Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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xxabc 03-05-2010 08:04 PM

Soon (or not so soon) to be planted tank owner. Questions!
I've got a few questions here :) But a note: These will go into my 5 gallon with my bettas.

1: WPG ... Watts per gallon.. I'm somewhat confused on this. It's WATTS divided by US GALLON, right? Well I have a 10-15 watt (I'll recheck later when I see it at the store. Box = long gone). and a 5 gallon. Would this mean the WPG is 2-3? Is this right? It seems a little bit high...but I am absolutely new to this.

Has anyone had experience with Anubias barteri and Anubias bartier var. Barteri? Which would you prefer, why, and what's the different?

Same with brazilian pennyworth ... has anyone had experience with this? How do I trim this?

And with light amount. How long should I put on the light?
Also, what are the consequences of putting TOO MUCH light? Or rather, about 10ish hours? And also, consequences of too little light? Like a couple hours - 6hours?

Mean Harri 03-05-2010 08:18 PM

You can find different Anubias here:
Anubias are plants that do not get planted in the substrate. They are tied to rocks or wood in your tanks and derive the nutrients from the water. The Anubias Coffeefolia is one of, if not, my favorite plant. The Frazeri is tall and may be too tall for a 5 gallon.

As for lighting, the wpg rule is basically useless now a days. That wpg applied to the old T12 light bulbs which are being phased out. The T # is 1/8 of inches diameter of the bulb. They are being replaced by T8, T5, and power compact bulbs. As you go down in size the amount of light emitted from the bulbs is brighter and more intense rendering the wpg basically useless. A T8 is brighter than a T12. T5 is brighter than a T8. All the while the lower T bulbs use less power and give more light. Ex: A T8 is normally 32 watts. A T5 normal output is 28w and is brighter than a T8. T5 high out is really intense.Power compacts are in that mix. Likely a bit less than T5 bulbs. T5 and power compacts are high light and could cause you problems with algae and are generally used with co2 injection in to the tank.

Using too much light will create an imbalance in your tank and cause you algae issues. Plus, tropical fish generally like lower lit tanks. In a 5 gallon a 6500k spectrum spiral fl. bulb would suffice. I would say around 5-7 watts.

xxabc 03-05-2010 08:46 PM

I'm gonna depend on the nerite snails - which i will buy with the plants - for the algae. I've never heard a negative thing on them, so *crosses fingers* hopefully they'll do well for me.

It's gonna take a while for me to take in all that info (I'm sick, excuse me if I don't get it at first glance) so I get the general idea. ...... what would you think my lighting is? I'm getting hopeless with the lighting. All I know is that my wattage is higher than 7. And I was recommended to not get a spiral, so I didn't. It's a compact fluorescent bulb from walmart (that is not on their website for some reason).

Well, frankly, I really like the anubias (var. barteri and var. nana) but they don't seem to really need high light. However, I've constantly read them being successful in such. And, this being my very first planted aquarium, I would rather not add anything for the plants (like CO2, soil, etc). Basically, I want easy plants (of course...)

For tying an anubias down - what would I use?

aunt kymmie 03-05-2010 08:50 PM

I use fishing line for tying mine down.

xxabc 03-05-2010 08:52 PM

Aunt kymmie, is there perhaps an alternative that I could use, like household equipment? I would really not rather by fishing line for that sole purpose.

aunt kymmie 03-05-2010 08:55 PM

I know you can also use cotton sewing thread. Eventually it'll break down but by then your anubias should be firmly rooted to whatever it is you tied them to. I'd use black or brown thread so it's not so visible.

xxabc 03-05-2010 08:58 PM

When it breaks down, will it be okay for my bettas?

Also, would you know the difference between anubias barteri var. barteri and anubias barteri (broad leaf)? Just looking off the Petco website.

Mean Harri 03-05-2010 09:01 PM

With the light bulb, you want to make sure it is a good spectrum of lights that plants can use. 6500k simulates mid day sun and has a spike in the blue wavelength which is good for plants. If your light now is 10 watts that is not terribly high. It's the spectrum you want for keeping live plants and to keep the intensity in check without stepping up into higher tech.

aunt kymmie 03-05-2010 09:02 PM

It'll be awhile before it breaks down, and no, it won't hurt your betta. Just make sure you wrap it tight enough around whatever it is your securing the plant to so there is no way an inquisitive betta would be able to get stuck.

To clarify: you said this is a 5gl tank and you said bettas, as in plural???

xxabc 03-05-2010 09:04 PM

That's good to hear, thank you very much. Now it's only an approximate guess until I actually find out the exact wattage. Let's say it's 12 watts, would that be okay? Or rather, up to 15 watts (that's the maximum for it, I'm positive) would that still be okay?

Is there such thing as overstocking on plants?

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