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View Full Version : no maintenance plants that can live in sand



jessfish
03-02-2011, 08:59 PM
& by 'no maintenance' i'm good with 'low maintenance' LOL

I just got my 1st two plants both are anubias (i think nana) & after almost a full day in the tank they have only been nibbled on slightly by my apple snails.

I am thinking if this goes well I will add some more plants in a few weeks. I have been doing some research but I am looking for plants that can live in a sand substrate (or be attached to wood or rock) & that don't need anything (fetrts & so on) added to the water.

I have a pleco, goldfish & apple snails, i've heard of a plant, i think it was anacharis(?) that the snails & fish might nibble on - but it grows quick & the fish & snails prob won't do a ton of damage to it.

I am ok with fast growing plants that the goldfish & snails can nibble on but would like ideas of plants that they might stay away from.

thanks!!!!!

so far i am thinking:
(a few more) Anubias
Java Fern
Anacharis - if thats the fast growing one that fish & snails eat - but they dont eat it to death lol

mermaidwannabe
03-02-2011, 09:10 PM
Anacharis is one. It can either be rooted into the substrate or allowed to float at the surface to provide shade and shelter.

Java moss will attach itself to rocks and wood, and also makes a good free-floating plant at the surface.

Hornwort is a good non-maintenance floater. It doesn't root.

Floating riccia is wonderful. It forms soft, lush pads at the surface, stays green, and spreads like wildfire.

I also have floating water sprite.

For the substrate, mossballs that you would just drop into the tank and they will rest on the substrate, also require no maintenance. Some fish might eat these.

I have all the above in my tank. They're contented with low-to-medium light, and I have never had to use ferts on any of them.

Some of these your fish might eat, some maybe not. Mine do a little nibbling, but by and large they tend to leave them alone. Dojos like to probe their faces into the undersides of the riccia pads, perhaps nibbling some of the plants or else looking for hidden eggs to feed on. Whatever nibbling goes on is never enough to destroy the plants. Just a little feeding here and there, and it all grows back.

Goldfish might be more aggressive plant eaters, however. You will have to experiment and find out what they'll devour and what they'll generally shun.

-- mermaidwannabe

dbosman
03-02-2011, 09:30 PM
Just a heads up. Anacharis is a name applied or mis-applied to several species of plants. One or more of those species are illegal to trade in, in some locations as it is a noxious weed in the "wild".

The reason it is a good hearty plant for tanks that have critters that like leaves, is the same reason it's a noxious weed. It can grow incredibly fast.
Your local fish shop will know what will do well in your area.

There are a bunch of species of anubis. They vary in size and leaf shapes. You could do worse than having varieties of anubis.

Sandz
03-02-2011, 10:49 PM
As mermaide said, beware that Goldy's like to eat plants. It can be a pain! I have had luck with java fern and hornwart though.

SunSchein89
03-02-2011, 11:44 PM
Duck weed can be good, too. Takes in co2 from the atmosphere since it floats at the surface and the only maintenance you'll ever do to it is to scoop some out once there's so much that hardly any light gets down to your other plants :lol:. I bought a little bit of the stuff awhile back and still have it all over my tanks. It spread just from working on one tank and putting my hand in another; it really doesn't take much. Obviously you can avoid spreading it if you want, but it's a good nitrogen absorber.

Sandz
03-02-2011, 11:47 PM
Duck weed can be good, too. Takes in co2 from the atmosphere since it floats at the surface and the only maintenance you'll ever do to it is to scoop some out once there's so much that hardly any light gets down to your other plants :lol:. I bought a little bit of the stuff awhile back and still have it all over my tanks. It spread just from working on one tank and putting my hand in another; it really doesn't take much. Obviously you can avoid spreading it if you want, but it's a good nitrogen absorber.

Duckweed is tough! I ended up with 3 pieces in a 10 gallon tank when I got some new fish. I now have it in 4 tanks coating the surface!

DrNic
03-03-2011, 12:09 AM
There's are four types of java ferns that are all low maintenance; narrowleaf, broadleaf, trident and windelov. They all have different looks which is nice although they tend to do better anchored to some kind of course gravel or rocks/driftwood. Hygros are about as low maintenance a plant as I've ever seen. They are considered noxious weeds in some states in the US and they sure grow that way. Super fast growing you really just need to trim them when they get to the top. They might be food for fish/snaps though.

Fishguy2727
03-03-2011, 12:22 AM
I have always run low-no maintenance plant tanks and have had most of the plants commonly available in the hobby. Just try them out. If I went by the guides I would not have even had 1/10th of the plants I ever had. I have had almost none of the plants not work out for me, most did well, some did too well and I had to take them back out.

