Aquatic Plant Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ahev a 20 gal with no fish in it
I wish to start adding plants to it and build a proper home for a group of cory cats
what type of plants should I get for the tank?
I was thinking of covering the substrate in one corner of the tank with small plants? is this a good idea?
i have a rock setup on the other side of the aquarium i would like to keep (rock shelf)
for the plants to gain optimal growth and health what things should I buy?
also the hood is a two socket 25 W max light fixture thingy lol
as well if i do add plants what type of plant food will i need? if any
and what is the deal with CO2 supplementing? as well with fish in the tank?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,710 Posts
I would change your lighting to either screw in compact flourescents or replace the hood with a regular/compact flourescent one. What type of substrate are you using? What are your water parameters? Are you planning to use co2?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
852 Posts
A friend of mine has a very similar setup. He grows chain sword and Crypts without any problems.

You can do a tank without CO2, but you'll need to feed well and not do as many water changes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
852 Posts
Oh...and welcome to the forum :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
alright i went through most of the beginners info sheet and this is what i came up with
24x12.5x16
2x25W
plain aquarium lights not flourescent
12-16 hours a day lights are on
No co2 added
regular green gravel substrate
no fertilizer
1-1.5 thick gravel
no fertialization
temp : 75-82F
overhead filter
filter media???????
been running for a few months, a few fish were inhabiting it but none anymore
ph-7.0-7.6

I have no problem with emptying the tank and starting over, I did a little research on the types of plants i would liek for the tank that i think would do best in my tank with the specs. Java Moss, dwarf Anubias, Afzeli Anubias and Java Fern
preferrably i would liek best to just have Java Moss and Java fern
I read they do not need a whole lto of lighting and are easy to care for which suits my tank best i believe
I would like to further persue adding cory cats to the tank
If anyone could give me a breakdown of what i should do step by step it would be much appreciated
personally not adding CO2 would make me happier because i do not fully understand everything about it.... and would liek something plain and easy to begin for plant keeping
ummmm thats all i can think of for the time being,
thanks
AC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,988 Posts
Well AC,

Where to start. First, I highly recomend that you read as many of the articles and post as you can here first. DOn't get to indepth to start, just become familiar with the basics. Photosynthesis, basic plant nutritional needs, N/P/K, etc. No offense, but the "New to planted aquariums) is a good place to start. Just read everything:)

First thing you will need to do is replace your lighting with anything better. You could go to AH Supply for some lighting options. The kits are very easy to do, even with limited or no experience. A 1x36 watt would work for you to grow java ferns (Microsorium pteropus) and java moss (Vesicularia dubyana) nad some of hte other low light plants. You could also go wiht the 55watt kit and give yourself more options:)

If money is tight though, just start with a couple of power compacts, the screw in spiral thingies. Get yourself a couple of bags of flourite for substrate, your HOB filter will be fine as long as you have one with suffocoent flow rate of 5-6 times the tanks size. Aqua Clear makes nice ones.

Read, read, read:)

[/url]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,710 Posts
Looks like dennis pretty much has you covered. :) Be sure to update us on what you end up doing and feel free to ask questions about anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
alright ive read a ton of stuff on here now, its a bit overwhelming but im soaking it in
just a few questions atm
what is the main purpose of fluorite?
is fertilizer a necessity? is co2 a necessity?
if i put two 25 watt flourescent bulbs in my hood and add a reflector will that be enough for 20 gallons?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,710 Posts
Flourite is a substrate that contains iron and is supposed to be good for plants. Its a bit expensive so I like to use laterite and plain gravel for larger tanks. I use flourite in one of my ten gallons and it seems to work well though. Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil from home depot is another option. Fertilizer is usually a good idea, although I have read about tanks flourishing with just fish food as fertilzer. I use KNO3, fleet enemas, and flourish in my tanks with success. CO2 is not a necessity all the time. You need to decide whether you want a high light/co2 tank with fast growth, or a low light/non co2 tank with slower growth. Everything has to balance out and its a bit tricky figuring out what you want and what works best for your tanks. 50 watts NO flourescent will be fine to start with, later on you can decide it you want more or not. I have about two watts per gallon over my 75 and I like it that way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I liek the low light/no co2 plan best :)
i look into fluorite a bit more and other ideas such as peat and things similar
so you say no flourescent? how come? i thought that was the kind you want to get? so I can try my incandescent bulbs then?
thank you very much for all the info so far!!! you sure know a lot
AC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,988 Posts
NO florescent stands for normal output florescent. These are just your standard every day florescent tubes. The tubes also come in HO and VHO, high output and very high output. A 36" no is 30watts, a vho is like 96 watts. You need a special ballast for each kind. VHO and HO are not very common much now that PC is becoming pupular. VHO is mostly seen in marine stuff now, although not entirely. Anyway.. I digress.

