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Low Maintenance Plants


Edgar

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Hi all, I want to start planting one of my aquariums and I was just wondering what type of low maintenance plants do you guys recommend. I'm looking for plants that require low light and do not need any type of special substrate to grow. Also, what type of aquarium grasses would you guys recommend? Is there anything in particular I should be aware about planted tanks?

Also, I have always wondered if a planted tank needed to be cleaned for often or less and if the plants become a problem when it comes to vacuuming the gravel.

Thanks!

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Anacharis all the way. It grows so fast and you can plant in gravel or let it float. Eventually it roots itself in gravel. Grows in low light and is cheap. you still have to vacuum around where you plant it though just not directly on the spot where its planted

Also, if i may add that i also have brazilian pennywort and a crypt in low light and they are growing beautifully

Edited by Midnight
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^ agreed, anubias and java fern I have found to be the easiest and require the least maintenance, the only thing that you have to be careful with with anubias is to not plant the rhizome (the thick "stem" right above the roots). I think anacharis is good too because it grows well and is cheap, however, I find it to be slightly (only slightly though!) more labor intensive because it tends to get dead leaves (the older ones) that will fall off into your tank and can get stuck to the filter intake... goldies also have a tendency to eat anacharis, but usually won't eat java fern or anubias (but it depends on the fish).

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I think most grassy plants have more moderate-high needs in terms of nutrients and lighting. I have some vallisneria in my tank right now which is tall and kind of grassy looking, but I haven't had it for long, so I am not sure how it is going to do. :)

Mosses, such as java moss, are typically low maintenance as well, but the goldies may develop a taste for it :)

Here is a good link to a low maintenance planted tank discussion if you haven't seen it yet http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/87928-info-on-low-tech-low-light-non-co2/

You will not be able to vacuum the gravel where the plants are without uprooting them. If you only have one or two plants you should still vacuum areas that don't have plants because you will not have enough plants to take care of the waste (so to speak). However, if you have a heavily planted tank you generally shouldn't need to vacuum because the plants take care of decomposing waste etc., using it as nutrients.

Here is a good link to a discussion started by Fang about this: http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/92785-plants-and-bad-bacteria-in-the-gravel/

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One thing that i wanted to point out is that you might want to steer away from the busy plants with goldfish. I found that so much waste gets trapped in the plants and it really grossed me out when cleaning the tank.

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Bolbitis Heudelotii ( AKA: African water fern / Congo fern) is a plant that does well in low lighting with no fertilisation.

It always seems get missed of lists of low maintenance plants for some reason, but I think it makes a really good foil/alternative to plants like Anubias or Java Fern because it has much finer, divided leaves. Its a rhizome so you have to tie it to a piece of rock/driftwood rather than bury it, but after a little while it will root itself to the rock/wood and you can remove the tie.

I'll confess that I dont know if goldfish have a known appetite for Bolbitis, but really I think that would just depend on the individual fishes in the tank. I've kept it with herbivorous tropical fish and they have never touched it so my guess would be it should be fine.

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One of my favorite aquatic grassy plants is vallisneria. Here are some pictures of it in my tank (it's the background plant). It grows really fast, too, and now it's all much taller in the back. I love the look of this plant, especially when it spirals. You can get it pretty cheap too and it will spread. The only downsides would be that goldfish do eat it and you need to have a good amount of gravel to plant it in. It won't work in a barebottom tank.

Another good "grass" plant is sagittaria subulata. I have it in my tank too but you can't really see it. It's short - about 3-4 inches maximum and it spreads quickly so you get this nice "carpet" effect in the tank. Again it needs gravel.

Some other low maintenance plants I've had success with are melon sword and bacopa caroliniana. Anacharis didn't work for me because it got eaten by the goldies.

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I have had great success with crypt plants. They mulitple nicely and I have not killed them in the 3 or 4 years of having them. Also, I have up rooted them and replanted them several times due to moving and they did well. A nice hearty plant.

Edited by goldfish7
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So far I only have success with java ferns and anubias nana. I have a taller anubias but it never seems to want to grow. In fact, it is now shorter than it was when I got it. Planning on trying anacharis though as soon as I can.

The java ferns do fantastic, they are producing a ton of baby javas.

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I don't care for Java fern. All of my big ones had babies, which is cool, but then the big ones rotted. Now I have lots of babies, they seem to grow very slowly.

Right now, our favorite plant is Brazilian Pennywort. I had a huge one growing up the side of the tank, but it broke, so now it's a floater, and it's growing well. The goldies love it. They hide in it and force their pudgy little bodies through for missed pellets. I think it's a pretty plant and I love watching their behavior in it. :)

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I am using Greater Duckweed, Horn wort and Water sprite.

I am using greater duckweed because the smaller one seems more filter clog able and the bigger one seems to be working out for me.

Right now I suspect duckweed and horn wort is real low light and Water sprite is Medium light. But I have had zero nitrates no matter what. If your looking for beauty then these plants are not your thing.

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