Barnum Island
Welcome to our newest forum at Manhattan Reefs!

We know that some of our members keep freshwater tanks and ponds as well as their SW tanks, so we thought we'd try out a forum devoted entirely to higlighting the FW end of the hobby in this little corner of MR .

Here we can post questions and photos and tell a bit about our current tank or past history with freshwater fish. Plant care and fish diseases, feeding and tank cycling will all eventually be here and some topics will have a sticky atop this forum for ease of reference.

Local FW events will be posted here along with any club information that you would like to mention as there are a number of FW clubs in this area that hold monthly meetings and some of those groups are LARGE! Do give us the location and meeting dates and tell us who the monthly speaker will be.

We do ask that you keep your FW photos here - we'd love to see some pics of planted tanks - or pics of your favorite fish! Sales of FW items (ONLY!!) can be posted in here (rather than in Non-Reef Sales - if you wish), just please confine your selling to a single thread (multiple thread will be deleted).

You were never involved in FW but think you might like to set up a tank, we're here to guide you through to a successful, healthy tank!

We will begin populating this forum with some recent FW threads and hope those of you with an interest in freshwater fish will join in and make this forum an active part of Manhattan Reefs!



Manhattan Reefs
Good looking out by opening this tab! So I have a 20 gallon hex with a gravel substrate. The tank is already established with a nitrogen cycle.

Is it still possible to get plants?


Experienced Reefer
if you have a walmart by you they sell these plants that are sold in bulbs for tanks there is usually lillys and these tall grass things they have workd out very well for me that i used plain gravel as a substrate. If you wanna get into a full blown planted tank you would wanto redo your substrate with finer more nutritious material some people use clay stuff with peat moss mixed with fine sand. i used 100% iron substrate stuff which burned the hell out of the roots it stunk i find a sps reef tank to be easier then a full blown planted tank : /


Manhattan Reefs
alright, and if I redid the substrate, then I completely toss of the nitrogen cycle, and stress the fish.

so i guess its not a good idea. plus you say it stunk? as in it literally smelled?

and sps reef tank? you have reef in freshwater? i didnt know that can be done. im only months old into the hobby.


Experienced Reefer
i didnt mean literally it stunk, i meant i went through the trouble of buying all the substrate and it was to strong it stunk and was a waist of time. My idea of having a planted tank was fully stackd with plants to make it look good so when that wasnt achieved and the roots wouldn't receive enough nutrition from a certain element that was present i just said screw it. now that i have a sps tank (separate tank) i would say that a reef tank was easier to keep then the planted tank. if you have a second tank to house the fish in now a days there are many ways to get a nitrogen cycly going fast. Reuse the same water just dont mix up the substrate when u take out the water. Some people will use layers of diff substrates for planted tanks with my tank i used 100% of the clay based substrate so the roots couldnt hold larger pieces. if i was to put a layer of clay then peatmoss or some moistened dirt that wont hurt ph and that crap then more clay on top that would be be best but i didnt wanto put peatmoss in my tank because it clouds up the water cause its very dry.and plus back then i was as active on sites and known as much as i do now: /.


Experienced Reefer
you can plant without going with the hassle thats why id say start with the bulb plants i had them in just straight gravel and you soak them in tank water till they sink then plant them and they will just grow some of them make a yellow or white flower and the lilly pad ones are real nice but there more expensive. these two are very hardy and there roots get nourishment from the water.


LE Coral Killer
Manhattan Reefs
Flushing, NY
I used to be super into planted tanks before I got into reefs.
Here are a few pics of the tanks I used to have.


L reefer

Learnin stage
Manhattan Reefs
Nice tanks Ming, i luv my planted tank


  • Picture 359.jpg
    Picture 359.jpg
    112.5 KB · Views: 453
  • Picture 358.jpg
    Picture 358.jpg
    102.2 KB · Views: 479
Last edited:

Sponsor Reefs

We're a FREE website, and we exist because of hobbyists like YOU who help us run this community.

Click here to sponsor $10: