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First planted tank, what do you think of these plants?


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So I'm setting up my first planted tank, have kept tanks for years, but never got into live plants, have done saltwater for a while (currently have a 37 gallon saltwater tank) and decided to try a small freshwater plated tank. I got a good deal on a 14 Gallon frameless cube tank. Here is a pic of the tank so far. The light is just an Aqueon Clip On plant light (may upgrade later) Currently this is what I have in my cart: They all seem to be fairly easy. My other question is, will one of each be enough? How much can I split them up into separate plants? Or is it better to just plant it the way it comes out of the pot? 

Monte Carlo  - For foreground ground cover

Anubias GoldenMaybe in between the pieces of driftwood

Water SpriteBackground/midground

Scarlet TempleBackground/midground

IMG_1770.jpeg

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Monte Carlo was the first plant that I got to do really well. However it never carpeted, due to the fact that I didn't have any co2. It did pearl in the evenigns sometimes, and was super green. 

Back when I was starting out with planted aquariums, I failed. I failed miserably with plants. I didn't know a lot of fundimentals with plants that I do now. The first tank I planted the only plant that survived was my anubais. Anubias always seems to be doing well in all of my tanks, defentley a really good beginner freindly plant.

Here was a picture of my tank with monte carlo:

488121052_MonteCarloBettaTank.png.4fd8511c6957915421b4c385214c06fe.png

 

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I'd skip the montel carlo and scarlet temple until you get a bit more experience. Both can be a bit finicky and difficult to grow at time. Plenty of people will report success with both but imho they are a bit more crap shoot. The anubia should grow well but if you get the potted version be sure to remove all the rock wool else it will eventually rot and be sure to not bury the rhizome. You might try to get some  Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus  for the back ground; also you might try a crypt wenditti red for the fore ground or mid ground or wenditti green. For the foreground I'd try tropica rossette sword. Very short growing sword approx 1 inch high with dark green leaves.

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On 8/9/2021 at 1:16 AM, anewbie said:

I'd skip the montel carlo and scarlet temple until you get a bit more experience. Both can be a bit finicky and difficult to grow at time. Plenty of people will report success with both but imho they are a bit more crap shoot. 

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll check them out. I was looking at the Octopus, so I might try some of that too... I might still try the Monte Carlo and/or the Scarlet Temple anyway and see how they do in my tank, my friend's Monte Carlo is doing great in his little orb tank with the built in LED. I'm going to get some easy green as well. 

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On 8/9/2021 at 3:35 AM, todd2000 said:

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll check them out. I was looking at the Octopus, so I might try some of that too... I might still try the Monte Carlo and/or the Scarlet Temple anyway and see how they do in my tank, my friend's Monte Carlo is doing great in his little orb tank with the built in LED. I'm going to get some easy green as well. 

I like to try a bunch a different plants and then go for what grows best in my conditions. The Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus is a great idea. The last one I bought from The Coop was about 18” tall and had three stems in the one pot. 

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I bought a few Cryptocoryne Wendtii Green in June and they took off. They’re not tall, but really filled out well. More short and bushy. Nice coloration too. I’d send a pic but currently power went off and all dark in the tanks. I also got a tiger lotus bulb on a whim. It arrived pretty sorry looking from shipping. I put it in a spare 3 gal with my betta and a nicrew light and it rebounded really well and is the star of that little tank. Great pinky/spotted color. 

1B75C34A-E9C3-4C57-91BD-D028CD5057E5.jpeg

8F67D949-E673-470B-9080-779975209D54.jpeg

Edited by Stef
Adding pics of my two latest favorites.
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On 8/9/2021 at 8:24 PM, Elmojon said:

You should also try planting as densely as you can.  One monte carlo pot will not get you much coverage.  I would try and get at least 4 to 6 pots, and then break them down into a bunch of smaller groups.  

Yeah, I was gonna get more the one, I mostly just want the Monte in front of the driftwood, so not a huge space... What about the Sprite and Scarlet if I get them? Are there more then one plant in each pot, never bought plants before, not sure how this works lol.

