New to aquarium plants..

Laura_N1992

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Hello All,
I am not new to keeping tropical fish. I have kept a tank for years on and off. My most recent tank is a 180litre Juwel rio tank I have had for years along with the fish, which currently has plastic aquarium plants inside and has the generic fake man-made look. I am due to move home in the new couple of months and I would love to start in my new home with my tropical fish take fully kitted out with real aquarium plants.

As I said Im used to plastic plants, I currently have sand on the bottom but I am more than happy to change to what ever is best to ensure the plants like it.

What substrate would be suggest? And what types of plants are Hardy to start with just whilst I get myself used to it? Also any suggestions of CO2 liquid?

Thanks for the help!!
 

aqua.land

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I'm not an expert with plants, but here is what I would say.
Maybe you already know this, but plants are divided into foreground, midground and background plants, so you can layer plants in your tank to make a natural environment. Sand may be fine but you can buy special soil with all the nutrients in it that will help the plants grow.
Here is a link about tropical aquarium plants.
Substrates for planted tanks.

I hope this helps :)
 
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Laura_N1992

Laura_N1992

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I'm not an expert with plants, but here is what I would say.
Maybe you already know this, but plants are divided into foreground, midground and background plants, so you can layer plants in your tank to make a natural environment. Sand may be fine but you can buy special soil with all the nutrients in it that will help the plants grow.
Here is a link about tropical aquarium plants.
Substrates for planted tanks.

I hope this helps :)
That's great, thank you.. I will have a look at that!! I literally know nothing about plants so that's interesting about the foreground midground and background.

Thank you for the welcome too!
 

essjay

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Sand is fine for plants, you don't need a plant substrate. And sand is important if you want to keep bottom dwelling fish. Plants that are rooted in the substrate can be fed with root tabs - though do some research first as some brands can end up polluting the water. I understand that Seachem Flourish root tabs are one brand that does not. Plants attached to decor need a liquid fertiliser. The best two available in the UK are Seachem Flourish Comprehensive Supplement* and TNC lite.
* Seachem make several products with Flourish in the name, make sure it's the right one.

Liquid CO2 is not advisable. These contain glutaraldehyde which is a powerful disinfectant. Even at the recommended dose it can kill valisneria, and an accidental overdose can wipe out the tank.
Planted tanks tend to fall into 2 categories - aquatic gardens with a few fish for something to look at; and fish tanks which have plants in. The former usually have CO2 gas injected into the tanks; the latter don't need CO2. There is enough CO2 for this type made by the fish and the micro-organisms living in the substrate.
 

PheonixKingZ

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Hello and welcome to the forum! :hi:

As @essjay said, I don't suggest you using Co2. It can get out of hanf really easily. An occasional liquid fertilizer or root tab will suffice.

I recommend getting sand as a substrate. As some plants will grow in gravel, I find that they grow best in sand.

What plants were you looking into? I can give you a list of some easy to grow beginner plants if you like. ;)
 

Salty&Onion

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What plants were you looking into? I can give you a list of some easy to grow beginner plants if you like. ;)
Anubias (all kinds), hornwort, java fern and moss, anacharis (may not grow very well in some circumstances), moss balls (or marimo balls, basically balls of algae), limnophila sessiliflora (may need require some liquid only fertiliser).

I'd recommend you Tetra's PlantaMin as your liquid fertiliser, it is snail and shrimp safe, is phosphate and nitrate free and does not pollute water.
 

essjay

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Unfortunately the Tetra fertiliser doesn't say what's in it so we can't know if all the essential minerals are there. But the two products I gave do list their ingredients and while they don't contain absolutely everything, they are only missing one or two.

I have only plants which are grown on decor and floating plants. The floaters are water sprite (Ceratopteris cornuta). Attached to decor I have Java fern (ordinary and Windelov), several species of anubias, Bolbitis heudeloti and several types of Bucephalandra.
Anacharis is called elodea or egeria in the UK :)


Floating plants are especially useful; they do two things. Because they are on the surface near the lights and can get CO2 from the air, they grow very quickly and take up a lot of ammonia out of the water. And they provide shade for the fish. Most of the fish in shops come from rivers or lakes with overhanging vegetation and these fish do not like bright light over them.
 

essjay

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The amount of copper in plant fertiliser is not enough to harm inverts, but plants do need copper in trace amounts.
 

Byron

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Welcome to TFF. And to the wonderful world of planted tanks.

Light is the single most important factor in aquarium plants. Some plants need low light, some moderate, some bright. The nutrients must balance the lighting for the plants you select, or alga can take advantage. That is a very brief synopsis, but without knowing the light data it is difficult to recommend plant species.

Use either of the two liquid fertilizers essjay mentioned. And the substrate tabs for larger substrate-rooted plants like swords.
 

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