Plant beginner needs help with 15 gallon planted tank! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-19-2008, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
Plant beginner needs help with 15 gallon planted tank!

I have what I think is between 15 and 19 watt light bulb on a 15 gallon tank that I want to be planted. I am guessing that it is not of a high K rating because the light appears "warmer" than that of my other tank. Could the light appear this way because a)the water is cloudy because it is cycling b)I have dark colored gravel and c)the background is somewhat dark colored? The housing is only rated for a 19 watt bulb, so if I bought a 19 watt with a higher K rating would this be good for my plants. They are too expensive to die on me when I first get them! Also, is this necessary with low light plants (that is what they all are)? This is my first planted aquarium and I want everything to survive, so any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-21-2008, 01:39 PM
Little-Fizz's Avatar
The amount of lighting you have should be appropriate for low lighting plants, heck I've got a 15 watt on a 29 gallon and my plants do alright. Do you use ferts? Have you looked into a co2 system?

And just before you laid dead weight upon its shores, I stung you in the face for that's the nature of my core.
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-21-2008, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
I got eco-complete gravel so I was not planning on doing ferts. at first. As far a CO2, I didn't want the aggravation at first so I opted to go with some flourish excel.
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-21-2008, 04:58 PM
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There's really no need to do co2 with such a low light tank.

Your light may look a different color because it's been used for a while. Some spectrums burn out more quickly than others. For that reason, you'll want to replace any tube florescent bulb every 6 months or so.
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-24-2008, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
Ok, so I had my plants all picked out and I was going to order them online from aquariumplants. com. They were all low light plants and would work perfectly in my aquarium. Then we called, and the overnight shipping was going to be $30 . My order itself was under $20 and this was good because they seemed to have the best prices around, and the best selection. So, I then started looking around for other alternatives and got some contradicting answers. When I was browsing, some of the plants that I had seen on the other site to be low light plants were labeled as moderate light plants. Here is a list of the plants that I was planning on getting. Please tell me what you know about them.

1 ludwigia repens (primrose)
1 anubias barterii var. nana
1 crypt red wendtii
1 java moss
1 watersprite
1 java fern

Also, the shipping cost is only $15 if you do the two day package. So if you order on monday it will come in on wednesday. This was the recommended shipping on so is it really that risky. On aquarium plants they recommended the overnight shipping. Has anyone ordered and used the two day shipping? Were your plants alive when they came in? Thank you very much.
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-24-2008, 10:53 PM
1077's Avatar
I have ordered plants from them with no problems. They come wrapped in wet newspaper and inside plastic bags. During summer I would probably opt for next day delivery but thats just me. They should be ok either way. :) PS the plants you listed should do ok in low to moderate light.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-24-2008, 11:13 PM
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You should take a look at this site:

They have a decent selection of plants, but their prices are very good and all orders over $20 are free. I haven't ordered anything from them yet, but I know other members of this forum have ordered from them with no problems.

4 8 15 16 23 42
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-25-2008, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
Oh, wow that is a great site. They had everything that I was going to order and the total is just over $20. Way better than anywhere else. Thanks a lot.
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-25-2008, 05:04 PM
okiemavis's Avatar
You can also get some really great plants from trades on this website in the classifieds section. is another a great resource (baylees fishes also sells through there). Aquabid is like ebay, only for fish geeks :D

Your list of plants seems in order except for the ludwigia repens. It's a gorgeous plant but will not survive with your lighting. It definitely requires med-high lighting.

Just for the record, I absolutely love They sell very high grade stuff. However, because they're so high quality, they only ship the plants overnight/express, so you end up having to pay $30 for shipping. Most people on this site or aquabid will ship standard priority, which should be fine. It's also a heck of a lot cheaper.
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-26-2008, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
Yeah, when I looked on the other site they said that the ludwigia repens was a moderate light plant. So I figured I would just skip it. My tank is more wide and long than tall, so I figured that my other five plants along with this big piece of driftwood that I found should fill it up nicely. I am so lucky that I live near a lake that is used as a water supply. There is no pollution, and people are not even allowed to swim in it! It's a little annoying on a hot summer day, driving past that lake, but it's a great place for finding driftwood that I can trust :) . I still boil it for about 30 minutes though, to kill any little nasties that may be hiding inside. Anyway, thanks for the advice, I am going to order my plants today from baylees fishes. No shipping charges, this is my kind of place!
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