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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I am a cichlid person. Rocks and sand are the aquascaping equipment I know. I have only ever been able to keep anubias successfully. Everything else doesn't make it. I've never tried a tank with co2 but I have used diy ferts and fluorish excel.

My best attempts at plants so far included a 55 gal I had with about 10 different anubias plants in it. That survived for a couple of years until I changed it to an african cichlid tank.

Here's what I want to do. I want to take my 29 gal (30x12x18?) and turn it into a shrimp tank. Amanos and cherries are what I want. I want to set up a "non planted planted tank" with no rooted plants. Anubias, java fern and java moss only. I'm willing to buy whatever lotions and potions are necessary to make this happen.

I currently have a Current Usa Satellite LED +. Is this sufficient? I hope so...

My main concerns are keeping the plants healthy, getting decent growth, and keeping algae off the plants.

Thanks.
 

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I have a 29 gallon tank as well. I also have a satellite plus, but it is not quite bright enough for my needs, which is why I also run my old t5 bulbs for a couple hours a day. But since you are planning on some pretty undemanding plants, I think you will be okay. :thumbsup: If I were you, I would get some really cool manzanita branches (plenty of people sell them in the for sale section) and cover them in moss, then tie the ferns and anubias onto them towards the top half of the tank (to soak in as much light as possible). The satellite plus, if centered in the middle of the tank, does leave some darkness in the corners of the tank.
Do you have ferts on hand? You may need to dose macros and micros in order to keep your plants looking healthy.
 

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mistersprinkles, how are you planning to place the Anubias, Java Fern, and Java Moss? Are they going to be mounted on rocks? Wood? Planted on a substrate? If you plan on mounting them to wood then I'd look at a substrate that will buffer the water to make/keep it acidic. Chemical additives can do the trick, but a buffering soil makes it easier.

The Satellite + should be more than enough for the low light plants you currently are looking to have. I'd consider skipping the Java Moss as it tends to get messy and once it gets out of control it IMO gets ugly. Once it's added to a tank its impossible to get rid of. There are other mosses out there but you might want to consider a CO2 additive regularly or make it simple with injected CO2 at a very low rate during the photoperiod. CO2 isn't just a helping hand to plants which need it, it assists in algae control when you have strong lighting (like the Sat +) and combined with ferts.
 

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You could grow java fern/moss in a dark closet if you really wanted to. The Satellite + will be just fine for the anubias as well.

I kind of agree with archer about the java moss. Flame or peacock moss would be a great substitution and will grow just fine under your light.
 

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As everyone else has said, your light will be plenty sufficient for the plants you're choosing. Even rooted plants such as Crypts and Swords, as well as less demanding stems like Wisteria would probably grow just fine in your setup.Any reason you're not planning to plant in the substrate? Is it because of the species of fish you'll be keeping?

A likely problem you could encounter is algae, and since you're planning to keep very low light level plants, you can keep your photoperiod alot shorter than most planted tanks to combat it. A longer photoperiod will likely cause growth on the slow-growing leaves of the Anubias and hair-algae mixed in with the moss, neither are very easy to remove.

As for aquascape, I would personally use manzanita and driftwood to attach the plants to, or try to find some Holey rock. The Anubias will send its roots throught the holes in the stones and reach down for the soil. I have this in my tank, it look pretty cool.

Any which way you go, good luck with your setup!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I heard running the lights for 4 hours, then off for 2, then on for four was good for combating algae and that plants would still grow. I'm currently testing this in my betta cube which has one anubias in it.
 

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THIS I can relate to! I started in the planted tank hobby because I tried to grow an indoor herb garden... You know, the ones that an idiot can keep alive? Yeah... this idiot failed miserably!

Some of that luck spreads over to the planted tank forum
Java ferns? Hate me (some reason the like the kids, but not me)

What I've learned:
try different things. What some people swear by just won't work for you.
try twice. some of the plants I failed at on first attempt I could do second time! (once I fail on them 2x I try to remind myself that and don't try a 3rd!)


My top "I can do these plants:
polyhydro sperma
water sprite
chain swords
pennywort
christmas moss
java moss
crypts wendii
frogbit

when I started this hobby I saw all the stress put on proper lighting. I got into it and bought the lights suggested etc. Most my tanks now are on common tank stock lights, or standard household bulbs - and those are doing better than my tanks with the "right" bulbs.

More than anything I've learned this is a hobby I have learned by doing. trial and error, failure and triumph.

In short, I ramble too much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Basically what I'm looking for, is for somebody to tell me, with my current lighting setup, to buy:

*Tell me which ferts, macro micro etc to buy and how to dose

*Tell me how many hours to run my lights, whether to run them On/off or On/off/on
 

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Dosing ferts with the plants you want to keep won't really do much. They should be just fine with whatever nutrients are in your tap water.

As for the photoperiod, I would start at 6 hours and work from there. If you are getting algea growth, dial it back an hour, if not you could bump it up an hour. I run the exact same light on 2 of my tanks and the photoperiod is competly different on both of them. Trial and error really seems to be the best way to get the right photoperiod
 

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My advice is set it up and watch. Your set up will support all things you spoke of. As far as algae you shouldn't have much trouble. I was curious to know what kind of water movement is going on inside the tank? Good flow helps deter algae and keep nutrients stirred up in the column to be taken up by plants or filtration before algae can get them


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
But don't plants do better with ferts? When I had a tank full of Anubias years ago and did not dose anything, my anubias didn't look super hot, honestly. They survived but they didn't thrive.

A Youtuber by the name of Pecktec told me he doses this in his planted low tech tanks:

8 hours a day for lights
Fluorish Excel
Seachem Fluorish
"Ocean nutrition
Giovanni's fertile"

His Anubias look especially good.

Also, can somebody please answer my earlier lighting question? I will ask again- does it work (reduce algae while keeping plant alive) to run lights 4 hours on, 2 hours off, 4 hours on, then off at night? I heard splitting up the photoperiod like that reduces algae. I've been doing it in my 2.5 gal but the anubias in there is starting to look funny...

Thanks
 

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But don't plants do better with ferts? When I had a tank full of Anubias years ago and did not dose anything, my anubias didn't look super hot, honestly. They survived but they didn't thrive.

A Youtuber by the name of Pecktec told me he doses this in his planted low tech tanks:

8 hours a day for lights
Fluorish Excel
Seachem Fluorish
"Ocean nutrition
Giovanni's fertile"

His Anubias look especially good.

Also, can somebody please answer my earlier lighting question? I will ask again- does it work (reduce algae while keeping plant alive) to run lights 4 hours on, 2 hours off, 4 hours on, then off at night? I heard splitting up the photoperiod like that reduces algae. I've been doing it in my 2.5 gal but the anubias in there is starting to look funny...

Thanks

the 4-3-4 schedule is for making more co2 available for your plants especially in lo tech tanks, probably the ones where there is no co2 injection/no excel. during the 3 hours, plants think its night time and start releasing co2 into the water & during the next 4 hour photo period, they absorb it and use it for growth.

i think with the anubias, etc you are planning: i would definitely use liquid ferts. to start with dont use any carbon/co2 source if you are not inclined to it, though it does help. if the plants do good without, just let it be that way.

root tabs not required. nutrient rich substrate not required. i use simple 6500k white cfl bulbs + daylight on my low tech tank with a jungle growing in my tank.

no co2 injected tanks take 2 months or so to establish but after that they are low maintenance. i hv 2 planted tanks, no injected co2, no excel. so far i've only tried my hand at the so called "lo requirement" plants and been successful. will eventually try the fancier plants and see what happens :)
 
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