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Best plant for beginners???

Suzie.wood

New Member
Joined
5 Oct 2020
Messages
1
Location
UK
Hi Everyone,

I'm new to this game and recently purchased a 20 Gallon tank. Haven't made the fabled mistake of buying the fish as well so I'm in no immediate rush. However, I do want to get this right. What plants would people recommend to those just starting out? Am I best to stick to one or get a variety?
 

dw1305

Expert
Staff member
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
11,539
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
Welcome, I'm probably a little bit biased, but you are in the best place for advice.

Have a look at @Tim Harrison's tutorial <"The soil substrate.....">.
What plants would people recommend to those just starting out?
I always have a <"floating plant">. Some people just have them for the start up phase, but I keep them all the time. Because they have access to atmospheric CO2, and are first in line for the light, <"it takes carbon and light availability out of the equation">.
.......Am I best to stick to one or get a variety?
I'd recommend a variety, just <"because every tank is different">.

As a general rule the plants in the <"Tropica Easy Range"> are a good starting point, and one of <"our sponsors"> would be able to advise you about plants, because not all plants sold for aquariums (by less scrupulous suppliers) <"are really suitable">.

cheers Darrel
 

noodlesuk

Member
Joined
21 Jul 2020
Messages
243
Location
Oxfordshire
My recommendations are the following, all easy Tropica, but as others say, every tank is different. These seem to be common chioces, so lots of info out there on keeping them. As a beginner, I've had good success with them,

https://tropica.com/en/plants/plantdetails/Bacopacaroliniana(043)/4464
https://tropica.com/en/plants/plantdetails/Hygrophila'Siamensis53B'(053B)/4493
https://tropica.com/en/plants/plantdetails/Limnophilasessiliflora(047)/4472
https://tropica.com/en/plants/plantdetails/4761/4761
 

nat.willis

New Member
Joined
5 Oct 2020
Messages
6
Location
UK
Hi Suzie,

Welcome! To be completely honest it does sort of boil down to personal preference. But if you are starting out id be tempted to focus on a low maintenance easy to care for plant that are most of all pretty hard to kill (allowing room for error whilst you learn the ropes). Any of Java fern, Anubias or Java fern would fit this role.

Don't know if you have looked that far ahead but in terms of setting up a planted tank, came across this article which I found pretty helpful.

https://needyfish.com/how-to-set-up-a-planted-aquarium/

Shout if you have any more questions.
 

JoshP12

Member
Joined
8 Dec 2019
Messages
520
Location
Canada
Hi @Suzie.wood,

@Geoffrey Rea says something great in < his journal > - he talks about plant mastery and you don’t truly understand a plant unless you can make it grow how you want.

The classic example is rotala rotundifolia (an “easy” plant to grow, but a hard plant to grow “well”) which goes red under nitrate limiting conditions - nutrient availability will make the leaves different sizes, make them change color, etc ... even duckweed will change leaf size based on nutrients in the water column. If you want thinner leaves to complement some larger leaves in your scape, then you can manipulate Rotala Rotundifolia in particular to do exactly that.

All this to say:
It all depends. Most plants are pretty easy if the right conditions are met ...

Then,
But if you are starting out id be tempted to focus on a low maintenance easy to care for plant that are most of all pretty hard to kill (allowing room for error whilst you learn the ropes). Any of Java fern, Anubias or Java fern would fit this role.

and

some floaters with the use of @dw1305 duckweed index.

+ variety for success but also .... sprinkle in some stem plants so you have some fast growth that can indicate current conditions as epiphytes and slow growers indicate long term growth conditions in the tank -- go with the Easy ones from Tropica -- like @noodlesuk and Darrel said.

We can use the plants to tell us about the conditions in the tank more than any test of water quality at one point in time can.

Personal favorite - though I have heard it struggles in hard water (I have soft water and no experience with hard) - is Rotala Rotundifolia. This thing responds to the environment extremely quickly and it should make it no matter what ... though I have killed it in the past.

Josh
 
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