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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 30 gallon low light tank with Elodea in the right corner. i plan to fill it with the following plants that i plan to order online for $70... is it worth it?
- 3 java moss
- 10 vallisneria spiralis
- 5 ludwigia repens
- 4 anubius nana
- 3 cryptocoryne walkerii

is this too much? heres the pictures of the tank. it houses 1 angelfish, 5 bronze cories, 10 phantom tetras, 10 gold barbs.



 

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You didn't mention how much light you have, but L. repens isn't really a low light plant. It doesn't get nicely colored unless you have moderate to high light intensity. The other plants will probably manage pretty well, unless you have really low light, like just 30-40 watts. You can easily beat that price by shopping at the for sale forum here, or I believe you can.
 

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Pretty sure you are going to need more light than that to grow anything. I would save your money and by a better light before you waste your money on plants that will just die off.
 

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No, you can't get a better bulb for a fixture. Fluorescent fixtures use a specific wattage bulb that matches the length and the ballast used in the fixture. You might be able to fit an AH Supply bright kit in the fixture. See http://www.ahsupply.com/96watt.htm. That would give you 96 watts of light, more than enough to grow anything at all. Or, http://www.ahsupply.com/36-55w.htm, using the 2 x 36 watt kit would give you 72 watts, which would be better for a 30 gallon tank, and would also let you grow any plants you wished. One 55 watt kit would give enough light for most plants, but the bulb is a bit short for a 30 inch long tank. Those all cost less than what you were going to spend on plants.

With adequate light, you could then look for a good deal on a package of plants in the for sale forum and you would end up spending just a little more than you were going to spend on just plants.
 

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would i need co2 or ferts if i got more lighting
As you add light you speed up the growth of the plants, and then they need fertilizers. But those are very cheap from http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/. Once you get up beyond 2 watts per gallon you really should us CO2 too, but for the size tank you have, you could use DIY CO2.

Or, you could use the light you have, and grow only mosses, or perhaps some anubias with the mosses. It is possible to have a very nice looking tank with just mosses. For that you need some flat rocks and/or some pieces of "driftwood" to tie the moss to. This is certainly the cheapest way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
well i thought vals and crypts were low light plants. also what mosses can i get besides java? and i was considering a moss wall... would this be worth a try?
 

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well i thought vals and crypts were low light plants. also what mosses can i get besides java? and i was considering a moss wall... would this be worth a try?
"Low" light generally means around 1.25 watts per gallon, or more often even more. You have very low light.
Here is a thread from the for sale forum offering two mosses for sale: http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...171-tiger-lotus-blyxa-tropica-swords-red.html. If you search that forum for "moss" you should be able to identify several folks who sell mosses periodically. Just PM some of them to see what you could get and for how much.

When I tried a moss wall I was disappointed, but you might have better luck than I did. I know lots of people do them and like them.
 

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I suspect we have widely varying opinions about what constitutes moderate light intensity, as measured in watts per gallon. First, you have to specify that you are referring to AH Supply bright light kit quality bulbs and reflectors, or you are referring to T5 bulbs with individual reflectors, and that you mean a light fixture right at the top of a standard geometry tank.

I spent some time over the past two days trying to decide what I think the various light intensities mean, and to clarify my thinking I made this chart:


I know not everyone, and probably not even most here will agree with all that is on the chart, but it does help my thinking on the subject. I have been thinking about adding a column for a moss only tank, but I'm not sure of the parameters for that yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
so what would be the best way to go with my tank? how much would it cost to get up to 1.5 watts/gallon?
 

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You need to study the light fixture you have, to see how much room there would be if you removed the existing electrical parts. Then, if there is enough room, 34.5 inches long x 4 inches wide x 2 inches high, you could install two 36 watt AH Supply Bright kits, giving you about 2.4 watts per gallon, with full length of the tank coverage, or a single 55 watt kit, which is only 21 inches long, giving darker areas at each of the tank, and 1.8 watts per gallon. The latter would be moderate lighting, and the former, high lighting. The cost would be about $63 plus shipping for the 55 watt kit and bulb. That would probably be the best choice for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
what if i got another light exactly like what i have? im just really annoyed that this is happening. its frustrating!
 

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what if i got another light exactly like what i have? im just really annoyed that this is happening. its frustrating!
If it is more economical to just buy another light like you now have, you would have 50 watts, or 1.7 watts per gallon. Since those lights don't have good reflectors, and are T8 size bulbs, unless I'm mistaken, you would not have as much light as 1.7 watts per gallon of AH Supply quality light. It still could be enough for what you want to grow. And, it would be a big improvement in any case. You just have to decide what you can afford vs what you want to grow in the aquarium.

I think at worst you would have a low light aquarium, able to grow anubias, ferns, mosses, valisneria, many crypts, etc. That isn't bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I think at worst you would have a low light aquarium, able to grow anubias, ferns, mosses, valisneria, many crypts, etc. That isn't bad.
is this with the extra light or the lighting i currently have?
 

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is this with the extra light or the lighting i currently have?
It is with the extra light. I doubt that you can succeed with anything except mosses with what you now have. And, even mosses would grow much slower than normal. Gardening, whether terrestrial or aquatic requires light.
 
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