Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   Beginner Planted Aquarium (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/)
-   -   Looking for advice on easy/minimal-care plants for my Aquarium: 'Links' included. (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/looking-advice-easy-minimal-care-plants-107886/)

Dawes 07-19-2012 04:07 PM

Looking for advice on easy/minimal-care plants for my Aquarium: 'Links' included.
 
I'm currently using T8 bulbs:
One Power-Glo Fluorescent Aquarium Tube 20W 60.96cm (24in) T8. Quantity: 1.
One Aqua-Glo Fluorescent Aquarium Tube 20W 60.96 cm (24in) T8. Quantity: 1.

Power Glo Fluorescent Tube

Aqua Glo Fluorescent Tube

I'm not sure how powerful these bulbs are (Although I presume that they cant be that bad, since there must be older tanks out there with worse lighting that have fine plant growth in them), or how suitable they will be for a planted Aquarium (The bulb packaging states that they are suitable for plants but didnt know if that was just a sales pitch), so I was in need for some advice on which plants would be suitable for that lighting.
I currently have a normal sand substrate and don't intend to up-heave it and put down nutrient rich substrate, so instead I'll be using Seacheam Flourish liquid fertiliser.
(If you have a better fertiliser suggestions, that would be welcomed too!)

I'd prefer if you could recommend any plants from the following link
(The 1-2-Grow Range - All in the following link).
- I wasn't sure how accurate the descriptions were about how easy/difficult the plants were to grow, and how demanding they were on light/nutrients etc. (Another sales pitch maybe).

Here is the overview of the entire selection of plants:
1-2 Grow Plants

And here are the names of the plants I was thinking about getting in particular: (But if you have any better recommendations or notes on these plants, then all is welcome).

Myriophyllum Mattogrossense
Taxiphyllum Barbieri
Hygrophila Siamensis
Staurogyne Repens

If you could suggest some plants from that range of pots that would grow well with the bulbs and fertiliser I suggested, that would be awesome!

- I don't intend to buy a Co2 diffuser, since I am still a novice, especially when plants are concerned, and didn't want too much hassle/difficulty.

4 Albino Corys.
3 Juvenile Molllies.
1 Pleco.
(Will most likely be adding some Guppies in the near future).

(The main reason I want it from that range is that they are snail free, I despise snails in my tank, even if they are beneficial.
I just personally can not stand the sight of them and so I am going to buy these pots to try and grow myself some plants).

- Thanks.

Dawes 07-19-2012 04:47 PM

It just came to my attention that plants will also reduce Algae growth.

Will this hinder my Pleco's feeding habits to the point of starvation?
(It's a 125L tank and the Pleco Species wont grow much larger than 5 inches)

- I have Algae wafers and plenty of other food such as catfish pellets, Hikari Cichlid Gold pellets (crushed into a rough paste, since they float otherwise), Bloodworms (Haven't tried him with them yet, but I know that they are known to eat Bloodworms) and Hikari Tetra granules that he loves to eat, not to mention the typical tropical flake food too (He pretty much eats anything that falls onto my sand substrate).

I also have 4 small-medium pieces of Bogwood in my aquarium along with some silk plants. Since I know Algae loves to grow on both, and Plecos are known to eat wood from time to time.
- I'm also intending to get a much larger piece of bogwood for a centre piece of my aquarium, hopefully one that is quite tall and has alot of branches, so the Java Moss will grow nicely onto it.

Byron 07-20-2012 12:05 PM

This is a 125 liter tank (= 33 gallons) so presumably it is 30 or 36 inches in length. Two 24-inch T8 tubes will be fine for low and moderate light plants. Many of the plants in that link are "carpet" type, the name used for low plants to cover the substrate, and these are not always easy to grow without bright light and increased nutrients including CO2. Some of the stem plants, like the red-leaf ones, fall into this category too.

As for the tubes, they will work but the intensity of the Aqua-Glo is about half that of the Power-Glo or Life-Glo in the same series. If you can, I wold exchange the AG for a Life-Glo. The PG will be fine with the LG. The LG is 6700K which is excellent plant light and it will add some green to the mix so the plant and fish colour rendition will be more natural.

To the plants, for the substrate cover the Staurogyne repens should be fine with the above light; you could also get a pygmy chain sword. It is in our profiles (click the shaded name). These two would be a nice contrast together.

Myriophyllum mattogrossense I have not personally had, but it is moderate light so this should manage. Taxiphyllum barbieri c certainly will, it is low to moderate light; it is in our profiles. The Hygrophila Siamensis is a variant of Hygrophila corymbosa, and while most species in this genus are high light and nutrient plants, this variant is said to be moderate light so it may be fine. Sometimes one has to try a plant, and if it works, good, but if not, try another.

On the algae, yes, a good tank of plants with light and nutrients in balance will not have algae issues. But algae is natural in any aquarium and will be present, but under control. As the pleco settles it will learn to feed from sinking foods, and from the sounds of it yours has, so that is fine. A diet high in plant matter (algae, spirulina, kelp sinking foods; veggies like yams, zucchini, cucumber) will be fine.

Byron.

Dawes 07-20-2012 12:47 PM

So the plants I stated will be fine with the current bulbs that I have? (T8 Bulbs).

Sorry, just got a little confused when you said
Quote:

should be fine with the above light
Quote:

is moderate light so this should manage.
Quote:

The LG is 6700K which is excellent plant light
I just checked my bulb cardboard boxs and it says that both Aqua/Power-Glo bulbs are 18000k - Just thought I'd mention it, I doubt that changed much since I presume plants grow better at a certain "K" - But I presume from what you said, they will grow fine in 2x 18000k Bulbs.

