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Old 01-08-2011, 08:18 PM   #1
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Low tech tall plants to hide equipment?

So I finally have some time off from work next week(4 days in a row, woo!), and I am really unhappy that I haven't been able to finish scaping my tank. I kind of just threw things in and cycled it(fishlessly) and added my fish. I need more hiding spaces.. whether plants or caves. Will work on at least one more cave for the left side of the tank.. but I feel like I really need something plant-wise to hide the intake valves and airline tubing, at least partially. Problem is I need them to be low light. I have a soil substrate in the back, but my tank is really deep and until tax time I don't have the funds to upgrade my lights or do co2, though it's something I'd like to eventually move up to. However, at least for this tank the fish come first so I don't want to stress too much on plants.

The bubble wall really needs to be hidden, too, and I may actually replace it with one of the flexible black ones so it goes kind of ninja. It's at least lower down, though, so small plants should do the trick.

Any suggestions? Or do I just need to pretend it doesn't look terrible until I get the funds?
Here's the horrible mess it is right now(ps, pardon the cloudiness, was playing with things and kind of kicked the sand up too much, woops.. plus my java moss is kind of strung everywhere randomly at the moment, lol):

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Old 01-08-2011, 08:31 PM   #2
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Well... you need some pretty tall low light plants. Unfortunately, most stem plants are out with low light.

Hornwort could work really well. It will grow in about any tank under any light. You would just need some plant weights to keep it on the bottom.

You could also probably grow some crypts too, depending on the wattage you currently have.

Check out plantgeek.net under the low light section. It will give you some ideas on what you can grow in a low light setup.

The tank is looking good. Best of luck!
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:44 PM   #3
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This tank has tons of potential!

I used to hide intake intake pipes by attaching java moss to mesh screening and then wrapping around the pipe and tying on with clear fishing line.

It helped draw the eye to the green of the moss and not the pipe.

Also, if you have enought length on the airline tubing, it might help if ran it along the bottom of the tank then up the corner of the tank. It doesn't hide it completely, but it takes it out of the center of the tank and is a lot less distracting. If that is a long stem of arachnis? Replant that just in front of the tubing. Once again, it won't complete hide it, but it will make it less distracting.

Is that Bacopa in the corner? You can cut small pieces off it and plant the cuttings along the back to hide the bubble wall. Plus, if the bacopa (if that's what it is) was shorter it wouldn't be competing with the driftwood for attention.

There are tons of things you can do with a lowlight tank without all the expensive doodads and lights that look fantastic.

If you could make one small purchase, I have found that Excel triples the growth in very low light tanks without additional light or fertz, especially java moss.

In my experience, it is usually better to start with a lowlight planted tank and not worry about getting into highlights until you have pushed lowlight possibilities to the max possible.

Just one point of view here.
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:07 PM   #4
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The only real plant in there at the moment is the java moss. The stringy one is just one strand floating up cause I screwed everything up moving things around. The one on the left is a silk plant I had with my goldfish because they eat everything.

I am basically a plant novice and have never had anything but java moss and anachris. I do have some anachris in with my betta at the moment, so I could use some of that. Plus, of course, I am going to be spending some money on more if I can figure out things I can safely add without killing. I'll definitely check that website out.

I looked up the excel stuff and it seems a lot of people have issues with it "melting" some of their plants(like anachris)? I don't know if that's common or a fluke, though.

I'm going to play with the airline tubing tomorrow for sure and see if I can reposition it so it's not in the middle. As for the java moss on the intake valve.. what kind of mesh is safe to use? Maybe the plastic ones from the craft store?

Appreciate your view point. Your posts are always helpful.

PS: Is bacopa okay in low light? Because I love the look of my fake one but would like to go real.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudraker View Post
This tank has tons of potential!

I used to hide intake intake pipes by attaching java moss to mesh screening and then wrapping around the pipe and tying on with clear fishing line.

It helped draw the eye to the green of the moss and not the pipe.