SunSchein89
03-03-2011, 12:25 AM
I have always run low-no maintenance plant tanks and have had most of the plants commonly available in the hobby. Just try them out. If I went by the guides I would not have even had 1/10th of the plants I ever had. I have had almost none of the plants not work out for me, most did well, some did too well and I had to take them back out.

Very true. Most of the stuff you'll find in stores will work fine (assuming it's truly aquatic). Typically the stuff that is hard to keep you have to look for on purpose.

mermaidwannabe
03-03-2011, 12:31 AM
Anacharis is another name for Elodea.

I'm sure if it's illegal to trade in your area, your LFS wouldn't be able to sell it to you. If they do sell it, it's probably legal.

I never knew it was considered a noxious weed. Anacharis has always been, as far as I can tell, a common and popular aquarium plant because it is easy to grow and work with.

See if your LFS has any of the plants I mentioned. They won't sell anything that could get them into trouble, if they're smart.

-- mermaid

jessfish
03-03-2011, 01:07 AM
Thanks for all the replys I will have a great list to go on & things to look for I only have 2 LFS in my area & one doesnt have a great selection, but at least its a place to start

I've read about the legal issues with anacharis, i'm not sure how it's ranked in my area - either way im sure if they sell it & it is a problem they will tell me & i've also read to throw it in the garbage & not a water way or compost - so i'll look into that & make sure if I get any & have to dispose of it i will do it right.

I'm still going to wait a couple weeks & do more research on these plants in the meantime, my goldfish didn't seem to even notice that i added a real plant, i've seen one of them swim against it a few times - i think it likes the way it feels. My pleco hasnt tried to uproot it or anything yet either, my snails have nibbled at it, but i think i'll make sure i have a food sorce for them to deter them away from the plant

thanks again for the ideas :19:

jessfish
03-04-2011, 06:19 PM
wow so today I went to a big al's & the prices on plants were CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!! I couldn't get over how much they were - the cheapest was $8 (short plant with 2 leaves) & they went up to $25 (for a small anubias attached to a small chunkc of wood)!!!!!!!

is this what i should be expecting to pay - or should I be looking else where?


Can i get aquarium plants at non-aquarium/pet stores???

the only aquarium type stores i have are petsmart & big als - petsmart seemed to be a bit cheaper - just wondering if there are other options?

nmb7895
03-04-2011, 06:30 PM
Sometimes garden stores sell pond plants. They may have anacharis, and possibly some general plants like anubias or java fern. I know my local garden store sells duckweed, lily and anacharis specifically for ponds.

At my LFS anacharis goes for 2.50 a bunch. Anubias is around seven dollars (or 18 on driftwood), horwort is a dollar and various other plants fall into the 4-5 dollar range. 8 dollars is pretty expensive, and the only plants at my store that go for that are giant pieces of anubias, salt water plants, and exotic plants.

Petsmart's tube plants that they sell are pretty decently priced. I know mine has tubes full of Java Fern and Anubias for around 5 dollars each. I've never used one of those tube plants, but I don't see why they'd be any different.

SunSchein89
03-04-2011, 06:30 PM
Yeah, that seems a little pricey unless you're getting rather big bunches of plants. Petco will have "assorted loose" plants for $3 and "potted plants" for $5... the only difference I've found between the two is they just throw the plant in a pot and make it more expensive :smad:... sometimes they'll have a few different plants in the pots, but you'll want to avoid those since they almost always contain non-aquatic plants.

nmb7895
03-04-2011, 06:38 PM
Yeah, that seems a little pricey unless you're getting rather big bunches of plants. Petco will have "assorted loose" plants for $3 and "potted plants" for $5... the only difference I've found between the two is they just throw the plant in a pot and make it more expensive :smad:... sometimes they'll have a few different plants in the pots, but you'll want to avoid those since they almost always contain non-aquatic plants.
Ha!
I saw those "assorted loose" plants at petco yesterday. I couldn't get anyone in the store to tell me what they were, how to grow them, or even if they all required the same light.

But for 3 dollars, something from the bunch is bound to grow.

jessfish
03-04-2011, 06:55 PM
LOL wow I hope I have some better luck with prices, & im not sure how big the bunches are but for the 2 anubias I got they were $11 (both not each) but I had a coupon & got $3 plus i didnt know what the prices 'should' be.