I agree with SB. you could get away with 2, 24" bulbs. THat should be enough for most lowlight plants. I like the Life Glo 2 bulbs by hagen. My LFS carries them and they are very nice for low light tanks. I would go with flourite straight or mix it with some fine gravel. Slightly coarser than sand. Since you want low light you would be best using mainly substrate fertalization. I use a mix of flourite and fine gravel, maybe 50/50 and suppliment that even further with a few Flourish root tabs. Thay are great for root feeding plants like crypts, echinodoris sp. adn jsut about any other plant really;)

Look around for stuff like that and come back with more questions. Sorry for not completely laying it all out for you but experience really is the best teacher:)

Hope it helps:)
 
Joined
·
65 Posts
to add on to the great info your getting from Team APC :D , if your budget is tight like mine, haha kitty litter works great as a substrate(the cheaper the better, as there are less additives like perfumes and germ killers). depending on what type of plants you are going to get, your substrate could be a minimal part of your aquarium. plants such as java fern, all anubias sp., bolbitis, hydrocotyle and java moss are all low light and will readily attach themselves to rock or wood. if you are going to use these types of plants then regular pool filter sand will work as a substrate. another way to save a few bucks is shop lights. you will pay less than 10 bucks for a shop light. doesnt look too pretty but they will not be seen in the award winning photograph your going to be sending to the ADA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
I was thinking for the plants mentioned 2x25w should be plenty on a 20g. That is about 2.5 wpg, should be ok to grow some anubias, ferns, and moss. I would just get some new bulbs. Make sure you get flourescents that are between the range of 5,000-10k. I use 6700k personally, but most rave about the GE 9325k bulbs. Also, don't run your lights more than 8-12 hrs a day. Plants will only utilize so much light and 12 hrs is basically the max you want to push the photo period.

Sounds like that tank will end up being a great cory habitat. One thing that might also be an option, is going for a sand substrate. Can do it very cheap and have a great look. I've noticed that cory's, pleco's, and other bottom dwellers seem to really like sand. Of course if you get the cheap-o playsand from home depot, it shows up deitrus rather well and can be unsightly. I use Tahitian Moon Sand from Carib-sea (It's black so it doesn't so the deitrus), but it is pricey for those on a budget.

Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
thanks for all the new info :)
im going to go look around at a few stores to get an idea for lights (what would suit my tank best) tomorrow after my exam
and substrate keeping in mind all your suggestions
the 50/50 mix between flourite and a sand liek substrate sounds liek a good idea i wouldnt need a ton of both for a smaller tank like mine
although ive never used sand before so ill ahve to read up a bit on that
im looking forward to having everything ready so i can start
umm i think thats all for now
thanks again
AC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,988 Posts
AC,
generally the sand we use is coarse sand. I mixed my flourite with "sand" that was 2-3 mm across. There are 25 mm in an inch so gravel 1/16 to 1/8 inch will be fine. DOn't go super fine or will will run into compaction and anerobic problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
quick help
what should I do
i am going to buy flourite no matter what the price
can i do the substrate just that? or should i mix?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,988 Posts
You can do either. Both work just fine. Mixing is cheaper because you are using cheaper gravel. Personally I like to mix it because i think the flourite is a little light and soem of hte peoces are rather big. THat is mearly a personal opinoin though. Either will work fine:) Sorry cna't be more help:shrug:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
alright sounds good ill mix lol
yourve given me tons oh help already and thanks very much ive learned a lot, I have about 1/8 inch or 5 mm gravel already so i can use that!
well i should be goin to buy the stuff today so ill be back when i need some more help
thanks again
AC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
alright the only flourescent bulbs that fit my light fixure that i could find were 2700K i figure from reading all the other stuff this is not enough
i should probably find another way to aquire light??
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top