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New here but experienced
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi fish community,
I recently picked up a used 40g breeder In decent shape. Did a raw fish/fishless cycle and after about 40 days the ammon, Nitrite, nitrate were all perfect so i stocked it with 5 zebra ds, 6 asst platies, 6 albino corys, and 1 juv. Veil angelfish. I've been keeping fish and reptiles for 15+ years and I'm very knowledgeable in the fish trade, but of course as we often do we want more so I'd like to start adding plants to my 40g brdr and i have little to no knowledge in the planted tank area so i need some help. Planning on building a custom wood hood with about 12 inches height above water surface and adding either led or t5 ho 30" light set up which do you guys prefer? Which will make algae maintenance easier? I broke the cardinal rule of our hobby and impulsively bought two plants the other day 1 java fern which i have read are easy care and low maintenance so i attached it to one of the pieces of natural driftwood with rubber bands lightly until it takes root and the second was a purple waffle which after i did my research once i bought it i found out its not even an aquatic plant and just sold as one for retailers to make money which is F-ed up. I than decided to submerge only the roots(stalks rather) on a piece of driftwood in my turtle tank trying to save it and today i found it shriveled and in sad shape. I'm guessing after being submerged for a period of time the shock of being dried out was too much for the little guy :( so i decided to seek some advice from experienced planted tank hobbyists. What other plants would you recommend for 40g brdr for a plant newbie? Should i fertilize? Will fertilizer harm my fish? Is co2 necessary? The tank is setup with lots of driftwood pieces and 2in of fine grain sand. I have read that sand is not a suitable substrate for certain plants so i figured I'd stick with plants that are happy attaching to the driftwood and rocks instead of rooting in the substrate. Are there any species that grow fine in sand? Pretty much any advice is welcomed. Thanks in advance.

The Aquatic Phoenix
 

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Try some anubias plants. The anubias nana is a really easy plant. It is kinda hard to kill. Just attach that plant to some driftwood and you'll be set to go :).
 

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java fern, java moss, hornwort, anubias, hygrophilla are all low-light easy plants that can grow with one flourscent bulb tied to driftwood and no ferts or CO2. This is what most of my tanks are.

The key with plants is to match the amount of light to the plants, the ferts and the CO2. Get out of balance and you will grow algae or have other problems.

A high-light tank with CO2 cylinder & regulator with a high-quality plant substrate or added ferts is a very different undertaking that the low-light, low-care tanks I usually keep.

Do you want a plant-scape out of a magazine? Then go buy a planted aquarium book and check out the AGA http://www.aquatic-gardeners.org/ Expect to spend significant time and money on the tank.

If you want a fish tank with a few plants, stick to low or medium light. One or two florescent tubes the length of your tank. Two is better for plants, but one is okay for low-light plants.

What kind of light do you have now? I'd recommend you start with easy care stuff and get a book and check out the AGA. Once you read up on how the plant nuts do things, you will have a better idea of the commitment and the rewards of going the high-tech route and can get a better idea of what you want before you invest a lot of money.

If you can find a local aquarium society, you can often get plants from members much more cheaply than from a LFS and get free advice to go with. http://www.dcas.us/

Do not go here. http://www.acaconvention2015.com/ You will forget about plants and get cichlids.
 

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New here but experienced
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks evil wizard. The anubias is beautiful! I will def. try a few. and emc7 yes it was a magazine that prompted my fascination for planted aquariums. :) years ago when I was just starting out in the major in the advanced aquarium hobby I had a 90 gallon fw community tank. It was gorgeous. I kept many shrimp, crabs, crawfish, snails, bottom dwelling fish, medium dwelling fish and top dwellers all peacefully together in one giant eco system - My point in mentioning this is I had a school of about 4 or 5 silver dollars and even though I knew they were big on eating plants I still gave plants a try! Of course it was just a dinner buffet for the 5 silver lawnmowers! I often tried introducing heavy amounts of kale, romaine, cabbage...etc. on veg clips to deter them from feeding on my plants - which worked for about 1 month. eventually they realized they had variety and they just gnawled away at everything green! They even ate my java fern :0 lol so basically I gave up on plants because I absolutely wouldn't give up on my silver dollars. I have just recently got the aquarium bug again where its bad now having multiple tanks in a 2 bedroom apartment in which my gf tolerates :) so I think I will try to stay on the low to medium side at first but knowing my nature and need to constantly advance in the hobby Im sure it will turn into high light/ advance plant keeping. right now it is just a regular florescent strip bulb. I def want to at least replace to a better light system even if it is for low to med light. any suggestions? thanks for the info and replies.
 

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Having only a few tanks is a plus with a high maintenance setup like a high-light planted. You may be trimming weekly as well as changing water and adding ferts.

People who go "all in" on planted tanks don't gradually transition, they usually start fresh from a bare tank and have every rock and driftwood planned out. Just plan on starting over when you think you have a handle on what to do.

Do a lot of research as this is a big investment. Don't skimp, read reviews get good quality lights that match the plants you want, and a good quality regulator for the CO2. Don't bother with DIY.

Plants ship well, so don't be afraid to order online at places like http://www.floridaaquatic.com/ or aquabid.com
 

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Darth Ichthyos
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Another alternative would be to get some of those TopFin brand plant bulbs from Petsmart. Get 3 packs, plop them in your tank even with low light, and in a month your tank will be a complete jungle like this one!
 

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I forgot to mention 1 thing about anubias plants. If you have multiple anubias plants then 2 may come together and form one plant. I read that while searching how anubias nana reproduce, So I am not %100 sure that is true. But do tell me how your anubias behave if you get several if them :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Evil wizard... i will Def keep you posted once i get my tank established. And to "theoldsalt" how much is this 3 pack? And would they suffice in a 75g? Lol I've gone from 40 breeder to my 75 turtle tank. The turtles are moving to a 125 this month and ill be cleaning and cycling the 75 to merge my 40brdr and 20 high into one planted tank... the profession of the aquarium hobby obsession is alive and well :) always gotta go bigger haha and to emc7 I'm doing a lot of research now. Since I'm planning the 40 to 75 switch this month it has given me a lot of time to research the plant world and i think i will start slow and not jump off a cliff and dive right in. Thanks for the feedback guys
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks oldsalt :)
 
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