Planting in a sandy alkaline tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-29-2008, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Planting in a sandy alkaline tank


I was recommended to post my question here and am hoping someone will be able to help. I currently have a 120l tank housing N. Brevis shell dwellers (not likely to eat the plants) with a 2226 Eheim filter, 2x 2ft T5 lighting connectors (light tubes can be changed), a coral sand substrate with a rocky background. I would like to put some plants in, though am not sure what I can go with? The pH of the water is around 8 with a temperature 24-26 degrees celcius. Would I need to change / supplement my substrate and/or add CO2, or are there plants out there that would fare well in my current tank conditions?

I haven't kept plants in a tank before so any advice will be muchly appreciated!

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-29-2008, 03:21 PM
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Welcome to TPT!

In general plants like much softer, acidic water (that's why you don't see too many planted cichlid tanks) but it can be done... 8.0 is pretty hard however; you might try some java fern, java moss, and/or anubias tied on driftwood, and perhaps some vallisnerias in pots and see how they do. I wouldn't plant anything directly into the coral substrate. These are some of the hardiest plants- if they won't make it then probably nothing else will either?

These plants don't need high lighting or CO2- so you could consider them your "trial run," and if they make it, consider upgrading to more difficult plants (and CO2, etc) down the road...

There's a few planted tanks in the Photo forum that were done with African cichlids- you might run an advanced search on that forum, and look for those journals to get some tips?

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-29-2008, 03:22 PM
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Having a look at my tank, specs, and species might help you: Tangquility.

You don't need to change substrate or add co2 to add plants if you want to add a few easy-to-keep plants in there. You could, but having a full-on planted tank (foreground, etc.) with shellies seems unnatural and would be difficult to balance the fish's needs with that of the plants. I'd vote low tech. The species in my post work well. Also, poke around on Tropica and APC Plantfinder for other species that do well in hardwater. Wisteria in particular is doing great in my tank.

No need for pots in my opinion. Many assume they are needed (I did), but my experience runs contrary to this assumption. Just intelligent plant and shell placement.

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