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OK; Here goes I have a 55 gal 4 foot aquarium that I want to put live plants in. Have tried in the past with medicore success. This time I replaced my quartz gravel with roughly 75 pounds of Flourite and now have a nice looking tank with a good substrate. I broke down and reinstalled my CoralLife 130 6500K hood for lighting. And of course I have a UV sterilizer so I won't start alage spores in the tank. I am now ready to replant my tank and would need reccomendations for "hardy" but nice looking plants. Also I would like to put in a nice piece of driftwood. I am looking for types of plants and how many and where to place them. Also do you reccomend using SeaChem plant fert or something else. Also lighting how long? My tank gets natural lighting from one side during the day and I am worried about getting algae blooms like I got before I stopped using live plants. I have the light on a timer right now and plan on using it for 3-4 hours so I hopefully won't get algae blooms. But any advice from everyone out there will be greatly appreciated.
 

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Look at these packages...They will give you an idea of good, hardy plants. They are designed for beginners.
http://www.freshwateraquariumplants...?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=FAP&Category_Code=PAP

Also the site has other plants you can read about, and many good articles about how to be successful. Also look at the PlantFinder on this forum. http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/plantfinder/
You can search for hardy plants.

I wouldn't be too concerned about the natural light. I would take advantage of it....as Diana Walstad does in her book Ecology of the Planted Aquarium. Its a myth that natural light causes algae. Think about it. What do plants in the wild grow from? Not a fluorescent bulb. I would shoot for about an 8 hr. photoperiod and adjust from there after you see how things are growing.
 

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These are the plants that do very well for me in the same setup as you have...

Cryp b... http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/plantfinder/details.php?id=27

Blyxa j... http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/plantfinder/details.php?id=123

Anubias... http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/plantfinder/details.php?id=119

For ferts the Seachem line is a good choice. You may also want to look into bulk ferts which will cost a lot less & last you a long time.

I would keep the lights on for at least 8 hours daily. The outside light could cause algae depending on how directly it is hitting your tank.
 
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