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Planting 44g tank?

This is a discussion on Planting 44g tank? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> I've remained out of this thread until now because I answered your identical questions last time in the previous thread. But as you seem ...

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Old 04-29-2010, 01:52 PM   #11
 
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I've remained out of this thread until now because I answered your identical questions last time in the previous thread. But as you seem to be in a corner, I'll try to help, that's what I'm here for.

Get a decent tube for your light fixture and you will be able to grow a majority of plants. Stay away from high-light requirement plants like substrate hairgrass and babytears, etc. I can guarantee you will have no trouble growing crypts, most swords, Pennywort, Anubias, Java Fern, Java Moss, obviously any floating plant...quite a variety for a nice mix in any aquarium.

Decent tube means a full spectrum 6700K. Try a less expensive brand from a hardware store, say Phillips, Sylvania or GE--they all make tubes with around 6500K and call them daylight or enhanced daylight or daylight deluxe or similar. These will only be a couple dollars in hardware stores. If by some chance this does not provide enough (with the window light you mention I still think it will), then a more expensive tube like the life Grow which has a special coating on one half of the inner tube to direct light better would probably handle it. Just understand that you will be a bit limited in plant selection; most stem plants require more light than substrate-rooted plants and those mentioned, so avoid them.

A comment on the substrate issue: it is possible to grow plants well in almost any substrate. But each has pro's and con's that you should consider carefully.

Sand takes considerably more initial cleaning (some of us find this an issue, some don't). It compacts much more easily than any other substrate, and the deeper you have it the more chance it will compact; one member mentioned keeping it less than 2 inches, which helps the compaction issue but will not provide adequate depth for Echinodorus (swords) other than the pygmy chain sword. E. bleherae and similar swords require at least 4 iches as they have very extensive root systems. More regular and careful "raking" or poking of the sand is essential to prevent compaction which causes the plant roots to rot not to mention other issues in water quality for the fish. Malaysian trumpet/livebearing snails help in this by burrowing through the substrate. If you are prepared for the additional care, there's nothing wrong with sand. However, I know of no plant author who recommends sand on its own for a planted tank. That doesn't mean it can't be done, obviously; but just as obviously, there are issues.

Gravel is still a frequently-recommended substrate by plant authors although soil with a gravel layer on top or one of the enriched substrates are becoming more common. Gravel on its own works fine; I have used in for more than 20 years now with excellent plant growth. Small grain gravel is best, as it provides excellent plant rooting medium and allows for good circulation of water (essential) and good aerobic bacteria growth (also essential). Plants like swords and possibly crypts that benefit from substrate nutrients will grow fine in regular gravel though using plant fertilizer tabs/sticks does improve their growth; but it is not essential.

Soil, provided it is plain and contains no fertilizers (terrestrial soils with fertilizers cause innumerable problems because the "fertilizers" are not geared to aquatic plants requirements) works well as a bottom layer; a layer of gravel on top keeps the soil where it belongs as on its own it is easily stirred up. Care has to be taken when planting, and any re-planting will obviously create a mess as the soil will get into the water. And according to Diana Walstad who certainly knows this method, it takes a few months initially for the tank to balance, during which there can be issues.

Plant substrates like Eco-complete and Flourite. These work fine, just like gravel except they contain nutrients. They cost a lot more than regular gravel or sand. They provide substrate nutrients for plants which will obviously grow faster than without, but as mentioned above plants will grow healthy and well in plain gravel or sand so it is up to you if you want to spend the additional money.

Byron.
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Old 05-01-2010, 10:52 PM   #12
 
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Thanks for the help byron. I was just looking for some other specific plant recommendations. Then I was told it wouldn't work put me off a bit.

I have put the play sand into a 5g tank. I really actually like the way it looks so I may use it for the 44g after all.

I will ask sweetaquatics, when/if I order plantrs for the 44g to include some MTS or purchase some for them... but I heard from some people they don't mind including some?

Anyways, thanks for the help guys.
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:09 PM   #13
 
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Hey guys, thought I would ask on this thread instead of making a new one. But, I'm wondering if anyone knows where I can find high output bulbs? I need the highest output for a 17w (or close) bulb. I just ordered plants. :) I'm gonna take the risk and hope I can get em to grow.
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:01 PM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin View Post
Hey guys, thought I would ask on this thread instead of making a new one. But, I'm wondering if anyone knows where I can find high output bulbs? I need the highest output for a 17w (or close) bulb. I just ordered plants. :) I'm gonna take the risk and hope I can get em to grow.
To the best of my knowledge: Hagen's Life-Glo is the most intense tube, the Life-Glo 2 is slightly less. Zoo Med's Ultra Sun is about the same as the Life Glo 2. Other tubes such as the daylight type by GE, Phillips, Sylvannia are close if not the same. I have used all of these mentioned.

Generally speaking, the length of tube will be consistent in T8 except if the manufacturer has done something to enhance the intensity, such as in the Life Glo. Remembering your situation, I would go with the Life-Glo tube [not Life-Glo 2].
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:15 PM   #15
 
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Thanks. :) Where can I find Life-Glo and do you know an estimated price? Might have to go somewhere special to find a light cus lowes didn't even have a T-8 18" daylight.
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:56 PM   #16
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin View Post
Thanks. :) Where can I find Life-Glo and do you know an estimated price? Might have to go somewhere special to find a light cus lowes didn't even have a T-8 18" daylight.
Hagen and Zoo Med tubes will only come from fish stores, or online. And Life-Glo is the most expensive, probably around 3 or 4 times the cost of the hardware tubes, at least here in Canada. It should last 3+ years though.
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Old 05-10-2010, 02:18 PM   #17
 
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Ah, ok. But it will be worth the increased intensity? I ordered some plants yesterday. Will my plants be ok for a week with the old light since it is 6500k? idk if I can spend 20$ on the light just yet...
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Old 05-10-2010, 03:04 PM   #18
 
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Originally Posted by Austin View Post
Ah, ok. But it will be worth the increased intensity? I ordered some plants yesterday. Will my plants be ok for a week with the old light since it is 6500k? idk if I can spend 20$ on the light just yet...
As I think I commented earlier in this thread, I am of the view that your single tube will be fine for the majority of plants. I would only avoid the high-light plants like the substrate grasses and some of the stem plants. Swords, crypts, anubias, java fern, java moss, vallisneria, sagittaria, and a few of the more tolerant stem plants will be fine.
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:02 PM   #19
 
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Here it what I got

1 x Bacopa Australis
1 x Cryptocoryne Wendtii Green
1 x Pennywort (Hydocotyle Leucocephyala)
1 x Nymphaea Stellata Bulbs (Dwarf Lily)
1 x Vallisneria Spiralis 'Leopard' (Italian Leopard Val)
2 x Echinodorus Bleheri
1 x Cryptocoryne Walkeri
1 x Nymphea Lotus Red (Red Tiger Lotus)
1 x Anubias Barteri Var. Glabra (Minima)
1 x Java Fern (Microsorium Pteropus)
1 x Cryptocoryne Wendtii Red

:) hopefully they will all be ok.
Might be too many but some can always be used elsewhere or gotten rid of.
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:47 PM   #20
 
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https://www.petsolutions.com/Default...temID=97605118
https://www.petsolutions.com/Default...temID=96300503
https://www.petsolutions.com/Default...temID=15511625
https://www.petsolutions.com/Default...temID=97605418

See any that you think would be good?

And this is the only "Life Glo" I see: https://www.petsolutions.com/Default...temID=15511656

Does life glo not come in 18"? That's the size of my fixture.

I have a question about the lights... How come even ones saying 4000ish say they are for plants? =X
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