Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Plant your barebottom/thin substrate tank!


kazaba

My 75 gallon tank has been pretty much completely empty for 7 months... I bought it, spread a VERY thin layer of gravel (you can see the glass bottom in most places), and that's about it. The fish loved the open swimming space, but I've since wanted to add some character to the tank. My fish are really clumsy, so I wanted to just stick with plants... that means no rocks/driftwood to tie the plants down to.

So, what do you do if you have a barebottom tank or an extremely thin layer of gravel/river rock? Use suction cups! :)

I purchased a few packs of these suction cups which are normally used to hold thermometers in place:

71999733-260x260-0-0_Marina+Marina+Marina+Thermometer+Black+Suction+Cup.jpg

When I got my plants, they came with anchors like this which can be gently wrapped around the base of the plant:

ffdfa5ab30ea243600113b6f67b547ca.jpg

While these anchors are helpful in keeping plants at the bottom, they aren't great at keeping them in place! Especially when you've got curious goldfish trying to eat them. That's where the suction cups come into play. To attach the plants to the suction cups, you simply loop the anchor through the suction cup in a way so that the cup will hold the plant upright, and gently wrap it around the base of the plant:

plants.jpg The suction cups are very small, about the size of a nickel, so they are easily hidden. Either rotate so that the suction cup loop is behind the plant, OR hide the base with some gravel/ a few river rocks. As the plants grow, this set up can be very easily modified to accommodate.

I will soon add pictures of what this looks like in my tank. I'm very impressed with how well it worked; you can't even see the suction cups! I know there are many people here who keep barebottom tanks, and I've seen very creative ways of including live plants in these set ups. I think this is a great additional option for those who want the plants, but maybe not necessarily the large ornaments usually needed to anchor them.

I hope this is helpful! If anyone has any other tips/ideas or comments regarding this, please share! :)

Sign in to follow this  


User Feedback

Recommended Comments



this is a great idea! I think I would even just use fishing line to tie the plants to the suction cup (those metal things make me a little nervous even though they say they're safe!)

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks! :) I might switch to that eventually! I originally was planning on using fishing line, but when I the plants came with the anchors, I decided to give them a try. It was so quick and easy, I just had to share. If anyone has any information on if these anchors are safe or not, I would really like to know more, though.

edit: Now that I think about it, the only problem I see running into with the fishing line is not being able to get a secure attachment without tying too tightly.. the anchors keep it secure while being gently wrapped. Definitely worth trying though!

Edited by Kailey

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
Thanks! :) I might switch to that eventually! I originally was planning on using fishing line, but when I the plants came with the anchors, I decided to give them a try. It was so quick and easy, I just had to share. If anyone has any information on if these anchors are safe or not, I would really like to know more, though. edit: Now that I think about it, the only problem I see running into with the fishing line is not being able to get a secure attachment without tying too tightly.. the anchors keep it secure while being gently wrapped. Definitely worth trying though!

Mmm, yeah, it might depend on the type of plant. I can imagine fishing line working well for plants with a larger root system... something like an anubias or java fern would be easy to tie just like to tie them onto a rock, but something like jungle val would be trickier... might have to do some experimenting, it would keep my plants from constantly floating away!

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is an awesome idea! I was trying to think of a way to work suction cups into my plant plan in a similar fashion, but this kind of suction cup in this application hadn't occurred to me. I am totally going to try this.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let us know how this works out. I had plants dying off where the weight is at. That is what has happened to mine in the past when I tried leaving weights on while they take root to keep the fish from digging them up. Maybe I had the weights to snug?

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great idea!!! I think the plant sinkers would be much easier than fishing line. If they pinch of the bottom, they would be very easy to adjust.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
:thumb: This is a great idea!! I've been wondering how to anchor plants without a good root system in my very thin layer of substrate

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone! :)

Let us know how this works out. I had plants dying off where the weight is at. That is what has happened to mine in the past when I tried living weights on while they take root to keep the fish from digging them up. Maybe I had the weights to snug?

This is something I was worried about too, Hidr. I tried to leave the anchors as loose as possible, but it still might not be good enough. We will see!

I have a couple pictures of the plants in my tank, but I need to try and arrange the anchor better so it's not so visible! I kind of did it in a hurry last night during a water change...

IMAG0579.jpg

IMAG0585.jpg

IMAG0583.jpg

Like I said.. the anchors on some of the plants are showing a bit too much for my taste, but I will get to fixing that soon! :)

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is such a cool way of fixing plants in place! it could even work on tanks with deeper substrate as even in deep enough sand fish can uproot new plants before they have time to send out enough roots to anchor themselves.

I think the weight will be fine long term as I have always used that kind of anchor to keep my plants down. Ive never thought of using the suction cup, though!

As long as the weight isnt too tight it shouldnt kill the plants.

On stem plants like Kailey's it doesnt matter too much exactly where you tie the weight, but on plants like swords or crypts that have a crown, you really need to make sure you dont constrict it at all, as it is going to need to expand outwards. With plants like that I would try to tie the weight around the very top of the roots and just below the crown so that it isnt going to be too tight.

I think the anchors that have a soft sponge lining inside are the ones I like best :]

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used this method a couple days ago. My suction cups suck and only stayed on the glass for about 1 minute. The bright side is that the substrate on top of the suction cups keeps the plants down. I love this idea!

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is working out great for the single plant that my goldfish have decided not to devour... :krazy: Originally, these plants were supposed to go into a dwarf puffer tank, which has been put on hold. So I guess they weren't all really goldfish-friendly in the first place. ;)

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites



Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...