Calling all plant people! Need help with 20g

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by pinkfloydpuffer, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. pinkfloydpuffer

    pinkfloydpufferFishlore VIPMember

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    So, I have decided I'd like to plant my 20g. It currently has aragonite, but I can switch that out for Ecocomplete if I need to (I have about half a bag of it). I have 40W fluorescent for that tank, so 2WPG. I was wondering what are some good plants to keep in front, middle, and background. I do not have a 'green thumb', so the easier the plant the better. I already know I can keep java moss and java fern alive though. (Great accomplishment, I know ) I have Seachem Flourish and Excel for fertilizers. Is there anything else I should get? Will I need co2 injection? I'm going to be keeping dwarf puffers in there, a BN pleco, and I'm considering a school of cardinal tetras. If that makes a difference. My tap water has a ph of about 7.8. Um... anything you need to know just ask
    Thanks for the help, plant people ;D
     
  2. hop2jr

    hop2jrValued MemberMember

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    I would say yes to the CO2 1 2litter bottle DIY should work and dose Seachem Florish Ecel and Florish one or twice a week and that will be fine for the plants. The reason I said yes to CO2 is when you get up around 1.5 to 2wpg an the plants don't have enuff CO2 to eat you will get every forum of algea know to man trust me I know. As for plants java moss can get messy if not tie tight to a rock to start buts easy to care for, I like water sprite grows like a weed ands easy to split, java fern or Lace Java Fern , anacharis, horn worth but can get messy.Good luck post some pice when your done.
     
  3. MissMTS

    MissMTSFishlore VIPMember

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    Hey Pink,
    I did some reading, and you should be able to keep low to med/low light plants in your tank. Here is a link to a good list of plants:


    You shouldn't need CO2 unless you go over 2 WPG. I am not sure about dosing with Excel though. Don't dose with Flourish is you use eco complete. If you don't want to use eco complete, you will need to dose with flourish. You don't want to do both though because an excess of ferts and different trace elements can make plants wilt as much as a lack of ferts can. Hopefully some other people will jump in here and give some more advice
     
  4. Nate McFin

    Nate McFinWell Known MemberMember

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    I would say no at first to Co2. You wont know until you have the tank set up. # of plants, KH, PH, and other variables come into play. I am running a 20 gln with 2.4 watts per gallon and I am currently growing a great looking cryptocoryne lutea and what started as 2 amazon swords is now 5 very healthy looking plants. I dont use Co2 or dose with excel. I do use Flourish root tabs as all of these plants are substrate feeders. (Unlike java moss for instance which feeds from the water column). I will be adding 3 microswords and 2 Giant baby tears this weekend and I did order some excel as I do expect at that point to require some form of Co2. (Excel is Co2) I am going with Excel over injection because I have read that getting injected Co2 dialed in on a 20 Gln. set up can be pretty tough and wide PH swings can occur. A chance I am not willing to take for the fish.
    Here is a great way to tell if you need CO2 or not. It requires a KH test and a PH test.....(scroll down to the yellow and green chart)



    Regarding plant choices- with 2 wpg your choices are pretty open. It just depends on what you like.
     
  5. OP
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    pinkfloydpuffer

    pinkfloydpufferFishlore VIPMember

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    Thanks everyone. So Ecocomplete + Flourish is bad? Maybe that's been my problem, lol. Oh, and my tapwater has a ph of 7.8, it's rather high. Maybe I should get some driftwood to help with that? Do the tannins effect the amount of light the plants get?
     
  6. MissMTS

    MissMTSFishlore VIPMember

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    Your high pH won't affect plant growth. Mine is 7.8 too and I have not have trouble keeping any plants
     
  7. coffeebean

    coffeebeanWell Known MemberMember

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  8. OP
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    pinkfloydpuffer

    pinkfloydpufferFishlore VIPMember

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    Um.... what are the ranges for low, med, etc? I don't see that anywhere. Where does 2WPG fall?
     
