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Upgrading to real plants

This is a discussion on Upgrading to real plants within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> There are almost no lawn type plants that you will be able to grow under a single T-12 Fluorescent in a 15 gallon tank. ...

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Upgrading to real plants
Old 01-11-2007, 08:51 PM   #11
 
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There are almost no lawn type plants that you will be able to grow under a single T-12 Fluorescent in a 15 gallon tank. If I am thinking about this right, you're talking about an 18 to 20 watt bulb. You need at least 3 watts per gallon of standard flourescent - 45 watts over a 15 gallon tank - to get a good lawn out of dwarf hairgrass or glossostigma or HC or microsword or pygmy chain sword, and you need that plus serious knowhow to do it with riccia. On top of that, if you are going to go over 2 watts per gallon, you will need CO2 of some sort unless you want to grow lots and lots of Back Brush Algae. In fact, unless you get pressurized CO2, you will get some of it.

Also, that bulb with the long thin leaves is probably a thai onion plant, which will eventually grow leaves long enough to cover the tank if not trimmed regularly.

That said, it is pissible to make a java moss lawn with either slate and hairnet, or needlework gridding weighted to the substrate with stones (or a combination of the two) Just lay a single layer of java moss, strand by strand either on a flat rock andkeep it in place with a hairnet (this is the method I use) or lay it out on a needlework grid, lay it moss side down on the gravel, and weight it with stones. The moss will grow through the holes in the gridwork over the course of a month or two.
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Old 01-12-2007, 02:08 AM   #12
 
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Originally Posted by fish_4_all
Grassy, low carpet plants require a LOT of light. For a standard 15 gallon, I would say 50-65 watts to grow them at a rate faster than a snail in winter. I have 33 watts over a standard 10 gallon and can not grow glasso, HC or clover.
Had that covered too.

CO2 may or may not be needed but will help. I have seen tanks with very nice carpets of HC with no Co2 and 4.5 w/g. Don't ask how they do it I couldn't if I tried. As a beginner, if you can afford to do so, I would recommend a pressurized system for CO2, and I say afford to because they run around $300 for the basic setup.

You may have good luck with mosses for a carpet plant. Just going to have to experiment and see what wokrs for you. I don't know anything more about THIS moss but it is quickly becoming a new and very sought after one.

Just really have to start trying different plants. I don't recommend Riccia because it can and will make a huge mess if you don't keep up with it and redo the mats every so often, depending on how fast it grows. I went through 27 different species before I found a group of plants I like and can grow in my tanks with my setup.
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Old 01-12-2007, 06:14 AM   #13
 
So do i have to have Co2 at night? Cause i cant afford that.

Do you?
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Old 01-12-2007, 06:22 AM   #14
 
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Originally Posted by Brandon
So do i have to have Co2 at night? Cause i cant afford that.

Do you?
You may or you may not. CO2 is useless anyway at night especially when the plants use up oxygen instead of CO2 hence this is called respiration process. I run mine even at night though as I can't just try turning on and off the CO2 tank every morning. But, of course, I run an airpump to prevent the CO2 from accumulating and then killing the fish.
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Old 01-12-2007, 10:32 AM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tophat665
That said, it is pissible to make a java moss lawn with either slate and hairnet, or needlework gridding weighted to the substrate with stones (or a combination of the two) Just lay a single layer of java moss, strand by strand either on a flat rock andkeep it in place with a hairnet (this is the method I use) or lay it out on a needlework grid, lay it moss side down on the gravel, and weight it with stones. The moss will grow through the holes in the gridwork over the course of a month or two.
That's a great idea! I was thinking of a moss wall originally, but I think you just changed my mind :D
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Old 01-12-2007, 03:26 PM   #16
 
Thanks im not really following but anyways im thinking on getting new gravle can i get the black shiny pebbles or would you recommend something else. Also can i change the gravel when i do my water change or will i kill my fish?
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Old 01-13-2007, 12:18 AM   #17
 
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Originally Posted by Brandon
Thanks im not really following but anyways im thinking on getting new gravle can i get the black shiny pebbles or would you recommend something else. Also can i change the gravel when i do my water change or will i kill my fish?
Something else. I used that in two of my planted tanks, and it's a bit hard to get plants to root in in properly. If yu care to spring for a buck a pound for substrate, get eco-complete or flourite. Next best (and much less expensive) would be Pool sand - inert silica with the right grain size. Cheaper still, get fine pea gravel from your local home despot.
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Old 01-13-2007, 12:54 AM   #18
 
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Get anything natural in my opinion. The smaller the better althoug I would not recopmmend a fine sand. I don't what pool filter sand looks like as I have yet to find it here so I can't say yes or no there. A fine river run gravel will work fine. Onyx black sand is a course sand that works good, flourite, Eco Complete, Turface MVP now comes in both black and brown, profile aquatic soil, lots of options that are better than any type of epoxy coated/colored gravel you will find in the bags from the LFS.
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Old 01-13-2007, 07:22 PM   #19
 
Hey i just found a yellow halogen work light and the bulb looks exactly like a metal double ended halide, it's really bright to. i wanted to know if i could buy a halide bulb and put it in. (ill show pics if needed)

Edit: i found a small pic http://www.azpartsmaster.com/shopazp...C55120%29.html

Thanks
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