The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
405 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I need some advice choosing plants for a 20-long tank I'm setting up. The set-up is as follows:

Light: Coralife CFL 65w (3.25 wpg). 10 hours per day to start.
Substrate: 40 lbs. Eco-Complete
Filter: Aquaclear 50 HOB
Temp: 76-78
Fertilizers: Flourish, Flourish Excel, Flourish Trace. All per Seachem recommended doses.
CO2: Nothing but Excel to start, though I'm investigating pressurized and DIY CO2.

None of this has been set up, yet. I'm getting things started this weekend.

I'm moderately experienced with plants, but I haven't done anything "fancy" like CO2 infusion, dry ferts, or "difficult to keep plants".

What I need help with is getting an idea of what plants are appropriate for this tank. (FWIW, I haven't chosen fish species yet, though I'm leaning South American.) My local LFSes haven't shown me good specimens, so I'm thinking of ordering online. So far, I'm interested in Dwarf Hairgrass (Eleocharis parvula), Micro Sword (Lilaeopsis novae-zelandiae), or Dwarf Baby Tears (Hemianthus callitrichoides) for the left foreground, Moss Balls for the right foreground, Indian Red Sword for a centerpiece, and.... ??? (Cue Underpants Gnomes)

Most background plants I've researched seem to grow way too tall for a 20-long. I was thinking of crypts for a midground/background placement (Is the light too strong?), and I'd likeone red(ish) plant, but, beyond that, I'm stumped.

So, I'd appreciate advice. What plants would you recommend? And, so I can learn, why would you recommend them?

Thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,428 Posts
I have found it best for me to wade into things slowly. I can avoid the biggest problems that way. Things like buying stuff I regret!
Many advise doing a full tank planting all at the first to avoid algae problems. Guess what? Most have algae problems to work out anyway. That leaves me falling back to starting slow and adding as I find what works and I learn more. You have some items on the list which I consider difficult. Part of that is the learning curve and part of that is the plants combined with the fish I keep. My fish tend to pull up the little stuff as it is more delicate, so that is for you and your fish to decide?
I would go with some crypts as they are pretty forgiving. Some of the smallish swords as well. Java fern definite!! Get them rooted, growing and have a handle on those and then add the tougher if/when you are better prepped.
New things tend to be more difficult so I normally expect some plants to die and some to prosper, so I don't want a whole dying tank on my hands when first starting! For sources, I would not order as you will have many places in LA to get the good plants. Local hobby types are a really good spot to find plants as well as see what works for them. Plants that are local, growing in the local water are often far better than those grown in totally different water and going through the trauma of shipping.
Good luck with the new trip!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
one thing to consider is research on the plants demands and determine if you can provide it with what you have specially light and co2 to narrow your search which plants you can keep.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,074 Posts
Hi Irish,I agree with Rich,Crypts especially with some light will have a reddish or copper color and some can grow quite large so are good for both middle and background.The sword you picked is great but still may eventually outgrow your tank but by then you will be thinking about a 75 or larger lol .The HC is a difficult little plant to get started as many even with co2 and high light will attest to but maybe you can pull it off
Some red plants that don't get to big are AR mini and some Ludwigia species but these will take some trimming also you should check the for sale section on this forum many good sellers to help you out.Good luck keep us in the loop and we love pics...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,012 Posts
That light is a power compact bulb light and the Coralife version has no reflector. It will produce about 20-30 PAR, or low light, perhaps very low light. You need to use low light plants, like ferns, mosses, vals, crypts, etc. Definitely not dwarf baby tears.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
405 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies, folks. Sorry for the slow response on my part -- I was away for a much-needed long holiday weekend. :biggrin:

PlantedRich:

Many advise doing a full tank planting all at the first to avoid algae problems. Guess what? Most have algae problems to work out anyway.​

That was me. I have a fair bit of experience with plants, but of the low-light variety. Hair algae and I became well-acquainted with each other. :icon_evil

I would go with some crypts as they are pretty forgiving. Some of the smallish swords as well. Java fern definite!! Get them rooted, growing and have a handle on those and then add the tougher if/when you are better prepped.​

That's good advice about crypts: I've had good luck with them in the past. Given the height of this tank, I'm thinking of using them as part of the midground or background.

I'm a big java fern fan. One of my bettas "back then" thought he was a jungle warrior and like to lurk in it. :eek:

Plants that are local, growing in the local water are often far better than those grown in totally different water and going through the trauma of shipping.​

Excellent point.

Doogy262:
Some red plants that don't get to big are AR mini

"AR"?? :confused1:

Hoppy:
That light is a power compact bulb light and the Coralife version has no reflector. It will produce about 20-30 PAR, or low light, perhaps very low light.​

Just double-checked: this one does have a reflector. It's a few years old, though never before used. Perhaps Coralife changed how it's made?

Also, what is "PAR?" Is there an article I should read?

Thanks for the tips, folks!

Bump:
Good luck keep us in the loop and we love pics...
Just had to add: that tank in the pic is gorgeous! :proud:
 
1 - 6 of 6 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