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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody :D! Of course you can tell that I'm new. I know how to keep fish, and love them, but recently I've wanted to get more into plants. Mainly because the fish benefit from them, but I also like to keep plants around my house too. But... all the beginner articles seem to be written for trained botanists! All of these CO2 diffusers and WPG's??

I've kept the lily bulbs from WalMart in my tanks without incident (btw I have well water and it is naturally high in nitrates and minerals and stuffs), and hornwort in my guppy fry tanks. Now, this is basically the extent of my plant knowledge 0_o;;

Plants take in CO2 and put out oxygen.
Plants need light for photosynthesis.
Plants are pretty. :D

Please please, explain to me in very easy to understand terms what I should do to keep some nice beginner plants like java fern/moss and anubias. I've seen these at my LPS and think they'd be good, but if you have suggestions that's great too. Also, I think that (unlike in fishkeeping) I should start plant keeping with a smaller aquarium. I have a 10g that I wouldn't mind having heavily planted. Thanks in advance everyone!

P.S. a couple of questions (sorry for the long post guys!). Should air pumps be removed from planted tanks? What are WPG's and how are they different from normal flourescent lights??
 

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Do what you have been doing for the hornwort and the lily bulbs. Just get some of the Java fern and a plant or two of the Anubias. Weigh them down on the gravel bed of your aquarium with pebbles. Do not cover the stems(rhizomes). Do not remove all of the hornowrt, but trim away enough of it so that light gets down to your new plants. If the hornowrt continues to grow, then conditions should be good for the Java fern and the Anubias.

You can keep an air stone going or remove it. Either way shouldn't matter much to the plants. Adding extra carbon dioxide speeds up the growth of aquatic plants, and if you are adding extra CO2, you do not want an air stone going because the air pumped through the water removes the extra CO2 rather quickly.

The flourescent lights you are using require a certain amount of electrical energy to run, expressed in watts. If you have one 20 watt fluorescent tube lighting a 20 gallon tank, then you are giving that tank one watt per gallon (WPG).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ah okay thanks. I thought a WPG was a type of lihtbulb =\ lol. Anyhow the hornwort is only in my guppy fry tank... which doesn't have a substrate. The 10g I'm wanting to plant is fishless and so I'm starting with scratch. The substrate is small natural brown gravel and the filter, heater, and air pump are all tetra whisper. I bought a flourescent hood... which came with a bulb already. I'm not sure how many watts it could be, but it's the same brand I'm running on the guppy tank so this is ok right?

Alright I'm going shopping tomorrow, so last question. Should I add fish first, plants first, or each at the same time? Also would it be okay to have the java fern and anubias without needing to add CO2? I don't really understand how you add CO2 to your water??

Last thing... my substrate is about 1.5" deep. I have more or could take some out, so how much is ideal?
 
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