Want to start my new tank off with live plants for once

  1. Livielupop Member Member

    I tried to add a plant to my little 2.5 gallon tank a long time ago before I new anything and it had a short lifetime in that tank. I've basically only decorated my tanks with fake plants and decor in the past. I want to try to start my new tank with the live plants, but I have no knowledge about care and set up and things for aquarium plants. I didn't think about the set up for plants and care until after I bought decorations and gravel.(a natural rock, bubble volcano, artificial plant, and natural gravel) I really would love to have live plants in my aquarium. I'd just like to know how I should set up my tank to accommodate plants and what should I do with the gravel(it's to late to return for like substrate and stuff as I poured the whole bag in already)

    * -29 gallon
    -no water yet
    -in the process of construction
     
  2. Lchi87 Fishlore VIP Member

    I think picking out and researching the plants you'd like to keep would be a good first step. Each plant has specific requirements in terms of lighting, gravel, fertilizers etc so it's helpful to know what you need to purchase for your plants to thrive!

    Also make sure that the fish you intend to keep are compatible with the plants you like; some fish think plants are delicious but you may not appreciate them mowing down all your plants.

    Some general tips:
    -Know where you're getting your plants from. Plants can carry unwanted snails and other parasites so it might be helpful to quarantine when in doubt.
    -Mix a nutrient substrate with the regular gravel
    -Use a timer on your light to make sure your plants are getting an adequate amount
    -Research, research, research! Knowledge is power. Get to know your plants; some like to buried in the substrate, some like to be tied to driftwood with their roots exposed, some like to be left to float. The more you know, the better the chance is that you will be rewarded with healthy, growing, lush plants!
     

  3. Livielupop Member Member

    So I researched a lot! I learned about the substrates, fertilizers, water hardness, ph levels, temperature, and different plants. I haven't looked up all the types of plants just the ones on live aquaria or some website like that. I figure out a couple I like that can live amongst one another and have the same requirements. I found that I gravitated to full looking plants and like not wimpy grass/tall leaf types and red/colorful plants. I just wonder what's the best substrate to use? Also do I mix or just lay on top of the basic gravel I bought? What other plants are out there that are fun a pretty?
     
  4. Lchi87 Fishlore VIP Member

    I think mixing the gravel might be better so that roots of any length will come into contact with the nutrient rich substrate. I use CaribSea Flora Max in my tank and have no complaints. What kind of plants are you thinking of so far?
     

  5. Livielupop Member Member

    These are just the ones I've found and I've liked. Haven't figured out a landscape to choose the ones I'd definitely want or get as I haven't discovered all the different plants and how'd they look in a tank.
    Dwarf Baby Tears
    Indian Red Sword
    Four Leaf Clover
    Dwarf Sagittaria
    Ludwigia
    Hornwort
    Ruffle Plant
     
  6. Lchi87 Fishlore VIP Member

    The dwarf baby tears will look beautiful as a foreground / carpeting plant but this will need more light and possible CO2 if you'd like to try for them to carpet.

    I've heard that Hornwort has a tendency to shed so that's just something to be aware of if having the needles all over tank will bother you. ( I was considering Hornwort myself in the beginning since its easy to grow under most conditions but I'm a little neurotic when it comes to tank cleanliness and decided the shedding needles would drive me nuts lol)

    The plants that have red coloring may need specialized lighting and nutrients to really bring out their red coloring.

    Dwarf sagittaria is one of my favorites!