Thanks for the quick reply! Well I’m not sure where to begin. I actually have a 1.5 gallon Little Mermaid tank that I bought for my daughter. I want to upgrade to something a little bigger and ran into this forum. I didn’t even know you could have live plants in a fresh water aquarium. What plants would you recommend? What tank would you recommend (I’m limited to a 5-6 gallon tank)? All your help is appreciated
I'd recommend some low light plants that don't need a lot of upkeep like java moss, java ferns and hornwort. These are all really good plants to start with because they grow easily and don't require anything too special; just standard lighting. Check out Drs. Foster and Smith, LiveAquaria for available plants: Freshwater Plants: Freshwater Aquarium Plant Species for the Home Aquarium
Java ferns do well if you attach them to a piece of driftwood, but don't like having their roots buried. The other two grow anywhere. Consider getting some plant supplements to help keep them healthy like SeaChem Flourish; it's great stuff
I would go for something like an Aqueon 5.5 gallon, it's a standard rectangular tank. I don't like bowfronts, cylinders, high, etc. Bowfronts/cylinders (especially) don't display the fish as well because of the forced bending of the light, and high tanks limit the amount of space for fish to swim across.
Though I would recommend that if you are planning to upgrade, try to get the biggest possible. If you can fit a 5 to 6 gallon, I can't imagine why you couldn't go for a 10 gallon, they are about a foot long. The larger the water volume, the safer it is for the fish in the tank from possible contamination, and you'd be able to fit in a few more fish.
You'd be able to fit in maybe 5-10 small fish at best in a 5.5 gallon tank, and that would probably be heavily overstocking the tank.
As for the plants, as stated, java ferns, java moss, anubias nanas, and water sprites are all hardy and aren't as needy. Java ferns I would say are the least attractive considering the way they grow (sections of their leaves turn brown out of which baby javas grow out of. Anubias nanas are very nice, but have the tendency to have a brownish algae grow on its leaves. The water sprite is very attractive, and does soak up a lot of toxins/nutrients, but you would probably have to constantly trim it considering it's rapid growth rate. I only recently purchased mine and I feel it's grown about an inch every two days (and I have a 75 gallon tank).
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