never kept plants (new member), need advice on beginner/low light plants PLEASE! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-27-2006, 06:47 AM Thread Starter
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Talking never kept plants (new member), need advice on beginner/low light plants PLEASE!

Hey all,

I've been lurking around for the past couple of months reading and doing forum searches to answer my questions. I've read rexx's website and have read many past topics to help me get an introduction. I just need some verification on my setup before I buy plants and place a final order on lighting.

So here goes...

I have a 47-gallon cube tank. I will post measurements in the morning (too tired to now lol). However, the tank is fairly high and deep (at least 12 inches deeper than a standard 55 gallon).

The tank came with the same standard light fixture for a 10-gallon aquarium (I think it's 24"). I am on a budget (poor college student) and hope to keep lighting at or below 2 wpg and willing to go as far as 2.5 wpg. However, I will NOT be using CO2. The most I will do is at the Seachem or Marc Weiss liquid additives to supplement nutrients and CO2. I plan on purchasing the 24" Coralife Aqualight Single Compact Fluorescent Strip Lights @ 65 watts found here: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...04+2032+113345

Since my tank is so deep, if need be, I will buy those desktop compact fluorescent lights and shine 2 of them in from both left and right sides of the tank at approx. mid level to give a little more lighting. Does anyone know where I can get these fairly cheap (Wal-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot, etc.)? Again, I don't plan on having so much wpg that I need CO2.

The substrate consists of 30 lbs of Seachem's Flourite and a half-inch top layer of normal aquarium gravel.

I plan on having medium-sized driftwood in the tank and attaching some plants to it.

For filtration I picked up a Fluval 304 on clearance for only $50!!! I am thinking about running a little bit of peat through it.

The tank will be stocked with 8 cardinal tetra, 5 clown loaches, and 4 angel fish.


My questions are:

1) What type of low-light/beginner plants do you all recommend? I have heard that Amazon swords are good. I plan on having only one species of tall/large growing plants in the background, 2-3 species in the middle, and 2-3 species in the foreground. Hopefully, they can grow to be tall since my tank is deep. However, I really want to be sure that they will live in such lighting conditions. Eventually, I want to end up with as close as possible to a jungle as I can without a CO2 system.

2) Which of these beginner plants do I burying in substrate and which do I attach to driftwood?

3) Where can I buy these plants? I really want to be able to just get them at Petsmart of a LFS.

3) In the foreground, I want to have the “carpet effect.” What kind of plants would be good foreground carpet plants and still grow in relatively low (2wpg) light and no injected CO2. Will micro swords work in this setup? NOTE: I will use liquid supplements such at Marc Weiss’s Aquarium Vital.

4) Will desktop lights aimed at the mid level of the tank help give light/energy since my canopy fixture might not penetrate fully to the bottom for plants that don’t grow tall enough? Are they needed (the tank is pretty deep)?

5) Do the liquid supplements for CO2 such as Marc Weiss’ Aquarium Vital actually help?



To try an answer one of my own questions (#1), do Amazon swords, water sprites, crypts, java ferns, java moss, and micro sword (for grass effect) work in approx 2 wpg without CO2 injection? What else do you think works?

This is my "test" tank so I can gain enough experience to set up a 200 gallon planted discus tank later on with my father (since he will be providing the funds for this lol)

Thank you all for reading this, and I hope to enjoy this hobby for years to come!

-cyang
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-27-2006, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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Also, what do you recommend as a good natural background? I read the article on attaching mesh to the glass and putting moss on it. Will that work without CO2 and at 2 wpg (with desktop lamps) in a deep tank?

-cyang
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-27-2006, 07:25 AM
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1) What type of low-light/beginner plants do you all recommend?
Amazon swords is a good plant, but unfortunately it grows very big to the point of which it will take over your tank, blocking the light out of all your other plants. For low-light/ beginner plants, I recommend Java Fern, Java moss, Anubias Barteri, Hygro. Polysperma, Hygro Difformis, Lobellia Cardinalis, Bacopa, many species of cryptocorynes.

2) Which of these beginner plants do I burying in substrate and which do I attach to driftwood?
Attach only Java Fern, Java Moss, and Anubias to driftwood.

