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ed gibbs

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I have a 30 gl aquarium that measures 36x12 that i want to plant. I want  1/2 of it to be carpet and the rest to be medium and tall , i also have some rocks. How many plants should i  buy and what type? I have excellent  lighting but no CO2 at this time. Thankyou  Ed

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I’m not sure if you have a specific look or scape in mind. I can recommend a few YouTube channels for ideas.

Do you want to start the tank with a full nearly grown-in look? This is the more expensive, but also (I find) easier way to start if you have grown plants before and have a good team of algae eaters like amano shrimp and nerite snails.  If this is the case, buy as many as you can afford, keeping in mind many species can be propagated to fill in the tank more each month.

Another route to go, if you’ve new to plants, is to buy 1 of 5-6 species and see which ones thrive in your tank. Then buy more of those specific species.  What I don’t like about this method is the tank can look a bit empty for a while, also without many plants, algae might be able to outcompete for nutrients and light. Frequent water changes and a shortened light schedule can help with that. Also snails 🙂

I have found tissue culture plants to be a good deal - more expensive, but many individual plants inside. Of course, they aren’t very big, so they’ll take time to grow. On the upside, though, they are algae and pest snail free). 

Carpet plant ideas:

Dwarf sagittaria

Pearl weed (trim frequently at 1-2 inches high and it will spread horizontally)

• H. Tenellum / E. Tenellus

Hydrocotyle tripartita Japan

Cryptocoryne parva


Plants that are medium height:

• anubias

• Java fern 

• Bolbitis

• Cryptocorynes like wendtii or Tropica 


Tall plants:

• Valisneria (different species but also grow pretty tall except nana)

•  Cyperus helferi

• Swords

Honestly for more info, check out the info and pics on Aquarium Coop’s shop. You can even see customer reviews. I also like how Tropica has plant lists searchable by light intensity / ease of care.

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