Number of Plants for Well Stocked 20L?
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:37 PM   #1
StraightArrow
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Number of Plants for Well Stocked 20L?


Fellow Aquarists,

I'm about to set up my first Walstadt type tank, a 20G Long. I've chosen 8 plants to start with that are a good fit for my target water conditions:
Temp: 82-83 deg. F.
dGH: 4
pH: ~6.2
Light: medium

The plants are:

Anubias heterophylla (#16) Bacopa australis (#37) Heteranthera zosterifolia (#98) Anubias barteri “Nana” (#14) Echinodorus tenellus (#84) Echinodorus “Tricolour” (#90) Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia (#64) Echinodorus angustifolius (#71)


My question is: How many of these plants should I start with in a 20G Long with moderate fish loading? Is one of each enouqh or should I have groups of some of them or all of them?

Thanks for any input.

Roger Barker
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:30 PM   #2
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In a 20L I would start with tons of individual plants (probably at least 50 stems or plantlets). Or you should stock lightly if you're not going to be densely planting right from the start. It takes a lot of plants to replace the job of a filter.
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:29 PM   #3
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Go ahead and buy the target number of the crown plants you want, Crypt, Anubias and swords. They may or may not decide to overgrow your tank, just as well to stick to your planting plan right away as it isn't fun to pull out large beautiful plants just because the tank is too small!

Just buy one or two of the ground cover plant as they generally do better planted very thinly and if you densely plant you won't have floor space right away anyway. Then buy more of the stems. While stargrass is a fast grower it can have issues so don't depend on it. Bacopa isn't a particularly fast grower for me but a super reliable plant, buy more. Remember each bunch of a stem plant contains a given number of stems, ask your supplier how many to expect per bunch and pot of the ground cover plant. Plan on putting a plant or plantlet every .5-2" which might come to planting about 75-150 stems, crowns or plantlets.
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:11 AM   #4
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IME you probably won't have much success with a plant like Stargrass (H. zosterifolia) in a low tech/non CO2 tank. I'd go with a Hygro species or Rotala rotundifolia instead (or both).
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:30 AM   #5
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Thanks, Aquarists,

I think I have the picture - Lots of plants! I appreciate all the advise. I'll post some details of how it works out after I get it going.

Roger
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:41 PM   #6
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I had stargrass growing in my 29g tank low tech non Co2. Light Coralife T5NO and T8 ultra daylight. I found it is a nitrogen hog. Since I took it out all of my plants are growing faster.

Exactly which bulb or bulbs are you using?
Got a pic?
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:38 AM   #7
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Hi Hilde,

Thanks for the tip about the stargrass. My lights are a GE F40 Ecolux Plant and Aquarium and a GE 6500K Daylight 40 in a standard 48" fixture. I have this over 2 20G Long tanks for 40 watts for each tank.

Roger
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Old 07-20-2011, 03:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StraightArrow View Post
My lights are a GE F40 Ecolux Plant and Aquarium and a GE 6500K Daylight 40 in a standard 48" fixture.
I find that those are T12 bulbs. Not strong enough for stargrass. You can only grow low light plants. Easiest are fern, moses, anubias, sags, and wisteria.
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:04 PM   #9
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The Rotala should do well in that tank, I have it in a similar light setup and it thrives. Telanthera does well also and adds some reds to the mix. Plant heavily from the start if you can in a dirt tank.
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