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DaniFishGirl84
04-21-2016, 02:18 PM
Hello, I would like to turn my 29g High into a planted tank. I will be starting this in a few months over the summer. In the tank right now, slightly overstocked, are 3 Guppies, 2 Mollies, 1 DG, 2 Nerites, and 10 Cories. Eventually, I would like only a school of Neon Tetras and 8-10 Kuhli Loaches, and to move the rest into a bigger tank with my other fish.

I have had Hornwort and Water Wisteria in the past. The Hornwort dropped all of its needles within a week but continuously kept my Nitrates and Ammo down and the Wisteria eventually rotted. I was using Seachem Flourish Excel as I thought it was a fertilizer with CO2, not just a CO2 source. I will be purchasing Seachem Flourish.
I have a single bulb t8 fixture on it and was looking at the Zoo Med Ultra Sun bulb to go in it. I had looked into Finnex LEDs but just cannot afford those right now. My substrate in that tank is Black Diamond Blasting Sand. The PH is roughly 8.2 and we have hard water. The temperature is 78.0-80.0F. My fish don't seem to mind it much, though. The tank is on a timer, on from 10am-8:30pm. Would that time still work with plants, or will it be too much and grow algea?

What plants would I be safe to try? They would be low light plants, in hard water with high PH. They would be dosed with the Flourish accordingly and weekly with the CO2, just to get rid of the gallon I have. At the start and occasionally with root tabs, as well.

Some research has led me to Anubias, Swords, and Java Fern, but I'm lost on the scientific names. I would really love to try Wisteria again but I'm slightly afraid. I would be willing to try Hornwort again as well, but I cannot stand all of those needles dropping because they were hard to clean up. Could I quarantine it in a 10g for a few weeks until it melted then see how it does in the 29g or just go with a different plant?

Can anyone chime in or give me some advice? Also wondering what a good dip would be to get rid of any hitchikers, or other ideas. My LPS has a few plants in every now and then but I was going to try Amazon or another store online. Any come to mind? List them! Should I get them all at once or a few a week or 2 at a time? Thanks!

dirtyfrank
04-21-2016, 07:40 PM
Hi Dani,
My kids tanks are low light, with high Ph as well. I tried Hornwort, same result as you, it shed every needle and made a mess. Anubias are virtually bullet proof, in my experience anyway. I really like the smaller ones like Nana and petite. I have petites tied off to my wood, and i have 1 nana per tank anchored in the substrate (be sure to leave a portion of the roots exposed out of the substrate). you can tie the nana to wood or decor as well if you like. I also have "fast growers" to help suck up nitrates. Anacharis, Water sprite, and wysteria. all of which took a little while to get going. they all melted/died off/rotted to some degree until they finally caught on. now, all three grow like crazy. I have to trim/prune something about every other week or it turns into a jungle. I also like java moss and flame moss. they are both very easy but do require trimming on occasion. try contacting Triton here on the AC, or visit his website Triton Freshwater Aquatics, for all things anubias. he has other plants as well, but i have not checked his website lately to see his stock. the last anubias petites i got from him were outstanding (everything else was as well, but the petites were unbelievable). Han Aquatics is another good one. I get moss from him, and he has interesting accessories like ledges that you can suction cup to the sides of the tank. Snails are really hard to prevent without risking the plants. I have bladder snails in both tanks. I hated them at first, and tried everything i could to get rid of them, to no avail. I have come to appreciate them to an extent however. they are an indicator of your feeding habits. if you are overfeeding, they will explode in population. If they seem to stay in check, then you are feeding the correct amounts. they also help keep plants/glass free of algae to some degree. I still remove them on occasion with a turkey baster if i notice more than usual. If you want to try to prevent them all together, i recommend an alum dip. i cant remember the ratio, but i think it was 2-3 tablespoons per gallon? you'll have to look it up. let the plants soak for a couple hours. I would also recommend inspecting carefully for egg sacs. there is some debate as to whether the alum will kill the eggs or not. If you really want to be proactive, i would do the alum dip, then quarantine for two weeks to allow any remaining viable eggs to hatch (if there would be any), then another alum dip, then introduce them to your main tank.

dirtyfrank
04-21-2016, 07:50 PM
Forgot to mention, i dont use Excel or Co2, nor do i use flourish. I have flourish, but only used it a few times. I also used root tabs a few times, but i have not had to add anything lately. maybe the flourish or root tabs would be a good idea to get everything jump started, but added nutrients increases the chances of algae. i also run my lights for the same amount of time as you, except i start them 2 hours earlier, and give them a 2 hour siesta (turn them off) half way through the day. The fast growers i mentioned are actually considered moderate light plants, but since they are taller, the amount of light penetrating the water at the top of the tank is more than what penetrates down to the bottom, so they seem to be getting a moderate level. like i said, they are all doing great.