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You don't need any of that to grow plants in an aquarium. They are gimmicks sold by shops to take your money. Any pair of scissors that are sharp can be used to trim plants. Tweezers crush the stems of aquatic plants. Tongs are no use unless the plant is massive and has a decent sized stem and root ball. Even then using your hand is better for the plant.

What you need to grow aquatic plants is water, gravel or sand substrate, aquarium plant fertiliser and light.
Oh. But how are we going to place plants in the substrate? I will be gentle with the tweezers however. Put the plants in the substrate gently. And they need to be trimmed in case it overgrows. Propagation can be done with plant scissors in most plants. Don't want my germs in the aquarium water while trimming plants and placing clippings into the substrate to root on. I fear that germs might affect the tank water quality.

And the other thing: Aquascaping tools are gimmicks? I am confused about that. Aquascapers my age and older mostly use these tools to maintain moderately-heavily planted aquaria, but I'm being really cautious about tweezers because they could accidentally crush the stem of the plant when pressed too hard while planting.
 
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Don't get sucked in by the crap shops sell, most of it isn't necessary. You can buy the latest greatest most fancy stuff around but it won't help you keep fish or plants any more than basic gear.
That's what I'm aware about. Not all of them are bad, but I am going to be aware about the quality of the aquascaping tools most LFS's sell. I'm going from a mistake-ridden 10 gallon to a 32 gallon aquarium with more room and better water quality. Sell the silvertips and move the remaining cardinal tetras from the 10 gallon to the 32 gallon. I have to be cautious not to stress out the fish however. I decided the best home for the cardinals are the 32 gallon aquarium that I will house in the future. Petitella rhodostoma and Corydoras pygmaeus are the tankmates that go along well with the cardinals. Oh, and a bigger shoal of cardinals are great in here too. 14 fish (in total, 11 new cardinals) is better than having 6 fish.
 
To put a plant in the sand or gravel, just make a hole in the substrate, put the plant in it and cover the roots. People used their hands to do this for 100s of years before plant scissors and tongs became available.

The only things that come off your skin and that will affect a fish tank are perfumes, oils, creams, disinfectant (hand sanitiser) and other things people apply to their skin. Normal skin oils won't affect the fish or water chemistry/ quality. If you are really concerned, just wash your hands and arms under tap water (no soap) before working in the tank. I stuck my hands in my own tanks every day for decades and I had them in the shop tanks all day every day and never harmed any fish from doing it.

Make sure you use soap and water to wash your hands after working in the tank.
 
To put a plant in the sand or gravel, just make a hole in the substrate, put the plant in it and cover the roots. People used their hands to do this for 100s of years before plant scissors and tongs became available.

The only things that come off your skin and that will affect a fish tank are perfumes, oils, creams, disinfectant (hand sanitiser) and other things people apply to their skin. Normal skin oils won't affect the fish or water chemistry/ quality. If you are really concerned, just wash your hands and arms under tap water (no soap) before working in the tank. I stuck my hands in my own tanks every day for decades and I had them in the shop tanks all day every day and never harmed any fish from doing it.

Make sure you use soap and water to wash your hands after working in the tank.
Ah! Yes, I did it a few times but I don't know if soap harms fish after I wash my hands before putting my hands in tank water? Now for the cardinals. They're doing okay currently and I checked up on the remaining ones in the 10 gallon. No aggression from the silvertips at the moment. Microsorum pteropus became Leptochilus pteropus and rhodostoma/bleheri rummynose tetra got new genus names recently, so I'll be using them instead of the outdated scientific names when entering TOTM. The fish are doing well and I hope the cardinals will be ready to move into their new home before they die in the 10 gallon tank like half of the population did. And I don't want death happening in the cardinals because I don't want them to be living in a 10 gallon tank for the rest of their lives. I might do a water change tomorrow and dad's sleeping at the moment.
 
Soap can poison fish, especially if it has perfumes in. Liquid soap is more toxic than a bar of soap due to the ingredients in liquid soap. The other issue with soap is it breaks the surface tension of the water and this can stop the water holding oxygen and the fish can suffocate. So rinse with water only before working in a tank (unless you have chemicals on your hands then wash with soap and rinse well) and use soap after you have finished working in the tank.
 
Soap can poison fish, especially if it has perfumes in. Liquid soap is more toxic than a bar of soap due to the ingredients in liquid soap. The other issue with soap is it breaks the surface tension of the water and this can stop the water holding oxygen and the fish can suffocate. So rinse with water only before working in a tank (unless you have chemicals on your hands then wash with soap and rinse well) and use soap after you have finished working in the tank.
Oh. I will wash my hands with water before putting my hands in tank water.

I do like planted aquaria, what are your opinions on them?

