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Plant Packs

943 Views 10 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  JenThePlantGeek
What do you guys think about these plant packs people sell? Has anyone had great luck with getting nice fresh plants? I feel like your pretty much rolling the dice with them... Im also wondering about good plants for a starter. Ive got a 46 gallon. Two nice chunks of drift wood and a fake rock with holes in it to hide. Im using eco complete sand and I laid a fine layer of first layer down for the plants. Thanks in advance for the advice!!!
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Are you talking about plant packs people sell on this forum?

This isn't true of every seller, but generally you're going to get a MUCH better quantity and quality at a MUCH lower price here than you'd get from any store.

You know the plants are grown submerged, are fresh out of the tank, and you know the person responsible for growing them is available to ask questions of. Most stores selling plants buy them in bulk from plant farms down in Florida, and don't know too much about the conditions under which they were grown.

Honestly, I might never buy plants from a store again when I have such a huge collection of dedicated hobbyists to buy plants from and trade with locally, there's just no match.
This is really the best place to get plants- from other hobbyists. 95% of the purchases I have made here are fantastic- better than expected!

That being said, there will always be one or two people who think their stuff is worth more than it actually is, or will send sub-par quality plants. They are the exception.

Just make sure you ask questions about quantity and size you will be receiving so there is no confusion. Ask specifically about any algae they may have in the tank and if your worried about snails make sure you ask. Ask questions about how they will ship- I have had people charge me $5 for shipping, and assumed it would be shipped priority, just to get mush in the mail two weeks later with 59 cents of stamps on it.

Check a sellers PTrader rating, and check their history of posts. If you notice they are starting threads complaining of algae problems, you may want to avoid it. See if they have a tread devoted to their tank and look at the pictures of the source of your plants. See if they are posting in other forums besides just swap and shop. If you're not sure, drop a PM to another member who has left feedback and ask specific questions about the volume and quality of plants, and the shipping technique used.

The swap and shop is by FAR the best place to buy plants IMO, just use some common sense and ask questions so you know what to expect.
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I did not know you could buy plants on this forum. How would I go about getting a pack for my 46?? Thanks
Like Jen said, if youre talking about plants from the members here, I can say I've bought plants from 3 members and I've been more than satisfied.

The quality/quantity of the plants I received were way beyond anything I could have went out and purchased locally for the same price. (I couldnt have even found them locally)

I also agree with Jen on the possibly never purchasing plants from a store. For one I never see too many decent plants here locally, secondly I would rather give up my dollar to a forum member than to an LFS in hopes of helping them offset their hobby expenses or just getting that new gadget or gizmo that we all seem to have our eyes on.
Freshwater Architect - look at the "Swap and Shop" section, and post what you're wanting to buy.

Be specific, and maybe give some tank parameters that aren't in your signature (substrate, if you have CO2 or not, that sort of thing).

You may have to buy from a few different sources to get as many plants as you need, but even with the $5 extra for shipping, you're still doing better than you would be going to a store.

Winter isn't the BEST time to ship, if plants freeze then they die, but a lot of hobbyists will have styro-insulation or heat packs to ship with. Find people on the east coast if you can (there are plenty of them) and watch the weather. I hear Massachusetts at least is in for a good storm pretty soon - keep that in mind!
Thank you guys so much. Its hard to find good honest advice sometimes. Thats why im here. I do not trust the people at the LFS. I will be heading to swap N shop very soon... Could you guys recomend some plants for a starter. I know im interested in HC for ground cover. I need some tall grassy looking plants for the back corners and I would love a red plant for color... Thanks again!!!!!
Vallisneria a good grassy-looking plant, grows well for me and doesn't mind harder water. I have the V. americana.

For reds, I like Crypticoryne wendtii 'red' or Nymphaea zenkeri (red tiger lotus). Rotala rotundifolia and Ludwigia repens are both good stem plants that get reddish tips and are easy to grow too. The brighter the light, the more red the tips tend to be (especially if you keep your nitrate slightly lower).

You might also consider some type of moss for your driftwood, java fern (Microsorum pteropus), and Anubias sp. - great for starters, easy, and readily available.

What's your tap water like?
Im not sure I read a local report that said there were no violations of Arsenic, Copper, Fluoride, Nitrate. Im not sure what I should be looking for or testing. What is it that I should be checking????
oh and no lead...
Basically if your water is hard (high gH and kH) and if the pH comes out higher or lower. Knowing the amount of nitrate, phosphate and potassium naturally present in the water can be useful too.
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