Beginner freshwater plants - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 2 (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 2 (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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beginner, freshwater, schooling fish, tropical, water quality

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