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I'm very new to the hobby (2 months) and I've been learning as much as I can about guppies. I just love the little guys, both the color and their 'spunkiness'. I struggle to keep the 'big chain' fish alive. I've had some success with getting a few fry out of them but often experience the death of pregnant females. I've read that adding more plants will help with cover (using plastic square things right now) and water quality. So I'm putting together my 2nd Aquarium Coop order and was needing a recommendation on a live plant to add.

I have a small breeder tank (10g) that I'm using while I wait for my 20L to get up and running. Once it's ready it'll all go in the 20L.

The only requirements I have are:

  • Low light friendly.
  • Good for guppy fry. (I have a few Marimo moss balls in there now).
  • Grows well in an Easy Planter. (No substrate in the tank, I don't want to mask my overfeeding mistakes etc. Still learning)
  • Grows well with just Easy Green All-in-One fertilizer.

Apologies if this is old hat or newbie stuff. Thank you for reading this and any info would be appreciated.


P.S.: I'm a huge fan of Cory. I was inspired to start from his videos and I really appreciate all he does for the hobby.

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I just recently got into plants as well. I haven't had an easy planter before, but here are a few of my suggestions:

  • Crytocoryne species. They are great low light plants that come in a variety of colors (red, bronze, greed, pink). Different species grow different sizes. I would recommend Cryptocoryne wedtii (great for foreground and very hardy, mine thrives and sends out runners in pool filter sand with no fertilizer except fish poop), but I heard many accounts from other people of Cryptocoryne lutea being their favorite.
  • Vallisneria or Sagittaria species. They are both quickly reproducing plants, forming a wall of green in your aquarium. Vallisneria looks more like seaweed or seagrass (but better), and Sagittaria looks like terrestrial grass. The former grows taller and the latter is smaller, and they are good for low-light tanks.
  • Java Fern: this is a great plant, the one I recommend for beginners, and can grow in almost anything. I've planted mine on wood, rocks, gravel, and pool filter sand, and it does fine in all. So I would say it would do fine in an easy planter.
  • Floating plants are great too, as you don't need a planter or substrate. You could do guppy grass, water sprite, water wisteria, water lettuce, amazon frogbit, redroot floaters, or even duckweed (but this clogs the filter, I wouldn't recommend it).
  • Other plants that I haven't kept yet but I heard people have recommend are anubias species, which grow similar to Java fern.

But that's my suggestions. About the substrate problem, I wouldn't be too worried about excess food in the aquarium. Guppies will eat a lot of food, and will pick around in the substrate for more. Of course, with the addition of plants comes snails, which are a great clean up crew (if you don't like snails, try Corydoras catfish or kuhli loaches, both of which are scavengers, but also require dedicated feeding). So in my opinion, substrate wouldn't hurt at all.

Hope this helps.

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Since you don't have substrate your best options are going to be floating plants and epiphytes. 

ACO sells java fern and anubias, but for fry hiding places it is hard to beat hornwort or guppy grass. Also water lettuce has long feathery roots that can be good hiding places. So can a pile of rocks with cracks and crevices left between them. Java moss is another great fry plant that doesn't root.


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Yup! Second everything that's been said. You'll do very well with Java Ferns, Java Moss, Anubias, Hornwort, and Guppy Grass. Luckily these are all extremely common, low-light, and more or less carefree. Sometimes it feels like there are way more aquarium plants that DON'T want to be planted in substrate than do.

I also agree that you might still want to give them some rocks or other hardscape features to play around. One of the many great things about anubias and java ferns is you can straight up superglue em to rocks and wood and they're fine. But what I more often do is use plant weights, which are kind of like big smooth metal twist ties that wrap around your plant or bouquet of hornwort and that'll help them sink to the bottom and more or less stay put.

Enjoy! And welcome from another huge fan of livebearers 🙂

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CorydorasEthan, thanks! I love snails. 🙂. I'll start looking at your suggestions immediately.

Brandy, thank you also. I'll add your suggestions to my research.

Kristen, you just blew my mind. I did not know you could use super glue in the tank. Thank you for your info as well!

Levi_Aquatics, thank you for your info! I hadn't heard of water sprite

Thank you all sincerely for your suggestions. I appreciate you taking the time to help me and for being so welcoming!

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