Aquarium Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I've recently gotten my first tank after many years and decided to try adding real plants, but am unsure of how to properly tend to them, what to look for, and how it'll affect the fish tank.

I have a 30 gallon tank with the following:
50 gallon filter Aquaclear with sponge, soon to replace the carbon with polyfill, and biomax
20 gallon filter Aquaclear with sponge, soon to replace second sponge with carbon, and biomax
1 I think 120 watt Stealth heater
7 fake plants
1 large fake driftwood
black with occasional red gravel

Most of the fake plants are glow in the dark, I tried to recreate an Avatar-ish sort of theme from the movie.


I have the following fish:
4 White Cloud Minnows (may switch them out)
5 Glofish danios (1 inch)
2 Roseline Sharks (about 3 inches)
2 Petricola Catfish (about 1.5 inches)
3 Cherry barbs (all males, just got them yesterday, about 1 inch)

I also intend to get 1 or 2 pairs of German Blue Rams and Gold Rams, that will depend on if I decide to remove the white clouds to prevent overcrowding. Though I feel it may be fine to get the two pairs as is, considering my filters and my weekly 20% water changes. However, I've been told that the rams require softer water and are more sensitive to water changes, thus, I've been told that plants are recommended to make the water softer.


These are my various plant questions:

Do plants really make the water softer?

If so, will my current fish be able to handle the change? I'm not sure how much softer they will make the water.

What sort of plants do you guys recommend to do this task? From what I've been reading around, microswords, amazon swords, anubias... (I think thats what they were called), and java moss seemed to be the most mentioned in the forum, but I'm not sure if they are what i need in particular.

What do I need to look out for in terms of plant care? I'd like hardier, lesser maintenance required plants considering I'm not available for most of the day.

The LFS told me that I don't need to buy anything else other than the plant, no supplements, etc are required as long as they have decent lighting, they should be able to absorb the nutrients from the water itself. Is this true?

I have an actinic bulb on the overhead, I'm not sure how this counts towards the lighting for the plants. Is it fine as it is? How long should I keep the lighting on for throughout the day?

Lastly, I have been considering to attempt breeding the Cherry barbs after getting some females, gold/blue rams, and eventually the petricolas in the future. Currently I know nothing about breeding (I know their breeding conditions, but nothing about how to set the environment to meet their needs), but I would like to know what plants are recommended for breeding (by hiding the eggs, by hiding the fries, etc)


Thanks for any assistance
 

·
Queen Platy
Joined
·
932 Posts
If anything the plants will help the fish and not harm it because it absorbs in the nitrite.

I personally dont like the look of java moss. You can go for water sprite, java fern and anubias nanas. They all require low lighting and dont need any water supplements. When i first started i added a liquid fertilizer to help grow the plants faster but to find out it only enhanced algae growth. I eliminated fertilizing all together and they are all doing fine in just plain water. They grow under any water condition. Only thing you need to worry about is trimming.

Water Sprite is good for fry because of all the fronds it produces. Its one of the fastest growing aquarium plants i know. It also looks really nice.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mikolas

·
Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
Joined
·
7,685 Posts
Do plants really make the water softer?

No.


If so, will my current fish be able to handle the change?

They can handle the change if done slowly, but plants wont do the job. but live plants can make a tank healthier.


What do I need to look out for in terms of plant care?


Factors will vary depending on the plants chosen.


The LFS told me that I don't need to buy anything else other than the plant, no supplements, etc are required as long as they have decent lighting, they should be able to absorb the nutrients from the water itself. Is this true?

That would depend on a few things. Like what you want the plants to do in terms of growth and health.

I have an actinic bulb on the overhead, I'm not sure how this counts towards the lighting for the plants. Is it fine as it is? How long should I keep the lighting on for throughout the day?

Actinic bulbs don't do much for plants as they are in the wrong light spectrum. They are really more geared toward saltwater tanks. There should be several posts on here about lighting that you can read more on.

One thing about having those 2 filters on the tank is there will be to much water flow for plants. If you get enough plants in there you can remove the smaller one. Plants will help filter the water.

I wouldn't add anymore fish to the mix that you have now. You already have a combination that requires different water parameters. Rams can be a very sensitive fish and need warmer water than what some of your other fish can handle. White clouds are a cold water fish that do best at about 70. The roselines would thrive better in a bigger tank.
Also when you decide to start breeding you will need to get another tank to put the breeders in as when you breed with other fish, very few fry will survive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
If anything the plants will help the fish and not harm it because it absorbs in the nitrite.

I personally dont like the look of java moss. You can go for water sprite, java fern and anubias nanas. They all require low lighting and dont need any water supplements. When i first started i added a liquid fertilizer to help grow the plants faster but to find out it only enhanced algae growth. I eliminated fertilizing all together and they are all doing fine in just plain water. They grow under any water condition. Only thing you need to worry about is trimming.

Water Sprite is good for fry because of all the fronds it produces. Its one of the fastest growing aquarium plants i know. It also looks really nice.

How do you trim these plants without permanently damaging it?

I've done some research on the Water Sprite and it's benefits, but I am worried about its apparent growth rate, I'm not sure how I'd be able to control such a thing in my 30 gallon tank.

Does having a planted tank require more water changes or cleaning by the way?

Thanks again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Do plants really make the water softer?

No.


If so, will my current fish be able to handle the change?

They can handle the change if done slowly, but plants wont do the job. but live plants can make a tank healthier.


What do I need to look out for in terms of plant care?


Factors will vary depending on the plants chosen.


