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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-29-2004, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Low light plants

I have had fish for a while, but have just recently got into planted tanks. My question is about a 20g tank, that has fish already; I would like to convert it to a planted tank. The problem is it will only have 1-2 watts of florescent light due to *VERY* limited budget. A little later on I will do DIY CO2. I would like 1-2 tall plants, and 1-2 short plants, and some Java moss. I have had a little bit of conflicting info on the amount light certain plants can survive/grow in. Below are some plants that I like but was wondering your what your experiences with them are. Please excuse any misspellings.

Ambulia
Corkscrew Contortion vals
Thai onion plant
Dwarf sag
Other kinds of sag
Java moss
Java fern
Crypt Wenditii
Pennywort

I also have heard that Eloeda is good, but I donít care for its looks much. Thanks for any help or info on these plants.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-29-2004, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmoAquafish
I have had fish for a while, but have just recently got into planted tanks. My question is about a 20g tank, that has fish already; I would like to convert it to a planted tank. The problem is it will only have 1-2 watts of florescent light due to *VERY* limited budget. A little later on I will do DIY CO2. I would like 1-2 tall plants, and 1-2 short plants, and some Java moss. I have had a little bit of conflicting info on the amount light certain plants can survive/grow in. Below are some plants that I like but was wondering your what your experiences with them are. Please excuse any misspellings.

Ambulia
Corkscrew Contortion vals
Thai onion plant
Dwarf sag
Other kinds of sag
Java moss
Java fern
Crypt Wenditii
Pennywort

I also have heard that Eloeda is good, but I donít care for its looks much. Thanks for any help or info on these plants.
Java Fern and Moss will definitley be OK as will the Crypt. wendtii. Some of the Ambulias may work (I have found Asian ambulia-Limnophila sessisflora to be great if you are closer to the 2 WPG side). Sags may be OK, but they don't like temps above 79 F.

The Vals and Pennywort need more light.

You may also want to look at Anubias Sp., other Crypt. species. other interesting Java Fern varieties and Barclaya longifolia.

A few swords may also do well if you can get up to 2 WPG.

I hope this helps.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-29-2004, 09:47 PM
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Very well put and accurate lowcoaster
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-29-2004, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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My temp is at 79 F, will Sags be okay? It is 79 F for my Ram.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-30-2004, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
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Oh, and I ment to asky. Does anyone have any plants that they like and can grow in low light, that I didn't list?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-30-2004, 08:28 PM
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Egeria najas (spelling) does fine in low light. Little harder to find but it grows fine in 1.5 watts for me in the past. Everything is slow with lower light but it does fine.

Other then that, like Lowcoaster said just about any of the crypts will do great and the anubias species. There are some very cool anubias species out there like the narrow leaf and marble leaf. Very cool looking ones.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-31-2004, 02:02 AM
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Originally Posted by lowcoaster
The Vals and Pennywort need more light.
Of course, for every rule there's an exception. I've done remarkably well with corkscrew vals (the shorter ones) in an 85G (60x16x20) with really pitiful lighting (on 40w 50/50 bulb and one [maybe]40w actinic - don't ask). I threw them in for the heck of it because I didn't have room for them in my "real" planted tank. To my surprise they've done really well, despite the lack of light (and the fish they live with, who are always rearranging the substrate).

I guess my point is that if there's a plant you like (as long as its not a known light hog like red cabomba or rare or expensive), it might be worth trying even though your light is less than ideal. Experimenting is half the fun.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-31-2004, 03:22 AM
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I, too, am on a very tight budget. All of my tanks have relatively low light (between 1-2 wpg), and I've done well - in addition to some listed already - with Hornwort, Cabomba Caroliniana, Anacharis (Elodea), and Amazon Sword. Also, the bulbs commonly available at places like Walmart typically do fine. Surprisingly, Java Moss has never done well in my tanks. One of my favs is Elodea, but what happens is that the tiny leaves get further apart on the stem when there is less light.

Another thing I've noticed with most plants I have (especially my Java Ferns) is sometimes the current growth will gradually be replaced by growth that has adapted to poorer light conditions.

One rule to keep in mind is that almost any plant that has a red color to it requires tons of light.

Hope that helps a bit. I'm no expert by any means, but that's my experience.
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