Freshwater plants (cold water)

April_ht

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What plants would be best suited for a cold water planted tank? Information about my tank:
70 litres (18 Gallons)
60l x 30w x 40h in cm (approx 24l x 12w x 16h in inches)
Water hardness 105ppm or 5.5dH
pH 7.5
Temp: 18 degrees Celsius after a water change and 20 degrees Celsius on average.
No co2 used.
Ammonia and nitrites 0ppm and nitrites 20ppm.
No special substrate is used right now, would it be better to stick with gravel and use root tabs or put a nutrient rich substrate underneath the gravel as that stuff is expensive? The water will also be dosed with liquid fertiliser for stem plants.

Stocking is (right now) 6 wcmm and 3 platy, though the platy will soon be rehomed as water is too soft, I will increase the school of wcmm and get a (few) algae eaters (corydoras? I’ve heard pepper, panda and bronze are good with colder water and are good substrate cleaners but not algae eaters) and maybe some shrimp or snails for the wall algae.

Are there any plants that can survive in these conditions? I currently have Blue Stricta, which was bought pretty bad quality but is getting better, and staurogyne repens tissue culture, which is not doing too good as I need to get nutrients for it. The aim is to have a moderate-heavy planted tank with a few anubias, Java ferns and some Java moss on hardscape.

Quick question, does a heavily planted tank limit the space a fish has to swim in or do they swim throughout the plants? And does anybody know of a good online aquatic shop in Australia to use in lockdown?
Thank you for taking the time to read through and respond, I can’t wait to finally start a planted tank.
 

OliveFish05

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I think most floating plants are cold water, Amazon sword I know is good.

Cory catfish are not algae eaters, and most fish sold as “algae eaters” or “cleaner fish” are not actually much help to the tank. Many people around this forum are very against buying fish to “clean” your tank, they see it as getting a fish to do the work you should already be doing. If you do the work and work out a good light routine and you shouldn’t have algae, vacuum your substrate and don’t over feed and you don’t need bottom feeders to eat the leftover food. You can have bottom feeders still, but get them because you want the fish. Every fish will add to the bioload, so get ones you love!
 
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April_ht

April_ht

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Thank you for the advice, how would I go about changing to a proper plant substrate, specifically ADA Amazonia soil? The only other tank I have is a 4 gallon, would it be worth cycling the substrate in there or is there a way to avoid that and put it in the tank? Or I could put the 6 wcmm and 3 platy in the 4 gallon while the substrate cycles, though I feel that would leave them very stressed and unhealthy. I plan to re-scape the whole tank with live plants and add a few cherry shrimp (and rehome platy) after everything is set up and established. Thanks for the plant suggestions, I'll check them out and see if I can find any available near me.
 

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