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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody!
I am quiet the novice in this field (long time reader, first time asker :hihi:), so any help/experiences would be great. Sorry if this is put in the wrong area or if I do something wrong!

Here's my situation:
I have a pet turtle and want to grow some aquatic plants for him to eat.
I have a list of plants that I can feed her (there might be others I can use too (any help with that would also be great)):

Ruffled Sword (Echinodorus martii )
Broad Chain Sword (Echinodorus quadracostatus)
Queen of Hearts (Echinodorus horizontalis)
Broad Amazon Sword (Echinodorus bhleri)
Amazon Sword (Echinodorus amazonicus)
Penny wort Green(Lysimachia nummumlaria)
Pennywort Gold (L.n.aurea)
Giant Milfoil (Myriophyllum scabratum)
Lake Water Milfoil (M. salsugineum)
Broad-leaved Milfoil (M.amphibium)
Mat watermilfoil (M.pedunculatum)
Egeria densa (looks like Elodea)
Hornwort (Ceratophillum demersum)
Cabomba (C.carolineana)
Stone wort or Musk grass (Chara fibrosa and Chara corallina)
Nitella congesta
Azolla (floating native fern)(Azolla pinnata)
Smooth Nardoo (Marsilea mutica)
Narrow leaf Nardoo (M.costulifera)
Common Nardoo (M. drummondii)
Short-fruit Nardoo (M.hirsuta)
Curled pondweed (Potamogeton crispus)
Blunt Pondweed (P.ochreatus)
Perfoliate Pondweed (P.perfoliatus)
Bronze Bacopa (Bacopa amplexicailis)
Laceplant (Aponogeton elongatus)
Qld Laceplant (A.queenslandicus)
Water Lettuce (Pistia stratioides)
Common Watercress (Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum)

What I would like help with is finding a good selection of plants for the one tank (similar needs, etc.) whilst still being extremely easy for me to maintain. (fast growers as well.)
Again, I am pretty new to this and there is probably a heap of information out there already; any links would be appreciated!

For the set up I am going to try and be really cheap (bare with me).
I am going to use our soil from my area and maybe some small rocks mixed in as a substrate as well. I have heard that a lot of people have had good experiences with normal soil. I understand about the risk of algae and ammonia but this is going to be a purely planted tank, so unless it hurts the plants or makes a really big mess, it wouldn't really matter I suppose?

The soil where I live is really good quality by the way. I was thinking the substrate could be part clay, part normal soil, part small rocks. (possibly add some charcoal??) Mixed together or layered?

I was thinking of using amazon swords?

I also have a goldfish I could add but I understand that they eat the roots. I would also like to buy some small feeder fish too. I was thinking guppies but if someone has any better ideas I am open to that too.

The planted tank is extremely small in size (15L or 4Gal) but hopefully that's ok because all I want is plants in this tank (have another tank for fish but I guess I could add the fish as well). This is basically going to be a growing tank, so I can take what I need to feed.

I will put in DIY CO2 as well (once the plants are established, or right away?)
If I filter the tank, it will be airaded but would air injection help too?

I don't have a lot of fancy lighting but I have two canopy hood tube fluorescents. I will use them both.
One is 20W and I am not sure about the other but it's physically bigger and omits a light purple light. Plus they will get tons of natural light. I could even put the tank outside if I needed to?
What's the go with full spectrum lighting? For a cheap 'feeder' tank, will I need it? (I assume full spectrum is including UV? I am not sure)

I have none but I could get some if I needed to. Preferably I could get hardy plants and leave my tank inside. (as long as it doesn't need more light or smells really bad!)

If I get too many plants (doubt it) I can also put them in two half wine barrels outside. I could even put the plants in that first I guess. However they may get cold and may not be able to get filtered water. I could probably work something out though.

Hopefully that's everything I need to mention?

I asked a lot of questions but I basically want info on the plants and what should be used together but if anyone has anything to add with the other parts, I am all ears.

Probably not ideal set up but it's what I've got. I live near an extinct volcano and that's why my soil is great. Hopefully it does the job. I realize that the soil will have to be changed yearly as well if I use CO2.

One last thing, where should I buy the plants from? I doubt LFS's will have any plants. I am thinking eBay if I can.

Thanks a lot!
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