Aquatic Plant Forum banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well i have tried many different posts in many different threads without getting the results I expected. Maybe i'm not giving enough information or asking stupid questions but here it goes....

i recently purchased a 30 gallon aquarium with a 25 W flourescent light. basically just one of those oak colored ones with one bulb. realizing this is not enough light for plants, i am purchasing another one of the same to boost to 50-55W. this may not be the best idea, but its the most cost effective. i currently have some elodea which is doing great with just the 25 W of light. i have looked at many set ups and decided that i like the Iwagumi type set up with the rocks. so here are the questions:

1) Does 50W in a 30 gallon (1.66 W/Gallon) classify as a low light, moderate light, or strong light aquarium?

2) Can i keep cories with HC ground cover? Will HC grow in these lighting conditions? What other plants would be good for this kind of lighting?

3) Will i benefit by using CO2 in this tank? Will it give me better results? because i plan to do a DIY set up.

4) What are the best rocks to use for an Iwagumi tank and does anyone have a "guide" to doing this type of tank? Also, where is the best place to find these rocks because my LFS does not have much.

5) I currently have regular black sand as substrate, but i want to add 20 more lbs of sand as i have about 20 pounds in there now. Should i add regular sand or is there a good substrate to use?

6) What would be good to use for a background? I am considering just a regular black posterboard as a background. I may also get white or blue so i can switch it up from time to time.

7) Are fertilizers necessary?

I think that's it. Please leave some comments. Even if you only have a comment for a specific question, that's fine. I just want to get a lot of different insight and opinions. Please help me out!!!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,997 Posts
Your light would be low light, especially since the standard fluorescent lights usually have poor/non-existent reflectors so you're losing a lot of light. I have a 29 gallon with 65 watt compact fluorescent fixture and a decent reflector and it's roughly moderate light.

A good background that I've used is fleece. I use a few 1-2" pieces of sticky back velcro to attach it to the top frame of the tank. It's heavy enough to hang straight without being attached at the bottom and I can easily move it out of the way to see the back of the tank. It also dries very quickly. I've bought a yard of 60" wide fleece for $2 when there's a good sale at the fabric store, so it's an inexpensive background.

I've never grown HC but I've read that it needs fairly high light. Have you considered Marsilea? There are a couple of different species and they will form a carpet in lower light.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
697 Posts
1) i think the lighting you're upgrading to would be considered low light, but depending on the K rating, it may not provide the right type of lighting. i would suggest looking into a lighting setup from AHSupply. they are relatively inexpensive, great quality, and give out lots of light.

2) cory's are pretty adaptable and any ground cover will do for them, however the amount of lighting you have is not enough for HC. you need high lighting with a good supply of CO2 and proper ferts.

3) any type of plants you decide to go with will benefit with CO2, and DIY will definitely do the job.

4) i think you will get lots of different opinions on this, many will cost you lots of money. normally you would go with stones that are similar, and ones that are pleasing to your eye. but you do want (IMO) rough looking stones, so the scape has a "wild" look. but like i said, you will get different opinions.

5) if you're looking at mixing substrate, i would go with something similar in colour, and again you will get different opinions on the brands. such as ADA, Eco-complete, flourite, etc... all of these have their pro's and con's. it comes down to how much money you want to spend, and what is readily available to you.

6) if you plan on changing your background frequently, using posterboard would be good with a light shining against it for different effects. check out some of the aquascapes for ideas. personally i just painted the outside glass black.

7) to maintain healthy plants, you will need to fertilize your plants. check out the fertilizer forum for the best fert regiment for you to follow.

hope this information helps!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
228 Posts
1) Does 50W in a 30 gallon (1.66 W/Gallon) classify as a low light, moderate light, or strong light aquarium?

2) Can i keep cories with HC ground cover? Will HC grow in these lighting conditions? What other plants would be good for this kind of lighting?

3) Will i benefit by using CO2 in this tank? Will it give me better results? because i plan to do a DIY set up.

4) What are the best rocks to use for an Iwagumi tank and does anyone have a "guide" to doing this type of tank? Also, where is the best place to find these rocks because my LFS does not have much.

5) I currently have regular black sand as substrate, but i want to add 20 more lbs of sand as i have about 20 pounds in there now. Should i add regular sand or is there a good substrate to use?

6) What would be good to use for a background? I am considering just a regular black posterboard as a background. I may also get white or blue so i can switch it up from time to time.

7) Are fertilizers necessary?

I think that's it. Please leave some comments. Even if you only have a comment for a specific question, that's fine. I just want to get a lot of different insight and opinions. Please help me out!!!
1) I would definitely say low light with those lights (bad reflectors)

2) If you could grow HC I would not recommend doing it with corys. I tried it and finally gave up. It was too much maintenance work and it never really carpeted the way I wanted. But, you could always try. As far as plants for that lighting, you should look through the plantfinder here, it is very helpful. After you find a plant that you think you like, I would suggest doing a little google info and image search to make sure it is what you want.

3) I'm not so sure the CO2 would be that beneficial to the tank with those lights. It would not hurt (in proper amounts) but then the limiting factor would definitely become the lighting. You could always go the excel route.

4) Can't help you there...I never did Iwagumi...sorry

5) You could use plain gravel/sand. If budget is the issue, this is the area you could skimp and put the money towards a better light first. I was taught that the substrate was the least important of the light, CO2, substrate trifecta. You could always supplement substrate nutrient needs with root tabs.

6) I have used the posterboard and liked it. I did what you are suggesting. I had black and white and would switch them up when i redid the tank. I (and I'm sure many others here) have also used trash bags, paint, store bought, and even screening.

7) I believe fertilizing would help but you would have to be very careful with the amounts. I hope one of the experts on here will help you with that. I am more of the casual fert type where I watch the tank and tinker with my fert schedule/dose when something is not right.

I would highly recommend a better lighting system, especially if you are looking to do iwugami with HC. Good luck and hopefully some of the smarter people around here can give you some guidance.
 
1 - 4 of 4 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