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amedublu1

Ideas for plants on rocks or driftwood

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I'm just planning my first aquarium and am mostly interested in plants that will attach to rocks or driftwood.  Other than Anubias and Java moss that I have read about, any other suggestions.

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3 hours ago, amedublu1 said:

I'm just planning my first aquarium and am mostly interested in plants that will attach to rocks or driftwood.  Other than Anubias and Java moss that I have read about, any other suggestions.

Java fern.  I'd recommend a floating plant like hornwort/frogbit/water lettuce etc.. as well.  These plants will help shade your low light plant's like anubias, java fern, and java moss and also help you get a handle for what your tank needs for nutrients/water changes by quickly sucking up any excess ammonia or nitrates from livestock or possible overdosing of fertilizers. Also since they grow very fast unlike the plants you are planning, will help greatly with out competing algae for any nutrients that your plants don't need, creating balance faster.  Which is a common problem with that trio of plants and new tank owners.  I highly recommend one fast growing stem plant like hygrophila corymbosa or pogostemon erectus and a solid root feeder like any type of amazon swords/Cryptocoryns/vallisneria.

 

Edited by Percilus

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Can the plants you suggested be planted in a fine gravel substrate or do they need a proper plant substrate/soil? I wasn't planning to use plant growing substrate, maybe I should?

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Should be fine.  It would be easier to plant in sand with root tabs for the root feeders to help them get going.  Something like seachem root tabs etc.  I dose dry ferts (salts) on top of that, but usually only when I see a specific deficiency on new growth.  I personally use soil capped with play sand myself which is much cheaper but also has some other challenges as the tank ages.  You won't want to be moving heavy root feeders like swords after planting them in a dirted tank with livestock in the tank anyways.  Expect a lot of work if you want to re-scape your dirted tank.  So research it first before you decide on that.

 Gravel would work fine but would be harder to initially plant. If you use gravel try to find a gravel that is 2-6mm which is difficult in Edmonton anyways not sure about Calgary. This will help in not harming your plants well planting especially stem plants like rotala rotundifolia that have very fragile stems.

 If you want to spend money and get easier results eco-complete(High cec with goodies added in)/baked and ammonia sprayed clay loam err I mean ADA aquasoil (the very best dirt money can buy that isn't messy uncapped + goodies). Seachem's Flourite (high cec) or tropica's plant substrate are all solid choices.  For price and ease of use and looks I would always go for eco-complete personally.

 I use play sand from home depot myself.  7 $ for a 50 lbs bag.  If you use sand I recommend getting a healthy population of Malaysian trumpet snails for reasons you can research.  I personally prefer something like premier potting soil from Canadian tire if you try that route but sand alone with root tabs will work perfectly fine as well.  Lots of people would recommend against the perlite in that brand of soil but I find it beneficial in my tanks that are over 2 years old for far to many reasons to list here. If you use dirt don't add more than a inch of it with no more than 2 inches of sand cap and make sure to sift out most of the larger pieces of wood that are in the soil if you use a soil with peat added in like I do.  I also like to sprinkle/mix in csm+b and iron chelate with the dirt before I cap it with sand to help out the plants initially and long term as the sand cap keeps your water column ferts from getting to the dirt (and the roots of root feeders) and doesn't have any cation exchange capacity to suck any of it up. Iron deficiency's are common in tanks without high cec substrates since a lot of plants at a normal alberta tap water ph won't be able to uptake the iron from the water very well at all, even if it's available, hence why I add it to my soils via root tabs long term or iron chelate initially as my ph usually hovers around 7.6-8.2 depending on the Edmonton season and how much I decide to change water. Root feeders generally like to uptake I find from the roots not the water column as much.

Sorry for the book it's just hard to recommend things to new people sometimes for me because I remember when I started out, I took advice that was good, but left out certain details that created problems down the road that I had a harder time fixing after the fact hah. Hard lessons learned in a nutshell.

 

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All your info is much appreciated.  I've quickly learned there is lots to know in this hobby and getting it right the first time makes things much more enjoyable...and that everyone has different ideas. I'll look at trying the root tabs you mentioned for my plants rooted in fine gravel.  And yes, it is very small <2mm. There was good selection at a store in Calgary if you are willing to pay the pet store price.

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2 hours ago, amedublu1 said:

All your info is much appreciated.  I've quickly learned there is lots to know in this hobby and getting it right the first time makes things much more enjoyable...and that everyone has different ideas. I'll look at trying the root tabs you mentioned for my plants rooted in fine gravel.  And yes, it is very small <2mm. There was good selection at a store in Calgary if you are willing to pay the pet store price.

Cool.  My last advice is don't worry about things so much. Decide on a course of action based off some advice and research and just do it.  There are several ways to do things right in this hobby.  I find people complicate a lot of things online that you will learn through experience over time.  It's about finding a way that works for you and achieves what your trying to achieve.  Your first planted tank probably won't look like much because you won't know what a certain plant in *your* setup is going to do or look like until you actually do it.  In my opinion the best aquascaper's are just people who have setup 30 + tanks over the years and grown out a tonne of different species over time and learned from experience how to have success through a lot of failure.  Even just buying the best equipment money can buy will not lead you to success with plants or breeding, necessarily.  It definitely does not hurt though.

If your using high light with or without pressurized co2, but especially if you have co2 and high light, make sure you go heavy on a floating plant. (like 50 % of the tank surface) That one thing will help you a tonne when you make any kind of mistakes on keeping the tank balanced/healthy and looking great.

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