Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Low-Light Plants (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/low-light-plants-92838/)

BobtheSnail 02-08-2012 09:51 AM

Low-Light Plants
 
Hey guys!

So, I'm hoping to get my 10 gallon tank properly planted soon, but I need low-light plants, since my incandescent hood raises the temperature of my tank quickly. Right now, the tank is getting 2-3 hours of light a day (not including background light), but I could push it up to 4 if needed.

I already have a moneywort, which I would like to get more of.

Any ideas? I'm completely open to whatever you guys think would survive in my water (which, btw, has a pH of about 6.8)

Byron 02-08-2012 11:03 AM

Heat should not be a problem from light. The compact fluiorescent bulbs are low-heat. I have two 10w daylight 6500K GE bulbs over my 10g and there is scarceloy any heat from those; some yes, but they are on 8 hours a day and might raise the surface temp a degree but no more. Plants will need a minimum of 6 hours light.

There are lots of suitable plants. Pygmy chain sword, crypts, dwarf sword, Java Fern, Java Moss, Anubias; several of these are in the profiles.

BobtheSnail 02-08-2012 12:49 PM

My sister has left my light on all day by accident and the temperature rose 6 degrees, 4 above the norm... so leaving it on all day is needless to say not an option.

They're the same bulbs that came with the tank, so I don't know why it does that.

BTW, I just realized I said incandescent hood instead of fluorescent in my first post... that should be fluorescent.

Byron 02-08-2012 01:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BobtheSnail (Post 976999)
My sister has left my light on all day by accident and the temperature rose 6 degrees, 4 above the norm... so leaving it on all day is needless to say not an option.

They're the same bulbs that came with the tank, so I don't know why it does that.

BTW, I just realized I said incandescent hood instead of fluorescent in my first post... that should be fluorescent.

Get a timer fro the hardware store so the light will be regular. solves both issues.:-)

Mikaila31 02-09-2012 12:04 AM

What type of hood is it? If there was any way to lift it off the tank about an inch that would solve your heat problems. That or get lower watt light bulbs...

Also what temperature? I have a few lights that raise the temp 2 degrees above what the heater is set at. IMO a temp fluctuation is fine as long as it is gradual and normal. Its not like fish in the wild live at a constant perfect temperature. When I do water changes some times I intentionally do "cold water changes" where the tank quickly drops a good 4 degrees. The point is to stimulate a rain storm which can trigger spawning in some species.

BobtheSnail 02-09-2012 08:33 AM

The temp is 72 normally, so that day it rose to 76. I was working all day, so when I came back my fish and my snail were going bonkers, swimming (or sludging) all over the place lol :)

I don't quite understand what you mean by what type of hood is it. What are the options? ;)

I do plan on getting a timer, just haven't quite gotten around to it yet.

Actually, back to the temperature, I've just set my heater to 70 (so, it's like never on) to make up for my light raising it two degrees. I just have some skirt tetras and a snail in there so they don't mind it being a little cold, and the fish actually seem to not like when the light is on. They almost don't notice each other when it's off, but whenever it's on they're always picking on each other.

Byron 02-09-2012 10:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BobtheSnail (Post 977807)
The temp is 72 normally, so that day it rose to 76. I was working all day, so when I came back my fish and my snail were going bonkers, swimming (or sludging) all over the place lol :)

I don't quite understand what you mean by what type of hood is it. What are the options? ;)

I do plan on getting a timer, just haven't quite gotten around to it yet.

Actually, back to the temperature, I've just set my heater to 70 (so, it's like never on) to make up for my light raising it two degrees. I just have some skirt tetras and a snail in there so they don't mind it being a little cold, and the fish actually seem to not like when the light is on. They almost don't notice each other when it's off, but whenever it's on they're always picking on each other.

Temp is fine, and I'm with Mikaila on her advice.

On the fish behaviour, I'm afraid the issue is the species and the tank size and environment, these are interconnected. I'll try to explain.

Tetra are characins, and all characins (with a couple exceptions that you won't see in home aquaria) are shoaling fish that live in large groups. They need a group, most recommend at least six but more is better. This "settles" them. Some species also have social interactions within the group. "Chasing" is usually part of this. Normally with most species it is not harmful physically. But some species can get nippy, and Black Widow Tetra (another "common" name for Black Skirt Tetra) is one that does. Not only can too small a group cause this increased aggression, so can too small a physical space, and this is your second problem; a 10g is not sufficient space for this species. A group of 7-8 in a 20g long is what I would recommend for this tetra.

Another aspect of this is light. Most characins occur in very dim waters. We need an overhead light for plants, so the way to solve this issue is to use floating plants, after selecting the least light we can manage with for the plants.

All of these environmental issues have more of an impact on fish than some realize. But these needs are programmed into the fish by natural evolution, and they cannot be changed. Individual fish can respond differently, that is just one of those quirks of nature. But providing the general basics will go a long way to success.

Byron.

BobtheSnail 02-09-2012 10:47 AM

Thanks Byron!

Yes, my dream-tank-that-is-actually-attainable is a 20g long, and I'm waiting for the LFS to get some floating plants so I can buy them all! I would love some Amazon Frogbit, but we'll see :)

Thanks again guys!

~Constance


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