Question About Real Plants Question 

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ExiledxAssassin

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Alright, well I know a lot of you know A LOT about real plants, well i'm thinking about getting a few, but not sure which ones yet. Well I was just wondering a few questions.

1. How do you take care of them?
2. Is it more expensive to take care of them?
3. Do you just put them in and let them grow?

I've seen at the store that there are special "plant growing" light bulbs, (4.)Would I need to get one of those?

5. What is the C02 I hear everyone talking about on here? How do you use it?

Sorry so many questions before I go getting myself into problems
 

Paigee

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Hi ExiledxAssassin, welcome to FL
I'm a newbie too, but I have started a planted tank so I thought I would share my experience, being a beginner at plants as well.

I got some low light plants from my LFS, and put them in with the stock lighting that came with my Aqueon 29 gallon. However, after some thought, I decided I didn't want to be limited to what I could grow, so I splurged on a Coralife Aqualight 30", with one 10000K bulb and 1 6700K bulb. It is VERY bright! And plants are doing better than ever.

This was expensive though, so if you stick with low light plants, you should do ok. What kind of lighting does your tank have? And I am not entirely sure on the requirements of C02, but I am going to do an easy DIY set up to get some in my tank... I saw some before and after pics of people who installed C02 and wow what a difference!

So that is my 2 cents.... I'm sure plenty of others with muuuch more experience will also chime in and help answer your questions
 

jetajockey

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co2 is carbon dioxide, plants use it as food, basically. Your best bet starting off is to do a lowlight setup. This is all I do personally, since I'm not into fertilizing, co2 dosing, or anything like that. I have plants like anacharis, cabomba, various mosses, najas grass, and some sort of aponogetons, and I don't do anything with them other than trim them down when they are going haywire everywhere. A good area to shoot for is around 1.5 WPG, and no you don't need a special plant bulb, but definitely get screw in fluorescent at the least, because they are far superior to incandescent. Grow bulbs do help because they specifically target the light spectrum that plants thrive in, but in a low light setup I don't think they are that necessary.

Like I said before, I haven't delved into the realm of Co2 or fertilizing, so I can't help there. Hope this helps. Take care!
 

catsma_97504

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As you only have the standard fluorescent lighting that came with your tank, you will be limited to low light plants. Java Moss, Java Fern, Anubias are good plants to start with. They prefer to be tied to rocks or driftwood instead of being planted in the substrate.

As you do not have a stronger light, like Paigee purchased, you probably will not need to worry about CO2. A good plant fertilizer is Flourish Complete. Although, I'm not sure that it would be necessary either. I'm sure someone else will come along who has more experience with low light plant environments who could clarify if you needed ferts or not.

Good luck!
 
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ryanr

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Hi Exiled,
Excellent advice above.

Your questions above are all related to what type of plants you want to have.

Many hobbyists have great success with low-tech planted aquariums, whilst the more serious have spent a small fortune on very high-tech setups.

A great resource for planted tanks is

They have some great guides to maintanence and requirements etc.

Our resident expert here at fishlore is Nutter. (you may like to search for his profile and have a look at some of his tanks/setups)

If you can ascertain what type of lighting you currently have, and how deep your tank is, I'm sure we can assist with some suitable plants that won't require any upgrades to your current setup.

Some general answers to you questions above:
1) Like all plants, some require regular trimming, others (such as anubias) do not. Regular water changes are still required.

2) Depends on the setup.
Low-tech setups generally cost no more, except that the purchase of plants may cost more than artificial ones.
Medium-tech do cost a little more - substrate (it's like potting mix for the aquarium), lighting, fertilisers, CO2 (DIY solutions work great, and cost next to nothing)
High-tech cost more - high light requirements, fertilisers, pressurised CO2

3) With the exception of maintanence, yes pretty much plant and let grow. If you're going medium to high tech, then a regular fertiliser regime is required, as well CO2 top-up.

4) Lighting: yes there are specific light spectrums that some plants need. Your requirement for specific lighting will depend on the setup.