Here's the stocking list for the tank (excluding the year old remaining cardinals):

AquStockImage (6).png
 
Today's Easter Sunday. I found this beautiful piece of driftwood with live aquarium epiphytes and moss on it in Facebook marketplace (I used dad's iPad to have a look, I'm not 18 yet). Costs $100 AUD and if I get it in my collection, it would complement well with the future setup in the 120.5L aquarium. I think the seller doesn't want it anymore, I hope I can get it before someone else gets a hold on it. It's rare getting these types of driftwood with plants on it in marketplace.

IMG_0982.jpg
 
You can use driftwood and tie some Java Fern on to it for the same look.

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I do like planted aquaria, what are your opinions on them?

Here's the stocking list for the tank (excluding the year old remaining cardinals):

View attachment 339558
What's the temperature requirements for pygmy Cories vs cardinal and rummynose tetras?

I like planted tanks. I have always had live plants in tanks and even had a dedicated 4x2x2ft tank that was fully planted up. It had a reverse flow undergravel filter, 4 inches of brown gravel with some red clay mixed in. The entire thing was covered in plants and there was a huge mothership Water Sprite plant in the tank that floated on the surface but the roots grew into the gravel, and the leaves stuck out about a foot above the surface. It filled the entire surface of the aquarium and had hundreds of smaller plants growing off it. It weighed a lot too.
 
Happy Easter @Colin_T. Are you okay currently? Things change over time and sometimes it's not the end of the road for fishkeeping yet. You had a great fishkeeping experience. Fishkeeping's not the same overtime.
You can use driftwood and tie some Java Fern on to it for the same look.

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What's the temperature requirements for pygmy Cories vs cardinal and rummynose tetras?

I like planted tanks. I have always had live plants in tanks and even had a dedicated 4x2x2ft tank that was fully planted up. It had a reverse flow undergravel filter, 4 inches of brown gravel with some red clay mixed in. The entire thing was covered in plants and there was a huge mothership Water Sprite plant in the tank that floated on the surface but the roots grew into the gravel, and the leaves stuck out about a foot above the surface. It filled the entire surface of the aquarium and had hundreds of smaller plants growing off it. It weighed a lot too.
Corydoras pygmaeus: 22-26°C

Petitella rhodostoma: 24-27°C

Paracheirodon axelrodi: 23–29 °C

Edit: I forgot to add something.

Your tank was beautiful @Colin_T. I wish I had a 120 x 60 x 60cm (324L) aquarium in my house, when I move out. It would've been a showstopper in the living room, so people would focus on it instead of the TV. :) What fish did you had in the tank?
 
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My 4x2x2ft plant tank had ruby barbs, filament barbs, pygmy perch, white finned rainbow shark, Botia lohachata, royal whiptail catfish, twig (Farlowella sp) catfish, some sort of Corydoras, rainbowfish and a bunch of other stuff. Everyone got along nicely and there were eggs and babies popping up all the time.

The loaches (Botia lohachata) used to live underneath the undergravel filter and when I fed the fish, they would all come up into the tank via one of the uplift tubes on the filter and there would be a stream of loaches coming out of this uplift tube. It was fun to watch.
 
My 4x2x2ft plant tank had ruby barbs, filament barbs, pygmy perch, white finned rainbow shark, Botia lohachata, royal whiptail catfish, twig (Farlowella sp) catfish, some sort of Corydoras, rainbowfish and a bunch of other stuff. Everyone got along nicely and there were eggs and babies popping up all the time.

The loaches (Botia lohachata) used to live underneath the undergravel filter and when I fed the fish, they would all come up into the tank via one of the uplift tubes on the filter and there would be a stream of loaches coming out of this uplift tube. It was fun to watch.
Wow, that's a lot of fish. How do I do an undergravel filter in a planted aquarium above 200L?
 
Wow, that's a lot of fish. How do I do an undergravel filter in a planted aquarium above 200L?
You reverse the flow on them so instead of pulling water down through the gravel, you push water under the filter so the gunk floats up into the water column, and then have a power filter sucking the gunk out of the water.

The reverse flow undergravel plant tank was an experiment to see if it would work and it did, but you don't need a reverse flow undergravel for plants. They grow happily with a normal flow undergravel filter or even without the undergravel filter.
 
You reverse the flow on them so instead of pulling water down through the gravel, you push water under the filter so the gunk floats up into the water column, and then have a power filter sucking the gunk out of the water.

The reverse flow undergravel plant tank was an experiment to see if it would work and it did, but you don't need a reverse flow undergravel for plants. They grow happily with a normal flow undergravel filter or even without the undergravel filter.
Oh, so the tank was an undergravel filter experiment? Neat, that's great. How long did you had the tank until what year?
 

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