I hope I can get somthing that I can get growing, that way I dont have to buy more I can just grow my own - i guess thats what people must do.

does cabomba grow well? will i (newbie) have good luck growing that?
i really like that one & the hornwort is growing on me too.

jessfish
03-04-2011, 06:58 PM
& the graden stores - thats a good idea - once they are open in a few months i'll check places like that!! (Canadian so the grass isn't even alive yet lol)

jessfish
03-04-2011, 07:17 PM
cabomba - omg i just read that with this plant (besides it sleaves sometimes coming off & causing filter clogs) it's the type of thing i can cut anywhere & the cut piece will grow????!!!

is this true?

i have sand does this work in sand substrate?

nmb7895
03-04-2011, 07:40 PM
LOL wow I hope I have some better luck with prices, & im not sure how big the bunches are but for the 2 anubias I got they were $11 (both not each) but I had a coupon & got $3 plus i didnt know what the prices 'should' be.

2 Anubias for 11 dollars is right about what I would pay for it. It's a really slow grower, so I would get used to how big it is now. That's also the reason larger Anubias seem to go for more money (since they're probably years old).

I only started keeping lowlight plants a few weeks ago, so I can't really answer your other questions.

However, Hornwort is primarily a floating plant. From what I've read, it won't root into the substrate. If you want it to sit on the ground, it has to be weighted down. Buried pieces will rot eventually. So really you could keep Hornwort (which looks pretty much identical as Cabomba from what Google Images shows me) on any sort of substrate.

It'll also grow, literally, like a weed. I've had mine a week now, and I've already trimmed enough new growth off to plant an entire other aquarium.

jessfish
03-04-2011, 08:40 PM
However, Hornwort is primarily a floating plant. From what I've read, it won't root into the substrate. If you want it to sit on the ground, it has to be weighted down. Buried pieces will rot eventually. So really you could keep Hornwort (which looks pretty much identical as Cabomba from what Google Images shows me) on any sort of substrate.

It'll also grow, literally, like a weed. I've had mine a week now, and I've already trimmed enough new growth off to plant an entire other aquarium.


Wow that growth sounds awesome! Im thinking i would tie the hornwort (if i get it) to the edge of the driftwood or a rock if its possible. thanks for letting me know the roots would rot if i buried them!!!
I would be pretty mad at myself if i spent money on a plant that died bc i buried it lol

nmb7895
03-04-2011, 09:03 PM
The entire plant won't die, just the part buried.

jessfish
03-04-2011, 09:47 PM
really?? so i can screw up pretty bad & i have a window of opportunity to fix things - thats good to know...i can't imagine i could screw up a plant that bad - but im thinking of plants that shouldn't be buried in sand LOL

nmb7895
03-04-2011, 09:55 PM
Generally (and this even applies to land plants) you can just trim off the dead parts of a plant and it'll be just fine. Dead leaves don't usually repair themselves, but still consume energy, so when you see a leaf or stem that is obviously dead, it's best to just cut the loses and let the surviving parts continue on.

jessfish
08-13-2011, 10:50 PM
Just came across this thread that i started months ago - out of the anubias, hornwort, cabomba & elodea i started with...the anubias & elodea survived my snails! the hornwort & cabomba were all eaten over the last few months...but my snails have (finally) died & i've upgraded to a larger tank so I got some new plants as well...

now im confused about ferts again - do i need them or will the plants be fine?

the plants
- anubias
- hornwort (new bunch)
- moneywort
- elodea
- cabomba (new - even tho i think it was the goldies that ate it & not the snails)
- watersprite
- corkscrew val
- amazon sword (they are big)
- mondo grass (even tho its not aquatic - trying anyway)

I never had a problem with the first plants i had growing...but do i need any supplements or fets for these new ones - especially the swords & val?

I dont have special lighting or Co2 system....im low/no maintance lol

I did add 'Flourish Excel' today...not sure why - it was on sale a while ago & today i thought i would finally try it

Fisharefriends27
08-14-2011, 01:24 AM
Why try mondo grass if you know it's non aquatic and going to die. If you want very low maintenance
1) research the plants you have (and how well they do with goldfish and the pleco
2) I would dose excel and dose other stuff according to what defienciency the plant gets.
Nmb has good advice about cutting of dead leaves

Swords are very heavy root feeders, mine started dying off with no root tabs.

jessfish
08-14-2011, 04:07 PM
some people have had mondo grass do well...why not try it if i can get it for a dollar? for a buck if it dies in 6 months oh well, it was pretty while it was there :hmm3grin2orange:

any research would say that there are not many plants that are good with goldfish & plecos....the only way to know if the plants will survive the fish is to try them

i did read somewhere that if people with goldfish who also wanted a planted tank only went by the 'rules' on the internet they would have a tank with water & goldfish...kinda boring :scry:

thanks for the tip about the root tabs, i had read about those but wasnt sure!! i'll be sure to pick some up!!!! :19: