Adding plants to my freshwater aquarium
Right now I have a 60 gallon aquarium that has been running for 2 years. I was about to changeover to saltwater, but I want to wait till I buy a house.
So that leads me to try some plants, I hate the look of fake stuff so I just have some driftwood and a few of the "nicer" fake plants.
What I am worried about is the substrate choice I made. I have about 1 inch of Black Diamond sand blasting sand with black moon sand on top.
I have searched and read that people have had success with the Black Diamond so hopefully it will be ok.
I have a 4x54 watt HO T5 coralife light fixture, currently running only 1 10,000k.
What plants to you suggest starting with and what bulbs should I change to? 6500k? I do have a slightly taller tank- 24 inches
Right now my occupants are 3 Tiger Barbs, 8-10 Red eye tetra, 3 Giant Daino, 5 Gold Barbs
Your substrate won't be a factor either way. Sand is a popular substrate and many have aquariums that look like underwater jungles, sand is sand as far as composition goes as they are mostly a quartz or silicone based inert material.
Rooted plants benefit from fertilizer tabs, all plants benefit from a liquid fertilizer. Seachem's have good products in both areas.
I'm not up on fluorescent (LED guy) but you will need to change out at least some of the bulbs to something in the 6500k range, maybe not all of them.
You could, once the lighting is changed, put in most plants, just select a bunch that you like the look of and try them out. There are many in the profiles here to get you started, or just see what catches your eye in the store... preferably buy plants that are already growing submerged... it's easier to start with plants like that already and not get caught with "semi-aquatic" plants or ones that will lose emmersed leaf growth before taking off for you... and may appear completely different as a result.
Once you get starting growing plants you just might decide to skip the saltwater stuff.
You will find one or at most two tubes in T5 HO will be ample light. And at least one of these should be around 6500K. The second, if two will not be too much (depends upon plants, etc) can be on the cooler side (the higher K number) or another 6500K, or a warmer (lower K number), whichever you prefer. The main thing is the balance with the 6500K which is high in the blue, red and green wavelengths from whch plants gain most benefit.
Sand is fine, though blasing sand can be sharp for substrate fish, but as far as plants, no issue.
So I will go out and buy a 6500K lamp and see how that works out. Would it be alright to still run my 10,000K since I have it? Maybe only on for a few hours for prime viewing time? And should I start out with 6-7 hour run time?
So my plant order will be coming in tomorrow. I just wanted to ask if there is anything special I should do while planting. Any tips or tricks, or things in general to look out for.
Here is what im running right now and the plant list will be below.
1 54w T5HO with a 6700k bulb for 7 1/2 hours a day. (may change if you suggest)
I bought seachem comprehensive and root tabs.
Plant list (kinda a trial period to see how things go)
Cabomba - Bunch Plant
Java Fern - Bare Root
Amazon Sword Plant - Large - Potted
Moneywort - Potted
Water Sprite - Potted
Wisteria - Potted
Dwarf Sagittaria - Potted
Amazon Sword Plant - Medium, Bare Root
Anubias nana - Bare Root
The water sprite will be floating, and I want to attach somthing to the driftwood I have, I guess the anubias?
we want pics when you get it done! :)
Sounds fine all round. Some plants may do well, some may not. This is normal, so don't be discouraged. After you find out what will and what won't work, stay with those that do.
So it's been over a year and I never updated on anything.
Out of my original order, the only plants I left in my tank are
2- Anubias nana
some java fern
a moneywort that hasent grown in quite some time
they only thing i ever did for a few months was dose seachem flourish and root tabs
The watersprite grew like crazy, covered the top and then died out.
The swords I just took out a month or 2 ago, they never really grew, seemed to just survive. the root system spread everywhere but leaf after leaf would die off.
cabomba grew a lot, and actually spread too, but it would get tall then the bottom parts would die off and just would be the stem left. and eventually the rest died as well
the wisteria melted and grew back, (looked completely different) and will grow tall to the top but as with the cabomba the bottom leaves fall off and just ends up with a long leafless stem with leaves at the top.
My question is why do they keep growing tall and they bottom dying off?
Also in the pic below the brown stuff on the anuias has brown stuff on it which seems to kill most of my plants. Is that algae or diatoms? And how do I combat this.
I posted a pic of my wisteria too, this is a new stem growing and i cut the old one off. It was about 2 ft long but only leaves at the very top of the stem. I feel this will have the same fate.
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