Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Planting 44g tank? (

Austin 04-26-2010 05:24 PM

Planting 44g tank?
I already asked this, but I'm more serious about doing it now than before.

Going to use play sand I think.

But I have a few questions I need help with...

The lighting fixture can only have up to 17w. Is it possible to get away with this low of lighting watts? And the bulb length is only 18" or so... (I just looked back at the old thread and apparently it is)

Anyways as you can see in the old thread, the lighting is fixed in the center-front and the background will barely get any lighting.

My PH is going to be around 80 and very hard water. (I forget the exact KH and GH but if needed I can go test...)

Also it is in a room by a glass door to outside. The door is covered with a somewhat seethrough curtain. (idk the word... the one between clear and opaque?) and 3 small windows at the top... so I think the room gets quite some light from outside. This presents the problem with the glass getting lots of algae on it. This makes me worry that if I put some low light plants inside the fish tank (like anubias which grows slow) algae will completely over run the tank. Does it ruin my chances of planting it? or can I still manage to plant it?

So I didn't know if I should bump my old thread or not, but I was looking to see if anyone had any suggestions for my particular fish tank? Plants and whatnot?

Mikaila31 04-26-2010 08:59 PM

That won't work IMO. Your tank is not ideal for plants to start with cuz it is so deep. The bulb you have is 15 watt, the fixture in all uses 17 watts. You are going to need more light than normal on such a deep tank. Also using just an inert substrate like play sand as your only substrate will not work out from my experience.

Austin 04-27-2010 12:09 AM

What is wrong with an inert substrate play sand?

Also isn't their any plants that thrive in such low lights?
Just wondering...

Austin 04-28-2010 07:43 PM

Anyone else?

Gibbons 04-28-2010 07:59 PM

I have a 10 gallon tank in which I used play sand. I transferred some Water Wisteria to the tank which I took from another. It always grew well, and is still doing well in the sand. I had 15w incandescent bulbs that I replaced with, 15w aqua glow bulbs (I regret this a lot actually they are very dull, more than I expected.) But the Wisterias are still doing well. I don't know how a heavily planted tank or other plants would do in the sand though.

Austin 04-28-2010 08:00 PM

I'm reconsidering play sand and might go with some other substrate. not sure what yet.

Gibbons 04-28-2010 08:07 PM

From my experience, natural looking substrates have always been most rewarding. I have two tank with black gravel that have always haunted me. If you do go with gravel your plants should do well, my tanks with gravel do. Though I do hear people who use sand say they're plants do fine.

aunt kymmie 04-28-2010 08:28 PM


Originally Posted by Austin (Post 371414)
I'm reconsidering play sand and might go with some other substrate. not sure what yet.

I think the biggest issue you face is not so much what you choose for a substrate but the lighting issue. I have play sand and my plants do great. I also have the proper watts per gallon w/ 6500 K bulbs.
I don't think you'll be able to grow much of anything with 17 watts over a 44. Any chance you can get some decent lighting up over this tank?

redchigh 04-28-2010 09:27 PM

Look into SHO tubes. (super high output).
If not, I still say go for it. I have a 5G thats planted and gets enough light from a window a few feet away-

Actually I juist looked up VHO tubes... and they only average 95-105 lumens per watt. You might need a new fixture...

They're super easy to build... Or perhaps you cound modify your current hood? I dunno.

Austin 04-29-2010 02:37 AM

Thanks for the advice...

I can grow java moss in there decently, with the currently 4-5 year old bulb.

I also get a lot of algae on the glass. I'm thinking maybe enough natural light gets in the window+the bulb to get things to grow.

Thought I might be able to get some crypts, anubias, or java ferns and such to grow.

Don't know if I can spend enough money to buy a new lighting fixture + plants, substrate, and new filter.

Any recommendations for lighting fixtures that are economic?

I don't think I can make my own lighting fixture. It seems every time I try a DIY project, I end up spending a tiny bit of money to do it, but then it doesn't work. And it all adds up by now I'd probably have like 20$ worth of failed DIY... and none have even succeeded really so I'm not too confident in making my own fixture...

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