Low light plant size & Using Fert?

Discussion in 'Plant Fertilizers' started by FLGirl, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. FLGirl

    FLGirlWell Known MemberMember

    Hey! With everyones help here Iv been making a list of plants to check out at LFS and LPS. Iv been also trying to write down all the names and if they have to be tied, anchored or planted. heres just the reg names...

    Java Fern
    Java Moss
    Bolbitis Fern
    Moss Balls
    Water Wisteria
    Water Sprite

    Some of these I'm considering more than others...mostly the ones that lean more towards low low light. Anyone have opinions about sizes? With my standard with hood 18w light, no co2 and no fert? What sizes they will grow to and how fast? Like more simply what would each one be: large (good for my back) Medium (good for right infront of back) Small (sides infront of middle) just as a basic guide....I know my categories are weird but its just for me to get a better idea :D

    Also Iv been thinking that I might use fertilizer, If its just tablets or something thats not to big of a deal if the benefits are good if they are fine without it thats cool too. will this bother fish? Let me know what you think.

    If you know of another low light plant feel free to mention. I'm going to check out what all the stores carry around me but am b ringing my list. Thanks so much for helping me you guys! :;f
  2. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Nutter and Nate will be great at answering this.

    As for tabs vs liquid, the tabs are great for rooted plants, liquid ferts are great for mosses and anubias on driftwood etc (cos they can't root into the substrate to draw nutrients)

    A lot of people have great success with low-light plants and no extra fertilisation/co2. Others (like myself) use a combination of tabs and liquid (see my aquarium info for what I use), but I may not be the best to comment, given I'm having some issues atm.

  3. Nutter

    NutterFishlore VIPMember

    The good news is that most of those are low light plants, there are a few that are low-med light.

    The Crypts & Anubius are nothing more than a family name that contains many different species with different sizes & light requirements, so rather than give sizes etc, here are a couple of links for you to search for the specific plants you are interested in & find out about sizes & requirements:

    If you have any questions that are not answered in the plant profiles I'll do my best to answer them for you.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
  4. OP

    FLGirlWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks, I keep getting ''Could not locate remote server'' on the second link but I got the first. Iv been looking at all the crypts i think undulate and spiraled where the ones suggested for me and Anubias Nana I think is the other one. I figured I would check out what they have. Will the plants grow to what that site says in my environment?
  5. Nutter

    NutterFishlore VIPMember

    The second link should be ok. It's working for me.

    Given that the plants grow well & are healthy (sufficient light & nutrients), then they should attain the sizes in the profiles. The trouble with plants is that they can vary greatly in size even within a single species. As an example I've had Water Sprite that outgrew a 6x2x2ft tank. Another Water Sprite, bought at the same time & kept in the same tank only achieved 1ft. Some plants are just stronger then others.
  6. Elodea

    ElodeaWell Known MemberMember

    I think they will.

    If I may, could I also suggest Java moss and Java fern?

    Java moss, Java fern, and anubias all should be rubber-banded or tied to driftwood, rocks, or ornaments.

    Java moss looks good stuck to driftwood, it gives a smooth, natural effect. It may not start growing until the first or second month that since it is introduced, so give it time before removing rubber bands. Thread would disintegrate naturally. Java moss is also pretty good at getting lots of debris stuck into it, so you should sweep your hand over it time to time to clean it.

    Java fern grows out of rhizome tangled with brown roots. The rhizome should be strapped to a rock, driftwood, or resin ornament, as it does not fare well in gravel. Give Java fern about 2 months and it will be secured enough to whatever it's sticking to. Java fern propogates with tiny little plantlets that grow from the tips of the parent fern's leaves. Those will normally break off by themselves, and you could leave them free-floating in the tank until they grow large enough to be tied themselves.

    The same applies to Anubias nana, except that instead of propagating with plantlets, you can just cut the rhizome into different parts when it grows large enough.

    Crypts come in many types, and are often characterized by their ruffled leaves. When first bought, they may go through something called "crypt melt" where their leaves slowly dissolve. Don't worry, most likely, they'll heal afterwards. The gravel should be very nutritious, such as Seachem Flourite, and at least 2 inches deep. It will also be good if you supplement them with root tab fertilizers. Crypts are rosette plants that propagate by sending "runners" through the gravel, which, once grow their own roots and grow to a decent size, can be carefully snipped from the parent plant and planted elsewhere.

    Good luck!
  7. OP

    FLGirlWell Known MemberMember

    Ok Cool! I think I might start with the javas. i know iv seen them around the LS :) I'm going to go research more (i checked the link again and it work, yay!) [= Thanks yall!
  8. Nate McFin

    Nate McFinWell Known MemberMember

    Crypts are my favorite plants. They come in so many colors, leaf textures, and sizes. Everything from the "houseplant green" colored C. Lutea (4-6") to Brownish colored "Bronze" (4-6") to the very beautiful C. Usteriana which is green on top and pink underneath. Crypts tend to be mid to fore ground plants but have a few varieties which get taller. Most reach heights of 4-6 inches. C. Affinis can reach heights of 14" and C. Cordata grows 16-20". Then there are small varieties such as C. Parva which only gets
    2" tall or so. C. Spiralis has a tall grassy look and makes a great background plant.
    Note crypts do not like to be moved around and will melt as Elodea mentioned. If you are the type of person who likes to "redecorate" and move plants around alot crypts wil not be the best choice.

    I too use a combo of liquid and tabs as mentioned. I use tabs for all heavy root feeders such as Crypts and Wisteria. Note though that root feeders also feed from the leaves as well. I would use root tabs first and if you see the need later to gove them a boost go for the liquid as well. I just started using root capsules from www.rootmedic.net they are cheaper than Seachem and I have had a huge jump in growth with them. He is also a very nice guy who runs this business from his home.
    As far as far as Co2 goes...wait and see. You may be able to get by without addition of Co2 you may not. Algae and or stunted growth will be the signs you may need it. DIY Co2 is very easy to do though if you do need it or Flourish Excel (liquid carbon supplement) is easy to use as well.
    When I first started my tank I saw almost no growth for 4-5 months. I was fighting algae as well. I was dosing ferts and using tabs...nothing. I was about ready to give up when I tried DIY Co2. BINGO! Plants look great now. I was not heavily stocked but I was not getting enough Co2 to keep the plants happy.
    Your plants will let you know what needs to be done if you learn the signs to watch for.
    Post pics when you have them BTW!
    Best Wishes,
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2010