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Bswink
06-06-2016, 09:51 AM
Recently replaced all the plastic in my 29g with live plants -dwarf baby tears, hairgrass, micro sword and java moss as well as some natural cholla wood. Love the way it looks but I'm thinking maybe my lighting isn't right? It's not growing and some of the hairgrass is starting to brown. Just a community tank with mollies and neons, does this need additional lighting?

thanks!
Beth

aXio
06-06-2016, 10:47 AM
Recently replaced all the plastic in my 29g with live plants -dwarf baby tears, hairgrass, micro sword and java moss as well as some natural cholla wood. Love the way it looks but I'm thinking maybe my lighting isn't right? It's not growing and some of the hairgrass is starting to brown. Just a community tank with mollies and neons, does this need additional lighting?

thanks!
Beth

Remember Lighting, Nutrients, and CO2 have to go up together. You can not just increase one of them. Also a good nutrient rich substrate is also very strongly recommended when trying to grow high demanding plants like Dwarf Baby Tears. Dwarf Baby Tears and Hair grass probably weren't the best choices for starting out with plants. Most of the carpeting plants are high light and high nutrient demanding plants.

Going to need some more details on your system before being able to properly help you out.

- What type of lighting are you using?
- If you are using florescent bulbs, how old are they?
- What type of substrate do you have in the aquarium?
- How long are you running your lights for?
- Any natural direct sunlight getting into the tank?
- Are you planning on dosing any nutrients or eventually setting up a co2 system?
- How after are you changing water and how much?

Depending on the answers to those questions you will want to decide what is the best choice for you. Sometimes it is better to settle for lower light plants which will for the most part take care of themselves. Really depends on what you want to spend on the setup and how much work load you are trying to take on. Seems like you are going to a carpet/grass look with a Iwagumi style aquascape... which I have to warn you is consider one of the most advance types of aquascapes.

Bswink
06-06-2016, 11:08 AM
Wow thanks Jakub, many things I have not considered despite reading endlessly on the subject!

The tank is a 29g LONG. I picked a variety of plants hoping any one of them would take....I'd be happy with anything, it looks so much better with live plants. Do you have suggestions on low light plants?

- What type of lighting are you using? Marine Land LED strip light
- If you are using florescent bulbs, how old are they? maybe 3 months old
- What type of substrate do you have in the aquarium? Basic gravel
- How long are you running your lights for? daytime hours, usually 12 hours or so
- Any natural direct sunlight getting into the tank? yes, near a window, not direct sun
- Are you planning on dosing any nutrients or eventually setting up a co2 system? I started with Flourish Tabs, nothing else yet
- How after are you changing water and how much? changing about 20% weekly

likestofish
06-06-2016, 11:59 AM
What wattage is the strip lighting? I know dwarf baby tears can be super finicky at times to grow, and will melt readily.

aXio
06-06-2016, 12:12 PM
With a basic Marineland LED strip light and using regular gravel with root tabs I would definitely recommend doing low/medium light plants. That way you can get away with not having to run CO2 on the tank. Root tabs are definitely a good thing to have. Some plants feed more heavily from the root such as swords, crypts, and grass-type plants. Others will feed more from the water column and/or both.

12 hours might be too long on the lighting. I typically recommend anywhere from 6-9 hours of lighting. I personally like to start on the low end and work my way to around 8 hours. Keeping the lighting on a timer for consistency also goes along way.

20% water change weekly should be perfect. Doing a weekly change will also help not to have to dose or if you have to eventually dose it won't be as much. Your water changes will replenish some of the nutrients and trace elements for you. Once plants start filling in and grow just a weekly water change with root tabs might not be enough after a while. So might need to pick up some Macro/Micro nutrients later on.

Good low light and beginner plants...

Java Fern
Java Moss
Anubias - Pretty much all types
Sword Plants
Water Sprite
Moss Balls
Banana Plants
Sagitaria - Good substitute for a foreground plant to the baby tears/hair grass
Ludwigia - Stick to the more basic green colored types. The red colored ones are more demanding.
Christmas Moss
Crypts - Stick to wendtii varieties at first.
Vallesnaria

Tangfan
06-06-2016, 01:48 PM
I enjoy reading these types of threads since they teach me so much(I have pretty much always been an African guy who will occasionally venture out to the dark side as I see it). Thank you for your time in answering questions like these Jakub. Very informative.

fisherking
06-06-2016, 09:17 PM
I recommend Japanese Moss Balls and any Anubias(Petco and Petsmart have them). Water Sprite might work, might even root if it gets daylight; hard to predict the water sprite. I've always tried for as close to 12 hours as I can, is that to keep the leaves from burning, Jukab??

Tie the roots of the Anubias to your drift wood if you want a really nice look.

-Caleb

geotek
06-06-2016, 10:13 PM
Java ferns are also really hard to kill and can be tied to anything and look nice when attached to wood.

aXio
06-07-2016, 09:53 AM
I recommend Japanese Moss Balls and any Anubias(Petco and Petsmart have them). Water Sprite might work, might even root if it gets daylight; hard to predict the water sprite. I've always tried for as close to 12 hours as I can, is that to keep the leaves from burning, Jukab??

Tie the roots of the Anubias to your drift wood if you want a really nice look.

-Caleb

12 hours is doable if you really want to run your lights that long. But keep in mind that unless you have a long "ramp-up" and "ramp-down" periods running your lights for 12 hours is very unnatural. Yes there is roughly 12-14 hours of daylight outside, but plants outside only really get 4-6 hours of direct sunlight through out the day. The rest of the day the light most plants receive is either indirect or very diffused.

So unless you are ramping your light up and down as I mentioned via LED lights with a controller you are giving your plants direct light for 12 hours straight. Running them that long leaves little room for error with other things. Such as nutrient and CO2 levels in the aquarium. Which the obvious side effect would eventually be algae. I have grown most plants just fine in as little 4 hours on the photo period.

Most of my tanks are on timers and turn on around 6:00PM because that is around the time I get home. Then turn off around 1:00AM because I'm usually going to sleep by then. No point of running the tank lights when no one is home to enjoy the aquarium... just adds to more algae.

Obviously there are exceptions to everything. If you are running a very weak or basic light then you can run a much longer photo period because the light isn't putting out a lot of power.

Hilde
06-14-2016, 05:54 PM
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/general-aquarium-plants-discussions/46667-excellent-list-plants-low-light-tanks.html here is a list of low light plants.

I don't agree with Downoi - Pogostemon helferi being on the list, though.

dwarf baby tears, hairgrass, micro sword need Co2 additive like Seachem excel. Excel alternative Metricide or Cidex. Not cidex odt. Excel has 1.5% Glut. A quart is approx $25 on Ebay. At dealmed.com 1 gallon $18.20. shipping $9.99
glut = (1.5 x container)/ cidex glut%
glut = (1.5% * 100ml)/2.5%.
500ml bottle = 300ml of 2.5%(Metricide 28) + 200ml of water
Seachem recommends dose after water change 5ml per 10g. Then 5ml for every 50g daily or every other day.

My light period low tech 20g long is 8hrs with a T8 ZooMed super sun.