the regular windows so I can't get curtains for it.)
Thanks! I'll check into this.
 

jmaldo

Member
JGombs99
By no means an expert.
Just a relative newbie "Underwater Gardener," just slightly above an Algae Grower. LOL
I use the Aquasky #3999 on my 55. The specs are similar but higher wattage rating of 35 - basically double the leds. I experimented with all the bells and whistles finally settled on the whites with reds. I use a timer with the light on a schedule of 4 hours on 3 off 4 on. Started with the Seachem ferts, have moved to NilocG DIY EI dosing, Sounds complicated but its easy and less of a hit on the wallet. Also, use Root tabs. I have tried Anubias, it was a slow grower. I just re-scaped my 55 earlier this year. You can check out the link.
Hope this helps. Good Luck.
55 Planted Community Re-scape (jmaldo)
 
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JGombs99

Member
jmaldo said:
JGombs99
By no means an expert.
Just a relative newbie "Underwater Gardener," just slightly above an Algae Grower. LOL
I use the Aquasky #3999 on my 55. The specs are similar but higher wattage rating of 35 - basically double the leds. I experimented with all the bells and whistles finally settled on the whites with reds. I use a timer with the light on a schedule of 4 hours on 3 off 4 on. Started with the Seachem ferts, have moved to NilocG DIY EI dosing, Sounds complicated but its easy and less of a hit on the wallet. Also, use Root tabs. I have tried Anubias, it was a slow grower. I just re-scaped my 55 earlier this year. You can check out the link.
Hope this helps. Good Luck.
55 Planted Community Re-scape (jmaldo)
So, I do use the white with red lights. I don't use a timer, though, and admittedly, I really don't have a regular lighting schedule. I also use only Flourish. I suppose my issues must lie in the lighting schedule and fertilizers.
 

Wraithen

Member
JGombs99 said:
So, I do use the white with red lights. I don't use a timer, though, and admittedly, I really don't have a regular lighting schedule. I also use only Flourish. I suppose my issues must lie in the lighting schedule and fertilizers.
You want 8 ish hours of lighting for your tank. Possibly more. If you don't have algae issues 8 to 10 straight hours of light is better for the plants than the split photo period. The split is good for preventing algae, but plants ramp up their growth from the lighting so they won't grow quite as fast with the split photo period.
 
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JGombs99

Member
Wraithen said:
You want 8 ish hours of lighting for your tank. Possibly more. If you don't have algae issues 8 to 10 straight hours of light is better for the plants than the split photo period. The split is good for preventing algae, but plants ramp up their growth from the lighting so they won't grow quite as fast with the split photo period.
What if I'm inconsistent with whether or not it's split? For instance, during the week, it's split because my light is on both before work and after work, yet during the weekend, the light is on pretty consistently throughout the day. This also means that the tank gets more light on weekends. Is this negatively impacting my plants?
 

Wraithen

Member
JGombs99 said:
What if I'm inconsistent with whether or not it's split? For instance, during the week, it's split because my light is on both before work and after work, yet during the weekend, the light is on pretty consistently throughout the day. This also means that the tank gets more light on weekends. Is this negatively impacting my plants?
Not really. As long as they get enough light, they will be fine. It's more about best and fastest growth vs growing ok. It's like not using dirt and co2. You aren't hurting anything, but for optimal growth, those 2 are required. For the record, I don't use dirt or co2. My tank is black sand with root tabs and I run 2 different led lights for a split photo period. After the summer equinox, I will run both lights at the same time for more intense light since the sun won't be hitting my tank.

On the positive weird side, I have a floating piece of driftwood held in place as a divider for my african butterfly fish, and it is growing a really nice algae. It looks like the moss that grows in a forest at the roots of trees only it's a very dark green. Sometimes algae can be pretty.
 
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JGombs99

Member
Wraithen said:
Not really. As long as they get enough light, they will be fine. It's more about best and fastest growth vs growing ok. It's like not using dirt and co2. You aren't hurting anything, but for optimal growth, those 2 are required. For the record, I don't use dirt or co2. My tank is black sand with root tabs and I run 2 different led lights for a split photo period. After the summer equinox, I will run both lights at the same time for more intense light since the sun won't be hitting my tank.

