New 29g! Hairgrass? Microsword? Lighting? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-14-2007, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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Question New 29g! Hairgrass? Microsword? Lighting?

Hello Everyone =)
Sometime this week I'm going to be purchasing a 29g. I'm finally gonna go bigger after having a planted 10g for about 8 months. I really want to have a carpet of grass, such as microsword or dwarf hairgrass covering almost all the foreground. I plan to have a centerpiece of driftwood with java fern, narrow java fern, anubias nana, and other non stem plants. The tank is only gonna consist of guppies and possibly ottos.
Anyways, I am curious as to how many watts of light I would need for the 29g to have the carpet look its best. The carpet is going to be my primary focus in the tank. What substrate is best fitting for this? Also will c02 be a necessity?

I'm very excited to get this tank going so any information, recommendations, or product suggestions will be much appreciated!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-14-2007, 10:05 AM
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I am a little interested in this too as I have a 29gal with a coralife 130W fixture. I am running pressurized CO2 too. I have recently cut back on the lighting to running only 65W to get some algae under control. It seems to be working pretty well and the plant growth is about the same.

I am thinking about planting some glosso up front, but I don't know if I really want to turn that other fixture back on. For the first time in years, the algae is somewhat at bay.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-14-2007, 05:53 PM
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I have two microsword scenarios for you guys.

I've had little success getting it to carpet in sand with DIY CO2, I suspect the sand consistency and CEC, and my planting method (sparsely planted) more than anything, sand was bedded with root tabs, 96w on a 30gl.

Second scenario is great success in short time, SMS over 1" Eco, pressurized CO2, 192w over 65gl, planted 1-1.5" clumps in a checkerboard pattern, carpet filled in very quickly. Both tanks had similar dosing, same 67k spectrum, both 3wpg (although I think the more light makes a difference in these scenarios, regardless of WPG, 96 is 96 and 192 is 192). The 30 has more bottom feeders ie pleco, cories although I don't believe they would've effected the 65gl's growth.

That's all I can say really, there for your own speculation. You can see progress pics in my 30gl and 65gl sig links. It's hard to see in the 30, middle-front, over a year old and still not a carpet.

I would say lots of CO2 should be on hand mainly to fight off BBA if it comes, it will go after and really slow the microsword. Also, it'll speed growth a lot and that's desirable when you're trying to get a low plant to essentially grow on top of itself to make a thick carpet, otherwise it might take a more relaxed and meandering approach to growing, but that's my assumption, I'm sure somebody has done it without CO2, this hobby definitely has a full spectrum of experiences.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-14-2007, 09:09 PM
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If you aren't doing Co2 or if you want to do low-lighting for easier maintenance and less algae problems (hopefully), do a ADVANCED SEARCH for "LOW TECH CARPET" there a few threads...theres some new dwarf or "micro" micro sword out there, but its tough to find, supposed to be good, probably what you want to look for...or the miniature clover would be great but you say you want the grass look....

NOTE: To do a *SEARCH* and get the answer you want, its often best to go to "Advanced Search" and search in the title only.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-14-2007, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses everyone! The tanks in your signatures are truly inspiring!!! Your Microsword lawn is exactly what I wanted but after reading many failed attempts, I think I'd be in over my head. I did a lil more searching and narrowed it down to two options, Dwarf Hairgrass and Lilaeopsis Mauritius. But seem to do descent in low to moderate lighting, and with the other plants I intend to have being moderate lighting, these two seem more fitting. My only issue would be tracking down the Lilaeopsis Mauritius, as many online stores seem to be out of stock.
Can any of you guys recommend the number of wattage I need for the 29g? I'm not exactly sure what low to moderate lighting in wattage is. Also can you recommend a substrate? I want something dark such as fluorite black, but the pieces may be too large for the carpet.

Again any info will be greatly appreciated!!!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-15-2007, 12:49 AM
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Yep,.,,Lilaeopsis Mauritius is what I was suggesting you find However along w/ you it seems pretty difficult to track down...

Really, look at my 29g low-tech tank in my signature, it has 2.4 wpg (but one of those is Actinic, so depending on who you talk to, and what they think of the debate on Actinics, I only have 1.2wpg...), and look plenty of plant growth.

Dwarf hairgrass from everything I've read needs high-lighting...and with high-lighting you have a host of other problems (easy imbalances lead to algae), I'd go w/ an easier setup to get started...

The other plant that I'd recommend is m.minutia...from www.floridadriftwood.com (low light carpet)

GO WITH ECO-COMPLETE!! (Go to the SUBSTRATE section of this board, and then look for the thread on the first page "Aquasoil vs Eco" and see my posts there, Eco is MUCH more forgiving...

NOTE: To do a *SEARCH* and get the answer you want, its often best to go to "Advanced Search" and search in the title only.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-15-2007, 03:04 AM
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-15-2007, 06:59 AM
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Ganjero, you grow some great grass. You have a s%!# of light, though. I'd like to see what those with less light and CO2 are capable of, I guess I'm going to have to check the low tech searches that Nbot mentioned.

AJ, I think you should grab whatever Lilaeopsis you can get your hands on. I got mine at petco and just assumed it was brasiliensis, whatever it is it's turned out to be one of the easier plants I've grown to the point that it's boring me. Just make sure you have a good substrate, not sand, and plant it in a checkerboard. I don't have any experience with hairgrass. I would shoot for around 100w for your 29gl if it's around 36" long. Your wattage options are going to depend on the length of your tank, you want at least one or two compact fluorescent bulbs over it, how long is it in inches?


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-15-2007, 07:34 AM Thread Starter
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Well I'm gonna be going with the ECO as a substrate as Nbot recommended . I will be getting everything on Wednesday, except for some of the plants which will have to be ordered online. I have yet to decide on the taller, or longer 29. I'm leaning towards the long due to the fact I don't want to have any issues with the light getting to the plants.

jaidexl, I will take your suggestion and get 100 watts of light for the tank. The look of the Lilaeopsis is exactly what I wanted. I'm going to try and find the Mauritius variety but if not, I'll try what I can find as you stated, as I have seen some type of microsword at Petsmart! It just looks simply amazing in your tanks!! I am also ordering the val nana that you have in your tank as well lol Once the tank is purchased Ill let you know the dimensions, and take pics of the product. I cant thank everyone enough for all your help. It definitely make the whole process a lot easier and comfortable.

If you guys have anymore tips let me know =)
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