mid light plants in a low light environment?

frogster221
  • #1
the guy at the lfs told me to put a cardinal plant into my 20 gallon tank unfortunatly he didnt tell me that I had a low light environment (I didnt know about wpg or different lights then oops! now I do) well the cardinal plant has struggled to live but it just now has detached itself from its roots and is now floating directly under the lights. I like the plant but I don't know how I can save it. I can't get a new light. so here are my options please help me pick which one to choose. or come up with your own.
1. let it float near the light to recive more light.
2. I can't think of any more so I really need help
 
Isabella
  • #2
If you have not, you may want to read this first to get an idea what low-light and medium-light plants are like, and what they require in order to grow: . Here, you'll also find info on how to plan for a low-light and low-tech tank .

P.S. I'm not sure what kind of a plant a "Cardinal" plant is ???
 
Butterfly
  • #3
cardinal plant
Carol
 
frogster221
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
yep I understand it all now before when I bought the plant I didnt I have less than 1 wpg in the 20 and the cardinal plant needs abot 1.5 to 2 wpg and I don't have that so I was wondering wat could I do to keep the cardinal plant alive without buying new lights. I also use flourish after each water change which are every weekend not sure if this changes anything.
 
Isabella
  • #5
Well, I guess just give it a try in the setup you already have. Won't hurt to try and see if and how it will grow. If it won't do well, then you'll know it's too demanding for your setup.
 
frogster221
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
could I just leave the light on longer during the day or would that possibly cause harm to my tank and inhabitants
 
Barbrella
  • #7
At less than 1 wpg, about the only plants to survive will be Java Fern and Java moss so you might want to stick with those.

Fertilizing or letting the plant float near the light really won't change the fact that it needs more wpg to live. In fact, fertilizing a sick or dying plant will hasten the death of it.
 
frogster221
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
o ill stop fertilizing then or move ir I'm not sure yet
 
angelfish220
  • #9
I have water whisteria in a less than wpg and it is going fine. didnt know if that would help any.
 
frogster221
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
I think I have wisteria but it only grow near the light no deeper
 
Barbrella
  • #11
I also had Wisteria in less than 1 wpg. It did fine for awhile, then ultimately started get very leggy, then to rot and die. It took about 5 months to die, so you could keep it temporarily! It's a fairly inexpensive plant (I get a huge tall bunch for about 4$), so replacing it every few months is doable.
 
frogster221
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
mine has lived for half a year I just clip off the large upper leave and move them back to the gravel where they grow roots and make a nice minI forest for my cory. my wisteria grow fine it just doesn't grow when the taller larger leaves shade the bottom leaves
 
Blub
  • #13
Why not put reflectors on your bulbs? That should bring it up to about 1.5WGP.

Cardinal plant (Lobelia cardinalis):

Leaving the light on longer will encourage algae. 8-10 hours is fine.

Good luck!
 
frogster221
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
ok thank you for all of the help
 
_Fried_Bettas_
  • #15
Like a lot of plants sold from pet stores cardinals are not true aquatic plants and do not thrive underwater. If they do not have optimal conditions they just rot away in your tank polluting your water.
 
Blub
  • #16
Like a lot of plants sold from pet stores cardinals are not true aquatic plants and do not thrive underwater. If they do not have optimal conditions they just rot away in your tank polluting your water.
Lobelia cardinalis is an aquatic plant? Dracaeneas and that aren't, but it's listed all other the place as aquatic. Are you thinking of something else?
 
_Fried_Bettas_
  • #17
I am not a expert although I've discussed some of these things with people that grow plants. It is my understanding that cardinalis is a "bog" or amphibious plant, and that plants in this category are generally unsuited for low-light aquariums. Generally a true-aquatic plant with low light will just grow slow, but a bog plant will decay. But again, I may be mistaken or mis-applying a generalization. Anyone, please correct me if I am wrong, I am still trying to learn.
 
frogster221
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
when I bought it it had a tag that said aquarium plant but o well live and learn
 
Blub
  • #19
I am not a expert although I've discussed some of these things with people that grow plants. It is my understanding that cardinalis is a "bog" or amphibious plant, and that plants in this category are generally unsuited for low-light aquariums. Generally a true-aquatic plant with low light will just grow slow, but a bog plant will decay. But again, I may be mistaken or mis-applying a generalization. Anyone, please correct me if I am wrong, I am still trying to learn.

Well, Lobelia cardinalis is an aquatic plant (or rather, grows underwater in med-high light) and a terrestrial plant. It can be grown above and below... My research says. I've seen it at the garden centre as well.

What are you doing with yours anyway Frogster? You never said.
 
frogster221
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
I let it float around the tank for awhile then I finally figured out that my other tank had a higher wpg so I put it in that tank o and it does grow well under water now
 
_Fried_Bettas_
  • #21
I was just trying to say that amphibious plants generally decay under low light underwater. There are many plants available that do fine, you just have to research first. Depending on what you have, often you can find 6700 daylight bulbs that will make plants grow much better with the same limited number of watts.
 
Blub
  • #22
I let it float around the tank for awhile then I finally figured out that my other tank had a higher wpg so I put it in that tank o and it does grow well under water now

Really, it depends on the WPG on the bigger tank. If it's higher than 2 WPG, then it should be good. Lower - well same as before.
If it does not fit in your tanks, what about your garden? You could try planting it up in compost, and planting it out in the garden space?

Next time you go looking for plants, pick out these: Java moss, Java fern (They must be attached to rocks/driftwood with string or fishing line), Anubias species (Can be tied to rocks/wood or planted in the substrate as long as the rhizome is above the substrae) Hornwort and Cryptocoryne species. They are all plants that would do very well in your low-light set-ups. I am a real fan of the anubias and Crypts.
 
frogster221
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
I like the anubias spacies a lot I'm hoping to get more of them
 

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