On the positive weird side, I have a floating piece of driftwood held in place as a divider for my african butterfly fish, and it is growing a really nice algae. It looks like the moss that grows in a forest at the roots of trees only it's a very dark green. Sometimes algae can be pretty.
Your tank sounds great, but to be honest, that's more than I want to do. I really do want very low maintenance. Hopefully my secret can be in finding better fertilizer and/or using root tabs.
 

Wraithen

Member
JGombs99 said:
Your tank sounds great, but to be honest, that's more than I want to do. I really do want very low maintenance. Hopefully my secret can be in finding better fertilizer and/or using root tabs.
Lol it's a mess right now. I'm growing all my plants out to see where I want everything.

After planting all I do is squirt ferts in once a day (6 pumps on a pump bottle with the nilocg stuff I got,) and add root tabs once every 6 weeks or so. Other than cutting off unhealthy leaves during water changes, I don't mess with anything. I think I spend more time shopping for plants and getting them to stay planted than actual maintenance. You'll see soon, it can get very addicting.
 
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JGombs99

Member
So, now that I know growing plants with my light and my substrate is possible, I'd like to ask if it's possible to grow any plants with either just Flourish, just root tabs, or a combination of both (and if so, what), or do I need the micro and macro fertilizers regardless? I was also told by someone at a LFS this morning that for my Anubias with partially damaged leaves that I should clip them back because the plant is working extra hard to repair these leaves. Does anyone know this to be true (or not)? Lastly, for my Anubias, I know it can be attached to driftwood, or planted, and I also know you can't bury the rhizome when planting. But, is either planting or attaching better than the other, or are they really the same?
 

Wraithen

Member
JGombs99 said:
So, now that I know growing plants with my light and my substrate is possible, I'd like to ask if it's possible to grow any plants with either just Flourish, just root tabs, or a combination of both (and if so, what), or do I need the micro and macro fertilizers regardless? I was also told by someone at a LFS this morning that for my Anubias with partially damaged leaves that I should clip them back because the plant is working extra hard to repair these leaves. Does anyone know this to be true (or not)? Lastly, for my Anubias, I know it can be attached to driftwood, or planted, and I also know you can't bury the rhizome when planting. But, is either planting or attaching better than the other, or are they really the same?
You can grow with just tabs and flourish. You will need to find some tabs that contain a lot of macros to get better growth though. It's not easy to find something like that though. I know there's a couple on the market but I don't know them personally.

Planting either way is essentially the same in your tank. I've even superglued some rhizome plants directly to a flat stone.

YES! Always trI'm off leaves with holes, fading, or discoloration. The plant puts a lot of resources into trying to continue growth of these leaves and it's really better off just growing new leaves. I had to medicate my tank once and ended up having to hack both my swords down to almost nothing. They are coming back with a huge vengeance and as a plus for me, it's more bushy than ever before.
 
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JGombs99

Member
Wraithen said:
You can grow with just tabs and flourish. You will need to find some tabs that contain a lot of macros to get better growth though. It's not easy to find something like that though. I know there's a couple on the market but I don't know them personally.

Planting either way is essentially the same in your tank. I've even superglued some rhizome plants directly to a flat stone.

YES! Always trI'm off leaves with holes, fading, or discoloration. The plant puts a lot of resources into trying to continue growth of these leaves and it's really better off just growing new leaves. I had to medicate my tank once and ended up having to hack both my swords down to almost nothing. They are coming back with a huge vengeance and as a plus for me, it's more bushy than ever before.
Oh wow, ok. I'll try trimming these leaves back. If I want to try root tabs and Flourish, do I want the plants I currently have, or do I want to switch to something else?
 

Wraithen

Member
JGombs99 said:
Oh wow, ok. I'll try trimming these leaves back. If I want to try root tabs and Flourish, do I want the plants I currently have, or do I want to switch to something else?
The only plants the tabs will do wonders for are the root feeders. Things like hygro won't really appreciate it as much. I won't hurt them, but they feed more from the water column than anything else


If you're willing to dose the flourish, this may be right up your alley.
 
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JGombs99

Member
Wraithen said:
The only plants the tabs will do wonders for are the root feeders. Things like hygro won't really appreciate it as much. I won't hurt them, but they feed more from the water column than anything else
The Anubias will also feed from the water column, right? So, really, I have the wrong plants for root tabs, anyway. Which plants are root feeders? Sorry, I really know nothing about this.
 

