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how to plant

4138 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Bert H
:) i'm new here and i have a 15gal tank. i am planning to put plants in it, but i heard from friend that it is very difficult to clean cause he has to avoid the plants everytime or else it would be pulled off the gravel. i saw some tank in the net and they dont use gravel. is there another alternative to it, like a soil like material so i can put the plant in like planting in a garden? :? i hope you guys understand if i sound silly cause i have no idea as to how to do this and i want to make it right. thanks
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It really depends............depends on many things. For instance, if you have strong rooted plants like the swords then you wouldn't worry a bit when you siphon and vacuum the gravels around and near them. They wouldn't even flinch. Now, if you have delicate stem plants or foreground ones then you'd have to be more careful not to uproot them because their root systems are closer to the top; just right below the gravels.

For me, I don't even vacuum my tanks anymore because there is no need. I have too many plants and too few a fish. Instead, I do partial water changes every now and then, when I see the water level has decreased. In this case then, it would depend on how many plants you have; how dense your tank is. If you do have lots of fish and few plants and often see lots of crud and what not accumulate on the bottom then you will need to vacuum. You could by-pass this problem by putting the plants in pots. This of course, has to do with if you don't care about the whole aquascaping aesthetics.

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Hello Lady E! SurWrathful is right that "it depends." There are a lot of options for planted tanks - and substrate can be gravel (as long as there is a lot of 'mulm' (fish waste, etc) in it that the plants can use. There are also planted tank soil-like substrates and even potting soil (the kind without ferts). I use Eco-Complete, which is wonderful because plants love it and it doesn't have to be rinsed before using -- just dump it in.

I suggest you have a look around this site, and there are some things that you may want to consider -- amount of light, and Co2 -- in terms of what kind of a set up you ultimately want. Most plants will require much more light than comes with normal fish tanks, but some will do fine (i.e. java ferns, anubias, etc.).
Welcome Lady E. :)

In a planted tank there is really not a need to vacuum the gravel/substrate as you would in a non-planted tank. The plants use the debris/mulm out of the substrate as nutrients that helps in their growth. All you really need to do is a weekly water change by lightly swapping the vacuum over the surface of the substrate, this will remove any debris on top of the substrate.
thanks guys! i'm planning to buy the plants tomorrow. i'll describe them to you and maybe you can can me a few tips on how to take care of certain plants... :D
hi guys it's been a long time since i last posted, i was not able to really set up my tanks back in 2004 i got married and had my baby daughter, anyway now that my daughter is getting bigger i have more time... i just want to share a pic of my 15gal planted tank... i admit i still have much to learn about planted tanks, this tank is 4 months old

blyxa japonica
limnophila aromatica
rotala rotundifolia
hemianthus micranthemoides
micranthemum umbrosum
glossostigma elatinoides
rotala macrandra

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It looks very nice and healthy.

Congrats on the baby and good luck with your tank(s);)

thank you, i will post my other tanks soon.. :)
Very healthy plants. It looks great. Welcome back :)
Good to have you back! Congrats on the wedding and the baby, and on a beautiful tank as well! :thumbsup:
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