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Old 11-04-2013, 09:18 AM   #1
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Adding plants to my tank.

Hello everyone!

I have a 60 gallon tank with Rainbow shark, T-Barbs, Red Eye Tetras and corys.

I want to add live plants to give it a more natural look as the fake plants look REALLY fake and are starting to annoy me.

I have no experience with plants.

I have normal fine gravel that has been settled for a while (only one inch deep though). I will use liquid ferts and root tabs, no CO2. Lighting wise I only have a 20 watt red submersible light atm. I am working on increasing the lighting.

What would be some CHEAP ways to increase the lighting enough?

What plants would be suitable? Hardy and low light. I was thinking Java fern, swords, Anubias nana, and some grass like plant for the front.

Thanks for the help!

Heinrich
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:12 AM   #2
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Until you get different lighting I wouldn't add any plants. After that depending on the level of the light will determine what you can grow. Plants that have very low light tolerant levels are Anubia's, Java Ferns, Bolbitus, and Crypts.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:38 AM   #3
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Thanks!
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:48 PM   #4
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I've been looking into LED light strips as they are nice and bright but they are incredibly expensive here! R1200 for a 5m strip. Thats about 120 dollars roughly!

Are there other cheaper options or should I take the plunge and get LEDs? I've read their light is much better for plant growth.
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Old 11-04-2013, 05:20 PM   #5
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You can look into reg T8 bulbs and fixtures, Compact Fluorescent fixtures, shop lighting, etc. Get prices and see what's in your budget.
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Old 11-04-2013, 05:32 PM   #6
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Here's an example of inexpensive lighting.... look at the picture in the last post. Dome shop lamp fixtures with CFL bulbs.
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:05 AM   #7
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Just remember that Anubias and java fern need to be tied on to a piece of decor because if not the rhizome will rot. I've heard that is you use coarse gravel the rhizome won't rot don't know if its true or not.
But otherwise the Anubias Nana is great and the java fern has a neat way of growing. The plant actUally grows like right off the other leaves on the plant.
Some pics of my Anubias on my wood.
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:08 AM   #8
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Yes the rhizome on them will rot even in course gravel.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:09 AM   #9
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Thanks guys for the replies. I have these rock they call Bio-Rock at my LFS and it look like lave rock. It has lots of cracks where I can put the java fern.

I was also thinking of normal light bulbs you would use in your house. Do the energy savers work well? Their wattage seems a lot lower than the normal ones.

Heinrich
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:12 AM   #10
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No they won't work well at all unless you can find some with a 6500K to 6700K rating. CFL's, those twisty bulbs do come with K ratings which is what people here use but I know know if you have those available.
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:49 PM   #11
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Ok thanks guys.

I will probably take the plunge and get some LEDs
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