Wraithen

Member
Anything with a rhizome, or a heavy root system. Things like swords, or bulb plants. The link I posted is one of the easiest ways to dose ferts. I think I added it while you were responding


Some heavy root feeders do fine with the roots in the water column. It's the ones that bury their roots that you have to use tabs for. I'm just worried the tabs will break down and end up in the water with gravel. I have no experience with it.
 
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JGombs99

Member
Wraithen said:
Anything with a rhizome, or a heavy root system. Things like swords, or bulb plants. The link I posted is one of the easiest ways to dose ferts. I think I added it while you were responding
Thanks! I'll check that out a bit further. It sounds like I need to decide whether I want to use root tabs, or multiple fertilizers, unless there's something I'm still missing.
 

Wraithen

Member
JGombs99 said:
Thanks! I'll check that out a bit further. It sounds like I need to decide whether I want to use root tabs, or multiple fertilizers, unless there's something I'm still missing.
Most root tabs are more for micros. If I were you I would just steer clear of things like swords or bulbs until you get some experience and get comfortable with it. Using gravel isn't the easiest way to do this. Keeping away from root feeders and bulbs will make your life easier. No root tabs needed.
 
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JGombs99

Member
Wraithen said:
Most root tabs are more for micros. If I were you I would just steer clear of things like swords or bulbs until you get some experience and get comfortable with it. Using gravel isn't the easiest way to do this. Keeping away from root feeders and bulbs will make your life easier. No root tabs needed.
Thank you. Ok, I'll have to learn more about what plants are bulb plants, exactly. So, you recommend continuing with Flourish, and also finding something that provides macros, too, right? So, just two fertilizers, overall? Would you recommend that I keep the plants I have, or going with something new? Sorry for asking so many questions. I just want to be sure I fully understand. Although I want to keep trying to keep plants, I'd rather just stop trying if it's going to be too difficult for me based on having gravel, etc.
 

Wraithen

Member
Your current plants are fine. You can't usually buy bulb plants, you buy the bulb so you don't have to worry much on that count.

The link I listed shows a macro bottle and a micro bottle. Use them on alternating days a couple times a week and that's it.

If you like just the flourish, you can continue your regimen, but you will get the same results you've been having. If your plants aren't showing deficiencies but aren't really growing, they are using up all the lighting, or carbon, or whatever limiting energy source there is available to them. It's not a bad place to be since you don't have them dying off, but they aren't growing which seems to be frustrating you. Adding P and K would likely help them grow faster. This is assuming you usually have 10 ppm nitrates available to them.

You seem like you want to get into plants but are afraid of the work and the gravel swap out. If it's just the gravel seeming tedious, I know a trick to get washed sand on the bottom of your tank without a mess, and gravel removal really isn't that bad.
 
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JGombs99

Member
Wraithen said:
Your current plants are fine. You can't usually buy bulb plants, you buy the bulb so you don't have to worry much on that count.

The link I listed shows a macro bottle and a micro bottle. Use them on alternating days a couple times a week and that's it.

If you like just the flourish, you can continue your regimen, but you will get the same results you've been having. If your plants aren't showing deficiencies but aren't really growing, they are using up all the lighting, or carbon, or whatever limiting energy source there is available to them. It's not a bad place to be since you don't have them dying off, but they aren't growing which seems to be frustrating you. Adding P and K would likely help them grow faster. This is assuming you usually have 10 ppm nitrates available to them.

You seem like you want to get into plants but are afraid of the work and the gravel swap out. If it's just the gravel seeming tedious, I know a trick to get washed sand on the bottom of your tank without a mess, and gravel removal really isn't that bad.
Again, I apologize if I keep saying the same thing over and over. It's mostly that I'm trying to learn, and trying to decide if I can get into live plants fairly simply, while keeping my current setup. I'd rather forget about live plants than to change my lighting or substrate. I know that may seem crazy, but it's where I'm at. I just need to figure out if that's what I need to do. That being said, I'm not stuck on using Flourish. I'm open to discontinuing use of it. I just keep coming back to it because that's what I have, and because I've heard before that's all you should need for easy plants (although it's starting to sound like that's not true. Oh, and I wouldn't say that my plants look good besides for not growing. That's not true at all. They look horrible, but they're living. The Anubias has holes in the leaves, and has some brown spots (but I think it's algae). The Hygro has spots that are light brown, seemingly coming from more around the bottom of the plant, and the leaves just don't look like they did when they first went in. It's definitely frustrating.
 