5) CO2: like on the land, plants breathe CO2 (carbon dioxide) and convert it to oxygen. In a low-tech setup, generally the fish produce enough CO2 for the plants. In medium-high setups, the injection of CO2 is required. There are two types, the most common (and cheapest) is a DIY Sugar/Yeast setup, in high tech setups, pressurised (gas bottle) and regulated CO2 is required.

Hope I haven't bombarded you, but get back to us with your tank properties and what plants you'd like to keep.
 

Aquarist

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Good morning,

I have moved your thread to the Aquarium Plants section of the forum.

Thanks!

Ken
 
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ExiledxAssassin

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Hello, the bulb says "ALL-GLASS AQUARIUM... 17W...Aquarium Lamp (HG) Rapid Start).

The tank is:
Length: 36"
Depth: 12"
Height: 16"
or (29.9G)
 

angelfish220

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17watts / 30 gallon = .56667 wpg (watts per gallon)

Under this lighting you will be able to raise the very minimal of foliage. Moss and maybe some aponogetons (these I just buy the 'plant bulbs' that they sell at walmart or the LFS and they grow fast enough) A few anibus might grow as well, but very slowly.

I would suggest getting either another light fixture, or a planted tank bulb. On my 55 gallon tank I have a 40 watt bulb meant for growing plants. This is also very little light but I am able to grow java moss aponogeton anibus and an amazon sword.
 

izzyfishfarmer

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some good advice up there
if you buy the plant bulbs keep the packageing in case ur not satisfied they will send you replacements that will be in good condition in my experience if you have a trust worthy lfs they wont let you buy anything you cant handle but then again not everyone is that way good luck and let us know how it goes with som pics maybe

______________
Izzy out
 
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ExiledxAssassin

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I think the max wattage I could get for mine is 30W, is this correct? That's all I am seeing so far on a few different sites.

(36" length)

Edit: I did find more (T5) and they go up to 39W. Which here is one I found for fairly cheap.



Would that work the same as the Fluorescent Bulbs?
 

catsma_97504

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ExiledxAssassin said:
Hello, the bulb says "ALL-GLASS AQUARIUM... 17W...Aquarium Lamp (HG) Rapid Start).
The 17W light is usually 24 inches, not 36. Measure the length of the bulb to be sure.
 
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ExiledxAssassin

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catsma_97504 said:
The 17W light is usually 24 inches, not 36. Measure the length of the bulb to be sure.
Thankfully you said something about that, yes it is actually 24 inches not 36.

So is the highest wattage the 24" bulbs go 24W? That's all i'm seeing for them
 
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ryanr

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The wattage is dependant upon the ballast (the electronics that power the tube), and depending on the size of the tube, there are some 'standard' wattage ratings.

The Tx indicates the diameter of the tube in x/8", such that T5 = 5/8" diameter, T8 = 1" diameter etc.

So, for standard ballasts and tubes, a 2ft tube (24") =
T8 = 17W
T5NO/HE = 14W (Normal Output/High Efficiency)
T5HO = 24W (High Output - the most common in T5 Aquarium lighting)

sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluorescent_lamp_nomenclature

Not to confuse you, but there is also CFL (Compact Flourescent) which have a range of wattages, as well as Metal Halide (typical in Reef setups) that produce much higher wattages.

For your light, 17W HG, the HG more than likely means Mercury (Hg = Mercury in the table of elements). And is probably a T8 tube/ballast setup. It should be printed somewhere on the tube.

NOTE: - You can not mix wattages of tubes, such that if you were to find a higher rated T8 tube, you can not just put it in the fitting. You would need to upgrade the ballast as well.

Hope that helps.
 

snail_chen

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It depends on your budget. If you buy from your LFS, you will only get very limited varieties. If you are willing to invest a CO2 system, T5 lighting, you will be well rewarded! Once you start planting, you will never want to use those artificial plant! I even don't have to clean my fish tank for half a year and no algae problem. I have collected 80 different aquatic plant species. Some of them, are hard to keep, but still worth trying. This forum does not focus on aquatic plants, that is sad. If you visit Asia like HongKong, you will be suprised by the diversity - a whole street is filled with stores exclusively selling aquatic plants.
 
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