Start with a few plants or just go for it? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-04-2012, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Start with a few plants or just go for it?

Planning to put plants in my tank soon (if my driftwood ever gets boiled enough) and I was wondering what everyone's opinion is when you are a new person starting up a planted tank; i.e., should I start with a few plantings and then add as I go, or go ahead and plan it all out and buy them all at once?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-04-2012, 11:56 PM
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I would say plant as many as you can and get your aquascape idea before you start. I started with quite a few plants but didnt really scape, then added more which made it look kinda funny since nothing was scaped to begin with. Now im tearing it all down to start over again because it will be easier to scape and get it looking pretty.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 12:12 AM
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Get as many as you can afford. Stuff it full from the beginning.

I would run the tank & equipment long enough to iron out equipment issues (few days, should be less than a week), and get the fishless cycle started.
Then drain, plant and refill.
Continue the fishless cycle (I'll bet it finishes REALLY FAST after adding the plants!)
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 12:38 AM
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+1
I add as many fast growing 'cheap' plants as would fit wall to wall.
Once you tank stabilizes, you can dispose of the plants you do not want and start adding more 'interesting' ones.

Water wisteria, water sprite, hygrophilias, pennywort are all good, nutrient-hungry plants. They also like to break the surface and that gives them an extra survival edge.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 01:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OVT View Post
+1
I add as many fast growing 'cheap' plants as would fit wall to wall.
Once you tank stabilizes, you can dispose of the plants you do not want and start adding more 'interesting' ones.

Water wisteria, water sprite, hygrophilias, pennywort are all good, nutrient-hungry plants. They also like to break the surface and that gives them an extra survival edge.
+1. New tanks are more prone to algae and less stable for growing plants. So it's wise to not spend big bucks on expensive plants until the tank has matured. However, a tank needs to be fully planted from the very start or it will be even more prone to algae and harder to get to the point of being stable. So it's a catch-22. The solution is to stuff the tank full from the very beginning, using lots of fast growing inexpensive plants. Once the tank matures and stabilizes, then you can swap out the cheap plants for plants you like better.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 07:50 AM
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Plant heavily from day 1!


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A heavily planted shrimp tank is possible!
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 09:02 AM
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Plant all you can plant in the first day. Plants such as cryptocrynes can be added after the initial stocking. also plants need some adjustment and enstablishment period. Better ad them now.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 09:40 AM
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+1000 to all of the above.

I planted slowly because I was being picky and now I'm battling back.
Not worth it!

~Kelli
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 10:30 AM
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Some driftwood might just never boil enough to sink so you might want to just consider putting a rock on top of it. Yea it's not pretty but maybe you could put some anubias on the rock heh.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 12:29 PM
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+1000 to all of the above.

I planted slowly because I was being picky and now I'm battling back.
Not worth it!

~Kelli
Can you please expand on this reply?

What does "battling back" mean?
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 04:26 PM
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Can you please expand on this reply?

What does "battling back" mean?
Sounds like his/her tank has algae issues. This can easily happen when you don't have enough in the tank to combat algae.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 04:32 PM
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Typically I agree on all of the above. Plant as much as you can afford as stated. If you can't afford an overly stocked tank of plants, save up until you can. But don't go for the attractive ones just yet.

On the side note, this may not be a great idea. Why? What substrate are you running. If your doing a soil tank, this may be quite difficult as you would end up uprooting all your cheap plants for ones you really want. If not done carefully, this can be a nightmare. It would be better to do the DSM (dry start method) instead. On any other substrate you should be fine to swap plants when needed. Caution still needs to be in mind for you want to leave the substrate undisturbed as much as possible.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 07:06 PM
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While I don't use a soil substrate, it should still be possible to change out the plants on a tank with a soil substrate. You'd just have to change them out slowly, doing only a few at a time. Since it is the nature of planted tanks to uproot and replant plants on an ongoing basis, all tanks need to have this ability or the tank will have problems in the long run. This is one of my concerns when I see people using substrates with "caps". Unless they're only using plants that don't actually get planted in the substrate (anubias, ferns, mosses), they're going to have to uproot and replant their plants at some point which will mess up their cap. But then if someone was only using non-planted plants like the ones I mentioned, what would be the point of using a dirt substrate in the first place?

When uprooting any plant, I find it's possible to minimize the amount of crud kicked up into the water column. First, plunge the tweezers into the substrate where the roots should be. Then twist the tweezers in a circular fashion to release the roots from the substrate while they're still buried. Don't lift the plant up yet. Once the roots are freed, then start lifting up the plant, slowly, using your hand to remove the substrate from the roots as they come up. This keeps the crud in that small area. Keep pulling up and removing the substrate from the roots until you get to the end of the roots. Now you should be able to pull the entire plant out without causing a big mess. This process is actually very easy and quite fast and causes very little crud to be thrown into the water column.

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