What plants can I put in my 29 gal? Question

  1. C

    Charlemagne Valued Member Member

    Ok, I know pretty much nothing about live aquarium plants, but I'd like to get some. Right now, I have only a 17 watt bulb(I was shocked when i checked it) for my tank, but if I got plants, I'd definitely get a 30 or 60 watt at least. I'd like some low maintenance grass-like plants to carpet the bottom of my tank. I don't want to have to do CO2 injections, or buy any kind of sand. I have standard fishtank gravel in my tank. I don't know if there is such a type of plant, but any help would be greatly appreciated. (especially comments w/ pics of the plants, or with links about them attatched) I have a couple questions:
    1) How would this effect how I would vacuum out the tank? Would I be able to without damaging the plant's roots?
    2) Would I have to trim the plants or pick off excess growth? (This may sound reeeeeally stupid and ignorant, but I'd kinda like something I can just plant, get a bigger light for, and it will just grow and look pretty)
    3) I have a betta, a platy, a black skirt tetra, a neon tetra, a black mystery snail, and a male fiddler crab. Will any of these hurt the plants?
    Thanks so much guys! I've been asking a whole lot of questions, and you've all been really great about answering promptly. I love this website, and wish I'd found it a whole lot sooner.
     
  2. Nutter

    Nutter Fishlore VIP Member

    Given that you don't want to be supplementing with co2 I advise you to stick with less than 60w of light over your tank. Anymore than that & you will need to start adding a carbon source & nutrients to keep the algae at bay. If you choose a T5HO light then stay under 30w as they put out much more light per watt than standard flourescents. You will have a difficult time growing any plants that resemble grass in the tank without higher levels of lighting & the use of co2. Making a carpet out of Java Moss or some other low light plant would be your best bet.

    1: Once the plants are established you should have no trouble with the vaccuuming. Don't dig into the substrate with the gravel vac, just skim it over the surface to remove wastes. If you do dig into the gravel only do the top 1/4". If you dig down any further you will damage the plants roots as well as suck out the mulm which the plants feed off & disturb the beneficial bacteria population in the gravel.

    2: Hopefully you will!! All plants will need trimming periodically, especially if they are growing well.

    3: The fish won't ham the plants but I don't know about the crab. It should be ok though I think.
     
  3. Aquarist

    Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member

  4. OP
    OP
    C

    Charlemagne Valued Member Member

    Thanks! Your replies were really helpful! One more question: Can I add the plants if I already have fish in the tank? I probably won't do it if I have to start all over again. Could I just add a couple plants while the fish are still in there? Thanks for your help!
     
  5. Nutter

    Nutter Fishlore VIP Member

    Yes you can add plants while the fish are in the tank. If you want to add heaps of plants then just put the fish in a bucket of tank water while you do the work to minimise stress. If you only want to do 6 or so plants then do it while the fish are in there.
     
  6. bassbonediva

    bassbonediva Fishlore VIP Member

    With the light that you have (standard fixture that comes on the 29gal), you're kind of limited on what plants you can have. Low light plants such as water wisteria and some swords will work best. I had an amazon sword, water wisteria, micro sword (wouldn't recommend it since it's technically a high light plant...I had it in there only temporarily until I moved it to my 55gal), and java fern in my 29gal with that light and it did really well.
     
  7. N

    Neji Valued Member Member

    I have a 29 gallon tank too :) Do you find any lights that are higher than 20 watts? Mine is 20 watt 6,500k and I can grow a bunch of amazon swords well :) You should really get some amazon swords :D they grow very well with 20 w lights but it has to be fluorescent light. A lot of low light plants are usually like Crypts or Anubias. Cabombas do really well too since they are low light plants but they need a lot of trimming and pruning, and some fishes will up root them.

    As far as I know, the fishes you have in your tank shouldn't hurt the plants. The crab is okay, I doubt they eat plants but then again... I have never had any crabs in my tank before. Tetras might eat java ferns, but java ferns grow pretty fast if you have good lighting. My 10 gallon has 30 watts and I have a bunch of java ferns in my tank and they grow very well in high and low lighting so I definitely recommend you getting them :)

    As far as I know for gravel vacuuming. I gently dig my gravel vac down into the gravel and never damaged any roots :) even if I did damage the roots of my amazon swords (since they are all over my tank) the roots always grow back so they aren't too much of a hassle for me to worry about. I change about 4 gallons of water every week just to get the water clean, and help my fish grow faster and are more healthier :) cleaner water = healthy, strong fish :)

    If you don't want to use C02 since I don't use C02 I recommend you get some fertilizer. I use all purpose fertilizer from my local aquarium store and they are really really good! Flourish is another good brand and they make very good fertilizers for aquatic plants, so I definitely recommend you get some fertilizer since all plants need some source of nutrients just like how we need calcium and iron to have strong bones :)

    I hope this helps!