The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
293 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok folks, I'm very experienced with fish keeping, but am a complete noob to a planted tank. I've done a ton of reading and have majored in Horticulture so I feel very confident in the nutritional value and light requirements of plants. That being said, I still have a few questions.

I'm going to start out with a low tech 10 gallon tank just to see how things go... with plans on tearing down one of my 55 gallon tanks and turning that into a high tech if things go well on the 10.

I have an Eclipse 1 hood that has a bio wheel and carbon filter fitted in the hood. The only problem is it can only run a 15 watt fluorescent 18" bulb. Thus, I am only looking at getting 1.5 wpg. Can you all list some readily available plants that would work well in that range? I don't want to mess with CO2 on this tank... unless I do something with a DIY jello CO2.

I have the substrate, just am looking for some good plants that would work in that light range. I'm planning on stocking the tank with either some Black Ruby Barbs or Some Lemon Tetras at a couple otocinclus.

Thanks for all the help in advance!
 

·
Fresh Fish Freak
Joined
·
24,403 Posts
Welcome to TPT!

I run that same level of lighting over my own 10gal tank. Some plants that would probably work for you are Chain swords (E. tenellus, E. angustifolius, E. angustifolius 'vesuvius'), Sagittarias, Most Crypts, Bacopa sp., Hygrophila sp., Najas sp., Rotala indica, mosses, ferns, Anubias... you have lots of options, actually!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
293 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
All of the above listed will work well. Just make sure you get a bulb in the right spectrum.

Cram the tank full of as many plants as possible from the start to help prevent algae.
Thanks for all the help you 2! I really appreciate it. What exactly do you mean by bulb in the right spectrum? The bulb I currently have is a 15 Watt T 8. Will that work?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
392 Posts
The light parameters you listed (wattage, bulb size) are independent of the spectrum. The temperature of the light (given in Kelvin, K) is what describes the spectrum. You want to get a bulb that most closely resembles the type of light the sun gives off. Find one that is around 6700K. This particular light temperature is often called daylight by most manufacturers.
 

·
Fresh Fish Freak
Joined
·
24,403 Posts
Most bulbs in the 5000-10000 kelvin range will support FW plant growth.

I run a 18,000k PowerGlo over my own 10gal, so that is just a general guideline and by no means set in stone. :icon_wink

I really like the 9325k T8 bulbs, too.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
476 Posts
Get a bulb that is rated between 6700k and 10,000k. Plants don't do well with anything rated over 10,000k. Hagen makes a bulb that is called life glo it works great with plants. You can get an 18" life glo for about $15.

I used a single 18" life glo bulb on my 10 gallon when I started out. It's well worth the money.

Personaly I would ditch the eclipse hood. Your gonna get alot of evaporation which means your gonna have to keep filling the tank up and adding nutriance via fresh tap water. Which in turn is gonna cause problems with algae. You can get a glass lid cut at Lowes for $5.

I would go with a glass lid, strip light, and hang on back filter minus the bio wheel.

Heres a good article in case you haven't seen it.

http://www.sudeepmandal.com/hobbies/planted-aquarium/low-tech-planted-tank-guide/
 

·
Fresh Fish Freak
Joined
·
24,403 Posts
Get a bulb that is rated between 6700k and 10,000k. Plants don't do well with anything rated over 10,000k.
That's not necessarily true. That 18,000k PowerGlo I mentioned (incidentally also made by Hagen) is a great plant growth bulb. It's got peaks in blue, green, and red- great for plant growth and for bringing out the blues and reds in fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
293 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Get a bulb that is rated between 6700k and 10,000k. Plants don't do well with anything rated over 10,000k. Hagen makes a bulb that is called life glo it works great with plants. You can get an 18" life glo for about $15.

I used a single 18" life glo bulb on my 10 gallon when I started out. It's well worth the money.

Personaly I would ditch the eclipse hood. Your gonna get alot of evaporation which means your gonna have to keep filling the tank up and adding nutriance via fresh tap water. Which in turn is gonna cause problems with algae. You can get a glass lid cut at Lowes for $5.

