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Help! I suck at growing plants

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I have a 40 gallon breeder to setup, it will be a barb tank with 2 schools of Tiger and Odessa barbs and possible some other barbs. My last attempt at growing plants in a 75 gallon tank failed so..

To increase my chances of success, I just want a dense forest of Anacharis and java moss on a wood piece I have for the tank. 

CO2: I will be build my own hood using a sheet of PVC from home depot. One idea I had, glue a piece of PVC pipe to the bottom of the hood which extends into the water and connect a airline tube to it, a DIY CO2 Diffusion Bell. I will use the yeast in a bottle method for CO2 generation. This may not be needed to grow Anacharis but I will add it just in case. 

Substrate: In a 75 gallon tank I just broke down, I was shock at the amount detritus that got trap under the non-removable hardscape. I vacuumed the gravel every water change (so easy, just run the hose out the window) but I couldn't vacuum everywhere.  Use sand instead of gravel is an option but I don't want a light substrate. If successful, I will not be able to vacuum the gravel in the Anacharis forest and will get a build of detritus in these area. So I worry about this? Will the detritus become fertilizer for the Anacharis?

Second option, I can glue down a PVC divider wall on the bottom of the tank and have a 100% gravel section in back with sand/gravel mix in front. 

Any opinion are wlecomed.


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I’ve found java moss, java fern, Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus and crypts very easy to grow.  The java fern and crypts will die back at first and then grow in fine.  Java moss just grows as does the Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus.  I’m not using any CO2 and just a stingray 2 for light. I’m not even dosing ferts.  

I use gravel substrate in all 3 of my tanks and they are all planted and doing pretty well.  You shouldn’t need co2 for the plants you named.  JMO. 

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Like fish, our plants need to eat too. The fish waste alone should be enough to fertilize the moss and the anacharis. Though if you want significant growth (the forest look) and/or want to add more plants, you might want to introduce external fertilizers. With fish waste as the potential limiting factor, the plants will only grow with the available supply of food--in this case fish waste. Like me at ayce kbbq, I'll continue to eat and get big because the supply is endless. Our plants are the same ;) 

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On 6/26/2023 at 3:07 PM, malk_keblai said:

The fish waste alone should be enough to fertilize the moss and the anacharis. 

Thanks, I am going to use gravel which I already have. I may put in a divider wall in the gravel to separate the plant section. I can vacuum the front section and not worry about the build up of detritus in the planted section. This is a barb tank so I need lots of open swimming space in the front. 

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