Do plants need special substrate to grow properly?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by orangeclumsy1, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. orangeclumsy1

    orangeclumsy1 Valued Member Member

    I'm wanting a 29 gallon with
    2 honey gouramis
    6-8 harlequin rasboras
    10 neons tetras
    8 Cory cats
    10-20 rcs
    1-3 mystery snails

    So what kind of plants could I use? I'm just planning on having some black sand as a substrate. I know I'm gonna have some java moss and amazon swords, but that's as far as my knowledge of plants goes!!! And what's all this about special lighting? And what's that plant that looks like grass?
     
  2. monkeypie102

    monkeypie102 Well Known Member Member

    There is dwarf hairgrass and microsword that looks like grass :) as for lighting they are low light plants so no specialized lighting is really needed.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    orangeclumsy1

    orangeclumsy1 Valued Member Member

    What are some other plants I could get that don't require special lighting? And is just plain old black sand (actually probably Tahitian moon sand) okay for growing plants? They'll be in the tank as it cycles so they'll have time to grow out.
     




  4. monkeypie102

    monkeypie102 Well Known Member Member

    Yeah sand is great for them :) my 29 is low light and has ludwigia, rotala, Xmas moss, mini pella(sp), Java fern, anubias eye, aspotanga(sp) onion plant, microsword, and I think that's it :D
     
  5. OP
    OP
    orangeclumsy1

    orangeclumsy1 Valued Member Member

    Whoa, haha! I'll research them for sure. Thanks!
     
  6. jetajockey

    jetajockey Fishlore VIP Member

    The kind of plants you get depends mostly on your lighting. A special substrate is nice but not mandatory. Check the bulb type to make sure it's full spectrum somewhere around 5000k-10000k and not super old.

    I don't think you'll do very well with DHG or microsword with that basic stock lighting, but you may get lucky. A few suggestions for low demand plants would be java moss, java ferns, anubias, aponogeton, and maybe anacharis, wisteria, ludwigia.

    Also wanted to add that amazon swords get way too big for a 29g, they will outgrow the tank in just a few months.
     
  7. monkeypie102

    monkeypie102 Well Known Member Member

    Well I think i got lucky.. my micro sword is sending off lots of runners... it does grow slower than a normal one but other than that its still green!
     
  8. OP
    OP
    orangeclumsy1

    orangeclumsy1 Valued Member Member

    Oh, we'll what kind of lighting do I need for dwarf hair grass or micro swords?
     
  9. jetajockey

    jetajockey Fishlore VIP Member

    On a 29g to get to medium light I suggest a 2 bulb t5NO fixture or if you plan to go high tech later (pressurized co2 etc) I would go with a 2 bulb t5ho. The thing is that it's much easier to reduce light intensity than it is to increase it. A 2 bulb t5ho is a little much on a 29g that wants to stay low tech but it's more to work with if you change your mind later.

    If you have too much light you can just raise the fixture up a few inches, or put in light diffusing material, or remove a bulb. If you have too little light then usually the biggest impact is by purchasing a new fixture completely.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    orangeclumsy1

    orangeclumsy1 Valued Member Member

    Hm. Maybe I should just stick with low light plants then! I'm not planning on having a high tech thing going on, just a simple 29 gallon plus a separate filtered betta setup. I'm still working on that one....
     
  11. jetajockey

    jetajockey Fishlore VIP Member

    It doesn't hurt to try em, well it might hurt your wallet a little but that's it. It works on some setups (monkeypie's setup for example) so if you are really set on a certain plant just give it a go and see what happens, you may be surprised. Some higher demand plants are good even in low light setups, they basically just stay green and don't grow a whole lot, or they may get leggy (trying to get closer to the light), but you'll just have to try it and see.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    orangeclumsy1

    orangeclumsy1 Valued Member Member

    Alright I'll give it a go!
     
  13. Aquarist

    Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member





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