I would go with a glass lid, strip light, and hang on back filter minus the bio wheel.

Heres a good article in case you haven't seen it.
Don't most sites recommend a 50% water change every week anyway? I don't see why evaporation would be a problem.
 

·
Fresh Fish Freak
Joined
·
24,403 Posts
Depends on your tank setup.

I wouldn't do a 50% weekly water change on a low light tank unless you make sure to also dose your water column with ferts afterwards, otherwise you'll be stripping the water column of nutrients the plants need to grow.

Personally, I do 20-50% water changes on my low tech tanks only once every month or two. My 10gal gets a 25% change once a month.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
476 Posts
That's not necessarily true. That 18,000k PowerGlo I mentioned (incidentally also made by Hagen) is a great plant growth bulb. It's got peaks in blue, green, and red- great for plant growth and for bringing out the blues and reds in fish.
Yeah I've used the power and aqua glo bulbs before. I like the color they emit. They're my favorite bulb for non planted tanks. While technicaly he could use an 18000k. I was just going by the standard to keep things a little less confusing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
293 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok, I went out and picked up a bulb that gives me 675 Lumens and 9325K. Hopefully this will give me a full spectrum of light that will help both my plants survive and my future fish to look vibrant!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,289 Posts
I would go with a glass lid, strip light, and hang on back filter minus the bio wheel.
I think for a beginner testing out whether you've got a planted green thumb and like keeping planted aquariums, the setup you have is fine. Also, you don't need to remove the biowheel unless you are injecting CO2, which since you are saying you want to start low tech, you probably wouldn't be. In non-CO2 injected tanks I've found that surface agitation is quite beneficial, it helps keep the CO2 levels in the tank at atmospheric levels instead of below as the plants use it up. :thumbsup: (I've got only looow light, looow tech, looow maintenance tanks)

Also, topping off from evaporation shouldn't cause too many issues with amount of light, if it does, just throw in a few extra fast growing stems to soak up excess nutrients, or toss in some floating plants ;)

Personally, I do 20-50% water changes on my low tech tanks only once every month or two. My 10gal gets a 25% change once a month.
I do the same, about 30% water changes every other month or so on my 30g and was doing them once a month on the 5 and 10 when I had them set up (smaller tanks are less stable so slightly more frequent (i.e. once a month), water changes aren't a bad idea) And I top off the tanks as they need it between water changes, evaporation happens with aquariums ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
293 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think for a beginner testing out whether you've got a planted green thumb and like keeping planted aquariums, the setup you have is fine. Also, you don't need to remove the biowheel unless you are injecting CO2, which since you are saying you want to start low tech, you probably wouldn't be. In non-CO2 injected tanks I've found that surface agitation is quite beneficial, it helps keep the CO2 levels in the tank at atmospheric levels instead of below as the plants use it up. :thumbsup: (I've got only looow light, looow tech, looow maintenance tanks)

Also, topping off from evaporation shouldn't cause too many issues with amount of light, if it does, just throw in a few extra fast growing stems to soak up excess nutrients, or toss in some floating plants ;)

I do the same, about 30% water changes every other month or so on my 30g and was doing them once a month on the 5 and 10 when I had them set up (smaller tanks are less stable so slightly more frequent (i.e. once a month), water changes aren't a bad idea) And I top off the tanks as they need it between water changes, evaporation happens with aquariums ;)
Thanks for the help! I'm thinking about adding some:

Crypt Walkeri
Java Fern
'Coffeefolia' Anubias
Sagittaria subulata
Marsilea quadrifolia
and try attacying some Petite nanas to a piece of driftwood elevated in the middle.

Does this sound like it would be ok? What would you recommend for an easy floater in this tank?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,289 Posts
Those should all grow quite well, though are all relatively slow growers. You'll probably want to put in some fast growing stem plants such as hygrophila difformis (water wisteria), hygrophila polysperma 'rosanervig' (sunset hygro), asian ambulia, watersprite, foxtail or some others.

You may want to wait on the floaters as they tend to become somewhat of a pest, though red root floater can look quite lovely and all of the floaters seem to proliferate at an alarming rate! :hihi:
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top