First Live Plants!!!

  1. FishyWater2525 Member Member

    Hi!!

    Yesterday I ordered 10 stems of Anacharis Elodea on eBay. (From a well known seller with 100% positive feedback :) ) I of course did some research, but I wanted to talk to some experts too!! ;)
    From what I understand Anacharis is a stem plant that can grow floating or planted. When it grows too big, you can trim it and plant the trimmings which will turn into new plants. Anacharis grows like a weed and can grow very well in a low light tank. Am I correct on all of this?
    I plan to divide the 10 stems in between 2 tanks. A 20gH and a 10g. I want to place 6 stems in the 20g and 4 in the 10g. Sound good?
    The 20g contains many artificial plants and decorations. I plan to slowly replace all the artificial plants with live ones. The inhabitants of this tank are Harlequin Rasboras, a Molly, Platies, Nerite Snails, and Black Skirt Tetras. My substrate is gravel. pH is 7.4 , Temp. is 76/77. This tank has been running for 5 years and has perfect parameters. The lighting is a Marineland Natural Daylight fluorescent bulb. It also has a Whisper Power Filter 20. Does this aquarium sound good and ready for live plants?
    The 10 also contains many artificial plants which I plan to slowly replace. The inhabitants are White Cloud Mountain Minnows and Amano Shrimp. The substrate is also gravel. pH is 7.3 , Temp. stays between 69 and 71. This tank has been running for a year and has perfect parameters too. The lighting is two 6 in. incandescent bulbs. Both are 15w a piece. It has an Aqueon QuietFlow Filter. Does this aquarium sound good and ready for live plants?
    Please note that I'm on a tight budget and can't afford to go out and buy new expensive things for the aquarium. I have to work with what I have. (My apologies if that sounded rude in any way) I would prefer to not have to deal with Flourish, Excel, root tabs, and Co2. Mostly because I honestly don't understand them and would really like to avoid them if at all possible. But feel free to explain them to me! Lol
    I also won't be changing my substrate for any reason and will be sticking to low light plants. (No rudeness intended)
    As time goes on I plan to add plants like Ludwigia Repens, Wisteria, Java Fern/Moss, Anubias, and Moneywort. Again, keeping it low light ;)
    The seller mentioned there may be some ramshorn snails on the plants. Will this be a problem?
    Feel free to suggest some low lights plants and to tell me if you have plants up for sale!! ;)
    All advice and suggestions are greatly appreciated!! Thank you in advance!!!
     
  2. Dolfan Fishlore VIP Member

    Sounds like you have a good start and plan.

    As for some good low light plants to start with, java moss, java fern, hornwort, frogbit, bacopa, anubias, water wisteria, amazon swords, and crypt wenditi, to name a few. I sell a few of these and will ship anywhere in the US, but due to fishlore rules you are required to have 50 posts. So give me a shout once if you are interested when you hit the 50 mark.

    Plants I currently am selling (it changes as I have them available) - frogbit, hornwort, water wisteria, bacopa, rotala. Working on getting my subwassertang and java moss to grow back in so I have enough to sell.

    I forgot to add about your lighting....Are you using screw in spiral CFL bulbs? If not, you should be as they are better then regular incandescent bulbs. Try to get something in the 6500k range.
     

  3. FishyWater2525 Member Member

    Thanks Dolfan!!! I'll definitely look I to that when I get 50 posts! And no, I'm not using the screw in spiral CFL bulbs, although I've looked at them and thought about buying them. I just don't know if they would fit because my incandescent bulbs are 6 inches long and those are only 4-5 inches long.... Do you think they would still work? And do you know if maybe Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby (someplace like that) sells them? I saw some prices and it was $10 for one bulb... I really don't want to spend that much. Is there a place to find them cheaper? Thanks!
     
  4. _Fried_Bettas_ Well Known Member Member

    I remember buying screw in CFL bulbs at Walmart (in the fish department) for about $5 each,but its been a few years back. With the incandescent lighting, I would not bother trying to grow plants as I am almost certain that even anacharis would wither away. The only plants that might survive under those lights would be java moss, java ferns, and anubias, period. It is my opinion you would be best using Flourish, in low doses (at water changes) to ensure the very basic needs of the plants are met, but the other stuff is certainly unnecessary under ultra low light conditions.
     

