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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1. Tank water volume: 24" long 12.5 deep 16" high - 20gal
2. Tank lighting: 2 ea 15w 18" fluorescent, 1 is Floro Gro type - 1.5 w/gal
3. Tank filtration: Suck up the water thru a filter pad / charcoal thru a bio wheel back into the tank type.
4. Tank substrate: Aquarium gravel
5. Plants: 3 recent that are getting covered with black algae
6. Fish: 10 fancy guppies, 4 neon tetra, 2 cory cats, 1 clown loach
7. Test kits used Tetra test NO2, Aquarium Pharm Ammonia, Nutramin NO3, Nutrafin ph.
8. Fertilization regimen: Kent Freshwater K-Fe, 0-0-3. 2 ml 1x week
9. Do you CO2? Hagen Kit
10. Water change routine: 1x month 25%
11. How long has the tank been set up? 6 months

I would like to get more plants going. I buy 2 or three, but they only last a few month before they look so bad I have to throw them out.

From what I have read in the forum, I know I need more light. Can I just buy higher wattage lamps for the hood / fixture I have? Are there plants that will grow well in aquarium gravel without tearing my tank down and starting over with substrate? Would the right approach be to buy 20-30 plants all at once instead of just trying to get to or three going?

Thanks for the help.
Jim
 

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You can grow plants at 1.5WPG if you get the proper plants for that wattage (low light plants). What type plants do you have now?

Yes, it is better to get as many plants as you can in the beginning to help soak up nutrients. You can mix slow gowers with fast growers, but faster growers are better in the beginning.

You have one plant grow bulb, also replace the other bulb with a plant bulb.

Remove the carbon from your filter, carbon will remove nutrients from the water.

One water change a month is not enough, do water changes weekly (25-30%).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
tenrac,
The plants I have now are not worth trying to save.
I will replace the other tube with a floro gro and get rid of the carbon.
Understand water change weekly. Is that on-going or based on water testing?
Can you suggest some low light slow and fast growers that will grow in aquarium gravel?

Thanks for the help
 

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Aquarium gravel is inert, so I would suggest in picking a better substrate as Flurite, eco or whatever the LFS has for aquarium plants, because gravel is inert compared to the other substrate mentioned.
As for low light plants, I could recomend some anubias, java moss, java fern, green cobomba, anacharis, hornwort. Just some stuff off my head. Once you get settled into aquascaping, then proceed to the harder stuff. Always start with small steps as great acomplishes come or whatever. Hopes this helps. :)
 

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jscudder said:
tenrac,
The plants I have now are not worth trying to save.
I will replace the other tube with a floro gro and get rid of the carbon.
Understand water change weekly. Is that on-going or based on water testing?
Can you suggest some low light slow and fast growers that will grow in aquarium gravel?

Thanks for the help
Water changes are a on going process, never go more than two weeks without one. Since you have only done monthly water changes up to now I would start off with one 50% water change.

As Erirka mentioned substrates made for plants are the best however you can use regular gravels too, just make sure to add root tabs especial for plants like Crypts/Swords. Also make sure that you have a depth of at least 2" but not over 3".

The plants that Erirka mentioned are good low light plants except for Cabomba which prefers higher light conditions and some species can be difficult to grow; so I would not recommend it for a beginner. A couple other low light plants are Crypts, Tropical Sword. The fast growers mentioned are Hornwort, Anacharis, Java Moss (once it gets going).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to Erirku and trenac.
I will take your suggestions and give them a try.

If all goes well, I'll post a pic.

Thanks again.
 
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