Fertilizers? Substrate? Help needed for a planted tank

Ellie Potts

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It's been a long time since I've had a fish tank with live plants, and I'd really like this next one to be planted. The tank will have 2 dwarf gouramis, 2 killifish, 10 neon tetra, 2 african dwarf frogs, and maybe some cherry shrimp. pH will be around 7 and temp will be about 77 degrees F. I'm thinking about water wisteria, java moss, amazon sword plants, and some marimo moss balls but am definitely open to other suggestions. LED lights will be on during the day and off at night. Should I be fertilizing the water or substrate? Is there anything else I need to add to the water? I'd like to have black sand as a substrate; will that be a problem? I'm planning on using these plants to help cycle the tank.
 

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If you are going for a planted/silent cycle you will need some fast growing, floating plants like anachsaris, hornwort, moneywort, frogbit and water sprite to absorb the ammonia rapidly. Water wisteria will help but you need enough to balance the amount of ammonia your fish produce.
 
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Ellie Potts

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If you are going for a planted/silent cycle you will need some fast growing, floating plants like anachsaris, hornwort, moneywort, frogbit and water sprite to absorb the ammonia rapidly. Water wisteria will help but you need enough to balance the amount of ammonia your fish produce.
Ok I'll use hornwort and moneywort as well. Do I need to be adding anything in the water to help the plants? Do I need any kind of fertilizer other than root tabs?
 

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Not for these types of plants they draw their nutrients from the water stream and the fish produce much of what they need. I use seachem flourish at 1/2 dose to be sure. Amazon sword plants will need root tabs and I also use flourish root tabs and so will water wisteria if you plan on planting it, you can also float wisteria if your want.
 

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The neon tetras are shoaling fish and you have a good number. They come from South American Jungle streams so like shade so avoid bright light and have some floating plants. I would not have the ADF in with the fish, they move and eat slowly so may starve and are best in a species only tank. I made that mistake years ago and lost mine:sad: Black sand should work fine. I would start with just a few fish and add to the tank as you test for ammonia. I took several weeks to add my fish in small shoals. I would add the neon tetra last they are more sensitive to changes in water chemistry than the others. In fact I advise waiting until you tank is stabilized which can take up to 6 months. I lost several adding them to soon. Good luck
 
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Ellie Potts

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Before I forget, Hello and welcome to the forum :fish: :hi: :fish:
Great! Thanks so much for your advice. I'll go with just dwarf gouramis first and gradually add the other fish in over a few months/years. Will probably get plecos instead of frogs for their cleaning abilities
 

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