And I am not sure if I can safely fit a T5 into my fixtures I have, so do you think I could get away with having a Power-Glo and a Sun-Glo which is 4200k

Byron 07-20-2012 12:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dawes (Post 1163824)
So the plants I stated will be fine with the current bulbs that I have? (T8 Bulbs).

Sorry, just got a little confused when you said

I meant my suggested change of the one tube, the Aqua-Glo, for a Life-Glo. This will be quite an improvement, both for plant growth and visually.

If you can't exchange them (don't know when you bought them, or from where, some stores will let you exchange) a cheaper alternative is a Daylight tube with 6500K made by GE or Phillips; you can get these from hardware-type stores. You will want a 24-inch in T8. The Life-Glo is more expensive, but if that is OK, get it; I use Life-Glo on all my single-tube tanks because i believe it is the best.

Dawes 07-20-2012 04:14 PM

Do you think the Myriophyllum mattogrossense has to be planted, or will it do just as well free floating?

My Girlfriend has a similar plant to this (Highly doubt it is the same/similar plant species, but aesthetics look very similar) that she brings out of her pond, washes and places into her tank, it is free floating and does fine.

It grows extremely fast, despite her lighting not being changed since she had the tank (I presume that this is probably because 'outside' plants grow alot better in tank conditions due to heat and constant light, especially since we live in the somewhat colder climate of England.

ZTK412 07-20-2012 04:17 PM

I don't know about the plants but the algae wafers will be fine.

Byron 07-20-2012 05:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dawes (Post 1164156)
Do you think the Myriophyllum mattogrossense has to be planted, or will it do just as well free floating?

My Girlfriend has a similar plant to this (Highly doubt it is the same/similar plant species, but aesthetics look very similar) that she brings out of her pond, washes and places into her tank, it is free floating and does fine.

It grows extremely fast, despite her lighting not being changed since she had the tank (I presume that this is probably because 'outside' plants grow alot better in tank conditions due to heat and constant light, especially since we live in the somewhat colder climate of England.

Going back to your post prior to this one, i see I missed something, sorry. The Power-Glo and Sun-Glo might be OK. I'll explain a bit about Kelvin.

Kelvin is simply the colour temperature of light, as we perceive it. Sun light is around 5500-6000K, and lower K means "warmer" light while higher K is "cooler" light. To achieve this, the red and blue change; warm has more red and less blue, cool has more blue and less red.

Plants need red and blue spectrum light to photosynthesize. This is the basis of tubes like Aqua-Glo and such, which is why they are so purplish in hue. The problem is that they are also weaker intensity, about half, so not only is there an artificial hue cast over the tank (which does not render fish and plant colours true), it is much weaker light. The Power-Glo is similar but has increased intensity so it is better from that aspect. I personally do not like the purplish hue, but that is aesthetic--somewhat.

Almost all planted tank sources will recommend light around 6000K to 7000K as ideal. This is not without scientific support. Studies did show that plants responded best (with increased photosynthesis and oxygen release) when grown under what the study called "cool white" which was a mix of full spectrum and cool white, with a K around 6500K. So using this colour light is likely going to satisfy the needs of the plants. Plus, the balance of high red, high blue and high green creates a true colour rendition. And, there is now further evidence that having some green in the mix does help certain plants, esp the red-leaf species.

Back to your tubes. I have not tried this combo, so I can't say if it is better or not. But I do know that the Life-Glo is on its own the best tube for planted tanks. ZooMed's Ultra Sun is nearly identical. And for less money, the "Daylight" tubes having a 6500K made by GE and Phillips [both of which I also am using] are good.

As for Myriophyllum mattogrossense, this is a stem plant and many stem plants will manage floating. I've no personal experience with this species [never seen it locally to try]. Kasselmann says it grows submersed and emersed in its habitat where she has seen and collected it. I would suggest that the fine tracery of the leaves would not be much floating [this may not be the same plant from your gf's pond]. Kasselmann also says it needs good nutrients.

Byron.

Dawes 07-20-2012 05:34 PM

Ok, thanks for that!

I think I'll try with these bulbs for now (And replace the Aqua-Glow, or both bulbs around the 26th July), and perhaps replace the Aqua-Glo one with a Sun-Glo T8 Bulb, since I don't think it is safe to fit a T5 to a T8 fixture, or if it is even possible.

I might even replace both of them with Sun-Glow bulbs infact - Have any thoughts on that?

Sun Glo Fluorescent Tube

Byron 07-20-2012 05:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dawes (Post 1164274)
Ok, thanks for that!

I think I'll try with these bulbs for now (And replace the Aqua-Glow, or both bulbs around the 26th July), and perhaps replace the Aqua-Glo one with a Sun-Glo T8 Bulb, since I don't think it is safe to fit a T5 to a T8 fixture, or if it is even possible.

I might even replace both of them with Sun-Glow bulbs infact - Have any thoughts on that?

Sun Glo Fluorescent Tube

Missed something else, I must be half asleep.:shock: You mentioned T5 earlier too. You cannot use T5 tubes in a T8 fixture, and vice-versa. So only T8 tubes (these are less expensive anyway;-)).

The Aqua-Glo is the tube to replace, but with something better. I commented on the Sun-Glo previously, it may be OK with the PG.


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