Where can I buy these plants?

They should be easily obtain through a LFS, Petsmart also sell those non-aquatic plants, so becareful.

What kind of plants would be good foreground carpet plants and still grow in relatively low (2wpg) light and no injected CO2. Will micro swords work in this setup?
Java Moss is your best bet. Marsila hisurta if you can find them. Micro sword will grow very slowly without co2.

4) Will desktop lights aimed at the mid level of the tank help give light/energy since my canopy fixture might not penetrate fully to the bottom for plants that don’t grow tall enough? Are they needed (the tank is pretty deep)?
Sounds kinda weird, I don't think that is nescessary, go to walmart pick up either shoplight(some people are against it, but I've gotten to the point where I can grow plants very well with it.) or clamplights, fill it with sunlight bulbs and your tank will get plenty of light. I can go into further detail if you want me to.

5) Do the liquid supplements for CO2 such as Marc Weiss’ Aquarium Vital actually help?

Never tried the product, for a 47 gallon tank, the liquitd supplements won't last you very long and it will cost much more in the long run. Google this: PMDD and DIY CO2, you should get alot of info.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-27-2006, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanaqua
What kind of plants would be good foreground carpet plants and still grow in relatively low (2wpg) light and no injected CO2. Will micro swords work in this setup?
Java Moss is your best bet. Marsila hisurta if you can find them. Micro sword will grow very slowly without co2.

4) Will desktop lights aimed at the mid level of the tank help give light/energy since my canopy fixture might not penetrate fully to the bottom for plants that don’t grow tall enough? Are they needed (the tank is pretty deep)?
Sounds kinda weird, I don't think that is nescessary, go to walmart pick up either shoplight(some people are against it, but I've gotten to the point where I can grow plants very well with it.) or clamplights, fill it with sunlight bulbs and your tank will get plenty of light. I can go into further detail if you want me to.

Can I get this kind of moss at an LFS? How many watts are those lights you use and are they safe for leaving on during the day when no one is at home?

Thanks for your responses!

-cyang
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-27-2006, 05:51 PM
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Since my tank is so deep, if need be, I will buy those desktop compact fluorescent lights and shine 2 of them in from both left and right sides of the tank at approx. mid level to give a little more lighting.
Really Bad Idea. I've Been There, Done That on 2 separate tanks. It will give You Thread/Hair Algae in those areas. Period. I also ran a 25" light strip along the back bottom of a 29gal and got the same result. I understand being short on funds, but buy want You can and improve it as money permits. Starting with an AHSupply kit would be good, and then adding another one when You can would be the way to go IMO.

You won't find better deals than the swap and shop here at PT. Some of these folks give away copious amounts of plants just for the cost of shipping--and they are quality plants. A little bit of patience will save You a lot of $$$ in the long run. Aquatic Plants seem pretty inexpensive, but it all adds up pretty fast.

HTH

With such a deep tank you will probably end up needing quite a bit of light. So, you may end up Needing C02. If so, just go with it. DIY C02 is pretty cheap and not difficult, and I have found that the Jello method is well worth the extra time and expense, because in the long-run it takes less time and expense.

Jello Method


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-27-2006, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyang
3) Where can I buy these plants? I really want to be able to just get them at Petsmart of a LFS.

3) In the foreground, I want to have the “carpet effect.” What kind of plants would be good foreground carpet plants and still grow in relatively low (2wpg) light and no injected CO2. Will micro swords work in this setup? NOTE: I will use liquid supplements such at Marc Weiss’s Aquarium Vital.


-cyang
I have seen some scary looking plants at Petsmart, re: old and unhealthy. I would recommend buying them online from Aquariumplants.com. or here at swap and shop.
And a good, but slow to grow foreground plant for low light tanks would be Marselia, if you can find some. Very hardy.





Three Tanks...Eheim 2128 & XP3-90G, Eheim 2128-65G, Eheim 2232-25G.... Tek 4x54 watt T5-90G, Aqualight 96watt PC 65G low tech, 65 watt Aqualight-25G.... Hydors-90G & 65G ... Flourite in 90, 65, & 25 Gallons, .... Auto Water Change/Auto dosing on 90 & 65 gallon..... AGA member......
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