Total planted tank noob

legacyxboo

Member
I have been in the fish hobby for a few years now but I am getting board with some of my tanks. I want to move my 2 angels, 2 GBRs and 1 clown pleco into a new tank then use their old tank for fancy goldfish. The tank they are in now has drift wood, terracotta pots, and a few fake plants, it honestly doesn't look good at all so I am looking forward to switching it up with this new tank. Only problem is that I don't know anything about planted tanks and to be honest I don't know anything about plants in general. I want a really low tech, low maintenance set up.

How would I go about starting this or at least figuring out where to start? Is it possible to have a no CO2, no fertilizer, and no special lighting planted tank?
 

DanMk

Member
It is very possible to achieve a low tech tank without co2 and Ferts. There are many plants that do not need much to grow such as java fern, anubias, crypts and many species of hygrophila. I think the only requirements for that is a solid substrate and patience!
 

Ken Ooi

Member
Exactly correct Corylover's points. I do have a low level planted tank that is thriving. The secret is lighting and feeding the plants. You can use Seachem flourish to feed the plants those that float in the water column and are not rooted in substrate. Any other plants that sit in substrate you can use root tabs as fertilizers. If you are crazy enough you can feed CO2 to really enhance growth however it also means you have to trI'm them. Some people who want a serious planted tank would use Aqua Soil (many brands out there) to grow nicer carpeted grass plants.
As you stated you don't want to muck around with feeding, lighting and CO2 Anurbis on Driftwood is quite pleasant and maybe some Java ferns that are planted in substrate will look nice. The thing with aquascaping is that if you don't have enough plants and they sit far apart it's not going to be fantastic looking. Imagine a flower vase, one that has a few stalks as opposed to one of many and different flowers arranged and with some fern leaves at the side. Placing plants in a tank is a form of design and incorporates all the elements of space, shapes and textures. Put the Arnubis on Driftwood, add a medium sized Rock (real not plastic), Diamond Black Quartz substrate and lots of plants of different heights, tall at the back, short in the front. Elevate your substrate to rise up towards the back to realize depth perception and space.
 

Ken Ooi

Member

IMG_8058.JPG

My Nano tank. The crypts plant is at the foreground and it was only half the size when I planted it on the substrate. It never grew and I was really disappointed as each time I cleaned the sand it would float up. So placed it deeper and fed it Root Tabs. Now it's growing twice the size and roots have sunk in deep. The other plants are in sand substrate (Diamond Black) and the lights came with the tank. There's 42 LED lamps in there so it's really really great for plant growth. The Java Moss is expanding as well. The carpet grass is anchored to the rock at the right side of the photo. I have lots of shrimps in there looking after the algae in fact they're doing too good a job that I have to place ZucchinI slices in there to feed my Ottos (algae eating catfish). So a good looking planted tank can be achieved if you have the inclination of providing some light and food to make plants thrive otherwise what will happen is that they will grow thin and tall and very ugly. Then the whole project is a waste of your time and efforts.
 

Attachments

  • Thread Starter

legacyxboo

Member
Thanks! What type of substrates would you recommend?
 
  • Thread Starter

legacyxboo

Member
If I bought larger "full grown" plants would I need root tabs?
 

DanMk

Member
for Substrate, ADA aquasoil is really good, I also believe that eco-complete by caribsea is another popular substrate. Personally I have only used ADA though. and you won't need root tabs unless the plant is a heavy root feeder and needs them to survive. Some examples of heavy root feeders are various swords and crypts.
 

Ken Ooi

Member
If you go with the aquarium soil you wouldn't need Root Tabs until the nutrients are exhausted from the soil. With sand substrate like Diamond black Quartz sand I use wouldn't have anything in there to feed the plants. So Root Tabs are the fertilizers that would enable the plant to feed on the nutrients you are providing. If you don't feed the plant will start to get wilted. Exactly how your garden plants will become eventually when it is starved due to lack of food. No doubt there are fish and poop and uneaten food settling down but that won't be enough to generate growth. You want nice growth in the tank. Baby plants consume less but will need lots of food to grow. Either way you have to feed them. It will be rewarding if you take that approach with sufficient light, liquid CO2 and Root Tabs. It's not prohibitively expensive either. Forget about CO2 injections as they are for the connoisseur plant farmer seriously into Aqua landscaping.
 

Ken Ooi

Member
Any substrate but try for the smaller size granules if you can. Too sharp grains can affect fish like Corydoras who like to shovel the sand searching for food and they'll hurt themselves. Don't pick those blue or pink type of substrate as they are ugly and unnatural. Unless you're an artsy person! But seriously a naturally sandy color or complely black sand is nice if you have color that contrasts with your fish. Say you have a black fish then choose a lighter color substrate so it doesn't camouflage. As plants are green a black substrate is nice. Avoid grey as it's dull and it looks dirty. Overall it's still your final preference. But also get a rock for the tank, it looks great.
 
  • Thread Starter

legacyxboo

Member
Thank for everything, sorry its took so long to reply I've been busy with holidays. You tank is awesome! Do you know of any good taller plants that are beginner friendly? Maybe something that would grow between 15 and 20 inches?
 

DanMk

Member
Most species of hygrophila are quite hardy and grow to a decent hight. Rotala rotundafolia is pretty easy to grow. All Vals are great and grow very tall.
 
Top Bottom