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Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. Default Newbie to plants; need some help getting started, please


    0 Not allowed!
    Hey everyone,
    I have been out of the aquarium hobby for 10 years, but previously had success with fish-only tanks up to 150 gallons.
    This time, I am doing a couple of small tanks, 12 gallons and eight gallons, with fish and plants.
    I have set up the 12-gallon tank, a Marineland Eclipse, with a Fluval C3 filter and a 50-watt heater.
    There's about an inch of aquarium gravel substrate, maybe less, with a large piece of driftwood as the tank's centerpiece.
    The aquarium light is the stock compact florescent tube that came with the tank. The tank gets some indirect light from a window, so I hope that helps.
    Everything has been set up for three days, and the water (75 degrees) is crystal clear.
    ** Now, should I add the plants first, and get them established, before adding a few small fish?
    I was told that Java Fern and Hornwort would be easy-to-grow plants that wouldn't need substrate and would do well with moderate light.
    ** Are those good choices, or should I try something else? I only want simple, inexpensive plants. For now, at least, I won't be using CO2.
    ** Should I use aquarium plant food (like Seachem Excel or API plant food) for the plants -- especially until there's fish in the tank to provide some nutrients?
    ** How many hours a day should I leave the light on?
    Many thanks for your help! Any advice is sincerely appreciated.
    Best Regards,
    rbarrett328
    Milwaukee

  2. #2

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Java fern and hornwort are very easy plants to grow, the direct sunlight will eventually cause algae though

    I'd say get the plants in before fish, allows you to move them around and get things the way you like without additional stress to the fish.

    For those plants you won't need any foods, and they actually could cause algae issues. Start off slow with plants and plan on becoming addicted to them shortly

  3. #3

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by rbarrett328 View Post
    Hey everyone,
    I have been out of the aquarium hobby for 10 years, but previously had success with fish-only tanks up to 150 gallons.
    This time, I am doing a couple of small tanks, 12 gallons and eight gallons, with fish and plants.
    Challenging volumes.
    There's about an inch of aquarium gravel substrate, maybe less, with a large piece of driftwood as the tank's centerpiece.
    The aquarium light is the stock compact florescent tube that came with the tank. The tank gets some indirect light from a window, so I hope that helps.
    Everything has been set up for three days, and the water (75 degrees) is crystal clear.
    ** Now, should I add the plants first, and get them established, before adding a few small fish?
    No, you can plant now, you should do a fishless cycle.
    I was told that Java Fern and Hornwort would be easy-to-grow plants that wouldn't need substrate and would do well with moderate light.
    ** Are those good choices, or should I try something else? I only want simple, inexpensive plants. For now, at least, I won't be using CO2.
    With these plants there's no real need for co2. Javafern does well in low light. It's usually tied to decor, not planted. Hornwort might be a challenge to keep down in the substrate, a few pebbles will help. Anubias is another plant to look at but do get the dwarf variety, anubias nana, like java fern it's tied to things but offers a different leaf shape. If you're lucky it will even flower.
    ** Should I use aquarium plant food (like Seachem Excel or API plant food) for the plants -- especially until there's fish in the tank to provide some nutrients?
    That is generally a good idea. I do find most manufacturers recommend rather big dosage of their products. Start at 50%, stay there for three weeks before making decisions.
    ** How many hours a day should I leave the light on?
    That would depend on how big the role the window plays. I find a period of 4 hours, followed by a 2 hour break and then another 4 hours is a good amount of light for plant growth and still allows me to keep algae under control.

    Good luck with this, a planted tank is in my opinion a lot more interesting because it's a constantly changing landscape/

  4. #4

    Default


    0 Not allowed!


    I'd also throw in some faster growing plants like the Hygrophila species. You can keep it trimmed down and replant the cuttings.
    Also, I've had huge success with Lobelia cardinalis dwarf. Very hardy and stays fairly small. This too can be aggressively trimmed and replanted and it always bounces back.
    "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." Carl Sagan

    ~ 350 Litre Tank Journal ~ ~ 30 Litre Tank Journal ~

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