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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1) Can you grow those plants without Co2?

2) What fertilizers do you reccomend?

3) What lighting do they need?
 

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1) Can you grow those plants without Co2?
No. If you have absolutely no CO2, you will not grow plants.
Of course, if you have fish in the aquarium, they exhale CO2 into the water like we do, so that works well as long as everything is balanced.


2) What fertilizers do you reccomend?
Well if you want to go the route that most of the planted tankers use around here, then use plain gravel and Flourish comprehensive. That's all you need.

3) What lighting do they need?
Depends on your tank size. Post how big your tank is, and what kind of fixture you have, and we can tell you what to buy.


I prefer soil tanks (I'm in the process of converting all of my tanks to soil). They do best with indirect sunlight in addition to a light source, but no ferts are needed. They also tend to grow a bit faster since the soil bacteria produce additional CO2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have a 10 gallon aquarium.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Also, how do you plant these plants? You plant Green Cabomba and Italian Val by just putting the roots in the gravel, right? How do you plant the Ludwigia?:question:
 

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The same. I love my Cabomba but I will tell you it looks nicest in groups of a couple of plants. You can create sort of a thick forest effect with it. The fish LOVE hanging out in there. I think they feel pretty hidden and safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The same. I love my Cabomba but I will tell you it looks nicest in groups of a couple of plants. You can create sort of a thick forest effect with it. The fish LOVE hanging out in there. I think they feel pretty hidden and safe.
I plan on using it for the back of my tank for hiding the heater. Also, I bet the fish will hide in it just like yours :) Do you have a Co2 system? What fertilizers do you use?
 

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No, I get Co2 from the fish and I only add Seachems Flourish comprehensive supplement 2 times a week. I leave my lights on for 12 hours a day. They grow like weeds. They started out a little slow in my tank because I didn't think they were getting enough light. I had them under a giant ball of floating pennywort. I put a clamp light on them for a few hours a day for a couple of days and they took off.

I also have Ludwigia and it is alive but it isn't taking off like some of the other plants. I think it too enjoys a little more light. It is a pretty plant though. I just moved my Vallis to a different area of the tank so I will have to let you know how that works out. It was sort of hidden by the Cabomba that took off and filled out to be lovely. Sadly, I had a couple of inappropriate fish sold to me that started eating the forest and now I have to wait until it fills out again. Shouldn't take long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How do you introduce plants to an aquarium? Is it like fish? Or do you just plop them in?
 

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You can add them all at once. Keep in mind they will grow and fill out so you don't want it so packed tight that the second they start to grow you start to prune. Think about how you want the tank to look. Do you like heavily planted tanks, lightly, somewhere in between? I myself love the look of a heavily planted tank. IF you decide to plant some of the root plants like the Swords, you will also need to add some root tabs to your substrate to give them more nutrients. They are beautiful plants and I much recommend them too. I love my Amazon Swords. They are bright green, full and tall. They fill out so nice.

Also, are you going to add some drift wood or rock? I added mine first and then planted around that. I also put in a few clay pots for fish to hide in and planted around them so they have some dark safe spots to hide. I love the look of a natural stream look. Well, the clay pots would have been tossed in but... you get the idea. Once the clay gets a bit of algae on it, it looks quite lovely as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Right now, I have a peice of driftwood soaking in a bucket. I will add it to my aquarium once I get my plants (ordered them from sweetaquatics yesterday). Do you have to slowly accumulate them to your tank so they can adjust to the temp, pH, etc.?
 

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Nope, plants don't require an adjustment period.

The cabomba and Rotala are 'stem plants', so they may or may not have roots when you get them.
Just strip the lower 2 sets of leaves and burry them in the gravel.

How to plant stem plants. A Graphic by Redchigh. :)


Sorry for the rough image, but it might help give you an idea. Hmm, img tag isn't working, just click the link.

Definately dose the tank with Flourish (comprehensive supplement) and I personally use 2 10W CFLs (6500k cool white) in an incandescent hood over my 10Gs.
If you have a flourescent hood (with tubes) then get whatever will fit your hood, and make it 6500k (often called 'cool white' or 'daylight', but look for the 6500k. No need for fancy grow lights, just get the bulbs from wal-mart.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Nope, plants don't require an adjustment period.

The cabomba and Rotala are 'stem plants', so they may or may not have roots when you get them.
Just strip the lower 2 sets of leaves and burry them in the gravel.

