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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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New to plants. Any starter help?

Hey guys. After a long while without my tank, I am back with it and wanting to try live plants again. Im going for the thick natural look like I see a lot of you have.

I have a 130 watt Single Strip Coralife Compact Flourescent lighting system for my 55g. I had horrible luck last time with my plants falling apart and making a mess.

I'm trying to go as low maintenance as possible as budget and time don't allow for major setup. Wisteria is my plant of choice, but what else should I be looking at? I'm going to petsmart this weekend and hopefully get some starter plants.

I used the 3 pack of flourish excel last time, what else do I need for good growth? Thanks guys. I'm so lost with plants!

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 04:04 PM
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First off I could be wrong, but I think the light you are using is for saltwater. What is the exact model/number?
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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This is the one I have:

http://www.tscpets.com/3120-pid.html#.U484ynMo7qA

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 05:40 PM
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Welcome to TPT!

If you have the single bulb version of that fixture, that is a TINY amount of light for a 55gal tank. You *might* be able to keep Java ferns and Anubias alive (won't see much growth), but probably not any stem plants. You need more light if you want to have more plant options.





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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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I have the 2 65w bulbs, so roughly 2.3wpg. I mainly want swords, and wisteria for now. I had a major algae bloom last time I used this light, but I'm more involved with the tank now.

I just have no idea where to start. I just know what I want the end results to be lol

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 06:21 PM
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with that light I think you can prob grow that. maby not very fast but hey, im not the expert.

''To screw up a 180g does not take much, to fix up a screwed up 180g is an effort beyond most mortals.''
first planted tank 180g

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Would wisteria grow okay hanging for now?

Also will the flourish excel 3 pack be about all I need for nutrients?

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 06:35 PM
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I think the flourish excel is only for liquid carbon, not nutrients. depending on how many of what type of plants and your sub you could use root tabs (I think the osmacote ones are the best) liquid ferts like flourish comprehensive or dry ferts like ei dosing. imo osmacote root tabs and ei dosing are most of what you need but I think I heard someone say that they lack iron or something.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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My substrate is just the regular small grain gravel from Walmart

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 06:48 PM
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I don't think gravel is the best choice for plants but if it is small enough you should add root tabs under your swords and maby some flourish comp to the water if you don't have the time for ei dosing.

''To screw up a 180g does not take much, to fix up a screwed up 180g is an effort beyond most mortals.''
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-05-2014, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aparker2005 View Post
I have the 2 65w bulbs, so roughly 2.3wpg. I mainly want swords, and wisteria for now. I had a major algae bloom last time I used this light, but I'm more involved with the tank now.

I just have no idea where to start. I just know what I want the end results to be lol
OH you have the CF fixture, I somehow had it in my head that you had the T5NO fixture. BIG difference LOL

You should have enough light to grow any "low light" plant (see the sticky at the top of the Low Tech forum). You may need to play with your photoperiods some to avoid algae. I'd start off with ~ 8 hours/day and go up or down from there.

What size gravel do you have?





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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-05-2014, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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I think I'm gonna end up sticking to plastic plants for now. Time and budget aren't gonna allow me to do what all I'd like. I have the small gravel from Walmart, natural color.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-05-2014, 06:09 PM
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Swords, Java ferns, and Aubias are all super easy plants that would require little to no maintance on your end, and would not require you to change your substrate.





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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-05-2014, 11:42 PM
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yea I agree with laurel. she has the experience so I'd listen to her, even though I didn't listen to her on the diy co2 for my tank (we'll see how that goes).

''To screw up a 180g does not take much, to fix up a screwed up 180g is an effort beyond most mortals.''
first planted tank 180g

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