Anonymous asked in PetsFish · 1 decade ago

Aquarium plants?

I want to grow some aquarium plants in my 10 gallon fish tank, but I don't know how too. What all do i need at the bottom of the tank for substrate for my plants to grow good, and thick? how deep do i need. i heard that i can use the clay type of kitty litter, cause the clay is rich in iron, and then put a medium gravel or sand substrate on the top. is this true? Do i need plant food? how much light do i need? wut kind of light? can i use a regular old 65 watt plant light bulb on my 10 gallon aquarium? plz answer all the questions. Thank you.

websites will me most appreciated.


i tried the aquarium bulbs in my aquariums, but they never work. i just bought a good aquarium freshwater water tester to check my pH, hardness, and all that good stuff levels.

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Growing plants can be a lot of work in an aquarium, especially if you're trying to get a "heavily planted tank" going.

    For just regular gravel and stock lighting that comes with a basic tank, you can probably grow java ferns, anubias and maybe a couple other kinds of plants; for anything else you're going to need 2-3 watts of light per gallon of water (so 20-30 watts - the plant bulb you have, at 65 watts, would probably be too hot actually).

    Your substrate will need to be something like 1-2" of flourite, along with another 1"or so of gravel on top of that. I use Red Sea Flora Base for my substrate and it's a great product; Eco-Complete is the other "standard" substrate in the hobby for planted tanks. They're expensive, but probably worth the investment and you don't have to mess with mixing flourite or laterite separately into the gravel. Kitty litter, exactly as you described it, is an old-school approach that's still occasionally used - but it gets really messy after a while and probably won't look too good as it eventually mixes into your top layer over time.

    As for plant food, they sell all kinds of liquid additives (Seachem makes a whole line - Excel, Iron, Potassium...). You want to be VERY careful using those, because you can get everything from algae bloom to subjecting your fish to iron poisoning very quickly. I'd use those slowly, gradually and very sparingly. If you start with a good substrate as above, you probably won't need to fertilize for a while.

    Good sites to check out -

    That should get you started hopefully. Good luck. :)

  • amodio
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I agree with the guy who posted above me. I have Wisteria and Java ferns in my tank and all I have is gravel, I didn't even buy the sun lamp so unless it came with the tank I'm just using a regular bulb. If you want to go with some of the more difficult plants to keep you'll probably have to go with the layering of the substrate and adding CO2, but I don't know much about that.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I know it's not exactly the suggested method, but I actually just dropped 3 lily bulbs that I bought in the fish section in walmart into my tank (I already had had several fish in it for several months) when I only had a basic gravel substrate, and they are thriving, as well as another grass plant that I also bought as a bulb in walmart. But I think you need a better outfit for anything more than that...

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