First time planted tank!

CJLand

Hello, ive been keeping aquariums for probably around 8 years now, but have never done a planted tank and ive been wanting to for quite a while. Im gonna try it out on a 29 gallon tank because it isnt too large or too small. The tank isnt up and running yet, and i do not have a light. Ill be able to start the tank up in a few weeks and cycle it etc. Im just gonna have gravel, i know its an inert substrate but i really just plan on a very basic low light setup. Ive been researching plants and having a planted tank for well over a year and i have a pretty good idea of what to do. Im just wondering what the best light would be for a 29 gallon tank. The dimensions are 30 x 12 inches, the height is around 18 inches i believe. I dont think ill need something extremely bright, something designed for low lighted plants of course but nothing crazy. I won't have any kind of c02 system. I will dose the tank with nutrients when needed. Something thats a little bit confusing still is just finding the balance with it all. Knowing if its getting enough nutrients for the amount of light etc. I assume there will be enough c02 from the fish and tank in general to sustain plants. Since i have no experience its kind of live and learn. Any recommendations for finding that balance? And what lights do you recommend for that sized tank? Also, im getting a 75 gallon soon and i would like to plant that tank in the future. Id prefer to get experience first with something smaller. But any recommendations for good lights for a 75 gallon? It'll probably be the same low light setup. Thanks for any help!
 

Convoluted77

I havnt tried many lights but I do like my fennix stingray2 on my 29.I have mostly lower light plants.(java fern,java moss,anubias,red tiger lotus and lots of water sprites both planted and floating).I feel like it does it great job with my perticular plants.
 
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Nomofish

I've had tanks for years also but just this year removed my fake plants and got a few stems of water wisteria and a couple Amazon swords for my 40 gallon, it has the cheap led lights that come with aqueon 45 gallon setup (which is actually 40 gallons) a couple root tabs and some liquid fert used only a couple times and here we are 3 months in!
 

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java moss and duck week and riccia and flame moss are all very easy plants to keep
 
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Nickguy5467

you sir sound like you need some Fahn
 
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why would u say that all i ment by what i said is thoughs plants are easy to keep
 
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EbiAqua

you sir sound like you need some Fahn

CJLand for lighting I highly recommend the Finnex Stingray 2, they should make a 30" model. It is an upgrade to the Stingray which I used to run on my 29 gallon low-tech planted tank with very good results.

For substrate consider doing a plant fertilizing layer capped with fine gravel. Something like osmocote or Thrive capsules broken apart and sprinkled, then capped.

Plants to consider, based on my experience:

1: Cryptocorynes - slow growing, thrive in subdued lighting, spread via underground runners, heavy root feeders that love potassium; avoid Cryptocoryne parva for now as it is extremely slow growing, prone to algae, and needs higher light than most crypts IME

2: Hygrophila corymbosa - medium-fast growth rate, prefers medium to high light but will grow in lower lighting. There are other varieties of Hygrophila to consider as well.

3: Ludwigia repens - medium-fast growth rate, similar needs to H. corymbosa; under intense light blushes pink and yellow, under more subdued light stays bright green

4: Dwarf water lilies - dwarf lilies such as Nymphaea aquatica do well in all ranges of light. In intense light they produce shorter lily pads that remain aquatic, in low light they send pads all the way to the surface. They are heavy root feeders and in intense lighting will turn red, brown, or even purple.

5: Dwarf sag - Sagittaria subulata is a great"carpeting" plant. I carpeted my 29 with the older model of Stingray, so it should definitely work with the newer model. Prefers nutrient-rich substrate; in intense lighting stays shorter and more compact, in subdued lighting grows up to 12" in height.

6: Swords - The Echinodorus family has a lot of interesting plants, some staying as grassy carpeting plants and others growing into meter tall giants that take up most of a tank. I suggest doing some research on which varieties would work for you. They are all heavy root feeders. My favorite, personally, is Echinodorus vesuvius

7: Anubias and Java Ferns - all varieties of both are simple, easy plants that do well in subdued lighting. Don't plant them, simply wedge them into cracks and crevices and over time they attach themselves to surfaces and extract nutrients from the water column. Keep Anubias out of direct intense light as it is prone to algae.
 
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mimo91088

If you want to save some $$$ and you're not doing crazy demanding plants, I recommend a Nicrew light. They're like 40 bucks on Amazon. Mine works great.
 
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Utar

You will need some good fertilizers and Thrive is the way to go. You will need root tabs for rooted plants.
 
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