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new to plants; lots of questions, would like advice
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thefishguy
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Joined: 28 Apr 2005

PostPosted: 2005.04.28(Thu)16:00    Post subject: new to plants; lots of questions, would like advice Reply with quote

Hi, first time posting, and I have just decided to ditch the plastic plants and have real ones. Right now my tank is a 20 gallon long with a 20 watt fluorescnet bulb that came with the tank hood. I have plain old gravel (about 3mm in diameter) and I just bought a java fern and 2 other plants that I later found out aren't real water plants. I am looking to get java ferns, java moss, dwarf anubias, and wendtii cryps. Will these plants live in my current tank conditions? Are there any other good plants for my tank?
Also, I am not injecting CO2, shold I still turn off my airstone? What should I look for in liquid fertilizers? Sorry for all of the questions but help would be apreciated.
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SLACkra
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

PostPosted: 2005.04.28(Thu)18:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

the plants you have will do fine under that amount of lighting with that type of gravel. probably not nessesary to fertilize the fish waste shoudl be enough, some one else will hopefully be able to clarify that for you. anubiases (dwarf and giant) grow really slow so if any algae grows on the leafs try to remove it, they can also be attached to drift wood and if tied down to it the roots will attach to it and hold it in place. java moss tends to grow amazingly fast so keep it well pruned. java moss can look really attractive if you tie it down onto a peice of driftwood or a rock.

good luck with your tank.

andrew
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thefishguy
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Joined: 28 Apr 2005

PostPosted: 2005.04.29(Fri)6:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I have another question. Should I continue to use the benificial bacteria to get rid of the ammonia when I get more plants? Will the bacteria outcompete the plants for nutrients? Are there any other plants that would do well in my tank?
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Balance
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Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Location: Providence, RI

PostPosted: 2005.04.29(Fri)7:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your lighting is fine, don't use co2 and you don't have to fertilize. If you wanted to fertilize maybe just a trace element supplement like Flourish or something but I doubt you even need that. Another good low light plant is hornwort, it floats but you can weight it down and it will make a dense background for you.

Check out www.plantgeek.net
I did two searches basically any of the following plants will work under your lighting and need no special attention.

http://www.plantgeek.net/plantguide_asearch.php?description_name=+&plant_light_id=2&plant_difficulty_id=2&mode=advanced
http://www.plantgeek.net/plantguide_asearch.php?description_name=+&plant_light_id=2&plant_difficulty_id=3&mode=advanced

of course read the info on these plants to be sure but you'll find no easier plants to take care of and enjoy.

As for the benefical bacteria, if you mean your filter and stuff just leave it be, it will die off naturally to fit in to the amount of food it has available to it.
Balance.
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StormRavin
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Joined: 30 Mar 2005
Location: Burlington, NC USA

PostPosted: 2005.04.29(Fri)7:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a low light, low tech(no C02) tank as well and I have the following plants:

Moneywort (Bacopa Monnieri)
Anacharis (Egeria densa)
Dwarf Anubias (Anubias Nana)
Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus)
Cabomba (Cabomba caroliniana)

All of which has grown wonderfully in my tank with very little work other than cutting the anacharis and cobomba back. I would suggest any of these for you!
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mark 45
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Joined: 12 May 2004
Location: Venice FL

PostPosted: 2005.04.29(Fri)7:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,
The 20 long tank will make an excellent low light tank, I have had mine for about 4 years now. Your setup will work fine for the plants you have listed. As far as the fertilizers you can use a few flourish root tabs under your crypts. One thing I will add, if you don't already have a good nitrate test kit, then get one. I started to have an algae outbreak in my tank and after testing the nitrates found that there was 0 nitrates in the tank. I later supplemented the nitrates in the tank with small amounts of kent pro plant liquid fertilizer at each water change. This gave me excellent results. I later upgraded my single bulb strip light with a double bulb and a versa-top glass lid. If your plants are growing well they will use the available nutrients in the tank, that is why I ended up having to supplement the tank with a small amount of nitrate based fertilizer. You can see a picture of my 20 long It is planted with anubius, crypt wendtii and java ferns.
http://www.aquahobby.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=15328&highlight=test
Mark
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thefishguy
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Joined: 28 Apr 2005

PostPosted: 2005.04.30(Sat)6:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice tank Mark! I have even more questions now. Would any of you know if thai onion plant (crinum thaianum), dwarf sagittaria (sagittaria subulata), and dwarf hygrophila (hygrophila polysperma) be good tall plants for the back of my tank? Do any of them need extra light or care or get to big?
Also, do you know what are some good tall plants for the background that I didn't mention?
Thanks in advance and sorry for all of the questions!
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mark 45
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Joined: 12 May 2004
Location: Venice FL

PostPosted: 2005.04.30(Sat)8:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no experience with the onion plants. Dwarf sags need more light to grow well, hygro plolysperma in my opinion would not suite your tank well they grow like weeds all over the place with side roots and would probably not do well in a low light tank. I have a couple of anubius frazerii (not sure of the spelling) in the back of my tank that almost reach the surface. On the back wall I also have grown crypt. retrospiralis, it looks nice. If you are looking for a carpet like plant I have read that the dwarf hairgrass will grow under low light. Basically you need to try different things and see what works in your tank, all tanks are alittle different. keep in mind that the 20 long is shallow tank so even the crypt wendtii will look tall, java ferns also will reach the top of the tank. You can setup a great looking tank with only 3-4 different types of plants.
Mark
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thefishguy
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Joined: 28 Apr 2005

PostPosted: 2005.04.30(Sat)9:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello again! How do I tell what the tempeture of my light is? What color tint does the proper light temp. have? My light has a purple-ish tint to it. Is this not a daylight bulb/ wrong temp? the bulb is the one that came with the hood. I got the hood/bulb kit about 6 months ago. (I guess that is time to replace it anyway!) Would the replacement bulb say it's temp along with natural or daylight on it or should I only look for a daylight bulb?
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