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Old 08-24-2015, 10:15 PM   #1
eggplantlady
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Low Plant Research Frustration!


I'm researching possibilities for my first time, 40b Walsted tank and the conflicting information on the light requirements for plants is driving me crazy. For example, Diana Walsted recommends some plants that this forum also has listed in the list of low tech plants but when I look at the book, A Fishkeeper's Guide to Aquarium Plants by Barry James, he says that one of the ones that I am looking at requires high light. When I look at moss balls, I find everything from low to medium to high light requirements, yet they aren't on this forum's (Low Tech Forum) list.

I'm assuming that the Low Tech Forum plant list is the most reliable simply because I think it is based on user's experiences, but the discrepancies are really frustrating. Any suggestions?
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:21 PM   #2
Raymond S.
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Any plant listed in one level of light may either survive or grow more slowly in the next level down from that. The color likely will vary from that which is possible in the listed
level. Working in the ascending order often results in algae on the leaves.
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Old 08-25-2015, 01:42 AM   #3
theatermusic87
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Some other plants such as hair grass and gloso are listed as higher light plants, simply because they grow incredibly slowly in lower (not low low) light tanks and a lot of people don't have the patience to wait over a year for a small tank to carpet.

Also everyones tank is different, what works for some might not work for others... as long as you're not spending huge amounts of money on plants... I say try the ones you want and see how it goes, and adjust accordingly with what works and doesn't.

I have some plants growing great in a 5, growing great with algae in a 3, emersed in a filter and barely hanging on in a 25, it's a learning experience all around
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Old 08-25-2015, 02:03 AM   #4
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Theatermusic87 sums it all pretty well. Eggplantlady, if you look at the Walstad book and her example about the growth of valisneria in soft and hard water you get 2 different outcome. In spite the fact that it's a "low light" plant.

As said in the previous post. Try many plants and use patience. It pays back.

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Old 08-25-2015, 09:11 AM   #5
Caliban07
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I agree Walstad's method isn't fool proof (no offence intended) se herself even admitted to not knowing which plants would thrive and which would dwindle in her tanks hence the recommendation of packing the tank full of different species. If one plants doesn't make it don't beat yourself up it just cannot compete in the given environment so don't purchase that plant in the future or place it in another tank with different competition. Once you have experience with the method you can start tweaking it to suit.

That said, initially I would expect good plants growth from most plants. The plants that are unflavoured by the conditions will more than likely show themselves after a year or so maybe.

Carpet plant such as dwarf hair grass need high light mainly because of their distance from the light and the surface area of the leaves that are able to capture and absorb photons. If you increase light intensity for this one plants it could be detrimental to another and cause algae. Again a balancing act. I have hair grass at 20 inch depth under two t8 tubes that is still sprouting (very slowly) but the main plant is dying. No dosing and inert substrate in this tank though. It's a work in progress.

Hope this helps.
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Old 08-25-2015, 11:56 AM   #6
Jonas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caliban07 View Post
I agree Walstad's method isn't fool proof (no offence intended) se herself even admitted to not knowing which plants would thrive and which would dwindle in her tanks hence the recommendation of packing the tank full of different species. If one plants doesn't make it don't beat yourself up it just cannot compete in the given environment so don't purchase that plant in the future or place it in another tank with different competition. Once you have experience with the method you can start tweaking it to suit.

That said, initially I would expect good plants growth from most plants. The plants that are unflavoured by the conditions will more than likely show themselves after a year or so maybe.

Carpet plant such as dwarf hair grass need high light mainly because of their distance from the light and the surface area of the leaves that are able to capture and absorb photons. If you increase light intensity for this one plants it could be detrimental to another and cause algae. Again a balancing act. I have hair grass at 20 inch depth under two t8 tubes that is still sprouting (very slowly) but the main plant is dying. No dosing and inert substrate in this tank though. It's a work in progress.

Hope this helps.
Or it could just need a little extra fertalisation.

Last edited by Jonas; 08-25-2015 at 11:57 AM.. Reason: Spelling
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Old 08-25-2015, 07:39 PM   #7
Caliban07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonas View Post
Or it could just need a little extra fertalisation.
Of course it does. My point is that without the best environment it is still trying to grow. When I put a fertile substrate in I'm expecting much better results. Since the tank (like the OP's) is based on the Walstad method, fertilisation will be predominantly from the substrate and the addition of fish food.
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Old 08-25-2015, 08:55 PM   #8
eggplantlady
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What, there aren't any guarantees??? LOL! Okay, then is there a way to calculate about how many plants I will need to start off with to get 85% coverage? It seems like you need many more at the beginning so that you get heavy coverage and then maybe have to remove some as things fill in? I thought that replanting in the Walsted tank could cause problems uprooting the dirt. Maybe that shouldn't be a worry; just wait until things settle again.
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Old 08-25-2015, 09:46 PM   #9
Mariostg
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No there isn't.
And it makes estimate ever harder if you haven't decided which plants to use. Even in Walstad, some plants grow faster. And some spreads faster such as Sagittaria Subulata.

One thing that is almost guaranteed though is that it's pretty much impossible to over plant. As time goes by, you may prefer some plants. And what if you want a second tank.
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