The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off I would like to say hello to all of you out there. I have been lurking for quite some time on here gathering as much info as possible for the start of my new tank.

I am currently trying to set up a 30 gal tall tank for a planted aquarium. I have african cichlids in the tank right now and realizing that it is just way too small of a tank for these fish, which is part of the reason to switch over. I have tried to grow plants in this tank before the cichlids but the only plants that did really well were Java Fern and Java Moss. My current light setup is a coarlife compact 65w flourescent, hob filter, and standard heater.

I feel that most of my plants didn't grow so well previously due to lack of experience. I had a good flourite substrate and the light and added ferts but I just dont think I was doing it right.

My question is this: is the light just not sufficent enough to get to the bottom of that deep of a tank and should I add another layer beneath the flourite for more available nutrients? Should I up the wattage on the lights? I was also thinking of a diy cO2 system down the road but just want to stick low tech for now. I will be trying to put in some terraces to raise some plants closer to the light. I guess some plant and any other suggestions you all have would be much appreciated!:icon_bigg

Sorry for the huge long ramble to those of you who read it all the way first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,419 Posts
First off, welcome to TPT!

For lighting, some people may consider that low-light, but it depends on what plants you were trying to grow in the first place and how they were planted.

Crypts, Anubias, and Microsoreum (Java fern) are all low light plants that would/will do just fine. They are also generally considered slow growers.

If you had Anubias before too, if you had burried the rhizome, it would've rotted, ultimately killing the plant.
Crypts, another great easy low -light plant are often prone to melting, but do bounce back given time.

So here it goes: What plants were you trying to grow?

Added light, with the addition of Co2/ferts will help greatly and you can't really go wrong with that.
 

·
Fresh Fish Freak
Joined
·
24,403 Posts
If you were maintaining a hard water tank like most African cichlids require, that in of itself would be a good reason that most plants would struggle.

I think your lighting should be fine for most low light plants. Vallisnerias look really nice in tall tanks, IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The plants i had at one time were java fern (which grew to be huge) and java mos which also grew to be huge. Growing those didn't seem to be difficult just add light and away they went. Now my Vals and crypts along with some Anubias didn't fare to well. I'm not sure if this had to do with the light just not being strong enough to reach the bottom of a 30 gallon tall or just due to lack of poor planting skills?

I would like to try other plants other than just the standard almost fool proof Java fern and moss. I was thinking on some Marimo, Vals (again), Egeria najas, maybe som form of lotus or amazon sword.

The dimensions of the tank are 24hx24wx12d it doesn't have much depth to it but it is kind of deep if that makes sense. I am wondering with it being that deep in order for the light to penetrate to the bottom if my light is powerful enough and if not does anybody have any suggestions on a light that isnt outrageous price wise.

Yeah the tank just isn't big enough for the cichlids they don't have the room to make territories so I'm going back to a planted community type tank and want to put forth a good effort so I can have something to show off!

Thanks all!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,349 Posts
i would agree with the above mentioned and stick it to easy plants, you said java worked for you earlier... stick with that for now.. it is alot more tolerant to new plant keepers and in keeping it you will start to concentrate on the plants and make the right enviorment for more exotic flora... what are your water parameters?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Im pretty much gathering supplies right now so no parameters to speak of. I'm just researching and lurking gathering as much info as possible. Substrate, lighting, cO2, ferts and all the wonderful tedious stuff that goes along with trying to setup a tank right the first time.

I am curently thinking that my single 65w CF just isn't powerful enough to get to the bottom of the 24" deep tank so I have been thinking of a 24" 2x24w T5 HO. The only thing is I hope it isn't an overkill light as I am already quite well accomplised at growing many forms of algae and don't want to get real high tech. A decent light, good substrate, and maybe some cO2 down the line.

Also is a hob filter decent for a planted tank setup for the time being. I do want to upgrade to a canister in the future just looking for the right deal to come along.

Oh if anyone wants 4 Malawi cichlids your welcome to them
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,378 Posts
Honestly, if you don't plan on adding CO2 right away, I'd go with some normal output T5s instead of the T5HOs. Those would be perfect if you were using CO2. Instead, I think you'd be better off with one of those 2x14w T5NO freshwater fixtures by coralife. Don't worry about the tank being tall. I used some T5NOs on a 24" tall tank, and was able to grow a foreground of the pink tenellum grass. It grew slower than a high-light tank, but it still sent runners out daily.
 

·
Fresh Fish Freak
Joined
·
24,403 Posts
That's the same fixture I'm running over my own 29gal ATM:


It's plenty of light. I'm actually playing with the photoperiod right now to address some algae issues, but the tank is also only been up for a few weeks, so IDK what I'll end up with yet over the long haul...
 
1 - 11 of 11 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