Background Plant Suggestions

Wintersprite

Hey all I was wondering what are some background plant suggestions for a 20 gallon high aquarium? I have a lot of different plants on my list that I would like to get, but most of them are foreground or mid-ground plants (anubias, crypts, Java ferns, and amazon swords). I plan on adding atleast one amazon sword, but want to add in other background plants as well. The light that I am using is the led 24" finnex stingray. I will also be using Seachem comprehensive plant supplement with each weekly water change and Seachem root tabs. The fish in my tank are harlequin rasboras, Cory cats, oto cats, and a betta.
 

Wintersprite

Thanks I will have to add those to my list. All three of those will grow using the led stringray fixture? I had thought about Val's but was not sure if they would grow with my light. I also know that some anubias species are background plants, but can't remember which ones they are.
 

el337

Yes, they are considered low-medium light plants. For the vals, just make sure to insert root tabs for them.

Do you mean anubia coffeefolia? I think those get pretty big.
 

TexasDomer

Jungle vals would work, others might not. Some low light Rotala might work too.
 

Wintersprite

Ya that might be it. Atleast the name sounds familiar. Ah ok...I may just stick with the swords and Val then. The bacopa caroliniana did look like a neat plant but if it may not grow may be better to stick with what will grow.
 

el337

I think TexasDomer may have meant that jungle vals might work but other val species might not? As far as I know bacopa is pretty hardy and will grow in low light. Same for hygros - corymbosa, difformis, etc.
 

Wintersprite

Ah ok that makes sense after re-reading his sentence. That is a bummer because the corkscrew Val looks cool but jungle Val is better than no Val at all in the tank
 

el337

It doesn't hurt to try it though I will say the corkscrew vals don't get as tall as the jungles.
 

Wintersprite

How tall do they get? The viewing area of the tank is about 14" I believe so I wouldn't want anything taller then that
 

el337

My corkscrew vals haven't exceeded 12". I know the jungle vals grow much taller, up to the point that they start bending at the surface and need trimming.
 

Wintersprite

If I can find some that are already fairly tall 12" would probably be just about right. Ya I was just reading about the jungle Val. Not sure I want something that will go that tall. From the pictures I have seen I do not think I like the looks of them bending over at the surface.
 

TexasDomer

Not sure if the corkscrew val will get enough light in your tank, but it's worth a shot!
 

Wintersprite

Can you think of any other Val's that might grow with the stingray? I want to say that the light is about 15-16" from the top of the substrate. I do have a glass hood on the tank as well.

Will my plants need any other supplements besides the root tabs and comprehensive supplement? I had just thought of this as I was trying to research the plants.
 

el337

I really only have experience with corkscrew and contortion vals - both that are growing well with my Planted+.

Adding liquid CO2 like Seachem Excel also boosts plant growth.
 

TexasDomer

But liquid CO2 can also melt vals, so you may need to start out on a lower dose and move slowly into the normal dosing range.
 

el337

Thanks TD for that reminder! Mine have adjusted so I forgot that about vals.
 

Wintersprite

Would you guys reccomend using seachem excel to a beginner? This will be my first experience with live plants, so I do not want to make things to complicated. If you do reccomend it how low of a dose in a 20 gallon would you suggest starting with and how often would you increase it to get to the normal dosing? Then do you dose it everyday or every few days? Also do you dose it at the same time as the comprehensive plant supplement?
 

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