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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!
My name's James.. I've got a 55 gallon community tank in need of some greenery. My water parameters are all perfect and the fish are all healthy and get along without incident.. Here's the list:

2 5" moonlight gouramis, mated pair
2 3" banjo catfish, mated pair
3 2" australian rainbows
1 1.5" praecox rainbow
5 1.5" elgans corydoras
4 1" borneo sucker loaches
1 3" peacock gudgeon
2 1.5" gold spotted gobies
2 1" red platies
1 1" gold female guppy
6 1" colombian jewel tetras
1 2" kribensis
1 4" bichir
1 2.5" amazon puffer
1 3" rubberlip pleco

It's an established tank of over a year and a half, never been sick, though there have been a few mysterious deaths with panda cories, the other 3 praecox rainbows, and a second gudgeon that was malnourished from the beginning but outlived its warranty. running a emperor 280 biowheel hang on filter as well as a fluval U4 submerged filter.. there's 2 18 watt fluorescent lights on top and I have about an inch and a half of black sand for substrate and a collection of rocks and plastic plants and cast plastic ornaments (log, large rock cliff). but my question after all this, is what plants would work well without causing too much disturbance, or be at risk of being disturbed by my varied collection of fish? I want to add wood and think seeding java moss or a similar plant on it would be a good start.. any other recommendations? Thanks!
 

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I personally like anubis. I bought one of the large-leaf varieties about a year ago and it's quadrupled in size since. The larger kind grows much faster than the nana, and the leaves are thick enough that most fish wont bother them. It also likes to grow on rocks and driftwood, and when it gets too tall you can easily cut the rhizome and start a different patch elsewhere in the tank. They are also very hardy and grow well in all light conditions. It makes an easy yet beautiful beginner plant.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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You'll need to add more light if you want to grow more than Java ferns, moss, and Anubias. If you want to stay with a very simple (low tech) tank without needing to add a pressurized CO2 setup, you'll need to get a new light fixture that will increase the light you've got now, but not too much light.

I'd recommend one of the Coralife T5NOs from www.BigAlsOnline.com.

Then you could add plants like Crypts, Swords, Bacopa, Hygros, hornwort, or Rotala indica to your list.

Also- you do realize that the Birchir will eat most of those fish once it grows to full size, right?
 

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Java fern, anubias, java moss, and Crypts might all work. 36watts over a 55g tank is a really small amount of light, so you may have to up the lighting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I tried to post a reply but it killed it due to having a link in it and under 5 posts.. I'll just post the item description, you can probably figure it out from there, haha.

out of 4 local shops only petsmart had ONE tiny java fern left.. i haggled down to 2.99 from 8.99 and took it home anyways. has about 5 2-3" leaves on it and i wedged it into a split in my driftwood chunk. one of the other shops had what looked like anubias but the girl there didn't know for sure, then said "you should get something prettier anyways they're all the same price".. when i mentioned needing low light plants only she says "they're all the same really it doesn't matter, if they die just get a new one". not too impressed.

As for lighting, I found this on big al's that is better than my current setup and doesn't break the bank.. I'd link but, it won't let me :p

The Coralife F/W Aqualight T-5 is a double lamp fixture ideal for freshwater and planted aquariums. Includes one Colormax Full Spectrum and one 6700K T-5 (5/8 diameter) fluorescent lamp. Features an on/off switch, a built in electronic ballast, sleek black aluminum housing, a highly polished reflector, acrylic lens cover and adjustable width tank mounts. T-5 lamps are 28 watts each. - $89.99

opinions? ideas? yay or nay?
Also toying with the idea of rigging up a moonlight system with LED's.. I'm a welder/fabricator by trade but arrived there via way of electronics tinkerer, auto mechanic, and cabinetmaking. Should be able to figure something out ;).
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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You should check around for some other hobbyists to swap plants with, I know there are some clubs in BC. You just about always get better plants and more bang for your buck going through fellow hobbyists.

And the Coralife fixture you mentioned I think would be perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
got my lights today, WOW!
you don't realize what you don't have until you see the light (literally).. I thought "how can this be called low light? the whole tank is lit up..."

fish look better, plants will be happier (have a java fern, java moss, a crypt, 2 kinds of vallisneria, and a marimo) and have started replacing plastic junk with real rocks and wood.. but it makes me realize how scratched up my acrylic tank actually is, i'll be looking for a glass tank soon!
 

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Isn't it AMAZING what a decent light will do. I think a lot of us have had you feelings. :)

:rolleyes: Welcome to TPT!
 
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