Low Wattage Plants? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-09-2010, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Low Wattage Plants?

Hello! I'd like to add more plants to my aquarium this weekend, but I'm a huge plant noob and have no idea what would work for me.

The lighting in my aquarium is a 20 Watt Reptil-Glo that came with the tank. What plants would you reccomend? Java fern... Some kind of Val? (My petsmart is really limited.)
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-09-2010, 11:52 AM
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I'm assuming its your 20g tank you have listed there?
First, please go to any Homestore or Wal-Mart and buy a "Daylight" bulb that fits in your hood there, get one around 20-25watts. Daylights are mostly around a range of 5-6500 kelvin; with that and the named wattage you're house is open to a lot plants. Cost for that at the named stores def under $5

Now plants lol Java ferns and Anubias are nice, thou both require being attached to either rocks or driftwood not buried int he gravel, then they don't thrive/ not as well.
Corkscrew Vallis looks nice and doesn't get as tall as some other Vallis.
Narrow leaf Chain Sword is nice for the foreground.
Maybe some red Cryptocoryne Wndtii 's to add some color to your tank? Or Ludwiga Nantas also nice red-green coloration and easy grower/ easy to multiply. Nice looking fine plant for the back instead of Vallis would be Rotala Indica, also fast grower and easy to cut and raise more by yourself.

Maybe you could look through these pages see what YOU like and then we can see if it'll work for your tank.
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post #3 of 13 Old 01-09-2010, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Forgot to mention: The bulb is a full spectrum, if that helps any. and is advertized as being a good plant bulb as well. (in terrariums...)

Is 20 Watts considered low light?
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-09-2010, 02:12 PM
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I just tried looking up your raptil glo there's 3 different one's a 2.0 version and a 5.0 version and 10.0 version , which one do you have there? Looking at their color spectrum 2 would work for plant one, I'd pers not find very ideal, being the 2.0 version which is high in reds and yellow and very lil blue's.

I'd not consider 20w low light. That's what I have is florescent that are ~1 watt per gallon over the tanks...check the plants/ tank out for yourself and see what you think of the plant growth there (except the brand new set ups lol these plants hadn't had time to grow just yet and/ or profiles need picture updates).

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post #5 of 13 Old 01-09-2010, 03:07 PM
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might like to add most swords work nice as does anachris ive had really great sucess with both of those personally. would also liek to mention that she is right on with the info~
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-09-2010, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel079 View Post
I just tried looking up your raptil glo there's 3 different one's a 2.0 version and a 5.0 version and 10.0 version , which one do you have there? Looking at their color spectrum 2 would work for plant one, I'd pers not find very ideal, being the 2.0 version which is high in reds and yellow and very lil blue's.

I'd not consider 20w low light. That's what I have is florescent that are ~1 watt per gallon over the tanks...check the plants/ tank out for yourself and see what you think of the plant growth there (except the brand new set ups lol these plants hadn't had time to grow just yet and/ or profiles need picture updates).
The light is a 24" long tube, and it is their standard terrarium light. (The fish tank had a lizard in it once upon a time.)
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-09-2010, 05:20 PM
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I donno what else to tell ya!?
Terra Plants and tank plants as well as terra critters vs Fish just have a lil different needs. If you want to test yours with plants, if they don't start thriving/ growing real well within 4-6 you'll know what's wrong

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post #8 of 13 Old 01-09-2010, 06:13 PM
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There are numerous plants that will grow well in your aquarium, subject only to the present tube being adequate as Angel has been saying. Assuming it is, or that you replace it with a standard full spectrum as Angel has recommended, almost anything except some of the higher-light stem plants and substrate covers (hairgrass, baby tears...) will be fine, and even some of these may do well.

I am not particularly fond of classifying plants as "low light" etc., simply because many defy such classification. Aquatic plants with few exceptions are all relatively low-light plants when it comes down to it, and with 1 watt of full spectrum light per gallon as a guide you are going to have many to choose from. Look at the variety in Angel's tanks and mine; we have what some would call "low light" in terms of our tubes but there are plants in our tanks that these same people would say were moderate if not high light requiring plants. It's all relative.

Byron.

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Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-09-2010, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help! I'll pick up some trial plants and see how they do.
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-09-2010, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by La Reina View Post
Thanks for the help! I'll pick up some trial plants and see how they do.
Well, there are a couple of cautions, notwithstanding the previous coments, that may save you some money.

Red leaf plants require brighter light (because they reflect red light so there has to be more of it). I have relatively little success with red leaved plants, which is to say they usually grow but not with the blood-red leaves, more reddish-brown. Though having said that, your reptile light might be good for these.

Stem plants may fall apart with less light, though not always. Cabomba does not do well for me, though having said that it has been years since I last tried it (back in the 1980's I think it was), and my light and experience have both improved (I hope). These are often readily available, but I would tend to go more with rooted plants (swords, crypts, vallisneria...).

Another thought just occurred to me concerning your reptil light; it may produce more heat than regular aquarium tubes, and this is not good. Just a caution.

B.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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