[Wet Thumb Forum]-lighting & substrate - New to Planted Aquariums - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 03-09-2006, 12:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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i am planning on adding 1 amazon sword and 2 java ferns along with some micro sword to my 20gal tank. do i need more than just my standard 18" flouresent light. and what about substrate? can i just feed them through the water and through pellets?
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Old 03-09-2006, 12:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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You would be getter off with two 18w. My wife uses that on a 29gal without any trouble. If your tank is a low 20gal you should be ok with low light plants with just the one 18w but if you want to see growth I would add one more.

Yes you can feed your plants thru the water column and feed your sword plants with root tabs. I grew Amazon sword in a 55gal tank with just 70w in my first plant tank. I used plain gravel. I used Kent Pro Plant with Kent trace. I added root tabs to feed the swords. Iron tabs and Jobs plant sticks cut into thirds. but any tabs that are 13-4-5 will work. Just make sure you put them deep into your substrate and do not disturb them.

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Old 03-10-2006, 11:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The Amazon Sword would need more light. My experience with them is that they do poorly with low light. Plus they are deep rooters and will need some kind of fertilization. Also be prepared that these can grow huge. Mine are sticking out of the water and no other plant has survived in the aquarium because they have taken up all of the surface and no light can penetrate to the other plants.

But as far as the Java Fern are concerned they can do alright with the light that you have. I have a few Java Fern that I put in my 20 gallon aquarium with strong light and they have filled the whole tank and have taken over. Even after cutting down on the light they are reproducing like rabbits . I cant figure out whether it is the water in my area (it is very hard water) or the lighting or the fact that there is minimal water changes in that aquarium or that there are few fish (3 loaches, 1 Gourami and 1 red tail shark)or that the fish will not eat or nibble on the Java Fern (even the red tail shark will not).
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