Hi--new to plants....some suggestions???
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Old 12-07-2003, 04:06 PM   #1
Mudkicker
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hi
i am new to plants and Nano Tanks
i keep big African Cichlids tanks only-no plants just lots of rock.

i have a 5.5 cube with an 8 watt fluorescent tube.

i would like suggestions on how much, and what type of gravel to use
and
what plants do best in small tanks with only 8 watts of light. i would prefer shorter plants to minimize maintenance on this tank.

thanks for any and all suggestions
Mud
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Old 12-07-2003, 04:53 PM   #2
fishyboy
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ok 8 watts prob isn't going to cut it unless you grow VERY low light plants...
for substrate . i have small gravel mixed with laterite. [sand and laterite is also good]
eco is great....
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Old 12-07-2003, 05:48 PM   #3
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You gravel choices pretty much depend on what kind of a feel you want for this tank. Personally, I'd find use eco complete, or a dark gravel, with laterite added. Other people will have other opinions. It's pretty much whatever you want. 1.5 watts per gallon, isn't as little as most people would like you to believe. However, finding plants that won't take over your tank, and still look good with such low light can be a problem. I recommend you find some nice driftwood, and then attach a few anubias nana "petit" to it. Maybe some java moss around it, if you like the look. Then, add some contortnist vals to the background, or, get a low lying rock or piece of wood, and attach java ferns to it. Eventually they will fill in and make a nice background plant, to hide your equipment. For mid ground, some crypt. walkeri, or wendtii will do nicely. Foreground, I would use crypt parva, or dwarf sag. Both will grow slowly, tho the crypt parva, much more then the dwarf sag. The sag might get a little tall for your likening. I've heard Marsilea quadifolia (sp?) does well in low light, but personally I've never tried it. Maybe someone else can shed some light on its low light growth (no pun intended) HTH.
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Old 12-07-2003, 11:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudkicker
hi
i am new to plants and Nano Tanks
i keep big African Cichlids tanks only-no plants just lots of rock.

i have a 5.5 cube with an 8 watt fluorescent tube.

i would like suggestions on how much, and what type of gravel to use
and
what plants do best in small tanks with only 8 watts of light. i would prefer shorter plants to minimize maintenance on this tank.

thanks for any and all suggestions
Mud
African Cichlids will pluck out plants from the gravel or mess with the gravel until it comes out. I believe pooky's suggestion with tying nanas to driftwood is the only way that it could work. However, one thing to note is that african cichlids will chew on plants that other fish don't. If I'm not wrong, I read before that nanas taste unpleasant to fish and fish will not try to eat them. However, that doesn't seem to be the case when my african cichlids were with them. The advantage of nanas is that it does require very low light only. The disadvantage is they grow really slowly.

As a sidenote, african cichlids prefer coral sand, not suitable for planting anything in.
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Old 12-08-2003, 01:03 AM   #5
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I suppose Mud doesn't think of keeping african cichlids in a 5 gal tank :roll: but correct me if I am wrong.

I agree with Pooky, but I think the 8W lighting will not be sufficient. Maybe with an excellent reflector... otherwise it will be difficult to grow plants. If you have room in the hood you might want to try to fit in another bulb, like one of the screw-in fluorescents.

Starting out the planted tank hobby with a nano tank isn't something I would recommend... in a larger tank it will be easier to dose things and maintain balance.

Just my two bits...
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Old 12-08-2003, 01:09 AM   #6
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i started in nano planted lol a regent 5 [like marine land 6 gallon] , but i'm now I a 10
i used those bulbs these sell at walmart.....
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Old 12-08-2003, 01:54 AM   #7
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yea i use those lights at wal-mart for my 10 and they work great. better then i expected. On if they had them in 15 watts
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Old 12-08-2003, 10:20 AM   #8
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I just realised mudkicker you are talking about big african cichlids so depending on your defination of big, your tank could already be too small already.

Outgrowing a tank if always a fun thing. Now you can get a bigger tank for your cichlids and have fun with the old one!
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Old 12-08-2003, 12:59 PM   #9
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no he has the africans in ''big'' tank. and is new to start planting...
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Old 12-08-2003, 03:05 PM   #10
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Hi
thanks for the replies everyone, i appreciate it.
there seems to be a misunderstanding, so let my clarify.

the bulk of my Aquarium experience lies with "big" African Cichlid Tanks.
therefore, no live plant experience at all!!

i have a 5.5 with a really nice Marina Fluorescent Canopy. it only holds one 8 watt tube however.

i DO NOT under any circumstance consider putting any African Cichlids in this tank with live plants.
Africans CAN be done in a 5.5 with small Tangyanikan Shell Dwellers such as Multis and Similis, but obviously one would not put plants in this tank because of the substrate and water chemistry along with Cichlids' tendancy to eat plants and dig like crazy.

what i want to do is set up this 5.5 as a desktop. i want to put a nice piece of wood in there with live plants.

i always liked live plants but was always afraid to try them--i had tried when i was in my teens once and the outcome left much to be desired. so i went the African route

Now i find the perfect opportunity to start small with plants. Once planted, i will add a couple of Ottos, a pair of ???Emperor Tetras??? and one or two DWARF Corys.

So, what do you think
keep the suggestions coming
thanks

PS--what is Laterite and Eco Complete?????
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Old 12-08-2003, 05:53 PM   #11
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Laterite is a substrate devoted to growing plants, its iron rich and absorbs nutrients. Eco complete is somewhat the same but it comes in its own water and has more nutrients already in.
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Old 12-08-2003, 07:46 PM   #12
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at my LFS, they sell a sand from sand dunes in France :roll:
it says on the bag that it specifically for plants.

is sand too fine of a substrate for plants???
is the larger grain of gravel more suitable????

also--how would the Rainbow "Pseudomugil Furcatus" fare in a 5.5?

thanks and sorry for the greenhorn questions

Mud
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Old 12-08-2003, 08:01 PM   #13
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sand is betteer than gravel i think.........
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Old 12-08-2003, 09:08 PM   #14
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P. furcatus would not be a good choice for a 5.5, they are very active and would do better with more swimming room. The minimum length I would ever keep them in is 30-36". You would need a somewhat sedate fish, whitecloud mountain minnows, endler's, something along those lines.
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Old 12-08-2003, 10:59 PM   #15
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Too fine sand will cause rotting of the roots, river sand is better than sea-sand (coming from the dunes).
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