Carpet plants for low tech tank
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Old 09-15-2006, 03:58 PM   #1
faltered
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Carpet plants for low tech tank


I have a 36g bowfront tank with 2x65 watt lighting, eco complete substrate. It's planted with some swords, java fern, wysteria, sags, and a few other plants. They just went in this week, so everything is still "new."



I love the look of a plant carpet in the foreground. However, I don't want to dose CO2. Are there any plants that would create a carpet look and work in my tank?

Right now, the only thing in the foreground are some dwarf sags. I'd like to add something for a more carpeted effect. Thanks all.
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Old 09-15-2006, 05:39 PM   #2
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With that light CO2 is a necessity. It isn't an option to be quite honest with you.

Since you will presumably be getting CO2, any foreground will work with that light. I suggest Elatine triandra or Hemianthus callitrichoides.
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Old 09-15-2006, 06:20 PM   #3
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I have run a low tech 40 gal breeder with 110 watts with no co2, no ferts and no problems.

here is a thread on plants

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lo...nd-covers.html
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Old 09-15-2006, 07:14 PM   #4
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mrbelvedere: The light is 2x65w but one of the bulbs is actinic. I've read conflicting info on whether the actinic bulb is beneficial to the plants. So right now I'm just considering the lighting at 65w until I read more up on it.

lumpy: Thanks for the link. That gets me off to a nice start.
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Old 09-15-2006, 10:50 PM   #5
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from personal experience i'd have to say the actinic won't do didly but make the blue colors on your fish stand out more. I really like Marselia as a carpet foreground plant - it needs much less light than glosso or HC and needs much less maintenance to keep it looking pretty.

And i definitely agree you're going to need pressurized CO2 on that tank. The nice thing is that once you have it set up, you can set it and forget it. Every seven or eight months I swap out the canister for $12 bucks and that's about it.
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Old 10-04-2006, 03:43 AM   #6
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Wow... you guys consider 130 watts for a 36 gal low tech?
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Old 10-04-2006, 04:05 AM   #7
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It's just 65 watts. The other 65 watts is actinic, which won't do anything for plant growth. 65 watts, 36 gallons, 1.8WPG. A little more light, and he/she will have to start fertilizing and injecting CO2 to avoid algae.
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Old 10-09-2006, 10:00 PM   #8
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I had a low tech 60 gallon tank w/ 200 watts light.. it was a beautiful tank! I only had 1 or 2 algae outbreaks in the 5 or so years I had that tank setup, and that had to do w/ phosphates in my tap water. Phosphate remover cleared it up quickly. Recently I moved everything to a 210 and am having some issues.. the plants are weak! very thin brittle leaves, but thts for another post.....

I'd say the actinic will help algae, but not plants... They are designed to grow algaes in the reef aquariums.. good algae, but still algae.
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Old 10-11-2006, 03:05 AM   #9
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actinic is par, designed for the first peaks of chlorophyll a and b. it works for plants. it needs to be supplimented for plants because they require the second peak, which is not actinic.
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Old 10-12-2006, 07:51 AM   #10
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i'll go for Micro sword or Dwarf sag
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Old 10-12-2006, 02:22 PM   #11
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hit me up if you need some dwarf sag!
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Old 10-20-2006, 12:55 PM   #12
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I also have a 36g bowfront with a 2x65W compact Fluorescent fixture. I just don't run both bulbs at the same time, giving me 1.8WPG. I find I light the tank better that way. You could probably swap out the Actinic and replace it with a usable light. I think I have a 6700k and a 10000k. Right now, I have HC growing pretty low, it's not carpeting, but it's pretty bushy and low.

In another tank with only 1.4WPG, I have Marsilea quadrifolia that grows pretty low to the ground; 3-4 inches tops, but closer to 2 inches. It is an easy plant to care for.

That being said, I also inject CO2 into both tanks, which is not exactly low-tech, but it works for me. A weak DIY mix is sufficient to give the plants the boost they need in the lower light. None of the tanks have algae that is offensive. Just enough for my otos to munch on. Plant growth is very managible.

Marsilea may work on your 36g low-tech.

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Old 10-20-2006, 03:20 PM   #13
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Thanks all. The tank is progressing nicely. One of my swords flowered and I have babies growing all over. I'll probably get 10 babies out of the one plant. The sags don't seem to be doing well latley- a lot of leaf melting going on. Not sure why. The other plants are all doing well.
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36g bowfront tank: 2x65w Orbit w/moonlight, eco-complete substrate, XP2 filter
Plants: anacharis, assorted swords, Chilensis sags, dwarf sags, Java fern, wisteria, wendtii-red
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