View Full Version : Making my shopping list, need advice

12-02-2007, 10:16 PM
Come Christmas time I will have the sand, driftwood, and lighting I want to convert my 20 gallon long to a planted tank. I will have approximately 2.7 watts/gallon (three 18 watt bulbs).

Since this is my first time with real plants I've been looking at plants on websites that have a easy to medium difficulty level in terms of maintaining them. I have compiled a list of 5 plants that I think look rather nice and are considered "easy" to maintain on most websites. They are:

Ceratophyllum demersum (Hornwort)
Rotala indica
Hygrophila difformis (Water Wisteria)
Microsorium pteropus v. "Windelov" (Java Fern - Lace)
Vesicularia dubyana (Java Moss)

I was wondering if anyone who has these plants or had them in the past could give me your opinions on these, or if you think I should substitute one kind for another. Will these plants take up too much room for my tank or will I need more? Also, I ordered a 20 pound bag of sand (Black Tahitian Moon Sand) for my 20 gallon long (I'm going to need more than 20 pounds, aren't I?).

Sorry if it's a lot of questions, I'm just really excited and don't want to screw this up!


12-02-2007, 11:23 PM
20lbs should be okay, a loose rule of thumb is 1lb per gallon of substrate for minimum. I'm not entirely familiar with those plants, but make sure that you have a good variety of height too, ie. short, med and tall to establish a foreground, midground and background.

12-03-2007, 02:58 PM
Hornwort grows like crazy, but make is awesome when you prune it. You can make a really cool background by taking all the cuttings and replanting them. You need to cut it often as it will quickly overshadow the tank.

12-03-2007, 03:21 PM
I have java moss and lace fern in my tanks...they are great but are considered low light. I am sure they will do fine with your moderate lighting. I really like using java moss to make moss walls. the lace fern cannot be planted in your substrate (the rhizome anyway) and does best when anchored to driftwood. Good luck, sounds like you are on your way!

12-03-2007, 03:31 PM
I like hornwort, though I haven't had any. Java Fern is great!! It just grows and grows. I LOVE the look of Java Moss, but I personally had alot of trouble with it. I attached it to some driftwood and ended up having to frequently untangle it from my filter and clear the intake of little pieces of it. Mine never did seem to grow much but it sure migrated around my tank. I have seen other's tanks with it, including a moss wall as msjinkzdd mention and they look GREAT!
Also, cryptocerns toward the front are a favorite of mine.
The plants that I mentioned are low light and are pretty easy keepers and do pretty well. I haven't gotten into anything too exotic or colorful as I only have standard flourescent lighting.
FYI, Dave knows tons about plants.....he's be a great source of info!!!!

12-03-2007, 08:48 PM
See if this helps. Also linked in my thread is the original thread about "easy" plants.


12-03-2007, 10:12 PM
Cool, thanks. I especially like the pictures included!