Thoughts on live plants?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Tank Equipment' started by ilovemynewfish, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. ilovemynewfish

    ilovemynewfishNew MemberMember

    Just inherited a 35-40 freshwater tank! It has nine fish, the previous owner didn't know what type..from my research, I think it is 1 siamese algae eater, 4 neon tetras, and 4 barbs. I'm working on cleaning the tank, the water, and making sure they are stressfree. (They were not well taken care of). I wanted to go get a few things this weekend. What are your thoughts on live plants? I like the idea but I have heard some mixed reviews.
  2. monkeypie102

    monkeypie102Well Known MemberMember

  3. scotty b

    scotty bWell Known MemberMember

    hello and welcome to fishlore :;hi2..
    i feel live plants are a must have, the main problem is deciding what plants are right for your set up , some plants are pretty much just add water and they grow, wile some need co2 and expensive lights
  4. jetajockey

    jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    What kind of mixed reviews have you heard? Live plants are great, they filter the water, add a natural element for the fish, and look great. The negatives I guess would be that they do require a little bit of planning and equipment, but generally all it takes is a half decent light to do well.
  5. hobo

    hoboValued MemberMember

    Real Plants are the way to go for me but it is more work than a fish only tank
  6. OP

    ilovemynewfishNew MemberMember

    Don't have a light yet, the top wasn't on when I got them. There is a light though I guess that fits with the top and I will be getting it shortly.. Lol! This is more of a rescue mission right now. They do have heat and a filter though. As for the mixed reviews..I heard too much plants can mess up the balance? I read that on a website. I was planning to get a reasonable amount, not crowd the tank!! I just think live plants must be WAY healthier for them then a piece of plastic!!! Thanks for all the help!
  7. MotherMajesty:)

    MotherMajesty:)Valued MemberMember

    Cool! Be careful not to clean too much, though. I know it sounds weird, but if you change the conditions in which the fish are living too suddenly, you could have problems with them surviving. Also, with too much cleaning you could mess up your beneficial bacteria colonies and then you have to cycle the tank again in addition to keeping the fish healthy. You're on a great mission - just take your time. Lots of advise available here, so you're in a good place.

    I love live plants, but I'm very low tech when it comes to plants. I don't do special lighting, or substrate, or fertilizers. Not because I object to them, I'm basically just too lazy to take that on. ;) This limits what I can grow, but there's still plenty of options. You want to have a gravel bed deep enough to hold down the plants that root (some don't). I have 3" - 3.5" of pea-sized & smaller gravel. I've had good luck with java fern, Cryptocorene Wendettii (red & bronze varieties), & water Wisteria. You can get a nice planted look with just those. They're readily available (PetSmart & such) and relatively inexpensive. You can find plant profile here to explore other options.

    Good luck with your tank! It sounds like you're going to have great fun with it. Post some pics so we can see how you're coming along.

    PS: There's no such thing as too many plants unless the fish can't swim.
  8. OP

    ilovemynewfishNew MemberMember

    Thanks so much! I will go slow, that's a good point. I'm added water back slowly (a lot had to be emptied when it was moved) allowing for the filter to clean as it gets added. I tested pH, nitrite, and ammonia, all normal. Ammonia was slightly above zero so I added a tiny bit of AmmoLock. I want to change the rocks though (full of black gunk, and skulls, and fish bones) How should I go about that. I have fresh gravel for the tank.
  9. OP

    ilovemynewfishNew MemberMember

    And I'll post pics once it starts to look better!! Ha, ha, ha!
  10. slimeneo

    slimeneoValued MemberMember

    Not sure if I would change the gravel- if it's dirty get a gravel vac (available at your LFS or petco/petsmart). You'll probably need one even if you do change the gravel. But I wouldn't because the gravel contains some of the beneficial bacteria the tank needs. I would get a gravel vac and clean a little bit of the gunk (not too much at once) and if you want to change the gravel sometime down the road, that's fine. But for now I think just clean it up a bit, don't remove the good bacteria just yet :)

    If you're getting ammonia readings, that gunk in the gravel is probably why. I guess the original owner didn't clean the gravel.
  11. AmazonPassion

    AmazonPassionModeratorModerator Member

    Live plants are the way to go. Of course, once you get your lighting you can determine which plants are suitable for tank.

    I honestly feel that live plants make a difference in the health of your is a vid of my tank....

  12. hobo

    hoboValued MemberMember

    Watch your ammonia make sure it doesn’t get to high if it starts climbing do a water change