very low light tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-21-2012, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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very low light tank


i was wondering if there are any plants that can grow with basically only ambient light..

the tank is a 20g extra high, 24in deep, same foot print as a 10g but 2x higher...there are no lights on the tank, it is a fry tank.. im just looking for something to provide a little security for them

there are 2 light bulbs about 1.5 feet above the tank (CFLs 15w i think) but its hit or miss if they are on or not. ... i know a solution would be to buy a light fixture but its a little harder to get something (cost effective) that will penetrate 24" deep... i might be able to get my hands on a standard 10g stock fixture soon but i dont feel like that would help my cause much due to the depth of the tank

im am just looking for something that will survive in there, it doesnt really need to grow, but at least not die off

would some mosses work? like java moss?
- someone told me that java fern might work but im just sure
- also i was told anubias is a low light plant but will it survive in these conditions.

any suggestions or ideas are welcome
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-21-2012, 06:23 PM
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You would be able to get some CFL in there that would give decent light I believe. I use 13w on my 10 gallon and you can get stronger ones for the depth of your tank. All you would need to get is the 10 gallon hood that would normally take incandescent bulbs and screw in the CFLs. As far as very low light plants, you hit on most of the ones I was thinking of.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-21-2012, 07:00 PM
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Personal Experience with a 20g aquarium:
  • Established aquarium (over 15yrs)
  • Currently almost no fish (for the past year)
  • On the opposite wall from a window (20ft away)
  • No light fixture, all light derived from daylight (for the past year)
  • No ferts
  • No CO2
  • Water changes 25% once a month and top-offs

Plants that have done well under these conditions for over a year:
  • Anubias Nana
  • Variety of Cryptocorynes
  • Java Fern
  • Bolbitis Fern
  • Java Moss

In summary: as long as there is some daylight in the room, in an established aquarium, you can grow successfully most ferns, anubias, cryptocorynes and mosses.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-21-2012, 07:23 PM
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Tank Lighting

Hello r...

I keep low light tanks, but do have a bulb in the strip. As long as there is some type of indirect or even filtered light, Anubias, Java fern and mosses like "Singapore" would adapt. The growth would be extremely slow, but these plants are somewhat slow growers even in optimum water conditions.

Give it a try and add some micro nutrients (trace elements) to the water in dry, liquids or granules, along with changing half the water in the tank every week. This will keep a high level of minerals in the water. The fish will also add their version of the macro nutrients.

I think it could work.


"Fear not my child, just change the tank water."
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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ok thank you
order some java moss from a member of this site, will add that and i do 50-655 wc every 5 days or so, so i think i will be good. just want to provide a little extra security for the fry
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