plants hard- easy -med??

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by melovefish, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. melovefish

    melovefishValued MemberMember

    i have a 30 gallon tank wondering if i should do live plants

    1) does it cost more? (alot more)

    2) how diffucult to keep alive?

    3) pros and cons??

    4) What do i have to buy???.?

    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
  2. jetajockey

    jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    It costs as much as you want it to. Plants are easy to keep alive once you get sufficient lighting for them. The pros are that they filter nitrates and also look great. Fish love them as well. The only cons would be having to prune them periodically, or if you go medium/high tech you have to dose ferts and get co2 set up. It is however competely possible to have a nice planted tank with low intensity lighting that doesn't require fert dosing or co2 injection.
  3. llfish

    llfishWell Known MemberMember

    What type of lighting is recomended? And how would one know if they need Co2 injections...Sorry for adding on to your questions melovefish!:sign0013:
  4. OP

    melovefishValued MemberMember

    im sorry what do mean by prune, and do i need a co2 setup or is that for certain kinds of live plants.

  5. jetajockey

    jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    You can do a low tech setup with no co2, you just have to use a low intensity light. Low intensity lighting means less demand for ferts and co2. It also means slower growth, but that part isn't a big deal as long as the plants stay healthy. Pruning is the act of trimming the plants, since they grow you have to trim them every now and then to either fill in spaces, or just to clear up the clutter look.

    What are your tanks dimensions? I'll try to suggest a decent light.
  6. MotherMajesty:)

    MotherMajesty:)Valued MemberMember

    I'm strictly low tech with plants. I have about 3" - 3.5" gravel bed. I basically unpot the plants and put them in the gravel. No special lighting - I have one of the old light fixtures with the thick tubes with a plant bulb in it. No fertilizers - other than from the fish. :) Of course, this limits the kinds of plants you can grow, but there's still plenty of options. I've had great luck with java fern - tie them to driftwood or a rock, cryptocorene - especially the red & bronze Wendettii, and water Wisteria for a tall plant at the back.
  7. jetajockey

    jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    Here's some photos of tanks that we've done with low-medium light and no co2 injection. Maybe it'll give you a few ideas.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  8. scotty b

    scotty bWell Known MemberMember

    have you looked into/herd of dirt bottom tanks? they are a great affordable way to keep your plants healthy dose your tank get any natural lighting? look into low tech planted tanks also this could help
  9. MotherMajesty:)

    MotherMajesty:)Valued MemberMember

    O-M-G! Those tanks are fantastic - every one! What is the tall plant on the right in the bottom pic?
  10. OP

    melovefishValued MemberMember

    30 inches long 19 inches tall and 12 inches in depth
  11. jetajockey

    jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    If you want to stay low light I suggest at the least a 2 bulb t8 setup, but more ideally a pair of CFL's if you have a screw in fixture. If you are purchasing a light from scratch, look into a 2 bulb t5NO fixture. You could also get away with a 2 bulb t5ho fixture, but it will be a bit higher demand unless you can run a single bulb on it. The nice thing about going with a t5ho though is that youll already have a proper light if you decide to go higher tech later on. The downside is that high light = algae issues if you can't supplement with co2 and ferts.

    The other key is in bulb selection, you want bulbs that are full spectrum, daylight bulbs around 6500k-10000k are most popular.

    Not all fixtures are equal, and there are lots of variables so it's hard to say exactly what to do.

    I've grown plants in a 29 in everything from an old 2 bulb t8 (was so-so, not very good at all), screw in CFL bulbs (decent, still a bit slow though, not great coverage), to dual t5ho's (a ton of light, needed to reduce the intensity or run co2 to compensate.

    @MM the plant in that pic is a Ludwigia hybrid. I have one pic of it that I took last night but don't have any higher quality ones at the moment.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  12. OP

    melovefishValued MemberMember

    thanks you have been tons of HELP!!! THANKS:)