Wraithen

Member
Those sound like a K deficiency.

There are easier plants.

Your light is actually really good. You definitely don't need a better one.

Many plants can be pretty much completely hands off. Anacharis and java fern come to mind for you. Floating plants are so easy they are a nuisance. These might make you more happy. Your anubias isn't one I would have recommended, nor that particular species of hygro. It sounds like your plants just need a little bit of help and they will be fine. There are micro deficiencies that look pretty much the same, but the flourish has that covered so I doubt that's your issue.
 
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JGombs99

Member
Wraithen said:
Those sound like a K deficiency.

There are easier plants.

Your light is actually really good. You definitely don't need a better one.

Many plants can be pretty much completely hands off. Anacharis and java fern come to mind for you. Floating plants are so easy they are a nuisance. These might make you more happy. Your anubias isn't one I would have recommended, nor that particular species of hygro. It sounds like your plants just need a little bit of help and they will be fine. There are micro deficiencies that look pretty much the same, but the flourish has that covered so I doubt that's your issue.
Thanks so much! If it is a K deficiency, will the fertilizers mentioned earlier in this thread take care of it? Based on what you're saying, I'll definitely give plants another try. I just need to decide if I should start fresh, with different plants, or if I want to try to figure these out.

Again, I want the easiest/least maintenance involved plants possible (both in terms of fertilizers/additives, and clipping/maintaining the plant). I want to keep my gravel, and not have to worry about a light schedule. Of course I understand that some work is necessary, but the goal is to have as close to no maintenance as possible, yet having nice, live plants.

Again, thanks so much for the advice!
 

Wraithen

Member
The link I sent is everything you will need.

For plants, the easiest are going to be wisteria and anacharis. Both are readily available at local pet stores usually. For a really cool effect, you can even bury the stem of the water wisteria and it will grow horizontally. The plant just to the left of the black tube on the right is wisteria. New leaves start round and then morph into their more jagged shape as they grow. It's the same plant in the back growing diagonally behind the spiderwood. Both of them can grow fine literally just floating around the tank. If you choose either anacharis or wisteria, I recommend letting it float a week or two before planting. They will melt but come right back.
 
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JGombs99

Member
Wraithen said:
The link I sent is everything you will need.

For plants, the easiest are going to be wisteria and anacharis. Both are readily available at local pet stores usually. For a really cool effect, you can even bury the stem of the water wisteria and it will grow horizontally. The plant just to the left of the black tube on the right is wisteria. New leaves start round and then morph into their more jagged shape as they grow. It's the same plant in the back growing diagonally behind the spiderwood. Both of them can grow fine literally just floating around the tank. If you choose either anacharis or wisteria, I recommend letting it float a week or two before planting. They will melt but come right back.
Thanks again for the info! So, if I use the two ferts you're recommending, that's all I need? No root tabs or Flourish, or anything else? No special substrate? You're making it sound too easy compared to what I've experienced thus far!

With the plants you're recommending they'll be ok with my fish? They won't get eaten by anyone, particularly my cichlids?

Lastly, can you please remind me of your recommendation for the color setting I should be using with my light for my plants? Since you seem to know about the light, I figured I'd see specifically what you recommend. I know one person said green with white, while someone else said red with white. I've been using red with white with the iffy results I've described throughout this thread, but if the ferts I've been using are more of an issue, maybe my lighting has been fine.
 

Wraithen

Member
Those plants will be fine with just about any fish. The beauty is they don't require anything. Anything you do is a bonus for them. The ferts I recommended are really that easy. I went from using 6 bottles of independent ingredients to those 2, and I'm honestly getting a better growth rate since I'm not over or under dosing anything by accident.

I was intentionally vague on the color settings for your light. Let me try dr. Google and see what he says.
Eta: looks like turning everything all the way up is the way to go with that light.
 
