Tired of Fake Plants, want to switch to real plants (NEED HELP)...

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Mercutio727

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Hey everyone, so I am really getting tired of algae starting to take over my tank because I only have fake plants and the algae has nothing else to compete with. Additionally I don't like seeing my fake green plants turn brown and have algae forming on them so I really want to switch over to real plants.

I need lots of advice on the proper steps that I need to take in order to really help them stay alive and not waste my money. I have a 30 gallon tank with 10 cardinal tetras, 3 cory catfish, and 3 pond snails. I'm waiting an extra day to check the chemicals seeing as how my TSS is finishing its 10 day period. But I would like to start doing my homework now so its easier for me.

I have a sand substrate just for future knowledge.

All advice will be much appreciated from people who are experienced with planted tanks
 

LyndaB

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I just did the same thing with my 30 gallon. Harpua really saved me there. An absolute font of information, plus she sells the plants. Hopefully, she'll see your thread and respond. There are other members well versed in planted tanks as well.

In order to help you, aside from the info you've given, folks will want to know what type of lighting you have, wattage and such.

Good luck! You'll love the difference!
 

proudtobeafarmgirl

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I used to have a major algae problem, would plug my filter and cover everything, until I got my red cherry shrimp, now everything is spotless and I do not have to clean the filter as often, I have to transfer plants (live and fake) from other tanks so they have something to eat. They co existed with my guppies quite well.
 

jerilovesfrogs

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i don't know much about plants, but i just wanted to say my nerite snails take care of algae very well. i mostly have the brown new tank algae as of now. but i just put one snail into one side of the divided betta tank and he has cleaned up all the algae. it's the same idea of farmgirl's shrimp .

so there are a couple options for getting rid of algae, if that's your main complain. but live plants would be really cool.

i have java moss/fern and they are easy. don't need special ferts, or lighting. but there aren't too many plants that are like that. good luck on planting your tank!
 

Mercutio727

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I have three pond snails (I think) and MTS but they dot seem to make a dent in it. Should I transfer my common pleco from my other tank to bring in reinforcements?
 

Kunsthure

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Harpua's Internet is down right now and it was supposed to be fixed yesterday but I didn't hear from her so I assume it's not back up. She does sell great plants, but only to members with more than 50 posts. So get typin'!

Nutter will be along I'm sure. He's also really good with plants.

The biggest variable in growing real plants is how much light you have. Anything over 2wpg and you'll need to add CO2. Thankfully many plants can be grown in the 1.5-2wpg range. Some swords, most anubias, java ferns, hornwort, a lot of crypts, most mosses and others that I'm just not remembering. Check out plantgeek.net and plantedtank.net

-Lisa
 

LyndaB

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For those of you with serious algae problems, I would think that you would first want to figure out why you have the algae. Usually it's caused by overfeeding the fish or excess light on the tank. Could be that your algae issues are very easily solved with no expense to you.
 

Mercutio727

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I need to look at the amount of light being produced to see if that's a cause of the algae. Right now it's mostly the diatoms but they love silica and the playsand is filled with it so that might be another factor. Is there anything to use to get rid of silicates?
 

Nutter

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Excellent advice from Lynda about finding the cause of the algae problems rather than just finding a fix for them. Most algae problems are actually caused by low or inconsistent co2 levels though rather than excess nutrients. Strong lighting can be a contributing factor in non planted tanks but in tanks with live plants strong lighting is not the real issue, a lack of co2 for the plants to use all of the available light energy is the real problem.

Not likely that the silica from the sand is causing your diatoms unless you didn't wash the sand properly before you put it in. I've used silica playsand several times & once it's properly cleaned I've never had issues with diatoms. The silica should only be a factor if the sand was not properly cleaned. Diatoms typically thrive in low light conditions & higher PH water. They are very common in newly set up aquariums & can last anywhere from a few weeks to 18 or so months. You can either wait out this stage of your aquarium or you can increase lighting to see if that helps. Adding a co2 system of some kind may also help, especially if you do get live plants. If you intend to have a Pleco of any kind & your test results come back good, choose a Bristlenose. They love eatting diatoms & will clean up a tank very quickly. Only get one if you actually like the fish though. Never buy a fish just because it can perform a job for you.

The first thing to establish is how much of what kind of light you have. (eg: 2 x 18w T8 fluorescent tubes) Once that is known people can make recommendations on what will work for you. With planted tanks everything revolves around the light. Sand isn't ideal as a planting medium as it requires more maintenance & the use of substrate fertiliser tablets but other than that it's no big deal.
 
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