Planning plants for my new tropical community tank with low light 40 Gallon Tank 

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1 year
I am setting up a 40 gallon acrylic tropical community tank. The water level is only about 12". So there is only about 30 gallon of water. I have flourite substrate. My light hood will only hold 2x 20W T8 bulbs. And I have no plan on spend lots of time maintaining the plants.

There will only be small fish species no more than 2.5" at full adult size.

There will be either red cherry shrimps or yellow shrimps.

There will be some Zebra Nerite Snails.

I do not plan on have overstocked fry to grow up. However, I do hope a few of them will survive and carry on the generations so I don't have to buy more when the fish die of old age. So I will leave the fry (fish and shrimp) to survive on their own with other adult fish swim around.

Note: Low light. 2x20W for 30 gallon of water is about 1.3 WPG.
First, I am looking for some short bush like plants that are no more than 3" high(could be slightly higher) for small fry to hide. I like them to look nice, green, flat and spread out, while stay short. So there will be enough area for the views while it won't take much tank space. Keywords - Stay short. I have no problem for them to grow sideways but I want slow growth.
One more thing, I'd like them to have roots and be able to attachment themselves. I don't like to floating around or need to be secured by me forever.

So far I found Christmas Moss and Taiwan Moss look just like how I want them to look like.
I also like to have at least one of them having the type of leafs look like this

(Not this particular plants because it doesn't meet other requirements.)
I'd like to have small leafs just like that and lots lots of them look like a large area of bush but stay short.

Any good suggestions? (low light, bush like, looking great, stay short, good for fry to hide and feed, slow growth, have root system)

Second, I am looking for some good background plants which are at most 8~10" high at max height. They need to look fantastic while also meet the requirements of (low light, slow growth, with good rooting system).
For the background plants, it is ok if GOOD choice have only the limitation of over the max height I set. As long as if they will be ok when I cut them shorter every time they grow higher than I want lol.

Please make suggestions. Best to have pictures and links to buy.


Fishlore Legend
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More than 10 years
Good morning Vash,

I have Annubias and Java Moss in one of my tanks. They've done very well. Requires low light.

Japanese Marimo Balls are really cool and something that you might be interested in. Link below. They usually run around $7 - $10 each.

Here is another link that you may find helpful:

Good luck and I hope you can share some photos once you're all set up.

Once you reach 50 posts you can post in the Fish Lore Buy/Sell/Trade section of the forum.

Have fun and hold on for more responses.



Fishlore VIP
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More than 10 years
Work from the list of plants that I gave you in your other thread & you won't go too far wrong. If I didn't put it on that list already you could probably do Cryptocoryne Parva as your foreground plant though it does have more of a grass look than a bush look. I think I put down almost everything you would be able to grow so go through that list & see what there is that you think would look how you want.


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Just started
IIRC, Xmas moss needs higher light and maybe even CO2 to get the Xmas tree shape. It'll grow under your light, but won't get the shape I think you're after.

Flame moss is awesome and you could attach it to mesh and lay it on your substrate. It grows upward so it'll make the bushy effect you're after and be great for fry of both types.

Aquabid is the best place to buy plants. I just got ten bunches of stem plants, with 5-8 stems per bunch, for $15 shipped. I bet you'd get one or two bunches for that price from liveaquaria.

Nutter's list is pretty comprehensive. I think stem plants would work for your background, they will develop a root system after you stick them in the substrate. You can cut off the tops quick and easy.

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