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JGombs99

Member
Wraithen said:
Those plants will be fine with just about any fish. The beauty is they don't require anything. Anything you do is a bonus for them. The ferts I recommended are really that easy. I went from using 6 bottles of independent ingredients to those 2, and I'm honestly getting a better growth rate since I'm not over or under dosing anything by accident.

I was intentionally vague on the color settings for your light. Let me try dr. Google and see what he says.
Eta: looks like turning everything all the way up is the way to go with that light.
Thanks so much. I tried Google for light settings/color, but wasn't able to find much specifically for plants.

I had to ask about those plants with my fish because they (at least the anarchis) looks delicate. I should've asked how tall these get, and how quickly they'll likely grow, how often they'll need to be trimmed, etc. I don't really care too much exactly what plants I have as long as they're easy, not demanding, and will hide equipment. Oh, and something that won't overrun my tank, if it's not too much to ask.
 

SFGiantsGuy

Member
Remember the foundational, base fundamentals, such as the "triangle": (as a few other forum folks have all concured with) Light, ferts, substrate. I use a concoction of Thrive, (nilocG) Easy Green and Flourish Comprehensive. As well as API and Flourish tabs. Enhance your light output and PAR. DO keep in mind that the Flourish/Seachem line of ferts is mostly designated for low to mid light required plants, tailored for a "one size fits all" application and mentality. Heh, as well as with very vague and ambiguous universal instructions as well. Light: Their alive, but not thriving with subtle signs of common deficiencies. Research how to amend those issues accordingly, and you'll be just fine, I promise you. Study your tanks corresponding parameters in relaton to what light output is recommended per the species of plants that you own. Check out PAR in accordance with your tank size as well. Ferts: Grasp the fundamentals and adhere and apply properly, to enable a smooth transition. Substrate: Sand is likely not a good idea to root feeders, as it can be much too dense and apprehensive for rooted plants to penetrate, therefore robbing them of anchoring capability and nutrients. Ok, I'll shut up now. lol
 

Wraithen

Member
The anacharis will grow pretty quickly, but you can hack it in half and plant the new one you just made. Pretty much the same deal with the wisteria, except it grows from a stiffer stem. The anacharis isn't fragile at all. If your tank is above 80 degrees, it may look kind of scraggly eventually due to shooting up quickly and not producing many leaves.

They both will eventually outgrow your tank in height, but that should take months. Some people even give them to the lfs for credit. Anacharis and wisteria aren't worth a whole lot, but if you plant the wisteria horizontally, it will take years for it to outgrow your tank.
 
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JGombs99

Member
SFGiantsGuy said:
Remember the foundational, base fundamentals, such as the "triangle": (as a few other forum folks have all concured with) Light, ferts, substrate. I use a concoction of Thrive, (nilocG) Easy Green and Flourish Comprehensive. As well as API and Flourish tabs. Enhance your light output and PAR. DO keep in mind that the Flourish/Seachem line of ferts is mostly designated for low to mid light required plants, tailored for a "one size fits all" application and mentality. Heh, as well as with very vague and ambiguous universal instructions as well. Light: Their alive, but not thriving with subtle signs of common deficiencies. Research how to amend those issues accordingly, and you'll be just fine, I promise you. Study your tanks corresponding parameters in relaton to what light output is recommended per the species of plants that you own. Check out PAR in accordance with your tank size as well. Ferts: Grasp the fundamentals and adhere and apply properly, to enable a smooth transition. Substrate: Sand is likely not a good idea to root feeders, as it can be much too dense and apprehensive for rooted plants to penetrate, therefore robbing them of anchoring capability and nutrients. Ok, I'll shut up now. lol
See, all of this is more high tech/scientific than I want to be. I don't want to understand PAR, or understand what's in certain ferts, lol. Sorry to seem annoying, or high maintenance, but I just want plants that will work in my setup with the least amount of fuss as possible.
 

Wraithen

Member
JGombs99 said:
See, all of this is more high tech/scientific than I want to be. I don't want to understand PAR, or understand what's in certain ferts, lol. Sorry to seem annoying, or high maintenance, but I just want plants that will work in my setup with the least amount of fuss as possible.
The two I listed are your best bet
 

SFGiantsGuy

Member
Water Wisteria. : ) Anubias, Swords=so easy, a 6 year old could nurse 'em sir.
 
