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Ok. My latest task is to try and convert a 2 foot tank in a plant haven. Ideally I want somewhere where i can grow my own plants and house a few female bettas. I have a heater allocated for this tank and a 2 foot fluro. The tank is situated in a room which has a large window behind the tank and a medium window to it's right. I have put a background on this tank to try and reduce the amount of natural light it gets. How many plants should i buy and what types? How much sand/rocks do i need to cover the bottom with? Does this tank require great filtration or just normal filtration? And last but not least how do i get the plants to grow onto rocks and driftwood? All feedback will be greatly appreciated :lol:

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a single fluoro tube is rather low Wattage per gallon, if I recall correctly from planted tank days. With that, I'd go for crypts and java fern. You can attach java fern to driftwood (you can tie it on with thread to get it started. *edit* oh, you don't need a lot of filtration for plants, IME the less the better to be honest. and the less you break the surface tension the better (so CO2 isn't all dissipated, as the plants use the carbon from CO2 as a food source/fertiliser).

Edited by Lilli
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as long as your stocking levels are low and your plants are established before you introduce the females, you won't need one. If you plan to stock with more than say 5 females, you'd want to consider a small filter

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More fish ... (she thinks to herself) Great Idea!

Well i went and visited the lfs last night and purchases some stones and some plants. The young guy who served me was polite but not very helpfull.

I walked away with 20kg of stones and the following plants - no idea what they are though. Can you help?

My Planted Tank

PS - My light is 2 foot in length and has 2 tubes

Edited by Berryfriendly
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Your tank is looking really nice! I'm absolutely no help when it comes to plants or IDing them. I had some of those red plants in my tank once.. for a few weeks anyways until all the leaves fell off :cheer: Not sure what they are but they look pretty (and they aren't mouse-proof). The only plant I can keep alive is water sprite :cheer: I envy anyone that can keep a real planted tank

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2 tubes is good! I assumed it was a single fluoro, sorry. Looks like you have some hygrophila and vals. Its a bit hard to tell what the red one is, from my monitor. The large leafed one is one they always say is easy to grow and I never had any luck growing it, I think it's called blue something (my brain deleted the name once it worked out I couldn't grow it, sorry!).

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Thanks mouse and that's ok Lilli - no hard feelings. So now that i have the plants in place what do i need to do to keep them looking this good. What type of fertiliser/plant food do i need to use - if any? Maybe I should be asking what should I not be doing ...

Edited by Berryfriendly
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The plants look really good Berry! I not sure what everyone else uses, but I use Seachem 'Flourish' in my planted tank. Apart from the Java Fern dying :cheer: all the other plants are looking nice and healthy. I'm a bit of a Seachem fan though, what does everyone else use? i also add a tiny bit of acid buffer to my water once a week, because of the rocks I have in there, the water is quite alkaline. The acid buffer just takes the pH down a little, and converts the alkalinity to CO2, which helps the plants.

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I am curious - how does changing the water from alkaline to acid convery the alkalinity to CO2? Flourish adds trace elements to the tank, but there are other things plants need to really grow: adequate light (check) iron ( I recommend flourish iron) potassium (I recommend - you guessed it - flourish potassium) and carbon, usually sourced from carbon dioxide (which is why I suggested no filter/water surface disruption as disruption allows CO2 to leave the water and it then can't be utilised by the plants to make new growth). I have always used DIY co2 (the "beer in a coke bottle" method). PS I think that plant is blue stricta.

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Lilli I'm not sure of the chemical equation, but adding because acid buffer lowers pH, it converts carbonate alkalinity (KH) into available CO2. It even says so on the side of the bottle. :cheer: And I have to use the stuff at least once a week, the water is so terrible here. :/

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hey, if the seachem bottle says it, I believe it! LOL!! *bows to seachem*. Have you tried peat or similar, to gradually buffer the water constantly? Forgive me, I am a bit phobic about altering pH. But if I had to, I'd use seachem. That's the one that's free of phosphate, isn't it?

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Cool you got some plants :lol:

The layout is looking a bit symmetrical, here is some aquascaping links that might give you some ideas ;)

http://www.freshwateraquariumplants.com/sl.../slideshow.html

http://www.plantedtank.net/

http://naturalaquariums.com/

If you want to use Co2 & Fertilisers, you she be searching google for Co2 & plants fertilisers articles to begin with. You will have to read and read to get an understanding on how it works etc..

aaq thread on fertilisers

Co2 links..

http://www.hallman.org/plant/booth1.html

http://faq.thekrib.com/plant-co2.html

http://www.tropicalfishcentre.co.uk/Diyco2.htm

and you should end up with some knowledge on what you think you need to do. Ask all you questions and concerns here!!

It's kinda hard explaining otherwise! and you seem really keen to have a planted tank :(

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Thanks faewyn for the links, they were great. I know it looks a little boring so far but I couldn't buy any mosses or ferns from lfs - they were out of stock. So I had to bite the bullet and buy what they did have. And I know it looks symmetrical but i wanted to make sure i can grow plants before i spend too much on great plants that i am probably going to kill. Besides if these happen to grow they won't get wasted at my house - they will just be transplanted into someone else's tank to enjoy :flex: Back to the tank. Plants are doing ... (quick check) ok so far, but i haven't been shopping for chemicals yet - I love shopping at lfs. So the things i need to purchase are: * flourish potassium * flourish iron Is that it? Any idea of what these retail for?

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