Looking for plant help - substrate and lighting?

  1. b

    bowen747x Valued Member Member

    I am setting up my first tank, reading anything I can find online and it is quite a lot to take . I have a 55 gallon tank with dimensions of 48" x 13" x 21" and I am going freshwater. the tank came with TWO full-spectrum flourescent lights, each bulb is 15 watts and 24" long. From what I am reading this would be the bare minimum for low light plants??

    If I upgrade my lighting, would I be needing a big upgrade? I plan on keeping low light plants (as I am sticking to beginning guides) and I am liking the idea of Java Fern or Java Moss with Driftwood, but have not bought anything yet. I also read that top-floating plants can cause additional shade which may reduce algae, but is this something I should stay away from with low wattage lights? Sunlight is not a problem for my tank.

    I have not made any real decisions on fish yet. I dont think I like "algae eater" fish so, I think I might go with Cherry Shrimp for algae, but any recommendations in this area? I know some gravel is bad for certain algae eaters, while others can be too rough on plants?? I was also wondering about substrate and/or fetilizer. I read that I should use a fine grain gravel, or Pea Gravel?? But I do not really know anything about plants, any other tips for a beginner? :) Much Thanks!
  2. CichlidSWAGA

    CichlidSWAGA Well Known Member Member

    Go to YouTube and look up dustinsfishtanks channel he has great advise to set up a planted tank