Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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basicloser 02-07-2007 04:50 PM

Thinking of planting...

As some of you have probably read in the Freshwater fourm under the catfish section I am planing to move my fishtank into another room. In doing so I am going to be adding sand on the bottom instead of rocks that I had. I am thinking of planting as well, I have done this once in the past with only a few plants but it failed (likely my fault...) so here I am inquiring about plants again.

Now if you have read my introductory thread you will see that I have a 44 gallon tank that is a hexigonal so it makes it hard for me ( who is not in any shape way or form and expert of water plants) to decide on lighting. I took a measurement of my tank and the height is 25 inches from the very top to the very bottom (give or take a little). I didn't think the side lengths would matter but if it does let me know and I will go measure it. I don't know anything about lighting so please feel free to treat me as such and explain anything that even 'newbies' should know.

Also, what plants (if any) would be good to have with corys and mollys?


musho3210 02-07-2007 04:52 PM

From what i know, from books and stuff, not from experiance, is that mollies and cories wont generally eat plants, if you are worried get some java moss or java fern, maybe some anubias or hornwort. These are all easy to care for plants and dont taste good to other fish.

FDStation152 02-07-2007 05:20 PM

I'm not sure how much wattage you'll have on this tank but it probably won't be too much in terms of watts per gallon. While I hear that most plants prefer to be getting up around 2 watts per gallon I have my main tank pretty well planted and it only gets .5 watts per gallon. The key is to get plants that don't require very bright light. I have two types of sword plants, wisteria, something called a frill plant, aponogeton, and some other little plant that I have no idea about all growing well.

basicloser 02-07-2007 09:14 PM


Thanks for the responce. To make things worse is that there is only space enough for 10 gallon lights on the top of the lid. There is room for two however and I'd be willing to put two there. What are some powerful bulbs and do I have any alternatives to than just using 10 gallon lights? I have heard that you can mount lights onto an aquarium, how do I go about doing that?

Also, with the tank being so high should I just not plant or is there a way that I can do it?


FDStation152 02-07-2007 09:22 PM

my tank is a 37High so its pretty deep and does just fine with its single 20W tube. Dual lights might be helpful however. Just make sure you are using flourescent and not incandesant lighting. I'm not sure about mounting lights as I've yet to have the need for it. Try to get 20-30 watts on there and you should be able to grow a decent number of plants with the addition of fertilizer and perhaps a longer lighting period. My light is on for about 18 hours a day.

basicloser 02-08-2007 04:01 PM

Thank you for the reply. I was wondering if you had a list, or site that would be good for what type of plants need low light and are relativly easy to grow and what would be good in sand?Or even if I left some rocks for them to grip onto at the bottom? Also, when you clean out your tank should you take the plants out to get the stuff that might be under them? I can't see this being good so I was just wondering.

Oh yes, mine come in little plastic cups that have holes on the side for roots and there is a sponge with it. Should I take all of that off and just hand the roots go to whereever or does that make a good base?

FDStation152 02-08-2007 04:08 PM

Definitely do not take the plants out when cleaning....while I've never tried it before I'd have to imagine that it can't be good for them. I use the potted variety of plants in a lot of my bare breeding tanks but other than that I think they do better when you just let the roots grow to wherever they want, I'd cut them out of the cups if I was you and refrain from buying potted plants in the future.

The sand shouldn't make much of an impact on what type of plants you can get...atleast I wouldn't think so.

As for a list of plants here is a small list of plants I've grown under my massively inadequate lighting system (not just put in the tank and watched die, but actually had thrive mind you)

Amazon Sword
Water Wisteria
Frill Plants
Dwarf Lillys
Java Moss

There are others but I either don't remember them or don't know the name of the plants.

basicloser 02-08-2007 05:11 PM

Thanks again, I haven't bought the plants yet, but when I bought them before thats how they were. Do you suggest that i try a different placed to look around at when getting my plants? A place that doesn't have them in little pot like things?

FDStation152 02-08-2007 06:40 PM

Most places carry both potted and unpotted. Just a matter of looking. Finding good quality plants actually tends to be harder than finding good fish atleast around here. Unless you actually have enough substrate to completely bury the pots (and most people dont, including me) I generally don't like the look of them and would always go with unpotted. If you do see a plant you want in particular and it happens to be potted theres no need to dismiss it out of hand...just get rid of the pot and replant it in the tank. Also watch out for snails as they'll readily become established in a tank and are hard to get rid of at that point. I won't buy any plants from a tank that I can see snails in. There are ways to remove the snails from the plants but its easier if you just avoid them in the first place.

herefishy 02-08-2007 08:29 PM

The amount of wattage is not the key to keeping healthy plants. More important is the selection of plants that can survive with the amount of light provided. Also more important than intensity is "sprectoral diversity". Spectoral diversity can best be described as the imitation of natural light in the aquarium or how close can one match the amount, both in intensity and spectrum, to the light the plants receive in their natural habitat. Intensity will be measured in lumens and the lights should be labeled as to the end of the spectrum they are producing. Cool white bulbs, for instance, produce light toward the blue end of the spetrum, while warm white bulbs are producing light toward the red end. Gro-lux bulbs have a wider range of emmitance of the spectrum. Wattage is nothing more than the rating to show the efficiency of a given light bulb. Efficiency can be shownby dividing lumens by watts,the higher the number, the more efficient the bulb.

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