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Question about plants in aquarium
05-06-2012, 08:05 PM, (This post was last modified: 05-06-2012, 09:13 PM by Thor.)
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jeeplassie Offline
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Question about plants in aquarium
Hi! I am new here and I have a question.
I am not new to fish; I've had them all my life. I have decided to go with a small tank this time round, and I only have a 5g. I have had it running for the past 2 months with just a baby blue mystery snail. I plan on getting a betta for it, but I might change my mind and get some endlers and corys instead. I would like to plant it with live plants though, but not really sure how to go about it. I have seen the aquascaping, and I would love to try that but I know it will be a little difficult in such a small tank. I have watched on how to plant one (from this site), but I am unsure what plants I can use that will not overrun the tank. Do I have to get the bulbs, do the fertilizing, all that jazz? Right now the tank is at a consistent temp, it gets mainly sunlight and regular bulb light, it is fully cycled...I like the amazon plants but I guess they would get too big? and the guppy grass, I like that too, but again, will it overrun? If I get live plants, am I just going to end up killing them because I am not taking care of them right? What are your ideas for a small tank?
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05-06-2012, 09:09 PM,
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Thor Online
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RE: Question about plants
Hi jeeplassie, Welcome to join the forum!

So you have a 5 gallon tank. It will be perfect for a single betta.

However, if you try to get Corydoras catfish, which is a school fish, the 5 gallon tank isn't big enough for them. You will need minimal 5~6 of corydoras for a school in order to have them behave normally instead of hide all the time. 5~6 of corydoras might be too much bioload for your 5 gallon.

Endlers might work fine if they are the only fish in your tank.


I have also noticed a problem. You have mentioned that your tank is currently receiving sunlight. It is a big no no. Smile Not only sunlight will cause algae boom in your tank, but also it might overheat your tank water temperature which is very bad for your fish.

This is an article on the importance of the aquarium location.
http://petskeepersguide.com/the-location...-aquarium/

As for the plants, a 5 gallon is quite a limitation. Since it is not high enough for many tall plants. Keep in mind that you will need minimal 2 inch of substrate for the plants to root properly. You also can't fill the water to the very top, so the actual depth of the water in a 5 gallon would be less than ideal for most plants. A few plants come to my mind right away that can fit into a 5 gallon nicely are

Anubia Nana
Java Fern
Java Moss (if you keep it in small portion)

May I ask which video you referred to? Anubia Nana is presence in one of the aquarium videos in the sticky. Smile

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05-06-2012, 09:53 PM,
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Ram Offline
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RE: Question about plants in aquarium

To keep plants in your aquarium, you need to have decent substrate, decent light. For serious plants keeping, you will need T5HO lights and CO2 injection, but they are not worth it for a 5 gallon tank.
For now, you would want at least 2W per gallon for your tank to have decent lights, on an automatic timer for 8~12 hours a day at most.

For a 5 gallon tank, I would recommend to get slow growing, low light, short plants. No fertilizer is really needed. My smallest planted aquarium is 10 gallon, I don't use fertilizer in it, because all the plants in there are low demanding plants.

Guppy grass is actually Naja grass, it is undemanding, but fast growing plant. It can be planted but the stems break easily. If left floating it provides good cover for fry, and it is indeed used by many guppy breeders that is why they just call it guppy grass. Yes, it will overgrow in your tank.

Most species of Amazon swords are huge. I have two in my 40 gallon and they are too big for my tank. Hope you get the idea. :p

Anubia Nana is indeed good for a small fish tank like yours. It barely grows, stay short, and it requires very little of everything.


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05-07-2012, 03:53 AM,
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jeeplassie Offline
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RE: Question about plants in aquarium
Thank you for the information Smile Ok, so betta it is as soon as I find one I like, which will take a while..lol. I like the look of the anubia nana, I will look towards that. Considering the tank will not have as much water space in it when I do the substrate and all that, I guess betta really is the proper choice. I have never had problems before with the algae but yea this time I don't have someone in there to take care of it for me. I know a perfect little spot to put it away from the sun. So this brings up another question: The filter. The filter is the standard hang on the back. This one does not have a flow regulator...should I get a submersible instead? Not only would the filtration be a little strong for the betta, but I think it would blow the plants around too.
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05-07-2012, 01:35 PM, (This post was last modified: 05-07-2012, 01:43 PM by Ram.)
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Ram Offline
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RE: Question about plants in aquarium
No problem. Smile

For your filter question, the cheapest solution is to get a sponge filter. I use multiple sponge filters in my smaller fish tanks. They are powered by my air pumps. I can adjust the airflow directly through my Rena Air Pump and an air valve on the air tube, which in return controls the water flow pulled through the sponge filter.
I use Hydro Sponge filters myself, a Hydro Sponge I is good enough for a 10 gallon, but the one new product Oxygen Plus looks better with the air tube in a separated entrance.


Another option is to get an AquaClear power filter. I am positive it is adjustable, although I am not sure exactly how low of water flow can it reach. I would always put a piece of small sponge pre-filter on the intake of such filters to avoid something being sucked in, which in return it actually reduce the water flow very slightly but increased biological filtration.


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05-07-2012, 02:09 PM,
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jeeplassie Offline
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RE: Question about plants in aquarium
wow, awesome idea! I had never even thought to put some sponge there! sheesh and I have had hundreds of tanks over the years, but never once did that occur to me Tongue It might actually reduce the water flow in the over the back one that came in the tank kit....I'm going to try. I know they have a ton of new things out for tanks in the filter department but I'll try to modify what I already have. So I will get more sponge and put it on the intake of this one to see what happens. Its a good thing the snail is so hardy, he/she/it has been a total 4x4 trooper through all this. I think I'll name it Eugene. Thanks for all the great advice!! I'll post pics when I think it looks nice enough, and I have a betta I am happy with Smile
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05-07-2012, 02:16 PM, (This post was last modified: 05-07-2012, 02:20 PM by Ram.)
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RE: Question about plants in aquarium
Gladly to be able to help. Smile I look forward to see your aquarium setup and your fish.


The reasons for me to have sponge pre-filter is actually for reduce the filter maintenance need. Debris will not get into the filter with the pre-filter in place. So all I need to do is to take off the pre-filter and wash it instead of taking the filter apart to clean that. Filter cleaning is still needed with pre-filter, but instead of once a month or two months, I can do it much less frequently.

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