New to planted tanks
I just got a tank from my brother & I wanted to add live plants to it. He said he had live plants at one time & they grew like weeds. He only has a 18" 15w single bulb fixture, I went out and got a 6700 bulb for it since the one in it was blown.
Anyways is this enough for a 50gallon hexagon tank? I was thinking about getting a 24" x2 for it but didnt want to waste the money if the one I currently have is sufficient.
Here is a picture of it with the light on.
You can always increase the light if plants do poorly with 10 hours of light and then darkness.
Could not help but notice that in the photo,, nearly all of the fish are at the surface. This leads me to ask, have you Cycled the tank?
Or were the fish feeding?
Plants that would for sure do well would be floating plants, closer to the light,and CO2 /oxygen exchange that takes place near the surface ,,would expidite their growth.
Research the plants and stay clear of those that require high light in excess of 2 to 3 watts per gallon or red colored plants unless ,,you decide at some point to inject CO2 and then only after reading /learning from others what trade off's there are between low tech planted aquariums ,and those running CO2 injection.
Would start with Byron's three or four part series on planted aquariums (natural) posted here on the Forum.
I very well think its possible, select 'easy' plants to start with and go/grow from there. All my tanks are low lights, no added co2 others then from the fish, no ferts and all plants are thriving very well.
Plants such a Hygrophilia, Pennywort, Rotala, Java moss, Crypts, Anubias....these are plants I see doing well there.
Thanks for the replies, I will look into getting those plants and see how they do in their with the current light. And yeah my daughter just fed the fish a few min prior to the picture, they are usually at the bottom to middle.
I agree low lights are best to start with. Cryptocoryne Wenditt is one of my favorites because its low light and comes in three colors green, bronze, and red which allows you to have a variety of color in your tank. Since you have such a tall tank amazon swords would be nice they grow big and don't need a lot of light but you would want to get some seachem root tabs for them because the need lots of nutrients. If you chose to you can order plants online and it is most of the time a lot cheaper than buying them at your local fish stores.
I think several swords would probably outgrow that tank... Some of the smaller swords tend to grow much larger in low light... That's why I'd be worried.
"Twisted" Vallisneria would do well though... Along with many of the plants already mentioned-
Crypt Wendtii (Red or Bronze)
Ludwigea Repens (might work, would add lots of color... It's cheap.)
Anubias (should be tied to something.)
Java Fern (Should be tied to something.)
Java moss (Prefers to be tied to something.)
Pennywort (Don't let it grow on the surface too much.. Keep it trimmed.)
If I was you, (which I'm not. :P) I'd probably go with a bit more light, just to add some variety... Of course, the same plants will do well with even MORE light, so set it up and ponder on it. You can always add more light later.
In that tank, I'd probably leave out floating plants... You don't have much light to begin with.
I agree you would not want to do several amazon swords just one then lots of smaller plants. I also agree that you would not want to do the floating plants unless you add more light.
That's 50g so probably has some depth. A single sword would be good to fill that a bit. Echinodorus cordifolius would be ideal in such a tank, if you can find one; and/or Echinodorus bleherae or whatever the "common" sword might be called.
Agree with all of the plants mentioned but would provide floating plants as well. The fishes appear to be platy's /molly's. Floating plants can be thinned out if needed ,and the fishes would enjoy the cover being largely surface feeder's and the floating plant's would provide cover for fry as well as food source from the infusoria that would be found in larger numbers,,and tiny bits of the plant itself.
Could always offer extra portions from the floating plants to fish store for credit, or to friends.
Would be hesitant to add too much light over the tank unless plant's perform poorly ,and then I would explore adding nutrients in the way of root tabs for swords ,crypts,etc along with trace minerals found in products such as Flourish Comprehensive plant supplement before I considered increasing the light intensity.
Most of the plant's mentioned will perform under low to moderate light, and thinning out the surface plants on occasion will allow the plants proper growth. IMHO
I agree with 1077 the majority of fish do enjoy floating plants it makes them feel safer. A few I would suggest is Pennywort and Water Wisteria they grow fast and can also be used planted instead of floating.
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