New 30 gallon and first planted tank

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by Jon25, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. Jon25

    Jon25Valued MemberMember

    I got a new 30 gallon tank for Christmas and want to try a planted aquarium. I ordered some Eco complete substrate for it. But don't know much about planting or what else is needed. Any advice on what would be good for a beginner?
  2. klogue2

    klogue2Valued MemberMember

    Hi! I'm a newbie planter myself :) but I'll share with you what I've learned so far!

    You'll need a good light fixture, preferably T5 or T5HO(high output). T5HO being best from what I've researched. These aren't cheap but I got mine for $50, it's a coralife aqua light T5 fixture and I was told the stock bulbs it comes with would grow low-moderate light plants.

    Depending on how much light you use you'll possibly need CO2. The more light you have, the faster your plants will grow, however that also means the more nutrients they need to grow. You can do liquid CO2 or you could use a CO2 system.
    (this paragraph may be incorrect, I believe I got the gist of it though but wait for another member to verify! :))

    Your substrate (Eco complete) has nutrients and fertilizers in it so I don't think you need any other supplements necessarily.

    Some good starter plants are crypts, Anubias, java moss and java fern, ludwigia, water wisteria, and more! You can always ask if there's a certain plant you'd like whether it would be suitable for your aquarium.

    That's all I can think of for now, good luck!
  3. fishaddiction

    fishaddictionValued MemberMember

    Swords are good but need good lighting.
  4. AlyeskaGirl

    AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    What plants you want to keep depends on your lighting. What is your lighting? T8, T12, LED etc.

    You also need to think if you want a low, moderate or highlight. Moderate to highlight you start to get into CO2 supplementation and balanced fertilizers. Highlight it is a requirement. These setups require extra care; 50% weekly water changes, trimming and dosing fertilizers almost daily.

    For a beginner low light would be a good start with Java Fern, Java Moss, Anubias, Cryptocoryn varaties, Dwarf Sags. Water Wisteria can be left floating in a low light setup. This is a way to get your feet wet and understand a planted tank, then you could upgrade down the road.

    Here's a great link to a article written by a member who has helped me and still dose.

    Welcome to FL
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  5. catsma_97504

    catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to the world of a planted tank! This dive can be a pleasant one or it can be the reason for every gray hair that you see.

    As stated above it all starts with your lighting. Not only do you need the right amount of light, but you also need the correct spectrum. Post what your current fixture is, include pictures of the printing on the tubes if you don't know and we can determine what you have. Are you planning on using the lighting that came with the tank or on upgrading it? This makes a difference.

    Ask all the questions you need to. No such thing as a "stupid question".
  6. jetajockey

    jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    Agreed, it can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. It's a lot of fun and addictive!
  7. OP

    Jon25Valued MemberMember

    It currently has t5 6500k lighting. Is that going to be good enough for a couple marimo balls, java fern, and maybe anubis? And another question, do i need to cycle the tank before i put in plants?
  8. jetajockey

    jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    Is it a single t5? Normal output or high output? Either way on a 30g it's probably enough to keep most plants alive, especially the ones you listed. You can add the plants at any point, they actually help the cycle along a bit anyway.
  9. catsma_97504

    catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    Assuming you have standard fluorescent lighting and not high output lighting. With this assumption I'd say you have low lighting. But, can easily grow the plants listed.

    Plants can go into an uncycled tank. In fact, as they consume ammonia they actually help the cycling process. Of course, this is not true of fish and inverts.
  10. OP

    Jon25Valued MemberMember

    It's a double light fixture not sure if the are NO or HO. My wife got it used, but it's new to me :). All I really know is it is an odessea fixture and the bulbs say odessea t5 bulb 6500 k daylight.
  11. catsma_97504

    catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    If you had high output the tubes would state they were T5HO. You have standard fluorescent lighting. But it will work for low to low moderate plants. There are many lower light plants that will do well in this type of environment.
  12. jetajockey

    jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    It might be a t5ho, I don't know if oddysea makes T5no anymore. You should be able to read the lettering on the bulb to get an idea, if it's 54w it's HO.
  13. LyleB

    LyleBWell Known MemberMember

    Limited knowledge here, just getting into plants myself, but:

    If this is a used fixture, do you have any idea how old the bulbs are? If they are old, it would be a good idea to get new bulbs. While bulbs will continue to give off light, after six months to a year they start to change the spectrum of light they give off, thus may not be very conducive to plant growth.

    I believe T5HO last longer than standard, but someone else will chime in to clarify, I'm sure.

    Good luck. Lots more plants available now then there used to be.