Lighting for 75 gal

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Aquarium Advice Addict
Feb 6, 2005
First of all I want to know if it's ok to have low light plants with higher light? I want to know if I can mix low light and higher light plants.
If I get a bunch of anacharis how much wattage and which type of bulbs would I need?
If I get a bunch of low light plants such as java fern, anubias and crypts how much wattage and what bulbs?
I've mainly only kept those plant bulbs that you get from Walmart and Petco. All I had to do with those was put them in the tank and put a little gravel over them and they grew. I have kept anacharis successfully in my 20 gal which has 1.5 watt/gal, never gave ferts or CO2 injection. I'm pretty much a newbie with plants though.
Any help would be appreciated. :)
Also, is there a website with some good info on FW/BW plants?
You can certainly have low light plants in a high light tank. My high light tank is almost completely filled with low light plants, since they are doing well and I see no reason to yank them just yet. I am slowly converting over to some higher light plants. The only plants I have that do not appreciate the light are my Anubias sp., so I have placed them in shadier locations.

If you want to grow "most" plants and don't want to worry about injecting CO2, shoot for about 2wpg, and find a bulb somewhere around 6500K.

The plant bulbs from Walmart are usually aponogeton, or sometimes you get dwarf lily, which will look different when grown in lower light versus higher light, but will do fine. I am a fan of these bulbs.

Check out and, just to name a few, and of course post any specific plant questions here. Sometimes plant retailers will have good little thumbnails about plants, or have them organized into low light, medium, high, discus, brackish, etc. so you can look through those to get an idea of what might work for you.
I do know the types of plants the plant bulbs I have are. I have them written in my sig right next to where it says the gals of the tank. The only ones that aren't a bulb are my surviving anacharis that were in the 75 gal (it has no where near enough wattage).
I have a 40 W and 36 W flouro in a heto double reflector in a ~75 gal tank. I have Val., Java Fern, Swords, Crypts, Anubias..... they are all doing well. I Use Flourish and Flourish Iron and Flourish dissolved organic stuff..... that seemed to help... My tank is still only about 2-3 months old.
You may be able to get away with quite a few medium and some high light plants. I wouldn't try growing a carpet of Glosso or anything like that, but you might have luck with taller plants. What plants are you considering?
Anacharis, vals, java fern, watersprite, banana plants. Would those be ok? Would the watersprite grow very fast and start covering things?
I'm not sure what I would get yet though, I will most likely find some others I will want, some of the ones I wrote I might not even get.
Those are all perfectly good plants for your lighting. The Watersprite grows like crazy in just about any lighting conditions so you'll probably have to work with it more than most of your other plants. But hey, having a good healthy Watersprite helps keep things balanced :)
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