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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a tank that is working on being cycled at the moment. I do like the look of the live plants I see in many peoples photos. I read about the ideal setup of the moss, sand, and gravel substrate. I read about special lights, and CO2 setups, etc.

Will I be able to successfully have a plant or two in my tank as it is? I have a medium-small gravel substrate. How much of that stuff is necessary and how much is just helpful?
 

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Great success can be achieved with the low tech approach to planted tanks. I would recommend 2-3" of gravel. This will make life easier when planting the plants with larger roots and also help keep the stubborn ones in place.

As far as lighting I currently have 158 planted tanks ranging is size from 10 gallon to 150 gallon. Only 1 is high tech with c02. I am really big on the low tech approach. I use just your basic 2 bulb shop light on most of my tanks. The light bulbs are the key to this setup. You will want to use the Daylight 6500K-10,000K light bulbs. Which can be bought from your local hardware store for around $2 each.

What size tank are you asking about?

HTH
Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
20 gallon tank. It has whatever flourescent bulb that came with it installed. Does it need a special type of bulb for plants?
 

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I would highly recommend buying a daylight 6500K bulb for your hood. I cant remember how long the bulb is off hand. The bulb will run you $7 at Lowe's or Home Depot. This will give you the ability to grow low light plants to low end medium light plants.

The factory bulbs usually have a high pink or yellow spectrum which are pretty useless when growing plants. The daylights focus more on the true white spectrum which is close to the sun. Also will brighten up your tank and in my opinion gives it a better appearance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, I will have to get a bulb and a plant and try it out.
 

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Cornelius
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Fishman, thanks for the heads up, I did not know you could get daylight bulbs at Lowes / home depot.

You did not mention Co2, is that really necessary, or can I get by with just the bulb and a HOB filter?
 

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Co2 is not necessary. Low to medium light setups will be able to thrive with just the co2 from fish and from any absorbed from the air outside. The planted tank acts like a freshwater reef. If the plant and fish load is right no filtration of any kind will be needed.

Co2 injection is only needed on high lighted heavily planted planted tanks where the plants grow faster than the tank can sustain. Therefore fertz and co2 will need to be added.
 

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Cornelius
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Very cool, thanks for the information. I can't believe I have not done live plants in my freshwater setups before now. I love how much they add to the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well I just got back from Petsmart with two plants. Trichomanes Javanicum and Dracaena Sanderiana only to read online that they are NOT aquatic plants, despite being labeled as "Live Plants For Aquariums". I will take these back and look at their other species.

Where does everyone get their aquatic plants from? It seems like Petsmart is not the right store.
 

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I'd find a good fish store where the people know what they're talking about. At Petsmart, you're just getting whatever 18 year old happened to be working in that department that day. Same place sold me a Chinese Algae eater saying they were peaceful.... [email protected]#ers...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ive visited several other stores in the area, and I found one where I can buy live coral, but not any plants.
 

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Well I just got back from Petsmart with two plants. Trichomanes Javanicum and Dracaena Sanderiana only to read online that they are NOT aquatic plants, despite being labeled as "Live Plants For Aquariums". I will take these back and look at their other species.

Where does everyone get their aquatic plants from? It seems like Petsmart is not the right store.
Yep...unfortunately this happens all too often. They sell loads of bog plants and terrarium plants as aquatic, when they are not. Both of those can be grown in a pot if you're so inclined, or you can return them.

You can get good deals on plants online from forums in the classified areas, e-bay, and reputable plant merchants. Shipping can sometimes be surprisingly cheap, especially when bought in classifieds. I'm in the same situation as you, no LFS that have any sort of decent selection so all my plant purchases have basically been online, no real problems yet. Overwinter shipping may be more difficult in cold climates (like here!).

Good Luck! One other good thing is once you have plants growing in a tank you can usually take clippings for other tanks (plants for free...sort of :))
 

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discus_dude
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hornwort can grow tall and grow very fast.you can also add Telanthera Rosefolia,Ammania Senegalensis,Ammania Senegalensis...since you have a planted tank you should provide you can provide co2 diffuser,porper lighting and fertilisers.conventional rule say that provide 2-3 watts per gallon.also provide fertilisers so that plats grow very fast...
 
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