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Newb - Need help picking plants!

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Howdy,

So I've just about got everything together for my new 20g, I just need some help determining what plants will thrive in my first planted scape. I splurged on the Finnex 24/7 Planted+, so lighting should be a non-issue. I am NOT running CO2 (ran out of $$) and I am using Seachem Flourite substrate. I would like to have some kind of a carpeting plant. I DSM'd some dwarf hair grass, but not sure I really want that in my scape now... just gets so tall. Iv'e heard s. repens can make a good carpet (per AQUAPROS on YouTube) but he uses CO2.
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While the Finnex is a great light, you might end up with large algae blooms due to so much lighting and no co2. As for ground cover, I don't think many of them grow to well without co2. You could consider micro swords, I think those would do well, but they get about 4-6".

Hope it all goes well for you!!
 

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I've been reading up on those algae blooms the past couple of days... I am getting worried about that. Besides co2, any suggestions on keeping it at bay?
There's probably more experienced people on here that would know more, but possible options would be to set intervals on your lighting (limit it to 6 hours), have floating plants, or use those co2 tablets (I've never personally used them and can't vouch for them).

Also try to remember that algae isn't inherently bad, just unsightly. Algae just grows due to excess light or nitrates, among other things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There's probably more experienced people on here that would know more, but possible options would be to set intervals on your lighting (limit it to 6 hours), have floating plants, or use those co2 tablets (I've never personally used them and can't vouch for them).

Also try to remember that algae isn't inherently bad, just unsightly. Algae just grows due to excess light or nitrates, among other things.
Gotcha, Thanks! I definitely want to get a co2 system eventually, so I guess I may just have to deal with it until then. Oh well, first thing's first, have to pick the plants themselves!
 

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Adding a liquid carbon source will be a "weaker" and cheaper CO2 substitute while you're saving up for a CO2 system of your own. Seachem Excel and Metricide do the exact same thing, but metricide is less expensive. This will also help reduce algae growth. It won't stop algae completely, though. Just a tip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Adding a liquid carbon source will be a "weaker" and cheaper CO2 substitute while you're saving up for a CO2 system of your own. Seachem Excel and Metricide do the exact same thing, but metricide is less expensive. This will also help reduce algae growth. It won't stop algae completely, though. Just a tip.


Thanks for the tip about Metricide! I was already planning on using Excel but I'd love to save some cash where I can.


Thanks & Gig 'em!

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I've run tanks with high light, but without CO2 and you will be fighting algae. However, the aggressive dosing of Metricide/Excel was able to allow for good (not great) plant growth and severely hampered algae. My dwarf sag and hairgrass didn't spread much, but they lived and spread a little. Make sure you have good flow throughout your tank and institute a reduced (to match your lower CO2) Estimative Index fert program.

I initially tried DIY CO2 but, for me anyway, it was a PIA to constantly be messing with the recipe and it never produced a consistent stream over weeks at a time. The varying CO2 levels will ramp-up algae and, once I got out of it and dosed Metricide aggressively I got much better results. "Aggressively" was 2x recommended levels every other day.

As for the Finnex 24/7 Planted+, I think that's dimmable, isn't it? That means you can dial in your PAR and/or, as another poster suggested, shorter photo periods can inhibit algae. If you're serious about plants, though, definitely work toward a real CO2 injection setup. It makes a huge difference ...as long as you don't mind weeding the garden every week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Deanna! That was very in depth and I'm definitely going to try your methods/doses out. I'm also definitely working towards running CO2 in the future. [emoji1303]


Thanks & Gig 'em!

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