How to plant stem plants. A Graphic by Redchigh. :)


Sorry for the rough image, but it might help give you an idea. Hmm, img tag isn't working, just click the link.

Definately dose the tank with Flourish (comprehensive supplement) and I personally use 2 10W CFLs (6500k cool white) in an incandescent hood over my 10Gs.
If you have a flourescent hood (with tubes) then get whatever will fit your hood, and make it 6500k (often called 'cool white' or 'daylight', but look for the 6500k. No need for fancy grow lights, just get the bulbs from wal-mart.)
Thanks! I actually do have an incandescent hood (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Aqua-Culture-Aquarium-Hood-Incandescent-10-Gallon-Pets/10311306) and was wondering if I was going to be able to find CFL bulbs that will fit it. Isn't 20watts too little though?
 

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Thanks! I actually do have an incandescent hood (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Aqua-Culture-Aquarium-Hood-Incandescent-10-Gallon-Pets/10311306) and was wondering if I was going to be able to find CFL bulbs that will fit it. Isn't 20watts too little though?
Go to a hardware store and look for compact fluorescent bulbs. On my 20g I have two 10w GE daylight bulbs with a 6500K rating; they are perfect. One of these would work well over a 10g. "Watts" is only a measurement of the energy used by a bulb, it has no direct relation to the light intensity. And CF bulbs produce considerably more intense lgiht with less energy (watts) so they save energy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I was told not to worry about the Wattage so much at the K rating. The plants need the 6500K - 6700K to grow.

So, I should probably get 2 3300k bulbs? I can't just get 1 6600k because one side would have 6600k and the other side would have less, right?
 

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So, I should probably get 2 3300k bulbs? I can't just get 1 6600k because one side would have 6600k and the other side would have less, right?
No. The "K" (kelvin) rating is only the colour of the light produced. The sun at midday is around 6000K [going from memory] so a bulb that is "daylight" or "full spectrum" will be rated around 6000-67000K. A bulb with a lower K number is "warmer" or more red, and a higher number is "cooler" or more blue. Plants in a small tank do best under 6500-6700K and the colours are natural. If you have two bulbs, get the same type; otherwise you will have different shade on half the tank and believe me this will not look good, nor be best for plants.

If you can find two 5w bulbs of daylight, great. Going fromwhat mine are like, a single 10w will be sufficient if that's all they have. Hardware stores are the best for this, or maybe a light store; they'll be cheaper in these stores than in fish stores.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
No. The "K" (kelvin) rating is only the colour of the light produced. The sun at midday is around 6000K [going from memory] so a bulb that is "daylight" or "full spectrum" will be rated around 6000-67000K. A bulb with a lower K number is "warmer" or more red, and a higher number is "cooler" or more blue. Plants in a small tank do best under 6500-6700K and the colours are natural. If you have two bulbs, get the same type; otherwise you will have different shade on half the tank and believe me this will not look good, nor be best for plants.

If you can find two 5w bulbs of daylight, great. Going fromwhat mine are like, a single 10w will be sufficient if that's all they have. Hardware stores are the best for this, or maybe a light store; they'll be cheaper in these stores than in fish stores.
Oh, I get it :oops:. But why only 10 watts total? Also, where can you get the Flourish stuff?
 

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Hardware stores are the best for this, or maybe a light store; they'll be cheaper in these stores than in fish stores.
Waaaaaaay cheaper, as it turns out. Like less then a third of the price you would pay in a pet store
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Also, my pH is 7.8 and my water is hard (don't know exact numbers). Is this ok?
 

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Oh, I get it :oops:. But why only 10 watts total? Also, where can you get the Flourish stuff?
http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3746+4652&pcatid=4652

You will notice that there are many different kinds of seachem's plant care but you want the "Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive"

You might be able to pick it up at a Petco, Petsmart or live fish store in your area. I just thought I would show you that site because I have ordered many things from that company and have always been happy with the price, the service and the product that I have purchased from them.

10 watt is probably the only size that bulb comes in??? The Watt is just the energy used to run the light. Mine are 15 watt and I understand your confusion. When I first started looking for plant lights someone said I needed to have 2 watts per gallon so I was looking for 30 watt lights. I called every hardware store and every light store around. They all thought I was nuts. Finally someone told me that they don't even make lights in the length I wanted in higher wattage. lol Well, turns out the wattage is not important, only the K rating.

Hang in there, it seems confusing in the beginning but it gets much much easier.
 
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