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Old 01-31-2007, 03:55 PM   #1
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Plants for a 35 Hex

Well I was going to go for easy to grow (which meant no light and no ferts) but after looking at some of the planted tanks I want to give it a try.
I have an empty, established 35 hex with a biowheel.Being that the tank is so tall I'd love stuff with height but would also love some ground cover.
My plans for stock are as follows:

3 Marble Hatchets
5 Cardinal tetras might go with Emperor's though
2 German or Bolivian Rams
2 or 3 Panda Cory's

What would these guys like? Should I change my filtration setup? I was thinking I'd have to pull the biowheel and put some floss in the chamber instead. Is this right? What type of bulb should I go with and what ferts do you, the experts by experience, recommend?
Plants I am considering:

Baby Tears
Wisteria
Hygro (really like the sunset)
Java moss
Water Sprite
Glossostigma (looks like ground cover)

Thanks in advance gang!

p.s. I am planning on adding the plants first as the fish are on order and will be here...whenever.
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Old 01-31-2007, 04:55 PM   #2
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First things first. What kind of planted tank do you want? No matter what you decide on, you'll probably need to upgrade your lighting. The standard lighting on tanks is very poor for plants, and even worse on hex tanks.

If you decide that you want to go for a low to medium light tank, you won't need to worry about CO2 and therefore won't have to remove the biowheel. You'll probably need to do some light fertilizing as well.

On the other hand a high light tank will require a significant light upgrade, the addition of CO2 and removal of the biowheel, and fertilization. This style of tank is very rewarding, but requires quite a bit more maintenance.
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Old 01-31-2007, 05:19 PM   #3
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I have the fitted hood the tank came with. I just got done reading about the lighting and now I am wondering if I can get a PC bulb to fit the existing hood. Being a hex it's fairly small (as you probably know). I am now thinking I will have to go with a new light and hood.
I was going to go for a low light tank but in the last couple of weeks have grown to love the higher light/higher work tanks. I am not opposed to the extra work and will probably try a DIY CO2 setup.
It's a small enough tank to play with and "get my feet wet" to see if this is even for me.

I just edited and added some plants I liked the looks of. There are a couple of low lights in there as well as some that require more.

I am thinking I will go with the low light stuff first and see how it goes...maybe. I like to take big jumps as well...lol.
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Old 01-31-2007, 05:43 PM   #4
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I would recommend buying/building a glass canopy for the tank as this will make it a lot easier to fit a new light over it. Could you provide the basic dimentions of the tank (height, length of the sides, diameter from one side to opposite)? With that information we'll be able to recommend some specific light fixtures and give you an idea what you should be able achieve with each one.
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:10 PM   #5
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Okay and Thanks alot.

Tank is as follows:

24.5" tall
19.75" from back to front
23" at the widest point on the hood. This is one corner to another corner
each side is halfway between 11.5" and 11.75"

It has a heater and stays around 80* so I believe that should be lower. I have a Magnun Emperor 280 HOB with the biowheel and natural river rock (smaller than pea gravel) in there.
I am also assuming I will replace the substrate with something finer.
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:47 PM   #6
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I'd lower you temp to the mid 70's which will be much better for most plants.

As long as the gravel is about 2-3mm it will work just fine. You can replace it if you want, but it isn't necessary for plants. Going for something finer would help with the carpeting plants of course.

I believe that the Current Dual Satelite 20" (2x40watts) may be exactly what you're looking for. You'll need to do some measuring to make sure that it would fit all right. This would probably get you somewhere around medium high light. It's not quite enough to be sure you'd be able to do a glosso carpet, but it would allow you to grow a wide assortment of plants. If you could get ahold of some clover or Elatine Triandra those would have a better chance of forming a nice carpet under that level of light.

If you go with the above light recommendation, you'd need to setup CO2 and remove the biowheel. Ferts would also be a necessity.

For a low light solution you could try to get ahold of a double 20" flouresent light strip (2x15). This would be a bit less than ideal for low light, but would let you grow the basic low light plants (Anubias, Crypts, Java Fern, Java Moss, etc).

For a medium low light solution you could look at the Current Single Satelite 20" (1x40watts). This would give you a slightly larger selection of plants but still wouldn't let you get into the carpeting plants.

Both of the last two solutions wouldn't require CO2 or heavy fert dosing.

Please keep in mind that you would need to replace the bulb in either of the Current fixture since Actinic light is mostly unusable by plants. The replacement of the bulb should be factored into the cost of the fixture.

One final option would be to buy the first fixture but to only run one of the bulbs. This would allow you to start out with medium low light, but then move up to more light when you are ready without having to invest in a new fixture.
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:11 PM   #7
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Well that gives me some options to consider. I will update as I go. Thanks so much for your help!
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