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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New here. I haven't had a planted tank in a long time and am starting small and on a very modest budget. I have a 20 gallon that I have started up as a community tank. Have 5 dwarf neon rainbows so far and might throw in a few gouramis and corys later on. Anyways, have pool filter sand substrate and nice piece of gnarly driftwood. PH comes out of the tap at just over 7, temp is at 80 degrees. I bought a Coralife bulb (18") for the stock hood. The bulb was rated specifically for plants with red and blue light spectrum out put at 5500. It's only a 15W though, and was the highest wattage I could find at all the local stores in that length. All the higher wattage bulbs were longer. Will this be sufficient light for low-light plants like anubias, java moss, java fern, etc? The tank is standard 20 gallon size, height at about 16". I'm not wanting to mail order a stronger bulb or customize a light hood. This tank is to be low budget as I have a larger African cichlid tank that I spend a lot of money on to maintain. If the 15W bulb is not enough to support plants, then plastic it is! Also, for the plants I mentioned above, and since I have sand substrate instead of gravel, is it best to attach them to the driftwood? Thanks for the info in advance.
 

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That lighting should be fine for Anubias, Java fern and crypts.
The crypts and Vals (should you add any) would be planted in the substrate. Java fern and anubias should be attached directly to the wood, or placed in between rocks, etc.

I find I do have amazing growth on my anubias though if I place the rhizome on or near the substrate, allowing the roots to eventually penetrate and go down into the substrate. DO NOT burry the rhizome in the substrate as this will lead to the death of the plant.

Just be aware though that 20gl's is the empty volume of water, so stock accordingly to what the actual volume of water will be once you've added all the plants and rocks and wood.
Good luck, and welcom to TPT!
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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I think you should be OK with that bulb as long as you don't expect much from the plants. It should keep what you listed alive, though they probably won't grow quickly at all.

Dwarf sag and E. tenellus are 2 other plants you might try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That lighting should be fine for Anubias, Java fern and crypts.
The crypts and Vals (should you add any) would be planted in the substrate. Java fern and anubias should be attached directly to the wood, or placed in between rocks, etc.

I find I do have amazing growth on my anubias though if I place the rhizome on or near the substrate, allowing the roots to eventually penetrate and go down into the substrate. DO NOT burry the rhizome in the substrate as this will lead to the death of the plant.

Just be aware though that 20gl's is the empty volume of water, so stock accordingly to what the actual volume of water will be once you've added all the plants and rocks and wood.
Good luck, and welcom to TPT!
Thanks for the info SearunSimpson. I was hoping I could get away with some low light plants with my current set-up, so I'll give it a shot. And yeah, I will definitely take it easy on stocking the tank. The rainbows are doing nicely (1 M/4 F) and are at about 1 inch now, so are about halfway grown. I was thinking a pair of dwarf gouramis and a pair of corys to finish off the tank. Perhaps a bristlenose p[leco to help with algae and I can always rotate him among my other tanks if need be. I have a large African cichlid tank and another community tank that I rotate my plecos and loaches in to keep the algae and any food waste under control. Has worked great for me so far. Thanks!
 
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