Also, if you have enought length on the airline tubing, it might help if ran it along the bottom of the tank then up the corner of the tank. It doesn't hide it completely, but it takes it out of the center of the tank and is a lot less distracting. If that is a long stem of arachnis? Replant that just in front of the tubing. Once again, it won't complete hide it, but it will make it less distracting.

Is that Bacopa in the corner? You can cut small pieces off it and plant the cuttings along the back to hide the bubble wall. Plus, if the bacopa (if that's what it is) was shorter it wouldn't be competing with the driftwood for attention.

There are tons of things you can do with a lowlight tank without all the expensive doodads and lights that look fantastic.

If you could make one small purchase, I have found that Excel triples the growth in very low light tanks without additional light or fertz, especially java moss.

In my experience, it is usually better to start with a lowlight planted tank and not worry about getting into highlights until you have pushed lowlight possibilities to the max possible.

Just one point of view here.
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:10 PM   #5
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Thanks! I'll check that website later tonight when I suffer from my insomnia and read geeky fish things until 3am.

I'll definitely look into hornwort.. but what do you weigh them down with? Sorry, probably a totally dumb question!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fort384 View Post
Well... you need some pretty tall low light plants. Unfortunately, most stem plants are out with low light.

Hornwort could work really well. It will grow in about any tank under any light. You would just need some plant weights to keep it on the bottom.

You could also probably grow some crypts too, depending on the wattage you currently have.

Check out plantgeek.net under the low light section. It will give you some ideas on what you can grow in a low light setup.

The tank is looking good. Best of luck!
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:18 PM   #6
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There are a few different methods.

I don't normally recommend these, but they work fine for hornwort.
https://www.azgardens.com/p-1087-aqu...d-weights.aspx

A lot of people like these, and they seem to work pretty well:
Lead free plant weight anchors
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:27 PM   #7
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Or just shove the hornwort stems into the sand & they will stay put for a little while (days to weeks). My hornwort grow so fast that I have to prune, replant weekly, so long term anchors are not the solutions. <Plus the hornwort rots at the spot that is clamped down with the plant weights, and the stem float free after a few weeks anyway .... >

Another option would be vals. They like a bit more light, but are really cheap (like $2 a bundle), so is worth trying. Mine grow to over 2 foot long, and spread like weeds by runners. I have them at the back in a mass, prune to just below water line, and they form a nice thick curtain that hides everything .
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:29 PM   #8
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I may have to try those second ones. I'm sure the metal ones are fine but I know our anachris at work come wrapped in those and they seem to fall off easily. Though maybe they aren't like that with hornwort or maybe they just weren't put on properly.

Appreciate the links.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fort384 View Post
There are a few different methods.

I don't normally recommend these, but they work fine for hornwort.
https://www.azgardens.com/p-1087-aqu...d-weights.aspx

A lot of people like these, and they seem to work pretty well:
Lead free plant weight anchors
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:31 PM   #9
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You can go with jsoong's advice as well. My experience with hornwort though was it was difficult to keep it in the substrate unless it was anchored. It was the only plant I ever used anchors on. It probably depends on what kind of substrate you have.
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:32 PM   #10
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So much helpful advice.

I will look into all of these when I head to the lfs that actually carries truly aquatic plants. I hate hate hate that we sell gold ribbon plants at work and I get funny looks when I talk people out of them and others(though I never knew it until I started reading these forums). I'm a really bad salesgirl.

I'll also try it without and add them if needed. Trial and error.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsoong View Post
Or just shove the hornwort stems into the sand & they will stay put for a little while (days to weeks). My hornwort grow so fast that I have to prune, replant weekly, so long term anchors are not the solutions. <Plus the hornwort rots at the spot that is clamped down with the plant weights, and the stem float free after a few weeks anyway .... >

Another option would be vals. They like a bit more light, but are really cheap (like $2 a bundle), so is worth trying. Mine grow to over 2 foot long, and spread like weeds by runners. I have them at the back in a mass, prune to just below water line, and they form a nice thick curtain that hides everything .
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