  5. FiscCyning Member Member

    The fish department at Walmart does still sell CFL bulbs for about $5 (I bought one just last week) that replace that size incandescent bulb. Petsmart also sells them, but for the same bulb (but brand name) they charge $10-13. Wherever you buy it, open the box first to make sure it isn't damaged since I've seen several broken bulbs still on the shelves.
     
  6. FishyWater2525 Member Member

    Thanks!!!
    I'll definitely look into buying some CFL bulbs at Wal-Mart either today or tomorrow. From what I understand I need a Daylight 6500k, but is there a certain color I need? (White, clear, blue) And how many watts should I get?
     
  7. FishyWater2525 Member Member

    I think I may have found the perfect bulb! There's just one glitch..... I'm not so sure about the measurements.
    The bulbs that go to the tank are
    6" L x 1.3" W x 2.6" H

    The bulbs I'm thinking about buying are
    5.84" L x 1.97" W x 4.06" H

    The first two measurements aren't too far off, but the third has me thinking. Honestly, I don't even know how to measure the height! The way I see it, the bulb is a circle, so it can only be measured two ways. Side to side and up and down. Where is the 3rd measurement coming from??? Do you guys think the bulb might fit?

    The name of the bulb is
    GE Energy Smart Spiral CFL 10w T2 Spiral 3 pack
    The bulbs are 10 watts a piece and the description says it is a "soft white"
    I couldn't find a Kelvin rating, but I did save the picture. (Courtesy of Walmart.com) 0004316868504_300X300.jpg
    What do you guys think? Good bulb or bad bulb?


    *Edit*
    I just found that I can also get the exact bulb in "Daylight"!
     

  8. FishyWater2525 Member Member

    Update!

    The plants came in earlier today and I went to town to find some bulbs. (The plants came a little early...) I found the perfect bulb in the most unexpected place..... Publix!!!
    The bulbs fit perfectly. They are spiral screw in CFL bulbs. They're 9w and 6500k and are also Daylight bulbs!
    My last question though... Can someone please explain the need of ferts and how to use them? I'm sooooo confused on the ferts!!!
    Thank you! And sorry for so many questions!!
     
  9. _Fried_Bettas_ Well Known Member Member

    You need very little when it comes to ferts. You could probably get by without them with really low light. Flourish Comprehensive is usually recommended because it has a little of everything. This way your plants are ensured to have the critical nutrients necessary. I would probably dose the amount on the bottle but just once a week when you do a water change. This is a topic that can get extremely complicated and I'm sure someone can post a link to a article that goes into it at depth, I don't have on at hand. But you don't need to know all that, just do the minimum until you decide to run something more intensive than a low light tank. The 10 gallon will have the stronger lights and if you start seeing algae you might consider adding Excel as a carbon source.
     
  10. FishyWater2525 Member Member

    Thank you _Fried_Bettas_!!!!!!
    What would you consider really low light? The bulbs are 9w a piece so that means 1.8 watts per gallon. Is that low light enough???? And if I'm planning to do an overgrown type look with lots of low light plants, should I add ferts? And lastly, about how much is a bottle of Flourish Comprehensive?
    Haha. There I go with all the Questions again ;)
     

  11. _Fried_Bettas_ Well Known Member Member

    1.8 watts per gallon is a solid low light tank. Generally anything between 1.5 & 2 watts is a typical low light with anything less than 1.5 being something less. The watt per gallon is not the best guide as different lights CFL/T8/T5/T5HO etc are not all equal, but it is close enough for a general guide. If you pack the tank with plants, you will definitely want to use ferts because even in low light that many will consume what compounds/minerals are in tap water and will need something more. A 250 ml bottle of Flourish is about $6 online at Amazon and should go a long ways in your situation. You might be tempted to try a different brand, but it is my impression is that most other comparable products are far more diluted than SeaChem's and not actually any savings.

    I would be very cautious with how long you run the lights in the beginning, even with low light long photoperiods quickly grow algae. I would start with no more than 8 hours/day, you might add an hour or two once the tank is established with plants and has been running awhile to get the most growth.
     
  12. FishyWater2525 Member Member

    Thank you sooo much! You made it a lot less confusing than some of the articles I've read... ;)
    I've set up a light schedule of 11:00 - 3:00 and 5:00 - 9:00. A total of 8 hours!
    Thanks everybody!! _Fried_Bettas_ FiscCyning Dolfan