Is Petsmart a good place for aquatic plants?
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:14 AM   #1
Kittielovesmikal
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Is Petsmart a good place for aquatic plants?


I must admit, I kinda jumped headfirst into this, but I need a plant to help my angelfish survive until I can get more suitable tank for him. I was wondering if PetsMart was a good place to look, or is it like Wal Mart with fish, sickly and dying?
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:29 AM   #2
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A plant likely isn't going to help your fish survive. What's wrong with it? Can you post photos?

Beyond that, as a new person to the hobby, we'll need to know all the parameters of your tank:

pH
Ammonia
Nitrite
Nitrate
Temperature

And if you have them:
KH
GH

How long has the tank been set up? What kind of lighting are you using? What are the dimensions of the tank? What kind of filtration?
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:26 PM   #3
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I already know I was wrong in believing the starter set. I was under the impression that it did not need to cycle. In fact, the instructions didn't say anything about cycling. Trying to lower the pH, and provide a safe hiding place for him. I know there is ammonia present, I'm waiting for the store to open so I can get some SeaChem Regulator to keep the GH pH at more suitable level, and was also told that live plants improve the overall quality of the water. I'm told they absorb some ammonia and nitrites, which always sounds good. Obviously, they produce more oxygen for the fish. I don't know what KH means, but GH was somewhere around 200-225. pH was high approx. 7.6 or 7.8. I'm going to maintain the starter tank at 7.0, but his next tank will be lower, around 6.5 or so. Right now, I've got a towel around the tank to keep him a little more relaxed.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:40 PM   #4
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I'm also using an included undergravel filter, and am going to get new lighting for the plant. It's just an LED light that colors. Wasn't being picky, but I realize now that I should've been more meticulous. I was more concerned with getting the fish out of its mortifying surroundings. And the guy that got him for us didn't know anything about fish either, because he would've told me I needed an ammonia test kit. Lucky for Dante, I realized that's his main problem. I'm being really careful to monitor his behavior and the levels in the tank. I'm currently using the Tetra SafeStart to help promote a little nitrifying bacteria, and the AquaSafe conditioner the starter kit came with. He's not eating, but I'm not too worried about that yet, because he's not feeling too good right now. I hope he can hold out a little longer for me to do a water change and implement some of the SeaChem, to help improve the levels. Never jumping in headfirst again! I'm determined not to let my lil guy die though, so here I am. I also have an account on My Aquarium Club. I could use all the help I can get.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:48 PM   #5
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Water changes will do more for ammonia levels in an uncycled tank than a plant. Unless you get lots of plants. Get a good liquid test kit and change water until your ammonia is at 0 ppm.

As for the original question I usually see larger or higher quantities of the same plant sold at my LFS for about half the price of petsmart. Try looking for an LFS near you that sells plants.
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Old 08-12-2013, 01:04 PM   #6
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Yeah, I've been doing 30% changes once a day, to try and control the ammonia levels. Thanks, I'll probably have to drive across town. The closest one has bad reviews. If you're ever in San Antonio, I probably wouldn't recommend Alamo Aquatic Pets. Too many customers said that the associates ignore the customers, and one even went so far as to say that he almost into a fight with one. Another said he called the owner to complain, but the owner said he didn't give a crap about his business. Some said the service was fine,, but the majority was bad.
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Old 08-12-2013, 02:14 PM   #7
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30% water changes once a day are not sufficient if there is ammonia in your tank. Even a barely detectable amount can kill your fish. You're probably looking at multiple 50% changes every day to keep ammonia as close to 0 as possible. You need to base your changes on water tests... test for ammonia, if present change water and retest. Repeat until Ammonia is no longer detectable. Treat with Prime to help. Once your ammonia is staying at 0, start testing everything... ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Once you reach 0-0-0 (or 0-0->20) you're good to go. Then just do a small water change whenever nitrate reaches 20-40 ppm (usually once or twice a week for new tanks).

