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|Plants for a Low Light Southeast Asian Setup|
I've been doing research on plants for a nano southeast Asian setup and would really appreciate the input of people more experienced than me in the field of planted aquaria. It would be in a ten gallon tank.
The hood I have is for just a plain fluorescent bulb, and the most wattage I have seen for the kind of light that would fit the hood is about 18 watts. I know that watts per gallon is not the most accurate way to measure intensity of light, but it still sounds like it would be on the 'low' lighting scale. This is unfortunate because it eliminates a lot of the plants that I would have liked to keep. I was hoping to have sand as the substrate, with a heating cable.
Really, the only plants that I feel might do ok in this setup would be java moss, java fern, water lettuce, some crypts and maybe some vals. Can anyone suggest any other types that might do well (and that wouldn't require me to buy an expensive upgrade to my light fixture)?
I also really like the look of a plant "carpet" in the front part of the tank. Does anyone have tips on how to do this with java moss?
|Posted 21-Aug-2010 09:31|
As you already guessed, the 1.8wpg would put you in the
"low light" demand plants. Of the Val's, the best results
would probably be with the "Nana" variety. All of the
others require higher light and grow to very long lengths
that I suggest would make them not very good candidates
for a 10G tank.
Your water lettuce will grow in the tank, but depending
upon nutrients, you may wind up doing some weekly trimming
to keep it from taking over the tank.
You can make a carpet out of the moss by threading it
through a plastic mesh anchored across the substrate,
but I would advise against it. That would trap water
between the gravel and the mesh and make the substrate
an anaerobic nightmare. A curtain of it along the back
or sides of the tank would still allow circulation, and
form an interesting background.
The ferns grow best on driftwood or, in some cases, on
rocks. The "problem" with that is that the hard-scape
displaces water making your 10G tank even "smaller" as
far as water volume is concerned.
Look for the smaller varieties of crypts, or use them
for your background plants, or choose one or two and
make them your center piece plants.
Crypts put out quite a large root system and a few could
easily take over the substrate. If you are going to use
sand as your substrate, you would need to keep it in a
first with the heating cable in it, and then cap it
with the la
to a max of 2 inches overall. If you are not adverse
to snails, the MTS would be ideal to keep the sand loose
Virtually all of the popular carpet plants normally grow
in open, unshaded areas in nature, and all require 3+ wpg
in light for 10-15 hours.
You can "play" with the light by using different types
of bulbs. Normally 6500 to 8000K would be ideal. You
might try one no higher than 10,000K but I think it might
be too much for a 10G tank. I would stick with one of the
"Daylight" or "Sunlight" labeled bulbs. A "regular" old
bulb with either of those labels from any hardware store
will be the most economical. Many of the "plant" bulbs
will give off either a pink or purplish color light and
I find that yucky ( a technical term) to look at.
Just some thoughts...
-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
|Posted 21-Aug-2010 11:44|
There are still tons of possibilities!!!
Crypts, dwarf sag, dwarf lily, apons, java fern, mosses, pelia,...... tons of varieties available of most of these.
Crypts- Some just dont get along in the same tank... to make things easy on myself, I just pick one variety per tank.
Retro spirilis/ spirilis resembles corkscrew val, and pinches back easy when it gets to tall. It loves sand, and would work in the background.
Willisi/ walkerii/ weditti- (sp?) are almost tall enough at full groun to use in the background. Could use if you made a little retaining wall to get them up a couple more inches in the back
My current favorite- the mini crypt- I think its parva??? I tried 1 pot- its a 1.5 wpg, and doing very well. Its a tiny little one that could be used to carpet the front of the tank!!!! just start off with plenty.
Apons and dwarf lilies- I'd pick 1 variety- get 3 of them and plant them together to make a nice centerpiece plant. They will require a daily pinching back once they get going, but will work, and it just takes a couple seconds.
Dwarf sag- background.
Java fern/ moss- get creative. you dont need a HUGE piece of driftwood or rock... tiny ones will work. small flat "skipping stone, tree branches, ect will work!
|Posted 21-Aug-2010 18:10|
Thanks for the great suggestions to both of you!
I don't mind doing some weekly trimming of the water lettuce. I prefer fast growth to my plants dying in the first few weeks because they're not appropriate to the setup! And I really like the look of the roots hanging down.
I only recently heard of the idea of making a carpet of moss on the back wall of the tank. It's a very neat idea! Does it end up actually looking natural?
I was afraid that someone would say that sand would not be a good substrate for this group of plants. I've never used sand before, but I'm really eager to try something new and I love its aesthetic qualities. I actually own some laterite from way back, so that would be convenient to add as a la
Sunlight bulbs it is! Is the reason the 'plant lights' give off the yucky pinkish light because they are at a lower color temperature?
Although I won't be upgrading my light fixture, I am curious--what is the cheapest kind of upgrade to the fixture that I could make for the ten gallon that would allow me to keep the plants that require more light? I used to keep PC florescents, but I am not sure if there was another (or cheaper) way to get more light output.
|Posted 21-Aug-2010 18:34|
The "cheapest" upgrade I have done in a 10 gal is simply switching out the bulbs on the incandescent hood. Compact flourescents on a 10 gal will let you grow anything... some plants just require co2, at higher light, and i personally dont want to mess with it.
With the flourenscent hoods- go to walmart, and look for the bulbs that come closest to 10,000 k's
10's are easy to get more light on them as they are shallow tanks...
not sure on the la
For root growth/room, your going to want 2 in of substrate. Deeper is usally better, but with sand you dont want to go that deep.
I found a arch shapped piece of wood that Im prepping to put in the tank. Since i cant get it to water logg, Im going to drill a small hole iin thsoe "skipping stones" and screw it to each end of the arch wood, then silicone a couple more stones to the ends for extra weight. then the entire thing will be covered in moss, ferns, anubias.
This piece is about 3/4 of the height of a 10, and 1/2 the width, but is only 3/4 of an inch in diameter....
something like this wont take up alot of water space, decreasing your gallonage....like a normal piece of driftwood, or rock work.
|Posted 21-Aug-2010 19:12|
|Posted 25-Aug-2010 05:12|
Crypt melt can happen to anyone. It seems to be a
reaction of the plant when transplanted to a different
tank and may be an acclimation process. Or it can happen
in an existing tank as a reaction to a abnormal season
change such as a really fast change from a hot summer to
a very cold winter. I'm not sure anyone really knows the
exact cause, and thus, how to prevent it. I've been
keeping crypts in my 30G tank now for 17 years and have
yet to experience (knock on wood ) that problem.
Should it occur, keep an eye on the main body of the plant.
As long as it is firm and not mushy, the chances are good
that the plant will recover nicely.
-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
|Posted 25-Aug-2010 14:19|
Small Fry with Ketchup
I seem to remember some process of being sure you washed the plant and trimmed back the roots a little on the crypts before transplanting to your tank.
Of course I can't remember now if my crypts ended up melting or not
|Posted 26-Aug-2010 02:02|
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