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Discussion Starter #1
So i have a well planted 180 gallon i like butt its coming to be alot of work.
butt i liked the look of plastic bamboo plants and others its a very tough choice. i always want to do something new with my tank and moving stuff around all the time lol. are other people like this always moving stuff around and want to make it look different. im thinking of getting rid of all the real plants go big huge plastic plants and putt alot of sand in my tank like 3 to 4 inches . well i cant make up my mind LOL.
 

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Ever since I started growing real plants... I will never go back to plastic.. nothing is like the real thing.. especially you go home everyday and there's new growth, and to ensure the water is crisp clean! Plastic plants can't really do that.. and to be honest, the plastic plants doesn't impress guest that comes over neither! Unless you got some really tough fish, definitely plastic plants! But your idea of sand and bamboo actually sounds REALLY nice =) Have you done it before? somehow i have that picture in my head already!
 

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while my own preference is for live plants (mostly 'easy', low tech types) plastic plants will serve some of the same functions as live. And, in the end, it's about what you find enjoyable. If you've got some nice plastics and you like the look of them, enough said.
 

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the only advantage plastic plants have over real ones is the bleach dip to be rid of algae. But then again a properly maintained planted tank should have little to no algae. If you are having algae issues, you likely are limiting light (or too much) or carbon.

As for maintenance from cutting, trimming, etc. Take my advice and do what you can to get rid of the stem plants, or atleast limit them a lot. In my tank, only 29 gallon, i have zero stem plants, and the only real maintnence is glosso getting hedged down every month to keep it from uprooting itself. Other than that its 2 or 3 leafs trimmed at water change day and picking off a couple java fern plantlets.

Stems are great for creating an impressive tiered crowded forest of a planted tank, but they aren't the only solution.

As for bamboo, make sure its sealed, as it'll rot in the tank water. Using a white sand, river rocks, and sticks of bamboo (that go right to the top) with a Sagittaria type grass growing amongst it can have quite an effect. Some do this half tank, full tank or centered. just dont use two substrates as it'll mix over time.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
the only advantage plastic plants have over real ones is the bleach dip to be rid of algae. But then again a properly maintained planted tank should have little to no algae. If you are having algae issues, you likely are limiting light (or too much) or carbon.

As for maintenance from cutting, trimming, etc. Take my advice and do what you can to get rid of the stem plants, or atleast limit them a lot. In my tank, only 29 gallon, i have zero stem plants, and the only real maintnence is glosso getting hedged down every month to keep it from uprooting itself. Other than that its 2 or 3 leafs trimmed at water change day and picking off a couple java fern plantlets.

Stems are great for creating an impressive tiered crowded forest of a planted tank, but they aren't the only solution.

As for bamboo, make sure its sealed, as it'll rot in the tank water. Using a white sand, river rocks, and sticks of bamboo (that go right to the top) with a Sagittaria type grass growing amongst it can have quite an effect. Some do this half tank, full tank or centered. just dont use two substrates as it'll mix over time.
what is stem plants and not . kinda a dumb question but think i know but is there a list our something that's tell you stem from not . like i have tiger lotus ,p stellatis , jave fern, Anubis,there stems plants ? i have like 15 different plants some do good and some don't and all im doing is using metricide .
im gonna get some fert from aqua nursery . and see how my groth will do then
 

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I'll be using fake plants in my monster tank.. the tank with smaller fishes will have real ones as I find the big fish tend to abuse the plants.

another is the convict tank I have, the adults uproot even the fake plants, but i like the fake plants for the babies to hide in. Would not be able to have real plants in that tank

there are so many pros and cons to both real and fake
 

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heres a list i quickly grabbed somewhere of common stem plants

Types of Stem Plants
* Alternanthera - Scarlet Hygro
* Alternanthera reineckii - Copperleaf
* Ammannia gracilis
* Bacopa caroliniana - Water Hyssop
* Cabomba aquatica - Fanwort
* Cabomba caroliniana - Carolina Fanwort, Green Cabomba
* Cabomba piauhyensis
* Cardimine lyrata
* Ceratophyllum demersum - Hornwort, Coontail
* Didiplis diandra - Water Purslane
* Elodea/Egeria - Anacharis
* Egeria densa - Brazilian Waterweed
* Hemianthus (Micranthemum) micranthemoides
* Heteranthera zosterifolia - Mud Plantain
* Hydrocotyle leucocephala (Nomaphida corymbosa) - Water Pennywort
* Hygrophila corymbosa (Nomaphila stricta) - Giant Hygro, Temple Plant
* Hygrophila difformis - Water Wisteria
* Hygrophila polysperma - Green Hygro, Indian Hygro
* Limnophila aquatica
* Limnophila sessiliflora - Ambulia
* Lobelia cardinalis
* Ludwigia repens - Water Primrose
* Mayaca fluviatilis
* Myriophyllum aquaticum - Water Milfoil, Parrot's Feather
* Rotala macrandra - Tooth-cup
* Rotala rotundifolia - Tooth-cup
* Shinnersia rivularis
* Utricularia - Bladderwort

Java fern, anubias, bulb plants (ie lotus), crypts are few examples of plants that are not stems. with most of them we only see a few types of each, but theres a much larger amount of variants out there, just not easy to find

P. stellatus is a stem
 
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