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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to know what I can grow...

I am using the stock lights - are these considered low-medium-or high lights?

substrate is mineralized topsoil - dolomite, muriate potash, organic potting soil, with 12% mixed in red clay.

I was hoping to be able to grow some red plants. Is it possible to grow some rotala, dwarf baby tears, baby tears, dwarf pennywort (hydrocotyle), Pogostemon stellata (Eusteralis)?
 

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I've been looking to get a edge as well..
with the led's, I'd say you are in low light because the height of the tank..
the baby tears will be very very very slow if doesn't melt. Probably any rotala will grow slow if it gets good light from the led's.
As for pennywort and Pogostemon stellata..I've never had them, but google says Pogostemon stellata needs intensive light and co2 - so no, but dwarf pennywort should grow ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am using pennywort for foreground and will wrap around showpiece rock.

back corner will plant stem rotala colorata/rotund/ or butterfly.... I will have long stem so should be close to light. If this dies will go with lower light red crypt.

on right corner planting stem water sprite and java moss on small rocks holding showpiece rock in place.

All low light, with mineralized topsoil, and NO co2. I may dose with flourish excel (but may not be needed with my soil). Will take pictures of progress!!! Dwarf puffer breeding tank, 3 ottos, with cherry shrimp and ramshorn snails (for food).



or


http://i786.photobucket.com/albums/yy142/soup3777/IMG_0389-1_zpsb6421591.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Plant list in fluval 12 stock led. Dosing with carbon, use mineralized topsoil substrate.

brazilian pennywort -not melting, little growth
water wisteria -seems to be growing slowly
rotala colorata -seems to be growing slowly
rotala butterfly -not melting
hydrocotyle (aka dwarf pennywort) - some melting, others I see new growth

Should I upgrade my lights? add pressurized co2?
 

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I have the same tank (and also live in MN!). I really think the stock LED light will be a struggle to grow much for plants other than very low light stuff like java moss. I couldn't keep much alive, but I also had gravel substrate and did nothing for the plants because I had no idea what I was doing. Maybe you'll have better luck.

In order to grow plants I upgraded the lighting to a 27W PC for less than $30, started doing DIY CO2 injection, started dosing EI, and started using Aqua Soil. I'm having very good results and the plants are growing great. I have to trim once per week. I'd say it's probably medium light now (2.25 watts per gallon).

Below is a comparison photo I did of the stock LED vs. the 27W PC before I planted my tank. Now I set the stock LED unit on top of the glass as a work light when I flip the PC up out of the way. The difference is dramatic and the LED appears super dim to me now. I think it's a bigger difference than the picture shows. It's just enough light for me to go in and trim stuff.



There are certainly other ways to get bright lights. A DIY LED setup or adding some LED strips would work too. I just didn't want to spend that much money for this.

The details of building the PC light are in my journal here: 12 Gallon Reboot — Learning Experience. If you are mechanically inclined, it's pretty easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
add the 2 strip of leds plus stock led! it is double the brightness now!

plants should grow faster now... 5 dwarf puffers

rotala colorata
wisteria
brazilian pennywort
hydrocyle (dwarf pennywort)
java moss

frogbit ---- will take out



 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·


the lights are really bright in person, pic does not do justice.

I will update once plants really come in. I am going to put in a colony of cherry shrimp and red ramshorn snails. These will continually feed the 5 dwarf puffers in the tank.
 
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