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Old 10-02-2014, 10:54 AM   #1
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Hello! I just got a new 30 G

Woohoo!!!!! I want to put plants in my new 30 gallon. My very first question is, Do they need sand? Or can they be planting in rock?

Also which plants do you suggest to start with? Low light.


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Old 10-02-2014, 11:22 AM   #2
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I'd reccomend a pool filter sand substrate with some crypts and swords to start, use root tabs as well.

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Old 10-02-2014, 11:27 AM   #3
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Your Tank

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Originally Posted by KristaButler View Post
Woohoo!!!!! I want to put plants in my new 30 gallon. My very first question is, Do they need sand? Or can they be planting in rock?

Also which plants do you suggest to start with? Low light.


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Hello Kris...

Smart tank choice. Most would start with something like a 5 or 10 gallon. Too small for a starter. I started with a 30 and it worked great for a beginner.

Start with the dark green aquatic plants. They're easy to grow and don't require high end lighting. If you can get a light strip that holds two bulbs, that would be fine. Florescent lighting is inexpensive and fine for plants. Species of Anubias, like nana or nangi are good. Java fern, mosses like Singapore or Christmas and Cryptocoryne are all nice bottom plants.

Floating plants will help keep the tank water clean. Hornwort is a favorite of mine. Anacharis and Pennywort are nice too.

I would avoid sand. It tends to compact in areas and cause water problems. I use pea-sized polished gravel. It's easy to clean and easy to put plants into it. Your choice.

Have fun and remember to change the tank water frequently.

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Old 10-02-2014, 11:38 AM   #4
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Pfs does not compact all that bad, pea gravel is not ideal for planted tanks B, a planted tank does usually contain rooted plants, not all floaters, anubias and java, roots will wander up and out of the gravel. It also limits root tab usage. Again, these generic responses for "your" style planted tank is not always what people want. In fact most people want a variety of plants of all shapes and sizes and colors.

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Old 10-02-2014, 11:58 AM   #5
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Oh I started with a 10 gallon. However I knew it was going to be too small. It wouldn't even house 1 angel. Either way, I'm so use to looking at a 10 gallon it's going to take some getting use to this 30 gallon. I just got done reading on plants. It sounds a little daunting. I was hoping to just stick some plants down into the rock. Apparently it's not that simple. Lol I did just buy a canister filter. Excited about that. I've never had one.


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Old 10-02-2014, 12:10 PM   #6
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Planted Tanks

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Pfs does not compact all that bad, pea gravel is not ideal for planted tanks B, a planted tank does usually contain rooted plants, not all floaters, anubias and java, roots will wander up and out of the gravel. It also limits root tab usage. Again, these generic responses for "your" style planted tank is not always what people want. In fact most people want a variety of plants of all shapes and sizes and colors.

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Hello Brook...

Just answering the poster's request for information. Pea-sized gravel has worked well for my plants, including the planted kind like Cryptocoryne. Didn't suggest anything I wasn't familiar with, though. Rather thought I recommended a nice range of easy to grow plants that would get the poster started.

Sorry, I didn't expect to have to justify my answer.

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Old 10-02-2014, 01:48 PM   #7
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I appreciate all your answers!! I need as much info as possible.


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Old 10-02-2014, 01:52 PM   #8
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Bradbury- so do u have a substrate below the pea size gravel or just gravel. I would love a go at a few plants that would survive just gravel. If that exists? I don't want to have to empty my tank. Lol


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Old 10-02-2014, 02:16 PM   #9
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I used gravel in my first tank (29 tall) and what I ended up needing was co2. It made all the difference. But a lot of plants, in my limited experience, liked the gravel, crypts and ferns. I had several Anubis on suction cups and one even attached it's self to the glass. But with suction cups you risk choking the plant. I recommend tying the Anubis to a smallish rock with a zip tie and sticking it on or near drift wood. Eventually the Anubis will attach it's self to the driftwood and you can cut the zip tie and remove the rock after a couple months and the Anubis will stay put and not be choked.

We chose sand in three subsequent tanks after that in we had a hard time learning how to care for the sand. Vacuuming it can be a challenge you have to stir it up really well before a water change to get the fish poop out and we had trouble with this neon green algae growing on it. Over all once you get the hang of sand it's pretty nice, we have baby tears and hair grass that is carpeting nicely. And lots of fish enjoy sand.

My advice is this: be prepared to fall into the hole that is the planted tank obsession. Once you see the difference nice lights and co2 make you'll never want to mess with "low tech" again,


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Old 10-02-2014, 02:29 PM   #10
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Sand is fine for a substrate, I love it! Don't just cap the sand with gravel though, it will become anaerobic and rot the roots if not vacuumed well and cause no end of issues for you when it mixes together with the sand. I find that if you pinch the hose on the siphon it will slow down the flow and give you chance to keep up and stop being so easy to suck the sand out!


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