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plants into bare bottom tank


blackmoors

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Im contemplating putting some live plants into some of my tanks. But theyre all bare bottom so they will need to be potted.

I know my lfs sells potted plants and also bunched plants to be placed into substrate.

But the pots they come in are usually small and very unattractive.

So id need to repot them.

What do I use as 'soil' or substrate in the pots?

I dont want a dirty mess inside the tank. I have heard ppl just using gravel? Or even kitty litter instead of soil etc. But not sure on if its safe or works.

So thought id see what everyone here uses.

Thanks

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I'd say definitely don't use kitty litter. There are chemicals and things in there that you don't want in your tank. You can use pretty much any aquatic soil. Some people use organic dirt and put gravel over it in pots and what was mentioned above. Some plants don't need a substrate and you can just attach them to rock's or wood

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I used sand and then put glass pebbles on the top of the sand so they wouldn't root the sand up :)

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Take a look at the plants in my signature. I super glued them all to river rocks of various sizes. By doing this you are a bit limited in the types of plants you can use--mainly anubias and java ferns. But there are many many different types of each to choose from. I have 2 different types of ferns and several different anubias species, maybe 6 different anubias? :idont

Let me know if you want more info. :D

Edit: forgot to add--there are also some nice plants that will float. I have water sprite (as pictured). I've also tried wisteria but my fish ate that right up! :rofl

Edited by fantailfan1
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Floramax and Ecocomplete are both good substrates for live plants. If you want to get heavy root feeders like Amazon Swords you might want to throw in a root tab. ;)

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I do like Lisa.....I attach (whenever possible) to driftwood or a rock (I often use either clear fishing line or super glue) Sometimes I just twist a plant sinker on the roots & drop it in.....that way I can move them around when the mood hits me!!

I attached a wad of Flame Moss to a nice rock with just a dab of super glue......& it allowed it to look quite natural!!!

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Another thought to cover the pots would be to build some rocks around the pot. You could use aquarium sealant to glue them together and than it hides the pot and makes it look more natural.

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There are plenty of aquarium planting soils out there that would work. I find the Miracle Grow Organic soil to be a little messy, even covered in a layer of gravel. I'd do a layer of sand atop the aquarium soil.

As for pots I really like the small glass bowls/squares/etc. available in the décor section in most big chain grocery type stores. If you layer your substrate properly they look really nice. Non-glazed terracotta pots work well too, especially for larger tanks. :)

Edited by ChelseaM
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Kitty litter can be safe for aquariums, there are many planted tank folks that use this as a low cost alternative to some of the more expensive substrates. You just have to get one without any additives ;)

When I had a bare bottom tank I used eco complete in my containers. As others said, you can pretty much use any substrate - gravel, sand, eco complete, floramax, dirt with a gravel cap etc. Root tabs are always a good idea, particularly if you are going with an inert substrate like gravel or sand, and particularly if you are buying heavy root feeder like crypts or swords.

For the containers you can get really nice glass votive/candle holders cheaply at a dollar store or craft store (at least in the US you can :P) Terracotta pots are also aquarium safe.

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I use Miracle Grow Organic Potting Mix (orange bag), and it's great for my heavy root feeders. :) I'd definitely suggest a pot or bowl with no hole in the bottom, as when you do your water changes, the dirt in the pot won't be disturbed.

However deep your soil depth is, is how deep you want your cap to be. I'd then put a thin layer of larger rocks on top of your cap (eco complete is fabulous), so that they can't mess up your pots. My fish are monsters, so you may not have to fortify your pots, quite as much as I do. :rofl

If you look at my sig, the sword, on the right, is in a dirted glass pot. It's been potted since March, and it's gigantic. Good luck, and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. :)

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Thanks yeah I know all about the damage goldies can do to a potted plant lol my pondies love destroying and uprooting their plants lol

Lillies and a few others are the only ones they wont destroy/eat lol.

Hence I will have to 'research plants they wont eat. Or atleast are able to 'bounce' back quickly lol

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Hence I will have to 'research plants they wont eat. Or atleast are able to 'bounce' back quickly lol

I'd opt for fast and easy growing stem plants then. The fish can eat them, but they generally grow back faster than the fish can cope with. Hygrophila difformis (wisteria) or hygrophila corymbosa 'siamensis' come to mind. There's also East Indian hygrophila; however, depending where in Australia you live, it may or may not be classed as a noxious weed.

If you're interested in Australian native plants (they also stock non-native plants), you can peruse the AquaGreen website.

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So apart from getting the correct substrate and plants im curious about the fertilizers you mention to use.

Im just worried they may 'leach' out stuff that may harm my fish.

What ones are safe and easy to use?

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There aren't many fertilisers that will adversely affect fish; it tends to be a symptom of misuse. Osmocote leached into the water column can cause fatalities, as can Seachem Flourish Excel when overdosed. Used correctly, however, you will find that Excel and most fertilisers are perfectly harmless.

Edited by dan in aus
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