What Should I Add?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Aquascaping' started by Sarahjjeli, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. Sarahjjeli Valued Member Member

    Hey guys! I have been working on getting my main community tank fully planted for over a month now. I keep moving stuff around and buying new stuff, and I feel like it still looks bare! How long does it normally take for the plants I have to grow? Everything is real except for the pink grass pad in front of the driftwood, and the yellow/green grass pad in front of the sword type plant.

    I honestly don't even know what kind of plants I've got.. I just saw some I liked and started buying them here and there. So if you think any of my plants need special care, let me know! I've got the beamworks light that I've seen several other people have on the forum, so I'm pretty sure I've got sufficient lighting.

    I'm using root tabs, and was using API leaf zone, but wanted to use some fertilizer from Lowes I've heard people use. I wanted to check with you all first though, so I don't kill my fish! Here's the link and then I'll post a pic of the tank.  


  2. Lorekeeper Well Known Member Member

    I'm assuming you don't use co2 on this tank, correct?

    Look up java moss carpets. I think using those to fill out the substrate of your tank would be nice.

    I also think some nice, lush, bushy plants in the backgrounds would be great.

  3. Sarahjjeli Valued Member Member

    No co2, do I need that?

    I have some java moss I bought that I put in my Platy tank because it was a mess and I had no clue what to do with it, but maybe I can make a carpet with it. Also, can you give me some names of those types of plants please?

  4. Lorekeeper Well Known Member Member

    No, you don't need it for most plants.

    I was thinking plants similar to "hygrophila corymbosa".

    You can probably find quite a few plants similar to it just by googling it, although its personal choice from here on out.

  5. -Mak- Fishlore VIP Member

    Some taller hardscape - rocks, wood, would fill up the upper space more. People use osmocote to make their own root tabs, but I think you'd benefit from some liquid ferts. It does take quite a bit of hardscape and background plants to fill in a large tank.

    API leaf zone isn't so great on its own, it only contains potassium and iron.
  6. Briggs Well Known Member Member

    You have the bottom pretty filled out, so I'd go with building upwards. Tall bits of drift wood and tall plants. Maybe some floating plants? I've had good luck with Frogbit and Brazilian pennywort. Watersprite or hornwort would also work, though they will float in more of a tangled mass.

    Another thought would be suspending things. I love these little glass planters. They're versatile and lovely, and if you're patient you can get them for much cheaper off ebay (I got mine for something like $2 a piece and free shipping, but they did take a month to get here). I've also hung a glass terrarium from an old heater suction cup in my taller 5 gallon betta tank with great success.
  7. Sarahjjeli Valued Member Member

    Ok thank you. Which liquid one do you recommend?
  8. The Senator Valued Member Member

    I would, as Mak suggested, consider placing a taller piece of wood in place of the grey log.

    Then I would find some Java Fern and attach it to the wood. Java Fern is easy to grow and mine grows fairly quickly both wide and somewhat tall... you could also attach anubias which is very attractive on wood.

    The wood would give you some height to the one side and maybe balance out the sword on the opposite side (which looks lovely!)

    I've never used the API leaf zone, but I have used Flourish Comprehensive and felt it was very beneficial. Root tabs are a definite must for your sword.

    The osmocote is used by most hobbyist to make their own root tabs, it works very well - I purchase osmocote tabs on eBay for a considerable savings over the big name root tabs. I would not recommend that you purchase the osmocote, you are already using root tabs so there's no real purpose.

    Lastly, you could purchase a few more plants and group them together to provide a little "thicker" atmosphere.... but your tank looks pretty good for being so young and the best advice I could give you is to encourage patience, it is the hardest thing to learn in the hobby but eventually we all learn how critical it is to success.

    Keep up the good work, I like your tank!
  9. -Mak- Fishlore VIP Member

    Seachem flourish, aquarium co-op's easy green, or nilocg thrive.

    Each has a different nutrient composition: flourish has a wide arrange of micros but very little amount of macros (which plants need more of), easy green has higher macros, and thrive has the highest macros (and micros if I remember correctly) of them all.

    You may not need the higher amounts of nutrients nilocg's thrive offers, but I don't think you can go wrong with it. Each seller has a website and lists the chemical composition of the fert, so you can take a look and compare them. I don't think you can really mess up with any of them, though if the plant growth rate exceeds what flourish can offer you will run into deficiencies. Seachem does make macro ferts in separate bottles.

    Exactly which beamswork light is it?
  10. max h Well Known Member Member

    A Water Wisteria plant or two in the back will fill up the space nicely after a month or so.
  11. Sarahjjeli Valued Member Member

    Ok thank you! I ordered the flourish. I don't know which light it is! I looked on my orders on amazon, and I've ordered so much recently, I can't find it lol

    But I haven't had any plants die, so hopefully that's a good sign?

    Where do you all buy your plants? I got my latest at a locally owned fish farm/store, but they sometimes don't get in a big variety. I got pretty much one of everything they had. I bought a 3x5 mat of dwarf baby tears and they said it will spread really quickly..Is this true? I don't feel like it's spreading and it was $10! Should I put a root tab directly under it or something?
  12. -Mak- Fishlore VIP Member

    Dwarf baby tears are a high tech plant, they usually don't do too well without CO2 and good lights....

    I got some plants off buceplant.com, they're very good quality. Also got some moss from amazon, and the rest of my plants were from a LFS in a different city we were driving through that actually carried Tropica in vitro plants - in vitro plants are grown a lab, so guaranteed no pests.
  13. Briggs Well Known Member Member

    Yeah, Dwarf baby tears seem to be the favorite carpeting plant for people with high tech tanks, which means they inject CO2. Excel is great, but it isn't actually CO2 and some plants won't do well without the real stuff. If you're looking for a good carpeting plant, I've read good things about Monte Carlo (Micranthemum) doing well in low tech medium light set ups. Or you can try your hand at a DIY CO2 system, but you will probably need higher lighting and more fertilizers for your plants to really take advantage of it.

    I've had good luck getting plants on Etsy and eBay. Just read through descriptions carefully and make sure they promise pest free plants, then read the seller's reviews to make sure they have a good reputation. I'd also double check the needs for each plant you're interested in before buying. Googling the name of the plant should bring up lots of articles to tell you what lighting, fertilizers, substrates, and CO2 they need.

    It's always going to be a little pricey, though. Good clean set-ups without pests are difficult and expensive for sellers to maintain, and shipping needs to be fast. Factor in the fact that for every 3 or 4 plants I've gotten at least one doesn't seem to make it more than a week in my tanks, and I've spent way more on plants than on anything else that's gone into them so far. I can't imagine going back to unplanted set-ups, though. I love my plants almost as much as my fish! And once you've gotten something to start growing, you never need to buy that plant again. Just keep trimming and replanting the cuttings.

    My advice would be to make a list of plants you want to try, then find one shop/seller with a good reputation who sells several plants on your list. You can save a good bit on shipping if you get them from one place.
  14. -Mak- Fishlore VIP Member

    Agreed, monte carlo is a nice low tech alternative. However in my low tech tank it didn't carpet, though it grew. Slowly.

    Now it's been two weeks with DIY CO2 and the growth has exploded. So you see, CO2 is very important for some plants and less so for others.