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-   -   Fluval Spec V - plant advice please (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=199432)

ownedbycats 12-05-2012 05:47 AM

Fluval Spec V - plant advice please
 
I just bought a Spec to move my betta into and had to set it up in a hurry. Fortunately I have an already cycled tank and can use media from that to cycle this tank almost instantly. The tank has the stock lighting and filter. I'm planning on keeping this low tech/low light with regular doses of Flourish.
My LFS has very poor plant selection, and what they do have is geared mostly for big tanks, so I am probably going to have to order online. I was able to get a Windelov fern, a tiny crypt, and some stem plants labeled red ludwigia.
I still have two spaces to fill in, and would like ideas on what plants would do well there. I want medium sized plants, that get about 8 inches tall, and have wide leaves. Does anyone have a suggestion other than java fern?

Hardstuff 12-05-2012 06:09 AM

I do not know much about the spec set ups. It sounds like a nano tank. First of all I would make sure the lighting spectrum is around 6500-6700 K. You will want to make sure you are keeping the tank low light also. Make sure you stay with mostly stem plants. The luwegia repens has red leaves & will be hard to grow without co2 & more light. I like wisteria since it is hardy & will grow without co2 but slowly. Watch the ferts in the early stages & make sure you have internal or external canister filter. I have learned that more filtration is better, provided the current does not rip out the plants. Fluval makes nice internal & external filters. Carbon in the filters in the early stages is productive to keep DOC's low. Getting back to the plants. You can bring in some rosettes later or some in from the start. The red stems will struggle without CO2 & higher light. Egeria densa is hardy but likes medium soft to coolish water, say 68-78 any higher & it will melt. Anubias is good for a low light tank which is a rosette , but bring it in later say 30-60 days as the tank becomes established. Java moss is good also tied to wood for low light. Keep in mind what kind of fish you plan to use & regarding Gh Kh & light and do research which can be found right hear on this site to determine what other plants to use. Good luck

Hardstuff 12-05-2012 06:29 AM

One last note. Make sure you Q.T. the tank, meaning NO fish for 30 days even though you say you have live filter media. Unless you trust the fish in that tank & they are going in the new tank. That being said that really does not work either because your new plants could carry parasites. You need 30 days to be sure no hitchhikers are on the plants. You will need to ad ammonia to the tank to keep the tank cycling. Fishless cycle it. The only way to go.

ownedbycats 12-05-2012 07:48 AM

The Spec V comes with a built in filter at the back. The lighting is supposed to be in the 7500 range, but it's LED and from everything I could find those are apparently iffy on plant growth.
The Ludwigia was on the list of low light plants sticky in the low tech forum. I don't really care if it stays red, as long as it grows, and if it doesn't, it wasn't expensive so I'll live.
The betta is coming from my already established tank that has been running for(counts fingers) wow, 9 months now with no new additions for the last few months and no disease, and has to move because he is having his tail shredded by tank mates.

STS_1OO 12-05-2012 07:51 AM

I have the Spec V and I can confirm that the stock light is barely enough for low-light. That doesn't even speak to the fact that it actually looks dim- the tank doesn't pop. Only when all ambient light is off does it really look worth of a planted tank with its stock light.

All it needs is a light upgrade to bump it into the solid low-light/low-medium light range. I went with the 16" Fugeray which will (still in the mail) give me about 30 PAR at the 12" depth level. I'm at about 11" so I'm looking at closer to 40 PAR - still firmly in low light range.

Rapture 12-06-2012 07:26 AM

My plants are sustaining with the stock light and no co2. I use liquid carbon sometimes and flourish comprehensive sometimes and 2 flourish tabs. Very slow growth other than the wisteria, but other than that the plants are sustaining or slowly growing.

ownedbycats 12-06-2012 07:48 AM

What are you currently growing (other than wisteria)? I already plan on adding Flourish Comprehensive, will have to look into getting some Excel. My big tank hasn't seemed to need it. I don't mind slow growth, as long as the plants aren't dying.

Rapture 12-07-2012 12:17 AM

I'm not 100% sure what all my plants are, but the best I can do is this-

dwarf hairgrass (looked pretty poor when I put it into this tank but is now a good green color, definitely slow growth if any), Nesaea red or African Green Hygro (sorry not sure on this one, this is the plant that has/had the most melting, but I wouldn't go as far to say as it is dying, it's green at the tops of the stems though), lace java fern (sustaining), Red Ludwigia (sustaining but green), java moss (growing slowly), some kind of anubias from petsmart (growing slowly), and I think I have two different sword-looking plants from petsmart that are both growing slowly. The only plant I have that is doing poorly is something that looks just like grass in your front yard, but I have no idea what it is. I'm putting in a petite nana anubias today that I doubt I will have any problems with.

I think the tank could definitely benefit from having a brighter light + co2 or even just co2, but I wouldn't tell someone that the light is not good enough for any plants at all. I run the light for 4 hours, off for 2, then on for 4 again for the most part. Right now it's conflicting with my schedule since I changed shifts, so on some nights I'll turn the light on for a few hours so I can enjoy the tank while I am home. I don't have any algae problems that I can notice, and I just have one nerite snail, two yellow shrimp, and one cardinal shrimp. I had some kind of tiny moth catfish looking thing that died, it was the first fish that I've had die in this tank and my tank before this, and I kind of assume it starved, since I still never see any algae after losing it. I also have 3 other species of fish, the largest being emerald rasboras, about 10 fish total. I feed every other day or so, water changes... every couple of weeks.

STS_1OO 12-08-2012 12:03 AM

I just got my FugeRay 16" and I've got to say that even from a simply aesthetic point of view, the brighter light really makes the tank pop.

Side by side, the stock lighting simply doesn't do it justice. I also think that the amount of light the FugeRay 16" produces is just enough that you could avoid CO2 if you chose, but also enough such that CO2 and ferts could significantly enhance plant growth.

This also means that the Ray II 16" or 18" will bring you into the medium-high light range.

I personally think that the $45-$50 in upgrading to the FugeRay 16" is worthwhile.

I have a 20G that is by all standards under-lit for its 18" depth (light sits at nearly 2ft above substrate!). Plants grow but they tend to be stringy, and tall and "messy" which met my aim for a low maintenance, natural growth look in a tall tank (wanted to fill out the higher levels of the tank).

For a 10" tank, however, that is not the growth I want. Tall, stringy plants in a short, rectangular tank is not my idea of visually pleasing. If you would tend to agree and want compact growth, then I think the lighting upgrade is necessary.


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