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hi all, im currently in the process of setting up my new tank (approx 97 gallons) and im really interested in an asian biotope. The thing is, i have never used live plants, and i have no idea where to start. the substrate im using is aquarium sand, and i plan to add some large smooth rocks. What plants are easy to keep and come from asia, and where do i start in order to give these plants a good chance? thanks.
 

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Here's a great article to get you started:

Setting up your first planted tank

They also have a great plant guide to help you decide which plants are right for your tank! :)
 

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Live plants hmm. They are harder than the fake ones :p They are very beautiful in your aquariums :) The only thing crucial is that you need CO2 if you want your plants to become very green.

And you'll need probably more than 30 - 50W of light power. Since you have a 97 gallons approx.. I would try 100 W and 18,000k. Those types of lights are able to penetrate deep into the tank. Where you can house Low Light plants like cryptocorenes or Cabombas.

If you have those stuff. You can grow Amazon Swords of all types even the ones with red. Although Red colored plants are VERY difficult to raise unless you have strong powerful light. The ones I use for my tanks I use very strong lights. Approx 100W and 18,000k for my 100 gallons. My 1,000 gallons... I use more than 300 Watts because I have more than one light bulb :)

DON'T GET INCANDESCENT LIGHT BULBS! they aren't fit for plants! Fluorescent light bulbs are best!

Also... you'll want to get a product called "Flourish" It's a type of plant fertilizer that you don't have to add in everyday. Plants such as Amazon Swords need iron. And Flourish provides that type. I use it for all of my tanks. Flourish works on low light plants and so on too :) Beware... your amazon swords that you might want to get in the future... the big leaves will start to turn brown.. You can use CO2 since it is vital.. but plants will always die and newer ones will grow into place. They do take some time.. but with patience and care, your plants will live for a long time :)

Also. What type of plants are you wanting to get?? like Specifically.

Plants that are from South America in the wild receive 12 hrs of sun light. That means you have to do the same thing for your tanks too. Although you can't leave the lights on ALL day.. because your plants and fish will be in great danger. Plants will die because they receive too much light for photosynthesis.

Fishes will tend to eat off of plants. Especially the Silver Dollars. Although when I had silver dollars. I had good powerful lights so my plants could grow back quickly. I didn't use CO2 but if I did.. my plants would be able to grow back faster :)

CO2 is a combination of "Carbon" and "2 Oxygen" molecules. Or if you want.. Yeast and Sugar + air.

there are people on this forum who can help you know more about the DIY CO2. (do it yourself)

You should probably try going with easy plants.

Cabombas are easy plants. You can find them all over.. like you can find them in England, Canada, Asia, or South America. Since they are wild ones.. they don't need to be cared for.. nature does it naturally. but in aquariums. You have to propagate them meaning that you have to cut the stems where the leaves or spikes don't grow anymore. Then you plant the ones with spikes still back into the gravel or sand or special substrate. They need Medium light.

Crypts - low lighting plants. They don't grow tall much.. only about 1 - 2" tall... they don't need much cleaning at all. All types of fishes can go with them.. just not salt or brackish water fishes. They do grow fast when you have stronger lighting... but as I said you can get those types of lights.

Also. Something important. Siphon your gravel in your aquarium weekly. Or daily.. use treated water. Like if you have tap water.. use a chlorine killer. You will need it.

Good luck!
 

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Ok, there is lots of things being thrown out here I could comment on, but i guess I will wait til you ask more questions.

Light is the single most important factor to address before anything else. Depending on what you want to grow, adding C02 is not a MUST. There are lots and lots of plants from Asia. If you want to grow a fair variety of them, then your best bet is to have around 2 watts of flourescent light per gallon of water. The single light bulb that came with your tank is not enough to grow anything. The brand of the bulb is NOT important. The issue is that one or even two bulbs is not enough. Power compact flourescents for aquariums come in 55 watt, 65 watt, and 96 watt. These bulbs will NOT fit into the same fixture as a standard flourescent. You need a whole new fixture.

Once you figure out your lighting and what you can afford if money is an issue, then you can deal with what type of substrate and other issues you need. Here is another link for you to read; Beginners guide

We can go into more detail about things if we know you are still interested and you ask more questions. If you don't respond any further here, i guess we will presume you are no longer interested!
 

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Hey another plantedtank.net person! Howdy! i learned a long time ago before writing very long and detailed answers, it is best to have an engaging exchange with the person to see if they will even stick around long enough to read it!
 

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Wow, the link Gunnie put to first planted tank, and Darkrevs post say completely the opposite?????
 

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My advice is to follow what Robert says, he is very experienced in these matters. And the plantedtank is one of the best sites to go to for advice on planted tanks. There is also aquascapingworld.com for another good site on scaping your tank. Lots of experts on tanks.
 

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I just noticed this conversation was started a month ago, so chances are he may be long gone! We could always start our own conversation Susan! who knows, maybe Sezra will join in!

What are planning to do? BTW, I love your avitar!
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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I'm getting ready to set up a 240 gal and a 150 square. The 240 will be soft water plants and lots and lots of threadfin rainbows and several angels. The 150 I was thinking of a big piece of driftwood that I have that looks almost like a volcano and putting mosses on it and use vals in the background. Not sure on the fish for that one yet, thinking congo tetras and something else that would go with them.

Thanks on the compliment on the avatar, got it on an email one day.
 
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