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Old 02-21-2012, 02:30 PM   #1
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First Planted Tank

OK so I'm not new to fish keeping by any means, but I am new to plants, aquatic ones at least. I have decided to turn my 29 gallon tank into a GBR planted tank. I will have a pair of GBR and a school of others, probably black neon tetras although I'm still a ways from deciding on them.

I currently have white play sand as substrate.

My questions are about the plants I should look into. I want some taller, wavy plants for the back sides and some shorter, grasslike plants for the front of the tank. In the middle I'd like some mid sized broader leaved plants. I like the looks of anacharis for the taller plants, but I have no idea what plants will work for the others. I would like to stay at the "beginner" level and don't want to go beyond a possible light change as far as adding to the tank. The bulb I have now was to used as a plant light (bought it from a guy who had it planted before) so if I don't have to change that either I'd be happy.

Any other useful information, such as how fish stocking levels affect plants or how densely they should be planted would be great! Feel free to enlighten me with your wisdom and experience!
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:36 PM   #2
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What kind of light bulbs do you have?
Assuming you have a low-medium light source, some good background plants would be Amazon swords, watersprite and anacharis because they grow REALLY tall if left unchecked. Well...Amazon swords are naturally tall anyway lol.

Cryptocoryne, Anubias and Java ferns are good midground plants as they dont grow too tall (around a few inches).
For most foreground plants, since they are short, you'll probably need a higher light input. A few of the foreground plants that may work in your tank are glossostigma, hairgrass or micro swords. be warned tho, cuz they might grow a little taller than usual to get to the light and they will carpet your gravel all over the place (although this is usually a good quality as it fills out the tank nicely and is a great place for fry to evade danger.) ooohhhhhh, you could also get moss to spread on driftwood or rocks just my two cents on the whole tank idea. ask if you still need help!
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Old 02-27-2012, 12:14 PM   #3
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Thanks I have been researching quite a bit and am slowly adding to the tank. I have a few bunchs of Anacharis planted to hide my heater and filter already and will be adding some Amazon swords and anubias soon. I am thinking about Dwarf sag for the foreground. Do you have any experience with it? I am try to stay with relatively low light plants, will the sag work? I have 30 total Watts as of now...a 5500K and a Zoo meds Plant growth bulb that I believe is 6500 or 8500K IDK off the top of my head, both 15 watt. I will be upgrading when I can sneak it by the wife ; )
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:47 PM   #4
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Thanks I have been researching quite a bit and am slowly adding to the tank. I have a few bunchs of Anacharis planted to hide my heater and filter already and will be adding some Amazon swords and anubias soon. I am thinking about Dwarf sag for the foreground. Do you have any experience with it? I am try to stay with relatively low light plants, will the sag work? I have 30 total Watts as of now...a 5500K and a Zoo meds Plant growth bulb that I believe is 6500 or 8500K IDK off the top of my head, both 15 watt. I will be upgrading when I can sneak it by the wife ; )
no personal experience but i know ppl that have it in there tank. no personal experience with it but i've seen it in other people's tank and it grows fairly well. a bit longer than if you use a higher lighting and they tell me that it grows kinda slowly for them. fertilizer would definitely help it grow faster, i would try it out since it looks like it could work. and you don't need that many amazon swords lol they get pretty big and when they've grown enough, it'll grow a miniature version of itself you can just cut. if you get a couple of em, in a few months, those amazon swords will overrun your tank
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:08 PM   #5
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I started with 3 amazon swords now I just have one. And the one I have has leaves about 1 foot in length a piece. It grows soooo fast under my t5ho lighting, pressurized co2, and ferts. I don't suggest them because they'll get too big too fast.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:44 AM   #6
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Is there a plant similar that may work better?
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:53 AM   #7
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Is there a plant similar that may work better?
There are anubias species with paddleshaped leaves. There might even be crypts that look similar but I can't think i any off the top of my head, but take a look at different species. They vary a lot, chances are you will find a good substitute. Jungle vals are also vals with wide leaves, if you want them in the bakground
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:35 PM   #8
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Is there a plant similar that may work better?
amazon swords are great plants to have, it's just a matter of preference if you like big tall plants as a centerpiece or multiple small plants that take its place. me personally, i love tall plants, it makes the top of my tank more filled in than the empty space up top it was before
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:25 AM   #9
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After looking at some of the species of anubias and crypts I think I may add some, but I do think I'll attempt one amazon sword. I am fine with big and tall in this case and will have plenty of smaller plants in the front/middle. I think it'll fit in well. Just need to stay on top of it I guess
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