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On 8/9/2021 at 9:45 PM, Rudles said:

Scarlet Temple needs high lighting and co2. I've ended up having to pull almost all of mine out. I did a YouTube search and confirmed it. I wish I had researched it before I bought them. 

Maybe I'll ditch the Scarlet and try something else. Been sitting here with stuff in my cart for 3 days cause I can't decide what I want! lol

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If you want something easy to care for that will do well , here is what I would do:

Red Flame sword to the left of the wood, behind the wood Baby Tears, to the right of it some Bacopa caroliniana, 3 or 4 Cryotocoryne wendtii right by the wood off set so you can see some of it still,  on the wood on the bottom Anubias nana petite, on the wood above on the left side Anubias nana, and on the right side Java fern, and a carpet in front of either Dwarf Baby Tears, or Staurogyne repens..

Just one possibility of an easy to take care of, easy to grow aquascape, you could also place a smaller piece of wood on the left in the foreground planted with Anubias, to create  more depth, and make the area to be carpeted smaller.

Edited by Jungle Fan
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Posted (edited)
On 8/10/2021 at 4:23 PM, Jungle Fan said:

If you want something easy to care for that will do well , here is what I would do:

Red Flame sword to the left of the wood, behind the wood Baby Tears, to the right of it some Bacopa caroliniana, 3 or 4 Cryotocoryne wendtii right by the wood off set so you can see some of it still,  on the wood on the bottom Anubias nana petite, on the wood above on the left side Anubias nana, and on the right side Java fern, and a carpet in front of either Dwarf Baby Tears, or Staurogyne repens..

Just one possibility of an easy to take care of, easy to grow aquascape, you could also place a smaller piece of wood on the left in the foreground planted with Anubias, to create  more depth, and make the area to be carpeted smaller.

Ya know it's only a 15" cube right? 🙂 Having trouble picturing some of what you're saying. If by "right by the wood" you mean put the 3 or 4 Cryotocoryne wendtii in front of the wood that will take up the entire front. I was going to do Dwarf Baby Tears, but I thought the Monte Carlo would be easier?

Edited by todd2000
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On 8/10/2021 at 7:30 PM, todd2000 said:

Ya know it's only a 15" cube right? 🙂 Having trouble picturing some of what you're saying. If by "right by the wood" you mean put the 3 or 4 Cryotocoryne wendtii in front of the wood that will take up the entire front. I was going to do Dwarf Baby Tears, but I thought the Monte Carlo would be easier?

Ya know you asked!😄 Most make the mistake of planting too few plants to begin with and then wonder why they are struggling constantly with algae. Actually on the Dwarf Baby Tears I had a lapse considering this is your first planted tank, and you are right the Monte Carlo is easier to grow for beginners, the Dwarf Baby Tears got their name for a reason. If you take a look at my tank in my signature, all those plants went in on day one, granted the crypts multiplied themselves and the rest filled in but I haven't had to buy plants since day one.

Edited by Jungle Fan
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I am in a similar position as you, as I started my first planted tank a few months ago.  I did start out with Water Sprite as one of the plants, and in the beginning it really took off when i was using it to help cycle the tank.  Afterwards, it has not done as well.  It keeps uprooting and the vigorous growth has also stopped.  I have read that it does not like well water, which I do have, so that may be something to keep in mind if your water is like that.

If you are willing to splurge, I will suggest maybe getting a Bucephalandra.  I added one to my first batch of plants, and it really has done well, with a lot of quicker growth then I would have expected.  Just make sure it is one that comes from a tissue culture.  I've had better luck with it then with the Anubias.

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I'm gonna disagree with @Jungle Fan and @Streetwise and strongly recommend you only buy a few plants the first time. This is your first experience with them and you should not spend a lot of money until you understand better what will grow in your environment; else you will waste most of it.

-

As a general rule the following plants are pretty easy to grow:

most aponogeton ( I strongly recommend boivinainus)

most sword plants (I like red flame, melon and rossette among others; avoid purple aflame)

most crypt (tons here a few require very hard water but most are easy wenditi comes in lots of colour and is popular)

most vals (italia val is nice for a tank like yours)

most java fern (don't bury the rhizome)

most anubia (don't bury the rhizome)

and a few other plants mentioned above in this thread.

