Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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thespiff 01-15-2008 08:32 PM

Plant recommendations please
Hello Folks,

I've been lurking around here for a few months now while I've been getting my first aquarium (30 gal. FW) up and running. Lots of good info here. I'm now fully stocked on fish. (Eh probably overstocked by the time they grow up, but that's just an excuse to get a bigger tank, right?) I've now decided that my tank looks kinda ugly and it's time to ditch the plastic and put in some real plants.

I've purchased a 55-watt mod kit from AH Supply along with the bulb recommended in Rex's Lighting Guide. Hopefully this guy knows what he's talking about. I'm going to install it in the cheapo hood that came in my all-in-one tank package this weekend.

I don't really plan to go the CO2 injection route at this time. I'm not really willing to drop the cash on an injection system. I've looked at the DIY stuff, and I feel that if any fermenting is done in my apartment it will be to make beer for me, not CO2 for my plants.

So that's my situation. I've got a nice piece of driftwood with a good bit of open air above it, and I'm thinking Java Fern would be a safe play. I also want something dense and grassy to go in one of the rear corners of my tank. Anyone have any plant suggestions that might fit what I want, or any general advice for me?



fish_4_all 01-15-2008 08:43 PM

Java fern for sure. As for a grassy plant at that light, Crypt Lucens could serve you well but will grow slower. Just be aware it will likely melt and look dead before it comes back full force. Some Vals will grow in that lighting but they get taller than a grassy looking plant. Micro swords might grow in that lighting but would be very slow also. I will see what I can find. Do you remember what light levels Rex gave you for your tank?

Also, check here.

That will help decide what your lighting levels are at.

fish_4_all 01-15-2008 09:04 PM

Pygmy crypt, (Cryptocoryne pygmaea) and manyt other crypts need low light and will stay low. If they are treated well, not moved and provided with root tabs, plain cheap ones will work but top quality ones would be better, they should form a good "lawn" effect in the back corner in a couple months.

thespiff 01-20-2008 07:22 PM

Well, I was hoping that the lighting upgrade would allow me a little more freedom in planting. Following the advice of the link you gave above I'm looking at 13.3 lumens/sq inch, which is listed on that site as between moderate and high light. Following the basic WPG rule, I'm looking at 1.83 WPG. I thought that would be a fairly reasonable amount of light?

As far as the grassy plant in the corner goes, maybe what I see in my head isn't the same as what I described. Really I just want something that will grow tall and dense and green.

Finally, how do folks usually get their plants? Are there some good online shopping options? I've been to every fish store in a 20 mile radius and nobody has a decent selection of plants. I've hit the Petco/PetSmarts and the independent stores. I managed to find some lace java fern but I really don't like the look of that stuff compared to the ordinary java fern. In my searches I did discover a new very nice LFS, which was cool. Of course, they had very nice plants in their display only tanks, but just a few sorry looking brown leaves in their sale tanks.

herefishy 01-21-2008 01:31 AM

My lfs's order plants for me. I just tell them what I'm looking for and they check their availability lists. If it's available at the right price I order it. You may also get a price break that way, too.

MKSII 01-21-2008 02:11 AM

I have normally always shopped around at different LFS's, but seeing I was trying to stock my 210 all at once, I went with #1 - I used their plant substrate. Like it so far. #2 - I purchased a lot of plants, including a couple of their "XXL" ones. All the plants arrived in good condition, and a little trimming to some shoots for the "mother sword" that was shipped, and my tank is 29" tall. One of my anubius nana's has also bloomed (underwater). I would definitely buy from again. Just remember, when you order live stuff of the web, shipping has to be quicker, and that means more $$$$.

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