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Old 02-05-2012, 10:02 PM   #1
neodoxa
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New 15 Gallon - Help Needed


Hey everyone,

I haven't had a planted tank in years, so I'm way behind on the times with the hobby. I recently got a new 15 gallon and I want to turn it into a low tech planted tank.

Couple of questions:

1. The tank came with a 15w T8 fixture, so I ripped that out and set it up for 2 CFL bulbs. Right now it puts out 26w of 5000k CFL light. What are some plant species I could have with this amount of light that would grow well?

I'm looking for foreground and midground plants. Not really interested in tall stem plants.

2. The tank came with fine-grained white sand as a substrate. I set the tank up the other day with just sand and water to help it jumpstart the cycling process. Do I need a different substrate like flourite? Or would the white sand be ok if I dosed ferts and nutrients?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:08 PM   #2
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If its a 15 tall, you should look into a riparium! They are cool!
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:13 PM   #3
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It's not a 15H. :-/ Just a 15 regular.
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:13 PM   #4
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Alright, well it's manageable! What kind of fish would you like to keep?
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:26 AM   #5
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Hmm with that amount of light i would personally stick with low light plants, Dwarf Anubias would do wonderful, frogbits as a floater, then you have your java moss or java fern, marimo balls would be great addition. All can be grown without a C02 setup and low maintenance.. i suggest just using the low light plant posting on this part of the forum and it should be a great start. You might be able to get away with mirco swords if running a DIY yeast c02 could make a great foreground/midground carpet.. hope this helps a little

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lo...ht-plants.html
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:38 AM   #6
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You could do vals, they get tall but can be trimmed with scissors and take no time at all to do, plus they come in varying sizes. Also marselia minuta is very cool to me, but i hear its hard to carpet for most.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:49 AM   #7
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Oh I forgot about marsila minuta.. it would make a nice carpet plant but i would dose or use c02 with them. If you do purchase some, divide it into smaller pieces and spread them throughout the area, where you want the carpet to be. Cut them so each plant has 2-4 leaves and you could plant the runner deeper so it will wrap into the substrate more. Just a heads up it is a slow growing plant in low light could take a couple of months to fill in.

Great suggestion xjasminex, there is many ways to go.
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:20 AM   #8
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you can check out my 15g in my signature for idea's. I take it the cfl are horizontally mounted?
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xjasminex View Post
Alright, well it's manageable! What kind of fish would you like to keep?
I've had tanks with harlequin rasboras and rummynose tetras in the past. I liked the rummynose tetras the best, but I'd like to try a different small tetra species this time. Maybe ember tetras if I can find some.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abscent View Post
Hmm with that amount of light i would personally stick with low light plants, Dwarf Anubias would do wonderful, frogbits as a floater, then you have your java moss or java fern, marimo balls would be great addition. All can be grown without a C02 setup and low maintenance.. i suggest just using the low light plant posting on this part of the forum and it should be a great start. You might be able to get away with mirco swords if running a DIY yeast c02 could make a great foreground/midground carpet.. hope this helps a little

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lo...ht-plants.html

Thanks for the reply. I am definitely going to try some kind of anubias in this tank. Ive had java moss in the past and really liked how well it can accent things, so I will probably use some of that again as well.

I love the look of micro swords as a general carpeting plant.

What about the white sand substrate... What do I need to do for the plants to grow in it? Will plants grow in it?

Thanks a lot for all the help so far.
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:06 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by biogenetic40379 View Post
you can check out my 15g in my signature for idea's. I take it the cfl are horizontally mounted?
Cool tank! And yes, the CFLs are horizontally mounted. Actually, after looking at the lighting tonight, I'm not very happy with it. The CFLs create hot spots on the plexiglass of the hood that I'm not comfortable with. I might just add a third CFL bulb and make some sort of risers for the strip so it sits a couple inches off the tank. Not sure yet.
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:31 PM   #11
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When i try mm, i plan on either dry starting or, doing diy co2 just to get the mm to carpet then stop using it once it is how i like it. You could also use some dwarf sag too. I would definitely add the third light, it will help with spotlighting, plus you will still be low light but the extra light will help.

Oh are you going to dirt this tank?
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neodoxa View Post
Cool tank! And yes, the CFLs are horizontally mounted. Actually, after looking at the lighting tonight, I'm not very happy with it. The CFLs create hot spots on the plexiglass of the hood that I'm not comfortable with. I might just add a third CFL bulb and make some sort of risers for the strip so it sits a couple inches off the tank. Not sure yet.
I have 2 CF bulbs @ 10w each on a 10G and find that this is more than enough light for that tank's size. And they are mounted about 3-4 inches above the water surface (I got rid of the hood). I would just lift the lights without adding a third one to start and see what kind of "algae situation" you get in it (if any) before adding a third one...
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neodoxa View Post

I love the look of micro swords as a general carpeting plant.

What about the white sand substrate... What do I need to do for the plants to grow in it? Will plants grow in it?

Thanks a lot for all the help so far.
Micro swords can be uprooted easily, if you are wanting to use sand thats fine but it will grow incredible slow in it. I would suggest using a plant substrate for a bottom layer and then doing a 1/2 " layer of sand on top, also its prone to algae.
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkian View Post
I have 2 CF bulbs @ 10w each on a 10G and find that this is more than enough light for that tank's size. And they are mounted about 3-4 inches above the water surface (I got rid of the hood). I would just lift the lights without adding a third one to start and see what kind of "algae situation" you get in it (if any) before adding a third one...
Good idea. Thanks.
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neodoxa View Post
Cool tank! And yes, the CFLs are horizontally mounted. Actually, after looking at the lighting tonight, I'm not very happy with it. The CFLs create hot spots on the plexiglass of the hood that I'm not comfortable with. I might just add a third CFL bulb and make some sort of risers for the strip so it sits a couple inches off the tank. Not sure yet.
I have a 15 at work. I went to walmart and got two clip desklamps and put 13 watt CLFs in them, works pretty well. I have a left piece of plexiglass from another project that I use as a partial cover. You can check it out the link is in my signature.
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