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doki 04-22-2012 11:32 AM

Starting Planted 20 Gallon (soil) with 2x 24 watt T5HO (no C02)

When I first put the soil in and the gravel on top I was really worried about the brown water I also had a headache from other problems so I took a nap and a few hours later the tank really cleared up.

This is it right now, I have a bolivian ram in a 10 gallon planted tank with 4x bronz corys and 2 oto's and I'm planning on putting them in here.

I have 2x T5HO 24watt purple/red bulbs 5000k each so in total its 48W on a 20gallon do I also add the 5000k + 5000k?

I really want green cabombas but I read that they are really difficult with no c02 but since I have soil and fish would that be an exception?
I'm planning on making the front of the tank a dwarf sag carpet and the back would have cabombas, the middle would have a piece of driftwood.
Some Bleheris would go in the midground and whatever else is available to me.

What type of plants would be the best for this tank?

Byron 04-22-2012 11:56 AM

That is a lot of light. I am not fond of the purplish hue and would prefer a whiter light, but that is largely appearance. Once it is heavily planted, it might balance but the duration will likely have to be curtailed to avoid algae. Most plants may work, sometimes one just has to try and experiment. I would tend to avoid the larger swords like Echinodorus bleherae though, with a nutritious substrate and that much light one plant could fill the entire space.

doki 04-22-2012 05:53 PM

I just moved all my fish to the 20 gallon and I noticed the bolivian ram, its color is darker then usual i have seen many rams who's main color is yellow/white this one seems to have most of its pink/neon blue color and yellow on its belly but the top is dark, I'm not sure if its because its stressed or simply the light it could also be the substrate.

Anyways I picked up some wisteria and moved my micro swords and bleheri. Here it is so far.

redchigh 04-22-2012 07:03 PM

I'd definately encourage you to get a lot more deeply-substrated plants to keep the substrate healthy.
Crypts and swords are both great- E Bleheri will get extremely large, but there are smaller swords available online (klienar prinz, E. Blehirae compacta, Echinodorus 'rubin' all come to mind) .
A small filter will help keep the water clear. (sponge filter would be perfect)

Add a few floating plants and your fish will calm down and color up more- maybe some amazon frogbit.

Keep oxygen levels relatively high too. (the soil will produce lots of CO2- more surface movement won't drive the CO2 down, instead, in my experience, higher O2 will simply grow more bacteria in the substrate, which produces more CO2. In essense, soil tanks seem to balance themselves as long as there's enough oxygen to keep the soil from getting anaerobic.)

Definately keep an eye out for the fish hanging out at the surface- If you notice, then smell the water. If you smell rotten eggs, break the tank down and redo it. If you don't smell rotten eggs, then add a little surface movement.

doki 04-27-2012 04:21 PM

i got this wisteria about a week ago and the front plant the stem is kind of leaning towards the side im not sure if this is bad or not it could be new growth i took a picture because i dont know much about plants im still starting out.

also here is what i believe to be dwarf sag my question is how long until new growth starts to appear? will it sprout from the sides?

rhymon78 04-27-2012 04:44 PM

also here is what i believe to be dwarf sag my question is how long until new growth starts to appear? will it sprout from the sides?[/QUOTE]

I have one of those in my tank, and within about 2 weeks it has shot out two or three runners to the side, the runners have found the substrate. theres a few more that are a bit unruly and are just growing in the water, ill direct them.

I believe I can see some new growth, runners forming in the background as you look at it in that pic. kind of a tangle at the back, thats how mine is.

Byron 04-27-2012 05:41 PM

On the first question, the Wisteria, that bend in the main stem was caused by how the plant was growing at that time. Like most plants, stems grow toward the light, and either in the aquarium store or the nursery this plant was likely affected by a change in position and the stem thus changed direction. This often happens in aquaria when the stem reaches the surface and then turns basically 90 degrees to grow along the surface. The leaf you have circled may or may not be "new" growth.

On the second plant, with respect i do not think that is dwarf sag which would be Sagittaria subulata. We have a profile of this species, and I have it in my 70g. As far as i can ascertain, the emersed leaf form is a bit thicker than the submersed, but otherwise they are identical. I have searched for a photo to illustrate, but can't find any. I did find this video which may help, it shows the plant growing in nature in Florida.
Awlleaf arrowhead | Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants

The plant in your photo I suspect is Microsword, or Lilaeopsis brasiliensis; this is the emersed form. It bears quite a striking resemblance to Helanthium tenellum, the pygmy chain sword. Sagittaria and Helanthium are in the same family, Lilaeopsis is not.


redchigh 04-28-2012 12:41 PM

Most substrate plants (like hairgrass, dwarf sag, probably all of them) do much better if you divide the individual plantlets- it looks like you planted a pot of them together.

Divide them up and plant seperately and they'll spread faster.

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