Beginner freshwater plants - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Beginner freshwater plants

I've raised fish before (a school of zebra danios in a 10-gallon tank), but never with live plants. I'm planning to repopulate the tank with danios, guppies, gouramis, or some other small, peaceful, schooling fish.

Am looking for freshwater plants that are 1) low-maintenance for a beginner, and 2) can regulate/improve tank water quality for fish (ammonia, nitrate, nitrate, etc.).
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 07:36 AM
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First off, you'll need a fully-cycled tank to regulate ammonia/nitrite/nitrate, so make sure to read up on fishless cycling and the nitrite cycle if you're not familiar.

10g isn't really long enough for danios as they need length to swim around in. All male guppies or endlers would be lovely though. Dwarf gouramis can be hit and miss due to aggression and the iridovirus.

Now for the plants:
-Cryptocoryne species are great, slow growing plants that can be planted in the substrate. The vast majority do not require high light or high nutrient levels and can usually be found in any lfs. They go through a period of "melt" when first added to a new tank, but will bounce back.
-Echinodorus/Sword species grow quite large for a 10g, but are easy and hardy
-Vallis is another popular plant and grows quite quickly, although it needs more light than the previous two species listed.
-Anubias species are slow growing plants that must be attached to wood, rocks, or ornaments. They don't need high light.
-Java fern is same as the above, another lovely plant.
-Red tiger lotuses can be bought as bulbs and either trimmed into a bushy plant or left to grow lily pads at the surface. These require a bit more light and nutrients.
-Water lettuce is a great floating plant, although it will black light from reaching any plants below it. Roots can be trimmed if they get too long, but fish love them.
-Marimo moss balls grow super slowly but are pretty cute and hardy.

None of the plants listed above require CO2, but would benefit from a little fertiliser every week. Hope this helps!

Edit: Oh, and some more general info;
-Any red plant will probably require high light, nutrients, and CO2 to keep the colour, and may die without these.
-Any stripy plant is almost certainly a terrestrial plant and will die after a few months in the aquarium.
-Have a quick look at the plant section of your lfs and google the ones you're interested in before purchasing - you'll save a lot of money only buying plants that will survive
-There's a huge selection of plants online, on sites like amazon, on this forum, and on specialist online websites.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 07:03 AM
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For stem plants, I had no issues with Ludwigia repens, Water Wisteria and Moneywort. My personal favorite of the bunch I listed, is Ludwigia repens. Super easy plant, may need to be pruned for it aggressive growth.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 05:05 PM
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I've found rotala macranda to be fairly tolerant, and it is easy to keep an appropriate size in a 10g. Ludwigia ovalis grows fast, but is also really tough. Good old anacharis/elodea is a long-time staple for a reason too; it's cheap, easy and slurps up nitrates.

If you want a ground cover, laliopsis is pretty forgiving, as is marsilea.

Rosette swords are virtually indestructible, and stay small. Vesuvius swords also stay appropriate sized for your tank, and are quite hardy. Some of the smaller ozelot sword hybrids, such as Yellow Sun, would make a lovely centerpiece plant in a 10g. I'd supply root tabs for the swords though so they don't start to look shaggy after a couple months.

If you want a tallish (for a 10g), grassy plant, dwarf sag is good for a tank your size. Chain sword is good too, just be advised you'll need to control runners unless you want a 4" tall lawn across the entire bottom (which could actually look great, and would be an effective way to maintain nitrates between PWC's).

+1 on dwarf lillies if you can give them root tabs.

Don't overlook java moss as a good nitrogen sink that is simple to grow. I use it extensively in fry and quarantine tanks, and also use nets of it in newer tanks while the young plants establish to help keep water stable. It's actually very pretty attached to hardscape, and trimming can be used to maintain the desired size. With some plastic mesh, you can make a back moss wall too that both keeps water cleaner and provides a good background.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 08:08 PM
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java fern
java moss
peacock moss
limnophila heterophylla
dwarf sagittaria
rotala rotundifolia
jungle val
bacopa caroliniana
bacopa monnieri
crypt wendtii
crypt beckettii
crypt undulata
creeping jenny
hornwort
bolbitis heudelotii
ludwigia repens

floating plants:
red root floaters
dwarf water lettuce
duckweed
greater duckweed
salvinia minima
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Last edited by Starwarsfan; 05-27-2019 at 08:09 PM. Reason: added
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 01:14 AM
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Hygrophila corymbosa compacta is great, easy plant for 10gal size aquarium.

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beginner, freshwater, schooling fish, tropical, water quality

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