Plants for 20 long or smaller tanks - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 19 Old 12-09-2006, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
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Plants for 20 long or smaller tanks

Well I have spent about as many hours as I care to think about trying to find plants that will "fit" a 10 gallon tank. Needless to say I am here to gather a list of those plants for everyone. I thought that my Crypt Red Wendtii might get big enough to fill one corner of my 10 gallon tank. It is now on the verge of taking over 1/2 the tank and more. If it was in the middle of the tank it would be the only plant that would fit.

The plants you list need to fit a 20 gallon LONG or smaller tank. If they will fit but will need 1/2 the tank, make sure to list that. When you list the plant, say where it should look best. Please keep your posts to plants you have experience with as I can go online and get a list of plants but most of them will not fit a smaller tank if growing well and the sizes they give are terrible and seem to be rather inaccurate. Experience is what I want here and I think it will best serve others to hear from those who have actually used these plants in this sized tanks.

Please remeber, this is actual success with plants, not speculation. Hopefully this will become a list of plants for other to look at so they don't "have" to make the same mistakes we did if they don't "want" to. Me, give me the plant and I will see if it works. :P

Here are the plants that I have specific experience with or would absolutely recommend for a 10 gallon tank.

10 Gallon tanks with ~33 watts of normal output flourescents from a standard 48" shoplight split over 2 tanks.

Elatine Triandra: (not my experience but from friends tanks)
-short with runners
-plant spaced out to get full effect and fill in faster

Crypt Lucens:
-Corner front to middle back
-3-5 inches tall and can be thick in mass
-Does not like to be crowded nor shaded
-Grows well in my tank if it is not crowded and get a root tab about every 3 months. Growth stunted when crowded but Crypt Becketti

Ludwigia repens (Primrose):
-Background only
-Tall plant but can be trimmed and will start to bush out
-Spacing not an issue and depends on what you are looking for
-Very slow to acclimate and grow for me but once it got a good root system growth exploded

Anubias Barterii var. Nana:
-Middle ground in central location
-Will fill out to be a very dense plant in medium+ light
-Best if left in place so roots can feed the plant for faster growth
-Under my lighting I do have a staghjorn algae problem but it is minimul and the plant grows quickly and densely making many rhizome splits without any assistance

Cryt Red Wendtii:
-Centerpiece plant with few others in 10 gallon tank
-Will fill in both length and width of tank when healthily growing
-Not a plant to get if you don't know for sure it is one you want as it will get very large
-With my Light levels I am getting good fast growth and brilliant colors

-Foreground or midground
-With my lighting I am getting a carpet effect

Plants to avoid in a 10 gallon:
hygrophyla polysperma
All swords

EDIT: Let's make this a little more detailed, crazie.eddie made a point and I think that specific light levels, dosing, substrate and anything else relevant needs to be added so there is less confusion.
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post #2 of 19 Old 12-09-2006, 01:10 AM
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Excellent article.

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post #3 of 19 Old 12-09-2006, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Ok members, someone has to have 10 gallon planted tanks and has recommendations here. My list is short and I need a lot more plants for an accurate article.
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post #4 of 19 Old 12-09-2006, 05:52 PM
Plants to avoid in a 10 gallon:
hygrophyla polysperma
All swords
You can actually still use them on a 10 gallon. Just have to trim them shorter :D
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post #5 of 19 Old 12-09-2006, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Elodea, hygro and cabomba, true if you don't mind trimming 3x a week.

Wisteria, as a lone plant or for 1/2 a tank full of one plant because trimming makes it look really ratty.

Swords I should have been a little more specific: Amazon swords, Red melon Swords especially but again if all you want is a Red Melon Sword, a 10 gallon will work fine for about the forst 3 months then it will grow out the top of the tank.

Remember, this is for my specific tank parameters. If you have 1.5 w/g or less and do not dose anything but a micro fertilizer then sure but I would not recommend any of those plants for a medium high light 10 gallon and dosing EI.

Detailed specific experience with these plants so members and visitors can feel confident that it could work for them.

Post your experience with these plants and the lighting and how they grew for you so I can add this information about your smaller tanks. Just saying they will work doesn't really help all that much.
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post #6 of 19 Old 12-10-2006, 12:09 PM
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tennelus is a sword that will work well in a small tank, all the rest can go in the bin lol :) (swords that is).
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post #7 of 19 Old 12-10-2006, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, I didn't realize so few members have 10 gallon planted tanks.

I guess I really need to upgrade to a larger tank.
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post #8 of 19 Old 12-10-2006, 10:52 PM
Originally Posted by fish_4_all
Wow, I didn't realize so few members have 10 gallon planted tanks.

I guess I really need to upgrade to a larger tank.
The "problem" with small tanks is that the "least" anomoly will cause the fish "grief".

I will use temperature as my first example.

Let's say that during the winter the power goes out and the temperature in the house "starts dropping".

A temperature drop of 1F in a 50G tank would translate to an approximate 4F drop in temperature in a 10G tank (ie. probably dead fishies).

Similarly if 1.5 Tblspns (in lieu of 1 Tlbspn) of Flourish were added to a 100G tank the effect would be negligible but would be very significant in a 10G tank.

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post #9 of 19 Old 12-10-2006, 10:54 PM
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I had a 10 gallon planted for a while (and will again in a couple of months). It was under 36 watts CF (spiral bulbs in an incandescent hood).

In it were Cabomba carolinia, Brazillian Pennywort, dwarf hairgrass, an "Amazon Compacta" Sword, an Ozelot Sword, and a Crypt Wendetii v. Tropica. The Cabomba did really well - needed trimming twice weekly. The Pennywort, hairgrass, and swords didn't really take off. Cabomba and pennywort along the back. Hairgrass in the front, Ozelot in a back corner, compacta and crypt in the midground. This was in a Fluorite and gravel substrate. I don't believe I was using any plant food at the time, but I did have a DIY CO2 going. (First tank in 25 years. Live and learn.)

Had a lot of green hair algae

I still have all of these plants. The Crypt and Ozelot moved to a 50 gallon under lower light. Crypt is thriving, Sword almost dormant.

The rest are in a 20 high, and their cuttings have populated 2 other 20 highs and a 50 breeder.

Logic is only the beginning of wisdom
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post #10 of 19 Old 12-10-2006, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Well hopefully this will help those that do have 20 gallon or smaller tanks and want to try their hand at live plants without a $500 bill going to a 55 just to see if they like live plants.

Another good plant:

Hemianthus Callitricoides HC (not my experience but a friends)
-Needs a nutrient rich substrate to really thrive, Eco Complete or similar seems to one of the best but a very fine substrate like sand also works.
-Needs at least medium high light to grow well
-When planting, spread out in single plantings using tweezers to bury one leaf and leave the other connected leaf above the substrate. Will take root in about 2 weeks and spread nicely assuming it is submerged growth, if not it will need about 4-6 weeks to change to submerged form and thrive
-Do not shadow this plant as it will not do well and will often die in the shaded places
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