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Unheated & Low Tech, need plant suggestions

1655 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Cheesehead Cory
I got the green light to put a small tank in my office. I decided on a 5 gal. Its going to have a mini filter and probably a 14w CF. No C02. Yes ferts, but root tabs only.

Office is 72F all day, it doesnt drop at night I asked.

So taking into account the temperature, no CO2, and small tank...

I need help with plant suggestions... I cant be trimming this thing every week... month yes, week no. thanks! :help:

Cool water fish suggestions also welcomed, although I'm pretty sure I'm going with White Clouds.
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I am a beginner to all this myself but I have had a successful 15G low tec(no co2, 15w, no heater, no chemical problems..knock on wood) tank for several months now. this is what i have in it.

Fish:a betta and a cory
Plants: java fern, african water fern, najas, pennywort and pearl grass (my son recently riped apart the pearl grass and it was my favorite).

I had to take out java moss and some other plant because they got all nasty.

I have only had to do 2 major cleanings but I think the problem was giving my betta thoes little red betta pelets, the plants all got what looked like green hair alge. When I stick to the frozen brine shrimp everything sees to run great. I had some green alge on the sand but I added the cory and he ate it all up.
I'd go with a nice piece of driftwood as a centerpiece/focalpoint and attach an anubias nana to it. I'm not good with foreground plants that don't require trimming as I use hygro in all my tanks as the main carpet, and those things need trimming.
14 watts might be a bit too much lighting for a 5g with non-co2 that you want low maintanance on. You can try it and see how it goes though. Java ferns and anubias are both hardy, low light, slow growing plants that should do fine, especially if you cut back your lighting a bit. Problem is that they are both non-rooting plants, so I don't know if root tabs will do them very much good other than perhaps leaching ferts into the water column to a degree. But with their slow rate of growth you may not need much in the way of fertilizers anyway as long as you keep lighting down.

Another thought would be going el natural if you want low maintanance (water changes every 6 months). Do a search on it if you're not familiar with it.

I have a 10w 50/50 bulb laying around that I could use if you think 14w is too much... I have 14w on my 2.5 and it grows plants very well (with ferts & co2). Does low tech equal low light? I didnt think it did but probably am wrong. Sunlight on a 5 gal seems too risky. If I wind up with a tank of green water at work I'll hear about it.

Java moss is great. I'll definately use that

I never liked Java ferns, but if that's my only choice... No rooting low tech plants? I liked the idea of root tabs because they last (according to the package) for 12 months (Hagen brand). But I could nix root tabs altogether.

What about... baby tears or star grass? they are plentiful at the LFS not sure if they'll be okay in this setup. never tried either before.

Does low tech equal low light?
Yeah, pretty much. You need to match your amount of light to your amount of CO2, so if you're going with no CO2, you should probably have less light than your CO2 enriched tank.

No rooting low tech plants?
How about some Crypts? They root, and grow pretty well in my non-CO2 tank. You know, if you're not dead set on root tabs, you could dose the same way you dose your other tank, just less often. Also, I'd try moving some clippings from your high tech tank, and just see what grows. I've seen lots of posts on here from people who have broken the "rules" and grown high light/CO2 plants in their low tech.
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