The LFS told me that I don't need to buy anything else other than the plant, no supplements, etc are required as long as they have decent lighting, they should be able to absorb the nutrients from the water itself. Is this true?

That would depend on a few things. Like what you want the plants to do in terms of growth and health.

I have an actinic bulb on the overhead, I'm not sure how this counts towards the lighting for the plants. Is it fine as it is? How long should I keep the lighting on for throughout the day?

Actinic bulbs don't do much for plants as they are in the wrong light spectrum. They are really more geared toward saltwater tanks. There should be several posts on here about lighting that you can read more on.

One thing about having those 2 filters on the tank is there will be to much water flow for plants. If you get enough plants in there you can remove the smaller one. Plants will help filter the water.

I wouldn't add anymore fish to the mix that you have now. You already have a combination that requires different water parameters. Rams can be a very sensitive fish and need warmer water than what some of your other fish can handle. White clouds are a cold water fish that do best at about 70. The roselines would thrive better in a bigger tank.
Also when you decide to start breeding you will need to get another tank to put the breeders in as when you breed with other fish, very few fry will survive.

The minnows will likely be returned.

Yea, I've already suspected the rams would be difficult to keep in my tank, and require softer water (though none of the sites I've checked states the exact numbers).

I also know that the suggested tank size for Roseline sharks are 55 gallons, but the two I have right now are very active and show no signs of stress.


After college, or when I have a stable job (which hopefully will be soon), I intend to get around a 120 gallon tank and hope to move them there.


But back to the original post. How would the water flow affect the plants? I have a pretty long tank in comparison to most other 30 gallon tanks that I've seen, and I've shifted the two filters to one side so that the other side is relatively calm.

As for the actinic bulb... I'd have to remove it if I get plants then. Does the standard bulb that the overhead usually come with suffice?

Thank you
 

·
Queen Platy
Joined
·
932 Posts
How do you trim these plants without permanently damaging it?

I've done some research on the Water Sprite and it's benefits, but I am worried about its apparent growth rate, I'm not sure how I'd be able to control such a thing in my 30 gallon tank.

Does having a planted tank require more water changes or cleaning by the way?

Thanks again.
The java fern and anubias grow very slow and dont require trimming. the water sprite will require it. They're all hardy plants and trimming would not hurt them the slightest bit.

Yea i have a 20 gallon tank and the water sprites grow quite fast, i regularly trim them about once a month and throw the excess away or sell them. I use these plants for protection for my baby platy's and works very effectively.

It shouldnt require more water changes. But if you are wanting a lot of plants that need to be planted in the substrate and have a lot of root system, it would be hard to vacuum the gravel. Some people that are more focused on aquatic plants than fish, dont even vaccuum the gravel to prevent damaging the root systems or just slightly vacuum the substrates top layer.
 

·
Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
Joined
·
7,685 Posts
But back to the original post. How would the water flow affect the plants? I have a pretty long tank in comparison to most other 30 gallon tanks that I've seen, and I've shifted the two filters to one side so that the other side is relatively calm.

With most of the stem plants to much water flow can affect how they grow. And with enough plants 2 filters aren't needed. There is also so many plants you don't need a filter.

Standard bulbs that come with a tank top aren't usually enough for much other than moss, ferns and most anubia. Which non should be planted in gravel, should be tied to wood or larger rock.

For other plants you will need to go with bulbs that are in the range of 6500 - 6700 k, and if plants with red in them you will need higher amount of light. Dose ferts and use Co2.

I have a 33 long that is a 4 foot tank, and I just run one powerhead on it with a sponge on the intake for filtration. for lighting on it I use a 4 foot shoplight from Walmart with 2 40 watt daylight bulbs. Most plants grow just fine.

When trimming plants like watersprite, Just use a sharp pair of scissors cut to height that you want and replant the top part. It will grow and should fill tank in nicely.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
But back to the original post. How would the water flow affect the plants? I have a pretty long tank in comparison to most other 30 gallon tanks that I've seen, and I've shifted the two filters to one side so that the other side is relatively calm.

With most of the stem plants to much water flow can affect how they grow. And with enough plants 2 filters aren't needed. There is also so many plants you don't need a filter.

Standard bulbs that come with a tank top aren't usually enough for much other than moss, ferns and most anubia. Which non should be planted in gravel, should be tied to wood or larger rock.

For other plants you will need to go with bulbs that are in the range of 6500 - 6700 k, and if plants with red in them you will need higher amount of light. Dose ferts and use Co2.

I have a 33 long that is a 4 foot tank, and I just run one powerhead on it with a sponge on the intake for filtration. for lighting on it I use a 4 foot shoplight from Walmart with 2 40 watt daylight bulbs. Most plants grow just fine.

When trimming plants like watersprite, Just use a sharp pair of scissors cut to height that you want and replant the top part. It will grow and should fill tank in nicely.

I have purchased an anubia nanas, which came in this strange green/brownish paper towel like substance wrapped around the roots (It came in a little plastic flowering pot container). I removed most of it... but wasn't really sure what it was, so I left it there. My current issue is figuring out how to attach it to something, currently, it's kind of floating above my fake drift wood piece. What do you guys typically do with it?
 

·
Inspired.
Joined
·
138 Posts
The stuff wrapped around the roots is a bit like sponge, right? You should remove as much of it as possible.
Tie down your plant to the driftwood with fishing line until it attaches itself, then you can remove the fishing line. If you want to put the plant in the gravel, only submerge the roots and leave the rhizome exposed, or the plant will rot.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top