Planted Tank Enthusiast
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: CT River Valley, CT, USA
It sounds like you want a planted tank without all of the work that goes into a planted tank.
Your options are pretty limited... your easiest option would be to lower the amount of light on your tank, and change to very slow growing, undemanding plants. You can look at plants like Java Fern, most Crypt species, Buce, Anubias, and mosses. If you don't want to reduce your lighting, you can add floating plants to reduce the amount of light getting to your tank. Plants like Frogbit, Dwarf Water Lettuce, and Duckweed will work for you.
Just keep in mind that your lighting is like the gas pedal on your car. Assuming your car is running, the gas pedal will make it go faster. If you have crappy brakes (spotty fertilization), no power steering (no CO2), and blown shocks (sporadic water changes), then you should expect to crash your car. However, even with crappy brakes, no power steering, and blown shocks, you can make it from A to B without crashing if you drive slowly and pay attention to the road 😃.
The type of plants you're trying to grow is like the road you're trying to drive. Even a 14 year old can drive a crappy car in an abandoned parking lot, but give a Nascar driver a crappy car and tell him to drive at 120mph through city traffic, and he's probably going to wreck.
If you ever think you're too small to make a difference, spend a couple of nights sleeping with a mosquito.
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