I would avoid plants with a lot of colour (outside of crypt wenditi red and a few of the swords) as they typically need stronger light and many require co2. 

--

Be aware that many plants will 'melt' the first few months and then regrow so you have to be patient; also some plants come in emersed form; they will keep their emersed leaves for a while and then start growing submersed form and eventually drop the emersed leaves (this can be common with swords).

-

For your first order i would recommend something like:

1 aponogeton boivinainus ( mid center back but not next to the glass)

1 (or 2) crypt wenditti green or red or bronze

3 italia val (unless you dislike that plant) for the sides

a couple of not too expensive anubia of your choice.

-

I'd limit it to around $20 or $25 unless you are just hunkering to spend more. Be aware that some of the pictures in this thread are hi-tech tanks - you won't get that - here is a low tech tank I have:

t2.jpg.cf36fb9e75da4690d8954f8419f76be1.jpg

 

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On 8/11/2021 at 2:16 PM, anewbie said:

I'm gonna disagree with @Jungle Fan and @Streetwise and strongly recommend you only buy a few plants the first time. This is your first experience with them and you should not spend a lot of money until you understand better what will grow in your environment; else you will waste most of it.

-

As a general rule the following plants are pretty easy to grow:

most aponogeton ( I strongly recommend boivinainus)

most sword plants (I like red flame, melon and rossette among others; avoid purple aflame)

most crypt (tons here a few require very hard water but most are easy wenditi comes in lots of colour and is popular)

most vals (italia val is nice for a tank like yours)

most java fern (don't bury the rhizome)

most anubia (don't bury the rhizome)

and a few other plants mentioned above in this thread.

I would avoid plants with a lot of colour (outside of crypt wenditi red and a few of the swords) as they typically need stronger light and many require co2. 

--

Be aware that many plants will 'melt' the first few months and then regrow so you have to be patient; also some plants come in emersed form; they will keep their emersed leaves for a while and then start growing submersed form and eventually drop the emersed leaves (this can be common with swords).

-

For your first order i would recommend something like:

1 aponogeton boivinainus ( mid center back but not next to the glass)

1 (or 2) crypt wenditti green or red or bronze

3 italia val (unless you dislike that plant) for the sides

a couple of not too expensive anubia of your choice.

-

I'd limit it to around $20 or $25 unless you are just hunkering to spend more. Be aware that some of the pictures in this thread are hi-tech tanks - you won't get that - here is a low tech tank I have:

t2.jpg.cf36fb9e75da4690d8954f8419f76be1.jpg

 

Low tech or high tech, does not really play a role in this. A new tank will have an easier start with more plants. I did not always in my 53 years of fishkeeping run pressurized CO2, or Kessil lights. And the image of your tank isn't exactly lightly planted either, however no one is advocating for anyone to exceed their budget, sometimes you've got to pace yourself nothing wrong with that.

@Streetwise 's tanks are low tech and set up according to the Walstad method by the way, and his results with plants speak for themselves. You can see them in his journals.

Edited by Jungle Fan
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Here's the only advice I'm confident of.

Regardless of the species you buy, or how many species, only buy 1 of each for now. There's no way to know what will or won't live in your parameters/lighting/etc until you try it. If something croaks, you didn't waste money on 2 of it. If something thrives, you can buy more. I've tried about 13 species of plants, 5 of which have turned out to be stable in my water, and only 3 of those do I truly enjoy. 3 out of 13! Try a variety. One of each. More happens later.

(Unless you're secretly a zillionaire, and the local food pantry is already well-stocked. 🙂 )

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  • 3 weeks later...

Finally bit the bullet and got some plants! Went to the LFS today (still over an hour drive). Got some Hornwort, and Rotala Indica for the background and 2 Rosette Swords for the mid ground. Now just need something for the foreground, think I still want to try some Monte Carlo, but they only had one that wasn't looking to great.

 

IMG_1949.jpeg

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