  • Thread Starter

JGombs99

Member
Wraithen said:
The anacharis will grow pretty quickly, but you can hack it in half and plant the new one you just made. Pretty much the same deal with the wisteria, except it grows from a stiffer stem. The anacharis isn't fragile at all. If your tank is above 80 degrees, it may look kind of scraggly eventually due to shooting up quickly and not producing many leaves.

They both will eventually outgrow your tank in height, but that should take months. Some people even give them to the lfs for credit. Anacharis and wisteria aren't worth a whole lot, but if you plant the wisteria horizontally, it will take years for it to outgrow your tank.
I guess I just had the wrong plants, or the wrong mentality to start with. I thought I was starting with some of the easiest and most hardy plants as possible, but I guess not. I really do want as "all in one" as possible, so I guess I'll need to be sure to go with plants that will all thrive on the same regimen of ferts.

SFGiantsGuy said:
Water Wisteria. : ) Anubias, Swords=so easy, a 6 year old could nurse 'em sir.
If you read through this thread, you'll see I'm having terrible luck with Anubias.
 

SFGiantsGuy

Member
Injected CO2 and one of my jumbled cluster-mess of floating Pearlweed, Water Wisteria, and Water Sprite. Lol Easy peasy.
 

Wraithen

Member
SFGiantsGuy said:
Injected CO2 and one of my jumbled cluster-mess of floating Pearlweed, Water Wisteria, and Water Sprite. Lol Easy peasy.
You do realize the op is completely against anything other than adding ferts right? Injected co2 adds an entire setup they aren't looking for.
 

SFGiantsGuy

Member
That was just an info demo, for the Wisteria's sake, sir. (little piece)

Ferts ferts ferts. Yes, listen to Wraithen!
 
  • Thread Starter

JGombs99

Member
Co2 is way more than I want, plus a heavily planted tank is also not what I want. My fish are truly what I want as the focal point of my tank. I want live plants only because they look so much nicer than artificial, to hide equipment, and to provide a bit of hiding for the fish (but I have lots of driftwood, so not much hiding is necessary).
 

Dave125g

Member
If all you want is a couple of plants don't worry about ferts. I'll keep it simple. If you want plants that feed off the water colom the fish will provide enough nitrates for a few plants. If you want some heavy root feeders use root tabs. As far as lighting 6500k is what you want. That's the color temperature. You can drive yourself nuts with all the scientific stuff, and with the specific needs of each plant. Your light is good enough. Pick 1 or 2 of the easy plants listed and put them in your tank. It's really that easy.
 
  • Thread Starter

JGombs99

Member
Dave125g said:
If all you want is a couple of plants don't worry about ferts. I'll keep it simple. If you want plants that feed off the water colom the fish will provide enough nitrates for a few plants. If you want some heavy root feeders use root tabs. As far as lighting 6500k is what you want. That's the color temperature. You can drive yourself nuts with all the scientific stuff, and with the specific needs of each plant. Your light is good enough. Pick 1 or 2 of the easy plants listed and put them in your tank. It's really that easy.
Thanks, Dave! If it's truly THAT easy, can you quickly explain why the plants I have aren't doing great with my light that's good enough, and with Flourish, if I don't actually need ferts at all?
 

Dave125g

Member
JGombs99 said:
Thanks, Dave! If it's truly THAT easy, can you quickly explain why the plants I have aren't doing great with my light that's good enough, and with Flourish, if I don't actually need ferts at all?
What plants do you have? I tried flourish and it just caused hair algae on my leaves. All I use now are root tabs.
 
  • Thread Starter

JGombs99

Member
Dave125g said:
What plants do you have? I tried flourish and it just caused hair algae on my leaves. All I use now are root tabs.
I have Anubias Frazeri, and Hygro Augustafolia. Both, I thought were super easy beginner plants, but it would seem that's not really the case. Both plants are living, but neither is growing or thriving. Hygro is browning some from the bottom, and the Anubias is getting holes, and some slight browning. Neither is looking very good.

All in all, I want this to be as simple as possible. So, I appreciate your simple response. Really, I just want to be told what plants to put in, and what to dose. As stated earlier, I don't want to worry about the scientific stuff. That stresses me out.
 

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