I wouldn't worry too much about the SeaChem Regulator... pH should generally be left alone and most fish do fine over a wide range of pH. If you start dumping chemicals in to fix something that isn't really an issue you're just stressing the fish further. You can't reliably change your pH without adding something to the tank to help it buffer out at a certain point. Since you're obviously new to aquariums, just leave the pH alone... it will be fine.

A plant will help with water quality, but it's not a miracle worker and will take weeks to make much of a difference. A single plant is not likely to do much on it's own.
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Old 08-12-2013, 02:19 PM   #8
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Don't bother with the buffers (ever) or plants (yet), spend your money on a big bottle of tetra safestart or nite-out and some seachem prime (petsmart or petco carries both, only these 2 products don't bother with others). Add the bacterial start after a large water change then don't do anything. If the ammonia gets too high add a little prime to convert it too ammonium (which is still available to bacteria)
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Old 08-12-2013, 03:25 PM   #9
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IMO petsmart is good for frets and medicines and food and what not its usually cheaper then the lfs. And plant wise I would also check out Aquabid.com I got a ton of plants for my 140g from a user named Mikeswetpets on aquabid. Came quick and awesome and quality. I recommend a lot of anubias and plants with rhizomes and barwroots they suck up a lot more of problem nutes. And they are low light so they would work with your LEDs as well. I would also just tie some anubias to some driftwood. The wood will lower your ph some naturally too. Not a whole lot but some. And I recommend Seachem Stability. (bacteria supplement) along with seachem prime. The prime will keep your fish alive and comfortable if used correctly. It will kill the ammonia daily.
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Old 08-12-2013, 03:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lipadj46 View Post
Don't bother with the buffers (ever) or plants (yet), spend your money on a big bottle of tetra safestart or nite-out and some seachem prime (petsmart or petco carries both, only these 2 products don't bother with others). Add the bacterial start after a large water change then don't do anything. If the ammonia gets too high add a little prime to convert it too ammonium (which is still available to bacteria)
I second this. I didn't cycle my tank correctly either when I started up again a few months ago. At some point, after the tank had been running for more than a month, I think a re-initiated the cycle by redoing my aquascape. I could tell that my fish were struggling. I bought a bottle of Tetra Safestart and saw immediate improvement from my fish, and everything has been good since then (other than dealing with ich).
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Old 08-12-2013, 04:35 PM   #11
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As far as plants at PetSmart, they are fine but do your homework first.

The ones sold in tubes are perfectly fine. I would avoid anything sold in their tanks because of their shared filtration systems..

One thing that REALLY irks me about PetSmart is how they label their plants, they sell a lot of terrestrial or semi-aquatic plants that simply cannot survive submerged.

I would find plants you like and then whip out your smartphone and Google them to make sure they are true aquatic plants.
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Old 08-12-2013, 04:43 PM   #12
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Petsmart is getting better and better with plants. They even have dwarf hairgrass and Downoi! I have had very good results with their plants.
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lipadj46 View Post
Don't bother with the buffers (ever) or plants (yet), spend your money on a big bottle of tetra safestart or nite-out and some seachem prime (petsmart or petco carries both, only these 2 products don't bother with others). Add the bacterial start after a large water change then don't do anything. If the ammonia gets too high add a little prime to convert it too ammonium (which is still available to bacteria)


thats the best way to go. the safestart is basically the good bacteria the cycle creates, but in a bottle. do a big water change, and dose the safestart (also dose prime if you are using tap water) i belive the safestart is 1 ml per gallon, so a 10g tank would need 10mls, and don't worry the cap on safestart is marked so you can measure.

then down the road if you do a water change you only need to dose the safestart for the water you remove. so if you take out 5g you would need to dose 5ml, 2g would be 2ml.
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Old 08-31-2013, 05:19 PM   #14
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look into microbactor7 by brightwells it will help get you threw new tank syndrome . use as directed on the side for new tanks
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Old 08-31-2013, 05:27 PM   #15
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definitely purchase the terta safestart (fairly inexpensive at walmarts) and the seachem prime. the prime will temoprarily convert the ammonia into safe products for your fish and will allow your newly added bacteria from the safestart to eat the ammonia up. water changes are still important with monitoring.
and what size is the tank? filtration?
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