What's the opposite of a green thumb?
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Old 02-18-2009, 03:45 PM   #1
Monika1013
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What's the opposite of a green thumb?


Because that's what I have. I cannot, for the life of me, get the plants in the right place. This tank has been steadily running for umm...two years, perhaps a little longer. Its oldest resident is Dr Evil who is a 4-5 year old cory. It was always all fake plants until last year. I bought those betta bowl bulbs, and have been slowly transitioning to real plants ever since. I have those bulbs (five or six of them), anacharis, 'radican sword' (echinodorus cordifolius), a java fern and I have some floating plant in a 2.5 gallon that wasn't originally floating, but ended up that way. It's a 20 gallon long, with 1WPG (couldn't find anything higher), liquid and solid ferts (liquid has been going for a week and a half, just got the dry fert last night) a penguin biowheel 200, and will probably be setting up some sort of DIY CO2 today.

I took these pictures yesterday, shortly after moving everything around, so please excuse the cloudiness.




This is before I lined the fixture with tin foil and added the new 20 watt bulb, (it was still 17 at this point). By the way, I'm aware my tank is over stocked. It's temporary. A lot of the guppies are going to friends and I'm considering even the big platies. Any advice you may have is Welcome. I want more plants eventually, I actually really really like Asian Ambulia and don't mind trimming it all the time. I don't want any floating plants (don't want to steal more light from the plants.) I saw some val I really liked last night, but the tank had pond snails, ew. The large substrate is getting changed this coming weekend, I'm hoping for some eco complete.

Oh and hello everyone! I found this website last night, have been addicted to it since.
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Old 02-18-2009, 04:16 PM   #2
cah925
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Welcome. The first thing I noticed was the gravel. You already mentioned changing that so I'll leave it alone. With your light (WPG), I would stick with the low light plants. There is a sticky with a list of low light plants here. You can also find it in the low tech sub-forum. I'm not an expert on low light/low tech tanks, so I'll stop there and let others with more experience chime in.
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Old 02-18-2009, 04:42 PM   #3
Monika1013
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I've been wanting to change the gravel since I first got it. I actually got it for a turtle I bought, lost the turtle, now I'm stuck with it.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:29 PM   #4
Monika1013
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Is this the sort of light I need?

I figure I can order it, then when I get it, sell off the old one on craigslist. I saw 40w t5 bulbs at petsmart. I could even return the bulb I got last night and almost break even.
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:52 PM   #5
jargonchipmunk
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you mean the inversion therapy table? While I'm sure that might help with the headaches this tank has been giving you, I don't think it'll provide very much light. ;-)
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:00 PM   #6
Monika1013
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ahahaha woops. this is what I meant.
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:09 PM   #7
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I have been running a 20 long for a long time with basically the same set up as you except with sand vs gravel and I haven't had that much luck with it. I decided to switch out the gravel for flourite. Then I decided to switch out the light with one of these
http://www.aquariumguys.com/current-...shwater30.html

If you can afford it I'd recommend the dual bulb over the single but the single would be an improvement because even though the wattage is the same as your current fixture, the actual amount of light output is much more. Another reason to get the dual bulb is you can have a more complete spectrum ie: 10000k and 6700k which helps the plants grow and spread much more.

My 20 long still doesn't look good because it's at a relatives house so I don't have the opportunity to mess with it but with enough practice on my new home aquarium I'll be able to carry over what I learn to that tank and have something that thrives rather then survives.

Another thought is that for your current tank Anubias is a great plant, it doesn't get algae on it that well and survives well in low light.
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:28 PM   #8
Monika1013
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I can't afford that, but boy did my mouth water when I saw it. Anubias looks gorgeous, will definitely check it out. If there's any nice specimens at the store tomorrow *fingers crossed* I'll pick some up.
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:29 PM   #9
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woops I got off track with the posting of this thread. I posted here so maybe you guys could help me figure out where to place the plants. Obviously I'm no good at it.
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Old 02-19-2009, 01:42 AM   #10
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebr_q4rbP0E

watch how they aquascape that one to get some nice ideas. If you can find some sand from an agregate store or something similar that would make a better substrate then gravel and cost less. Another option is SMS or Oil Dri (soak it in baking soda water first)

Basically just try different things until you get a feel for what your doin, thats how i'm going about it. Look around at other tanks on youtube and on here to see what you like. Without high light it's going to be difficult, your basically just going to be keeping your plants alive vs growing them but it can still look good.

Doing a planted tank doesn't have to be expensive, I spent 1/5 the cost of eco complete for substrate, got my plants for $2 a piece and will be doing DIY CO2 for about $10. I got my light for free from a friend I just had to buy bulbs for it.
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Old 02-19-2009, 02:59 AM   #11
Monika1013
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I tried some CO2 today, and pretty much just got some smelly, cloudy liquid. I could see the bubbles at the top of the CO2 bottle, but it wasn't air tight and wasn't doing anything to get air into the diffuser. I threw it away and will try again next week.

I get to go to an amazing pet store tomorrow, one I've never been to. Hopefully they have a decently priced hood. Only three people I know are into fish keeping. One is into saltwater, one is a single mom with two kids, two jobs and too many animals, and the other one is newer to the addiction than I am, and has no interest in keeping plants. I want some awesome substrate at some point, hoping to get a decent deal.

I CANT WAIT TO GO TO THE AWESOME PETSTORE TOMORROW!
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