Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   plant suggestions please? :) (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/plant-suggestions-please-74138/)

dorabaker 07-02-2011 10:20 PM

plant suggestions please? :)
 
I have a 15 gallon tank which has been established for about a year. It has no lighting (any light it gets is natural or from the single warm fluorescent light in the room, which is mounted on the wall and not all that far from the tank, but certainly not direct light.) At present I have fontinalis moss, elodea, java fern and hygrophila in the tank and all are flourishing in the low light (although the hygrophila doesn't appear to be growing at the moment, even though it was growing really fast when I first got it.)
I really want to get some more plants, but I don't know what species would survive without lighting. For a long time I've wanted to get crypts, but I decided against it firstly because they were quite expensive and secondly because people have told me that they are quite sensitive to change and tend to shed their leaves. But I have kept a crypt before (in an unlit tank) and it survived for quite a while before eventually dying, and this was back before I knew how to take care of the water quality properly! :-P
So, can anyone give me any suggestions about what plants I might be able to keep in an unlit tank, if any? and what their care requirements are?
in case it helps, the fish I have in my tank are 1 gourami, 6 glowlight tetras and 4 cherry barbs.

thanks in advance!

Barbman 07-03-2011 08:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dorabaker (Post 721010)
I have a 15 gallon tank which has been established for about a year. It has no lighting (any light it gets is natural or from the single warm fluorescent light in the room, which is mounted on the wall and not all that far from the tank, but certainly not direct light.) At present I have fontinalis moss, elodea, java fern and hygrophila in the tank and all are flourishing in the low light (although the hygrophila doesn't appear to be growing at the moment, even though it was growing really fast when I first got it.)
I really want to get some more plants, but I don't know what species would survive without lighting. For a long time I've wanted to get crypts, but I decided against it firstly because they were quite expensive and secondly because people have told me that they are quite sensitive to change and tend to shed their leaves. But I have kept a crypt before (in an unlit tank) and it survived for quite a while before eventually dying, and this was back before I knew how to take care of the water quality properly! :-P
So, can anyone give me any suggestions about what plants I might be able to keep in an unlit tank, if any? and what their care requirements are?
in case it helps, the fish I have in my tank are 1 gourami, 6 glowlight tetras and 4 cherry barbs.

thanks in advance!

I can get crypt at Petco for like $5.99 for a few in a little pot. Certainly enough to spread in a small area IMO. I'd say go for it ...check it out if there's a Petco close to you. You can also try anarcharis and anubias as well .. both are low maintenance plants.

dorabaker 07-03-2011 10:00 AM

thanks! I might give anubias a try. I kind of didn't want another non-substrate-rooted plant because I don't really have anything to tie it to , but i'm sure i can find something. i know some stores sell anubias already attached to a piece of bogwood, but then you have to pay the price of the wood as well as the plant and it ends up being like $30! :???:
i'm pretty sure petco stores only exist in america? I'm in australia :razz:
at my lfs, i think a single crypt costs about $6! but my tank is fairly small anyway, so i wouldn't need a huge number.

Barbman 07-03-2011 10:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dorabaker (Post 721417)
thanks! I might give anubias a try. I kind of didn't want another non-substrate-rooted plant because I don't really have anything to tie it to , but i'm sure i can find something. i know some stores sell anubias already attached to a piece of bogwood, but then you have to pay the price of the wood as well as the plant and it ends up being like $30! :???:
i'm pretty sure petco stores only exist in america? I'm in australia :razz:
at my lfs, i think a single crypt costs about $6! but my tank is fairly small anyway, so i wouldn't need a huge number.

Gotcha ... don't know what Petco's land down under counter part is. You can just tie anubias to a small rock with fishing line. In a month or so its roots should attach then you can just snip the line. A bit of a pain but I've heard it's well worth it.

Byron 07-03-2011 11:32 AM

Crypts would work, they are sensitive but if the tank is established like yours now seems to be, they will initially melt but then recover (usually in a couple of weeks) and provided they are not disturbed they would settle in. Water must be stable, any significant change in hardness, pH, temperature can bring on the melt, as can changes in nutrients (changing fertilizers), lighting, etc. And they donot like being moved, even within the same tank. Some species are worse than others for melting. But they usually revive.

I also had good growth from pygmy chain sword in low light situations.

Barbman 07-03-2011 02:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 721553)
.

I also had good growth from pygmy chain sword in low light situations.

Good one Byron on the Pygmy chain sword ... I had it in my mind but couldn't remember what is was called.

Pygmy Chain reminds me of Mondo Grass (non aquatic don't even bother) which is what I like about it.

dorabaker 07-04-2011 01:47 AM

thanks everyone! i know what mondo grass is haha :-P I have some small river stones that I could tie an anubias to, and I do like rhizome plants, but I'm not sure the look of anubias would suit my tank, with all those dark shiny leaves. I'm going for a sort of slightly chaotic, overgrown natural look and i think the pygmy chain sword and cryptocoryne would go quite well lol!
I'm wondering if my gravel is deep enough for substrate-rooted plants though. It's a little less than an inch deep. I told the guy at my lfs the size of my tank and he reccomended the amount of gravel to get. it certainly covers the bottom of the tank, but I could probably have used quite a lot more. actually, I'm wondering if maybe the reason my hygrophila has stopped growing is that its roots have run out of space. what do you think?

Byron 07-04-2011 10:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dorabaker (Post 722673)
thanks everyone! i know what mondo grass is haha :-P I have some small river stones that I could tie an anubias to, and I do like rhizome plants, but I'm not sure the look of anubias would suit my tank, with all those dark shiny leaves. I'm going for a sort of slightly chaotic, overgrown natural look and i think the pygmy chain sword and cryptocoryne would go quite well lol!
I'm wondering if my gravel is deep enough for substrate-rooted plants though. It's a little less than an inch deep. I told the guy at my lfs the size of my tank and he reccomended the amount of gravel to get. it certainly covers the bottom of the tank, but I could probably have used quite a lot more. actually, I'm wondering if maybe the reason my hygrophila has stopped growing is that its roots have run out of space. what do you think?

In a 15g I would have 2 inches of substrate. You can slope it or build it with terraces, from about 1 inch (no less) at the front to 2.5/3 at the back where the larger plants with larger root systems will naturally be. Bjut yes, a 1-inch substrate is not going to provide much anchoring for plants, nor will it provide much of a biological bed for organics and bacteria which is essential. And the gravel should be small-grain for best plant growth; don't know what you now have, but if you are going to add any more, bear this in mind.

dorabaker 07-05-2011 12:31 AM

thanks. I got the smallest grain I could find (about 4 mm I think, although I was looking for 3 mm.) I don't have any substrate-rooted background plants and dont intend to get any, so could I sweep some of the gravel from the back of the tank towards the front to make it a bit deeper there for the crypts and pygmy chain swords I want to get?

Byron 07-05-2011 10:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dorabaker (Post 723952)
thanks. I got the smallest grain I could find (about 4 mm I think, although I was looking for 3 mm.) I don't have any substrate-rooted background plants and dont intend to get any, so could I sweep some of the gravel from the back of the tank towards the front to make it a bit deeper there for the crypts and pygmy chain swords I want to get?

I would add more to have 2 inches throughout. As I mentioned, there is a need for a good substrate bed for bacteria, and less than 2 inches is not gboing to do much for this.


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