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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to convert my current cichlid set up into a low tech planted aquarium.

This is the current look of the tank:



I really like the look of the white play sand and limestone native to this area.

Would low tech plants work in play sand? What are some recommendations on plants that you personally know would grow well in sand?

Thanks in advance for the help.

Also, for the record, I have painted the back tank wall black since this picture.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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If you want to stick with the limerock in your tank, it would be a good idea to pick plants that can grow in very hard water. Java ferns, Vallisnarias, Java ferns, Java moss, Anubias... those same plants are also hardy even under low lighting and most likely to survive without needing to upgrade your current light fixture. Only the Vals would need to be planted in the sand, the rest do best tied onto the rocks or some driftwood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
leave the rock scape the same... leave the sand... and do a java fern FOREST.. it will look ill as a pill...
That's kind of what I was thinking. I can plant java fern right in the sand correct? I know a lot of times you attach them to driftwood or rock, but could I plant them in the background in the sand?
 

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You can use superglue to attach some java ferns onto the rocks. Personally I would remove some of those rocks and add some driftwood - there's an awful lot of rock in that tank takng up an awful lot of space.
 

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I also like the idea of planting around the rock structure that is there, it would be a very unique kind of planted aquarium.

If you want to use java ferns along the back wall in the substrate you could also glue the plants to small rocks, just large enough to help the plants sink to the bottom but small enough not to be too noticeable, especially once the plants take off, then they will likely root into the sand and the rhizome will grow along the substrate surface. This might be a slightly easier option than trying to get the roots buried well enough to keep the plant in place while leaving the rhizome above the substrate.
 

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forget the crazy glue.. go get lead plant weights, wrap a small bit around rhizome so it will just sink down and stay on the bottom... put a little sand around it and you are good to go.
 
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