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LyzzaRyzz 06-25-2012 08:57 PM

Advice on tall [20 inches] fast growing plants...and others...
 
I am thinking of adding live plants to my 55 gal, to hide the mirror background a bit.
I cannot remove it, and am thinking that it may be better to just hide the mirror in plants, instead of draining and adhering a background to the inside of the tank.

The only place around me that sells AQ plants is Petsmart. So ive made a list of the ones they have listed on their website. [Question, are these plants the same plants that are in the plastic tubes?]

Can you guys tell me some more about these plants? Im basically a newbie in this aspect. o.O

Corkscrew Vals, 20 inches tall
Caboma, 20 inches tall
Hornwort, 2 feet tall
Green and white Acorus, 12 inches tall slow grower
Moneywort, 12 inches tall
Anacharis, 2 feet tall
Water Wisteria, 20 inches

I need something thats going to grow into the top level of my tank, 12-25 inches...And easy. Low light, i have 2 14 watt energy saver bulbs right now, hoping to get a better light fixture, but its kind of a last thing, since the lights i have light the tank up pretty good, just not sure how they would be for plants.

Also, hopefully a fast grower, but id prefer a plant that grew more wider and more stems than fast and straight with one stalk.

Varkolak 06-26-2012 03:53 AM

Anacharis is your best bet for what you want, its a fast grower in low-med light and will fill up alot of space - val is a pain to get growing and the rest were floaters or plants i wouldnt trust to actually be underwater plants more like cheap crap they want to sell you

rjordan390 06-26-2012 06:01 AM

Have you checked with a mirror distributor that also repairs them. They may have something to dissolve the coating.

Geomancer 06-26-2012 08:19 AM

All of those except the Green and white Acorus are aquatic plants and can be used under water.

When you look at the 'tube' plants at Petsmart, avoid every single one that has a 'semi-aquatic' sticker on the top. Those are the ones that will die if kept under water.

In my area, they only sell Java Fern, Anubias, Wisteria, and Amazon Sword in the tubes, but that will very on your region.

"Stem Plants" like Anacharis, Wisteria, Cabomba, Hornwort, Moneywort, etc generally need at least a moderate amount of light to grow well. If kept under too low of light, they'll grow slow, the bottom of the stems will go bare, and if too low they just won't survive. Stem plants though will keep growing until they hit the surface. Some do better than others in low light.

Amazon Sword is a good plant that will eventually grow tall, they do best in deep tanks because of this.

If your water is medium hard, or hard you can use Corkscrew Vallisneria. This plant does not do well in soft water. It will grow tall, and if not trimed will bend over and cover the top of the water.

I know Petsmart does not carry it, but in my 125 gallon tank I'm really falling in love with the look of the Cryptocoryne spiralis. It's similar to a Corkscrew Vallisneria but with more slender leaves, and it works well in my soft water.

If you want to up your lighting for not a lot of money go to a hardware store and buy a 48" shop light that has a metal reflector built in. The reflector will keep the bulbs off the glass (and keep from blinding you when you look at the top of the tank). These use two 48" T8 bulbs, which cost under $10 at the same hardware store for a two pack (Get 6500K Daylight bulbs). The fixtures are generally under $20 (Home Depot/Lowes) so for $30 you get a new light and good bulbs. That might be a bit bright on a 55 gallon though. A single 48" T8 would work (32 watts) but those you have to get at the Petstore, and will cost a lot more.

The problem with too much light is the fish don't like it, and if nutrients are not kept in balance you'll get algae. Adding floating plants can make that balance very easy to obtain and gives shade to the fish below.

Byron 06-26-2012 12:02 PM

The limited light will not be sufficient for some of the plants mentioned. Can you detail exactly what you have? Different tubes/bulbs might help, but first need to know what's there. Fluorescent tube or screw-in, and what you have in watts/kelvin.

LyzzaRyzz 06-26-2012 04:10 PM

What i have is a ten gallon hood, with screw in bulbs. The bulbs are each 14 watts each.

I did get a light fixture that fit the tank from the guy i bought it from, but it broke when i tried to put a new bulb in it.

Im planning on getting a better lighting system, but they are generally more expensive brand new, so im hoping i can find one on craigslist...

Byron 06-26-2012 07:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LyzzaRyzz (Post 1130825)
What i have is a ten gallon hood, with screw in bulbs. The bulbs are each 14 watts each.

I did get a light fixture that fit the tank from the guy i bought it from, but it broke when i tried to put a new bulb in it.

Im planning on getting a better lighting system, but they are generally more expensive brand new, so im hoping i can find one on craigslist...

On a 55g that will not work, so i would not spend money on plants until you have a good light. A dual tube T8 with 48-inch tubes will be what you want. A single tube T5 would work with a HO tube but single-tube T5 fixtures are next to impossible to find.

LyzzaRyzz 06-26-2012 09:48 PM

My tank isnt 48 inches long. =/

I just measured it, and its 36x24x12, which means its 45.

Well, its a good thing i didnt buy it based on gallons!

Im assuming ill still need the double t5's correct?

What about regular florescent lighting? Could i use those?

Varkolak 06-26-2012 10:05 PM

or high efficiency dual T5's its basically a T8's with a lower electric bill

LyzzaRyzz 06-26-2012 10:09 PM

wait, so two t5's equal a t8?


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