Any Recommendations For Plants (low Light Beginner)

YATT

I think I bought the wrong light, but here is what I got.


So, I'm low light it seems. I have a 20G long tank. Want to do neon tetras.

Here is my layout and I'm picturing some plants in the corners and if possible some short plants in the front. I understand that is hard with low light.


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I'm just looking for something to learn and not kill right away. My tank just started it's cycling process.

I'm liking looks of Java Fern, Hornwort, Crypt WendI and Micro Crypt (Cryptocoryne petchii)

Thanks.
 

PonzLL

I have that same light on my shrimp tank which is a 10 gallon, so it’s the same height as your 20 long tank. You’ll be real happy with the growth I think!
 

aussieJJDude

Here's what I would do:

4ce8f8184948d745e21e1cc741eed4e3.jpg

Yellow: consider growing some crypts here (like crypt wendtiI green or bronze). This will form a nice background for the tank, but other suitable plants would be vals, ludwigia repens, pearl grass, vesuvius sword, or peices of narrow leaf java fern tied to small rocks/wood.
Orange/red: another background plant, like above... amazon swords may also be a good choice with some pruning to help reduce size of growth (they can get big!)
Blue: this is your low growing plant. Consider growing S. repens or monte carlo. Hydrocotyle tripartita japan can be trained to grow low, or could be a good feature plant (or even an intermediate plant between the blackground and foreground plants. (Could also try crypt parva, slow growing but low growing)
Purple: small peices of moss (reccomend trying fissidens, this is very compact and would suit the tank well; but xmas moss would also be a good choice) or even micro java fern or small feature plants of anubias nana or bucephalandra (would suit the darker area in between the two right stones!
Green: leave it bare, or grow low growing plants. Could also try your luck with a pop of red, like AR minI as visual interest.

In between the background plants and foreground, try growing plants like tropica swords (which grow max of 4 inches tall) to tie the scape together.
 

MD_Plants

I would personally do bronze crypt wendittI around the outside of the rocks. Then a carpet of dwarf sag is pretty hardy and I get it to grow in low lights. Then some java fern in one corner with some Ludwigia in the other would look really nice. I personally would do Ludwigia deep red. You can tie micro swords into the crevasses of the rock to really accent the stone. I personally wouldn’t do hornwort as it had a tendency to get broken needles around the tank. I would do anacharis instead who some would argue grows even faster. That could be in the background since it’s a fast and tall grower. And if you glue or tie moss to the bottoms and sides of part of the rock, it will make it look really aged and nice.

That’s my 2cent
 

YATT

aussieJJDude thanks for the very detailed response. A lot to cover. Any suggestions on where a beginner should start? Are the crypts easy for example.

I’ll have to start looking online as my LFS doesn’t seem to have that much of a selection.

Pearl grass looks awesome but doesn’t it need lots of light and fertilizers? I’m very new to this
 

YATT

I personally wouldn’t do as it had a tendency to get broken needles around the tank.

Big thanks for that tip!
 

PonzLL

I had that happen in a jarrariums but I have it floating in 3 tanks with no issues.

Boy does it suck when it happens though
 

86 ssinit

Yes wait for the tank to get established before hornwort. Anubias java fern and moss and the crypts would be good starts. I use a eBay seller plantsfactory that I’ve done well with. Clean plants no snails and free shipping.
 

wrs2

Some of the plants mentioned need C02 though. Are you going to be doing a CO2 system? Some of them, like Water Wisteria, are more higher light plants too.

Some that I have had success with in low light settings...

Crypts are amazing plants! They are my personal favorite! It used to be Ludwigia, but the leaves never stay on for me. Anubias nana would look nice on the rocks. Dragon Stone has little crevices that you can stick it in. I have Bacopa caroliniana in a low light tank and it's doing really good. I've also heard that Moneywort is a good option. Cardamine Lyrata is great too! Mine grows like a weed. Blue Hygrophila is another plant that I have in a low light tank that grows like a weed. Maybe not super pretty, but it fills in the foreground of the tank nicely.

BTW! What substrate do you use? It looks really nice!
 

aussieJJDude

aussieJJDude thanks for the very detailed response. A lot to cover. Any suggestions on where a beginner should start? Are the crypts easy for example.

I’ll have to start looking online as my LFS doesn’t seem to have that much of a selection.

Pearl grass looks awesome but doesn’t it need lots of light and fertilizers? I’m very new to this

All the plants I mentioned will do well in low light setups, or at least in your lighting conditions. Adding ferts would help also. From what I've seen, pearl grass does do well in high tech, but does well in low light...
 

YATT

BTW! What do you use? It looks really nice!

Medium flourite. It was a pain to wash. Hope it works well.

For everyone else who replied, I’m digesting. I’m drinking from a fire hose here. Thanks!

EDIT. also no co2 system. I’m trying the basics. If I can pull off this 20 gallon tank successfully my wife is open to a big tank with more options. Need to see how this goes. She is lucky though. She is WFH and the tank is in the office. She gets the most benefit of it and I do all the work!
 

Thunder_o_b

I have had good results with wisteria in med-low as well high light aquariums.

This was a low light LED aquarium. The light was a small led strip in the center of a kit hood. You can see it was dark in the corners. I later tore it down and upped the light, about a year or so later. Was fine until the glass broke. But that is another story.

This is a 37. This shot is near the time I upped the lighting.

_MG_7918 copy.0 9.35.21 AM.jpg light
 

DoubleDutch

Crypt. wendtiI even will grow in motoroil.
Having sone plants that where for years in an unlighted tank.
 

YATT

Well, it is a start. $15 worth of plants. I’m mid cycle so I figured what the hay. I did bleach treat ‘em and dechloronate and rinsed. No ferts until cycle is complete per LFS.


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Java Fern and Amazon Sword
 

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