Low Light ,low tech, work tank plants ?
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Old 03-07-2003, 10:44 PM   #1
m.lemay
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I have a 29 gallon tall tank in my office at work. It has a 55 watt PC light. Close to 2 wpg of light. The object here is not to win an aquascape contest. All I want to do is put some plants in it that'll survive and withstand plenty of neglect.
Heres what I have to pick from (clippings from my 75): hygrophila diformis (wisteria),hygrophila polysperma, Crypt wendtii , Rotala indica, bacopa caroliniana.
I know the crypt will probably be fine, do you think any of the others stand a chance?
I plan on fertilizing PMDD somewhat, should be easy in a low light tank. I really dont want to use CO2. Water changes are like once a month. The tank already has some laterite mixed into the gravel and plenty of detritus.
This is not a joke, I've been thinking about this for a while and I think I can pull it off without too much fuss. I think the lower light levels will keep maintenance down considerably,since the growth of the plants should be quite slow compared to a high light ,co2 enriched tank.
Any Ideas? :?
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Old 03-07-2003, 10:58 PM   #2
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What is the fish load going to be? It would be good to have a very light fish load if water changes are going to be about once a month. The hygrophila polysperma might do OK in your situation...

-Tim
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Old 03-07-2003, 11:00 PM   #3
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I don't know if you've seen this place, but Mike Edwards talkas a little about Diana Walstad's philosophy on low-tech aquariums.

http://mike-edwardes.members.beeb.net/plant/lotech.html

I noticed that most of my plants, when I had relatively low lighting in my tank, would just shed leaves and increase the spacing between the nodes. So I'm sure the plants have a flexible range of light they can adapt too. Also, I'm in favor Walstad's idea of just plant and see who survive without maintenance.

Most of your plants seem to need moderate to bright lighting requirements, and while I'm not sure how they'll do under 2wpg, I'm sure they'll adapt.
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Old 03-08-2003, 12:06 AM   #4
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Thanks for the link to mike edwards site! Thats awesome, exactly what I want to do. As a matter of fact I e-mailed mike and told him what I wanted to do and asked for his advice. I also noticed he was using vals in one of his tanks. I have some jungle val in my 10 gal guppy tank that I can transfer over to there.

Tim; the fish load is very low. There's 5 rosy barbs ,1 peco, and 2 bala sharks that I'm probably going to move into my 75 at home because they are outgrowing the little 29.

I have a 10 gal at home with some wisteria, and crypt wendtii, and jungle val. This tank only has a 15 watt bulb over it but I put it near a window to supplement the light. The wisteria grows pretty well in there. I don't fertilize or use co2 in this tank either.
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Old 03-08-2003, 12:37 AM   #5
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I have 55 watts over a 29 gallon tank. I have hygro Tropic Sunset, corkscrew vals, dwarf water onion, compacta sword, crypt lutea, red mellon swords and anubias nana and unknown. I use DIY CO2 but with the gelatine mixture it only needs changing once a month, it only gets the pH down to 7.6 so if you had better water to start with you might be able to get by without it.

I let it get some direct sun in the morning which helped the vals on that side of the tank and made the anubias flower and made the rosy barbs spawn.
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Old 03-08-2003, 12:06 PM   #6
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Our tap water kh is about 5 in this neck of the woods. My ph naturally hovers in the 7.2 range without co2.
I think I'm gonna plant the 29 wih what ever I have laying around, and whatever grows will remain in the tank. The link kor4ever posted was really helpful. I don't think I will be using potting soil though. I'll probably just add a little florite to the top of the gravel/laterite thats already there. I'll probably have to get some algae eaters to keep the plants looking fresh.

Marcel
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Old 03-08-2003, 12:19 PM   #7
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I want to try that soil too but chickened out... :roll:

Ya just have to love Connecticut Water eh Marcel ?
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Old 03-08-2003, 12:43 PM   #8
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Check out my tank specs below. The tank absolutely is flourishing with no CO2. I didn't want to use it, especially DYI, because of constant worry about overdosing. I use 3ml of Excel everyday and the other stuff every third day. I bought a squeeze bulb medicine "eye dropper" at the drug store to make dosing easier. It takes no more than 2-3 min to accomplish the task. (15sec for the daily Excel). I buy everything at thatfishplace.com. Their prices are great.
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Old 03-08-2003, 12:45 PM   #9
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RayB,

With DIY CO2 and a Eclipse hood you wouldn't be able to overdose if you were running four liters of mix. The Eclipse hood releases too much of the CO2.
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Old 03-08-2003, 12:46 PM   #10
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Oh yeaahh, Buck, we are definitely blessed with good water around here. The whole northeast has awesome water quality with the exception of some pockets here and there. I live close to Wolcott, CT and thier water is really high in iron. The iron is so high that it leaves rust stains on everything. My ex-wife just bought a house out there and shes a natural blond. She washed her hair with that water before they installed a softener setup and it turned her hair red :lol: She looked like the devil :twisted: that she really is. 8)

Marcel
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Old 03-08-2003, 01:51 PM   #11
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I have all the plant species mentioned in your original post, planted in a 45 high, with a shop light over it. Everything does OK in there, and it's less than 2 wpg, because the shop light is about 8-10 inches longer than the tank. I also have some java fern and hornwort in there, they do ok too. Everything grows very slowly, but it does grow, and doesn't look sickly. You should do OK with this.
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Old 03-10-2003, 11:08 PM   #12
m.lemay
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I finally planted the work tank. I planted hygrophilla polysperma, crytocoryn wendtii, jungle val, hygro difformis.
Now its wait and see. I'll take a picture of it after it settles in.
It looks a lot better than it did, thats for sure.
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