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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can someone help me with plant selection? Possibly to a source with pre-packaged assortments.
I would prefer something I can sow directly into the gravel substrate/already rooting.
Below are the specifics of my fish and plants tank set up. I appreciate any direction and suggestions. Thanks in advance.

46 gallon bow front
Net 35 gallons water
Natural gravel, rocks and Ironwood

One 250 GPH Marineland HOT Magnum canister filter with polishing micron filter cartridge
One 250 GPH Marineland HOT Magnum Pro canister filter with Bio Wheel, filter sleeve and media canister with EHEIM Substrat pro bio filter media

Fixture +/- 20” from substrate
Glass hinged top on tank
Plastic lens on fixture
Fixture on factory stands
Chrome reflector
Coralife Lunar Aqualights Compact Fluorescent Strip LightsTwo
4-watt Lunar Blue-Moon-Glow LED lamps
Two SunPaq Dual Daylight 6,700*K/10,000*K 96W lamps
8am – 8pm single light
10am – 4pm both lights
8pm – 8am LEDs only

Fertilizer products-

Water parameters (last test)
Temp 76* - 86* F
Phosphate 1.0 mg/l
Calcium 120 ppm
Nitrate 10 ppm
Ammonia 0.1 ppm
pH 7.6
K hardness 60 ppm
G hardness 230 ppm
Nitrite 0.0 ppm
Free Iron 0.0 mg/l
Chelated Iron 0.3 mg/l

4,221 Posts
You probably need to reduce the lighting period if you plan to just use Excel for carbon. Try 8 hours total with a sunrise/set on the timer instead.

And as you have found out big box pet stores don't sell a lot of good aquatics.

I love my CO2 so don't know all the ins and outs of non CO2 tanks. My little tank with java fern, Marsilea [ground cover clover looking plant], Crypt. wendtii and java moss was pretty but there are lots of other plants that do great without CO2, I just don't know which ones. Check out the low tech forum to see what works well.

Once you have a short list you can ask for them here on the swap and shop forum. Plants come right out of a fellow hobbyist's tank and will be aquatic! Free snails and duckweed are often included!!!

And you could join SCAPE, the southern California planted tank society, and attend meetings and buy plants locally. A road trip to be sure - I don't live close either. The next meeting is at an aquarium store as well.

4,665 Posts
Seems like you have enough filtration. You don't need to add excel to see good growth. Co2 is great for when you have 1/2-2/3 of a tank fully planted. Eventually growth just stumbles to a halt.

I'd get some good substrate first.
Azoo plant grower bed, fluval plant stratum or aquasoil.

Forget going to big box stores.

I sell a bunch of plants as a powerseller here.
You've got the SNS thread in this forum.
You've got aquabid.


71 Posts
lotsa light...

"Two SunPaq Dual Daylight 6,700*K/10,000*K 96W lamps"

192 watts of compact fluorescent on top of a 46 gallon tank is lotsa light. You will be needing a good fert regimen and very good CO2 distribution if you use both bulbs. With the light you have, I believe you will have the best success by planting heavily and then adding some more plants within minutes of finishing your first planting. So pack the tank with plants. Resist the temptation to plant lightly and let it grow in or add some more later. Frogbit or water lettuce will help reduce your light as well. Good luck.
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