  9. MissMTS

    MissMTSFishlore VIPMember

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    2 WPG is the high end of low light. Anything over that is considered medium light and would probably need CO2. As long as you don't go over 2 WPG though you should be fine
     
  10. OP
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    pinkfloydpuffer

    pinkfloydpufferFishlore VIPMember

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    Ooh, looky here! A biotope for dwarf puffers!

    Native Plants/Biotope

    The following is a list of aquarium plants that are native to the India/Sri Lanka region, which is the homeland of Dwarf Puffers. The purpose of this list is to help someone design a Dwarf Puffer habitat using vegetation that would be found in their native areas. This list is not by any means complete, but it may provide helpful guidelines for planting your Dwarf Puffer tank. Please note that the light requirements listed are only the optimum lighting levels for the plants.... most of them will do just fine at lower intensities, they just may not reach their full potential. The light requirement is shown as "Watts Per Gallon" or "wpg". Click on the Scientific Name of each plant to see a photo:


    Scientific Name Common Name Light Requirement Difficulty
    Aponogeton crispus Crinkled or Ruffled Aponogeton 3.0 wpg Easy/Medium
    Aponogeton ulvaceus Compact Aponogeton 2.0 - 3.0 wpg Medium/Challenging
    Aponogeton undulatus 2.0 - 3.0 wpg Easy/Moderate
    Cryptocoryne beckettii Beckett's Cryptocoryne 2.0 - 3.0 wpg Easy/Medium
    Cryptocoryne walkeri var. lutea 1.0+ wpg Easy
    Cryptocoryne parva Tiny Cryptocoryne 4.0 wpg Challenging
    Cryptocoryne undulata Undulate Cryptocoryne 3.0+ wpg Medium/Challenging
    Cryptocoryne wendtii Crypt Wendtii 2.0 - 3.0 wpg Easy/Medium
    Cryptocoryne willisii 3.0 wpg Easy/Medium
    Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides 3.0+ wpg Easy/Medium
    Hygrophila corymbosa Giant Hygrophila 2.0 - 3.0 wpg Easy
    Hygrophila difformis Water Wysteria 3.0+ wpg Medium
    Hygrophila polysperma Dwarf Hygrophila 3.0 wpg Easy
    Limnophila aquatica Giant Ambulia 3.0+ wpg Medium/Challenging
    Limnophila sessiliflora Dwarf Ambulia 3.0+ wpg Easy
    Microsorium pteropus Java Fern 1.0+ wpg Easy
    Nymphaea lotus Tiger Lotus 3.0 wpg Medium/Challenging
    Nymphaea stellata Red and Blue Water Lily 3.0+ wpg Medium
    Rotala indica 3.0 wpg Medium
    Rotala macrandra Giant Red Rotala 3.0+ wpg Challenging/Difficult
    Rotala rotundifolia Dwarf rotala 3.0 wpg Medium
    Salvinia natans Salvinia 3.0 wpg Medium
    Vallisneria tortifolia Twisted Vallisneria/Dwarf Vallisneria 3.0 wpg Easy
    Vesicularia dubyana Java Moss 1.0+ wpg Easy




    Biotope

    For those of you who would like to take it one step further and create an actual Dwarf Puffer Biotope, the following article may be helpful to you:



    Southeast Asia Back-Water
    By: Robert Paul H.

    Southeast Asia is home to many of the fish which are in most demand by hobbyists today. The backwaters of southeast Asia are both slow moving and thick with vegetation. Both above and below the waterline live many ferns and bamboo. The streams are packed with organic matter and stained brown by the iron rich red rocks that cover the bottom. You can recreate this environment with the following guidelines:

    PH: 6.0 to 6.5
    Hardness: 100mg/liter CaCO3
    Temp: 75 to 79 degrees

    Plants:

    Bamboo Plant, Blyxa japonica
    Giant Hygrophia, Nomaphila stricta
    Recommended lighting:
    3 watts per gallon of water
    Substrate:

    laterite
    sand
    red gravel
    multi colored stones
    pebbles
    Suitable Fish:
    Tiger Barb, Barbus tetrazona
    Siamese Fighting Fish, Betta splendens
    Clown Loach, Botia macracantha
    Zebra Danio, Brachydanio rerio
    Honey Gourami, Colisa chuna
    Dwarf Gourami, Colisa lalia
    Pearl Gourami, Trichogaster leeri
    Paradise Fish, Macropodus opercularis
    Red Tailed Black Shark, Labeo bicolor
    (Dwarf Puffers!!)
    The bottom layer of the substrate should contain iron rich laterite for the plant growth, topped with a mixture of sand and red gravel accented with larger stones and pebbles. Seachem's Flourite is a red clay gravel very suitable for this. To make things more interesting you can alternate to have some exposed areas of sand as well as gravel or rock, however the overall look of the substrate surface should be dark with a lot of red color. Broken pieces of red clay flower pots also make a nice accent. The over all look you are striving for is tall, bushy plants in the background and sides, and a rocky foreground. This simulates the plants growing close to shore while the outer areas are littered with rocks.

    Here's the link: http://www.dwarfpuffers.com/

    I'll have to look into this, it'd be awesome ;D
     
  11. MissMTS

    MissMTSFishlore VIPMember

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    Leave it to you to find that, lol.

    That would be really cool to do a biotope tank for your puffs Stick with the easy plants though
     
  12. OP
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    pinkfloydpuffer

    pinkfloydpufferFishlore VIPMember

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    Of course, lol. It lists java moss and java fern! :;banaman
    I have some narrowleaf java fern coming soon, so that can go in there. And I have tons and tons of java moss, which I'd like to tie to my big tree root looking thing. And I could probably do some cryptos. But I probably won't be able to find most of those plants around here.
     
  13. MissMTS

    MissMTSFishlore VIPMember

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    Try ordering off of aquabid. That is where I have gotten almost all of my plants. Shipping is super cheap. I can recommend some good sellers if you like
     
  14. OP
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    pinkfloydpuffer

    pinkfloydpufferFishlore VIPMember

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    Ooh sure!
     
  15. Nate McFin

    Nate McFinWell Known MemberMember

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    That looks like a great project PFP!
    Eco complete and flourish are not a bad thing. Flourish liquid feeds the water column. Eco complete will let some of the nutrients into water column but it may not be enough for Column feeding plants. On the other side heavy root feeders such as amazon swords may require extra ferts in the form of root tabs even with eco complete.
    Overdosing ferts can lead to plant problems but will most likely lead to excess green in the form of Algae.
    Here is a great deficiency list for plants I found on a post here.
    https://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/aquarium-plants/12744-deficiency-list-plants.html
     
  16. OP
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    pinkfloydpuffer

    pinkfloydpufferFishlore VIPMember

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  17. MissMTS

    MissMTSFishlore VIPMember

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    Oooh I love the stump! I bet your DP's love to play in that
     
  18. OP
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    pinkfloydpuffer

    pinkfloydpufferFishlore VIPMember

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    When I had a crab she loved to live in there. Poor Fletch was scared of the scary monster in the cave.

    Looks like I have lots of work ahead of me! Hopefully I don't kill all these plants this time around! ;D

    In addition to java fern and moss, looks like these might work:
    Aponogeton undulatus
    Cryptocoryne beckettii
    Cryptocoryne walkeri var. lutea
    Cryptocoryne wendtii
    Hygrophila corymbosa
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2009
  19. MissMTS

    MissMTSFishlore VIPMember

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    Those sound like really good choices I can't wait to see the tank once you put all of the plants in!
     
  20. OP
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    pinkfloydpuffer

    pinkfloydpufferFishlore VIPMember

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    Hmm... I'm liking the dwarf sag... a grass carpet would look so nice and be so fun for those little puffs!
     
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