Folks I'm tropical fish lover, this time I planning to grow real plants inside my tank instead of the fake ones. Can someone please suggest me the procedure to where to get started and what are all the ingredients I need?

2 Answers 2


For only a few, easy to keep plants, there is indeed not that much required.

Just have some lights above your tank (LED or fluorescent) and every now and then you'll have to add some fertilizer or root tabs (depending on the plants you have).

Some easy plants to start with are for example:

  • Java Fern. This one should be attached to a rock or some wood. The roots may not be in the gravel.
  • Java Moss (also needs to be attached to something
  • Anubias.
  • Cabomba.

You can already create a nice tank with such a basic setup.

But if you want to add a lot of plants, or plants that are difficult to keep (usually plants with red leafs), this might not be enough. You might need to add a CO2 installation and more fertilizer. But that doesn't mean it will be very complex or expensive.

I have quit a lot of plants (but relatively easy to keep) and I'm using a DIY CO2 installation based on sugar and yeast.

I found instructions for it on a Dutch forum, but there are some instruction video's on Youtube too I noticed.

For fertilizer I use the Estimative Index method.
My plants grow like crazy.

  • Thank you very much for your response. Actually, I was planning for dwarf hair grass. And I'm confused with choosing the substrate. Here in New Delhi I got options like ADA Aqua Soil, fluorite black, eco complete and generic aqua soil which is available for less than the specified brands. First two brands for similar in pricing but eco complete is quite costly and only available online. So can you please suggest me the right option.
    – vijayraj34
    Apr 25, 2017 at 3:13

There really isn't much that is technically required to start this process. Any kind of lighting will technically suffice.

But, I do suggest getting some sort of LED light bar to help plant growth. You can use fluorescent lights but LED full spectrum lights are the way to go. It really depends on what your local fish store has to offer though.

And of course, make sure the tank has cycled and the water quality is good (no ammonia or nitrite) before putting anything in the tank.

  • 1
    There is no problem cycling a tank with the plants already in them (as long as you start with the 'easy' plants). But cycling is definitely required before adding fish.
    – Diether
    Apr 24, 2017 at 14:33
  • I read in a forum that Red, Yellow and Blue combined LED's work well for growing plants. If that's a good option then I'm ready to make my own lighting.
    – vijayraj34
    Apr 25, 2017 at 4:28
  • @vijayraj34 I know that red and blue leds are great for plant growth, not sure if yellow is.
    – NealC
    Jun 15, 2017 at 2:17
  • @NealC I made a custom set up of Red, Blue and Cool White LED's along with a bright warm white LED metal strip.vivipara and ludwigia's growing slowly but good. My eleocharis acicularis few got melted and some of them growing. I think it takes some time to establish root system. Carbon source is Flourish Excel.
    – vijayraj34
    Jun 15, 2017 at 2:24

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