What do I need for a planted tank?

  1. Bettaperfection Initiate Member

  2. Adam55 Well Known Member Member

    The substrate is flexible. Some people use organic potting soil and cap it with sand, some people use substrate designed for aquarium plant growth, and some people use inert materials like sand, which they supplement with tabs that go under the substrate and feed the rooting plants.
    Lighting is less flexible. You want something in the 6500k range for your lighting, unless you keep plants that require little to no light. But that will limit what plants can go in the tank.
    And CO2 (an actual system) is not required. You can get a CO2 system that will disperse carbon dioxide throughout the tank, but those take some trial and error to optimize plant growth. You have to get the balance just right when you use CO2. Personally, I do not use it. I use Flourish Excel by SeaChem, which is a liquid CO2 supplement for those that don't have a system on their tanks. Balance is also key with Excel. You have to be religious with sticking to your dosing routine or things can start to get sideways. Algae blooms and melted plants can both occur if you're inconsistent with adding any form of CO2.
    Also, you have to consider which liquid micro and macro fertilizers you'll be using.
     

  3. Viriam Karo Well Known Member Member

    The first vague answer I would give you is that it depends on what kinds of plants you want :p
     
  4. Phishphin Well Known Member Member

    Similar to fish, you will have to consider what the plants required in their natural habitat. Some will be low light, low CO2, and work with gravel substrate, while others may need high light, increased fertilization, and sandy substrate. You will have to consider the needs of the plants you are interested in. I can say right now, high light plants are a big challenge and a big expense (the lights alone can run into the hundreds of dollars). I just spent around $130 on a light for my 50 gallon that I think will only give me the requirements for moderate light plants (Finnex Ray 2). Just like fish, plant varieties and their requirements in the home aquarium are so different.

    I would consider what you are capable of providing (consider the expense of certain types of substrates, lights, and fertilizers) and go from there.:)
     

  5. Dolfan Fishlore VIP Member

    If you are new to planted tanks I would stick to an easy setup with easy to maintain low light plants. This helps you figure everything out better before investing more money in more expensive things like stronger lighting, fancy substrates, CO2 injection, fertilizers etc. Adam55 has some good tips, to elaborate on them some....

    Stick to your basic sand or gravel substrate. You can always get some root tabs (small fertilizer tabs that you stick into the substrate) if needed for root feeding plants.

    Your standard lighting on a tank should be ok for most low light plants. You may need to replace a bulb with a 6500k one, which are easy to find.

    You shouldn't need CO2 for these easy plants, at most maybe some liquid CO2 substitute like Excel.

    As for plant selection, here are some easy low light plants that I recommend for beginners....

    Java ferns, java moss, hornwort, anacharis, frogbit, anubias, amazon swords, water wisteria, to name a few.

    These are the type of plants I keep as well, as I don't want to mess around with plants that need high amounts of light CO2 injection. They grow super easy, propagate easily, outcompete algae, are easy to find, and relatively cheap. Do some research on some of these plants, pick out 2 or 3 varieties and give it a go. Plants are great and are highly recommended in any tank. They help clean the water, oxygenate the water, make a more natural habitat for the fish, look better, even provide food for some fish, the benefits are almost endless.

    I sell a few of these plants to members here, but to be able to buy/sell you need 50 posts per forum rules. So let me know if you are interested once you get to 50. Another good source is one of the sponsors here of the forum....Peabody's Paradise. jetajockey is the owner and they are very knowledgeable and have a great selection. I have not personally ordered from them, but I have heard good things.
     
  6. Bettaperfection Initiate Member

    Thank you so much!


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