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MelonMan
03-06-2008, 05:50 AM
ok so everything is dying because my lazy family cant be bothered to turn the light on when i work. i like cabomba and amazon sword and i just want to start fresh, i also like java moss, im going to pull my dead plants out and get a timer and buy some fertiliser. my question is what fertiliser do i buy, how long do i leave the light on for and is there any other kind of moss/groiund cover that is easy to grow.

ILuvMyGoldBarb
03-06-2008, 05:54 AM
Well, before you go dumping any ferts in you need to be sure that it is warranted. What kind of lighting do you have? As for ground cover, dwarf sagittaria usually does quite well and doesn't require a lot of light.

MelonMan
03-06-2008, 06:04 AM
i dont know wat kind of lights but they are heaps bright, they came with the tank and i cant find 1 word on the whole entire tank

hpt84
03-06-2008, 01:52 PM
i dont know wat kind of lights but they are heaps bright, they came with the tank and i cant find 1 word on the whole entire tank

Fluorescent or incandescent bulbs?
If it is fluorescent, what does it look like? Check the tube for a watt rating/kelvin. Also, the length of the tube may help to identify.

digital3
03-06-2008, 06:05 PM
If it's a 20 gallon it is highly likely that your light fixture that came with the tank won't cut it; especially if you want Cabomba and Swords. Those plants require a little bit more light than your basic Java Ferns and Anubias.

You may want to look at a fixture that outputs about 2-3 watts per gallon. Furthermore you want to find a light that falls within the 5000-10000k range of temperature.

Once you get your timer, set your lighting for about 8-10 hours daily. That should provide your plants with the proper amount of lighting you need.

After the lighting is established, then you should start examining your plants and see how they are reacting to it. If they still aren't quite there yet in regards to growth and health, then you can start looking into ferts and maybe some Flourish Excel to provide a Co2 source.

doug z
03-06-2008, 06:07 PM
Can you buy a timer for your lights?

That would help. too.. :)

PUNISHER VETTE
03-06-2008, 06:31 PM
A timer seems to be what you need. 10-12 hours per day is ideal for live plants

What kind of substrate do you have? Seachem Fluorite is ideal for growing live plants and will help with valuable nutrients if you don't use fertilizers that often.

I use Seachem Excel mostly for fertilizers.

You need to figure out the watts on you lighting. It needs to be around 2watts per gallon.

Incredulous_Ed
03-06-2008, 07:52 PM
I keep my light on only 9 hours. It really cut down on algae. Seachem's Fluorish is a good fert.

And java moss is very easy to grow.

Adrian
03-06-2008, 08:00 PM
ok so everything is dying because my lazy family cant be bothered to turn the light on when i work. i like cabomba and amazon sword and i just want to start fresh, i also like java moss, im going to pull my dead plants out and get a timer and buy some fertiliser. my question is what fertiliser do i buy, how long do i leave the light on for and is there any other kind of moss/groiund cover that is easy to grow.

For a planted tank, minimum of 2 watts per gallon, you can get by with like 1.5, but it is best at 2. On a 20 gallon, usually it is like a 15 to 20 watt bulb. Most likely flourescent. If you switch the bulb out for a full spectrum light, or something that has at least 6700k it will work. As for your substrate, the best that I have found is flourite, or eco-complete. These substrates don't need regular fertilization, as normal substrates do. If you plan on keeping your substrate, then seachum is a great product, as other members have stated.

Do a google search for low light aquarium plants. They will give you a list of what can and what can not grow in your tank. Anubias and crypts don't require a lot of light, but do need nutrients. Yes, a timer would be perfect seeing as you can not always rely on people to help you out. I do not believe they are very expensive. Keep the light on for at least 10 hours. Reason, you are using a low wattage bulb. More light will keep them alive.

Hope this helps.

doug z
03-06-2008, 08:45 PM
It really cut down on algae

Me, I'll want all the algae (well, not the black algae) I can get, with the ottos..

:)

PUNISHER VETTE
03-06-2008, 08:57 PM
With a well planted tank the plants should out compete the algae for light and nutrients and keep it at a minimum. I have some in my tank along the bottom edges but other then that not much with 12 hours of lighting a day.

doug z
03-06-2008, 09:19 PM
Yeah, I'll be adding veggies, etc to their diet, as well as culturing green algae..

MelonMan
03-09-2008, 03:59 AM
ok thanks for all the help but i think im gonna go with javafern java moss and watersprite. is water sprite that fine leaved one because i wanted a low light fine leaved plant to have a contast with the javafern. does java fern and moss grow in gravel?? any opinions on common low light plants and honestly it is im[possible for me to find out how many watts my lights are because the hole tank does not hav 1 word on it. thanks

kkevvy
03-09-2008, 06:04 AM
You would need to take the canopy off and look at the light tube itself. But seeing as its 20 gallon, its probably a 15 or 20 watt florescent, which is what my 20 gallon came with, which gives you 1 watt per gallon tops. So its very very low light.

I would get what you were saying. I have water sprite in my tank. Before I added my 65 watt light it grew fine, then after the light and substrate change BOOM! It took off, now I have a veritable jungle. And it looks great. Water sprite is an excellent choice.

Java ferns will grow in gravel. Moss will just pretty much float around or whatever till it attaches to something. So you'd need to weight it down onto the gravel.

Seachem Flourish is my fertilizer and it works great.

kkevvy
03-09-2008, 06:12 AM
Oh, but if you want really fine leaves... try hornwort. Its hard to not grow it. This is what the leaves look like really close up.http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y146/kkevo/Fry.jpg

MelonMan
03-09-2008, 10:06 AM
thanks soooo much i was just goin to ask about that. because it looked really cool and its easy to grow. how about anarachis aswell do you know much about that?
ok so i think im gonna go with java moss java fern and hornwort and maybe anarachis if its easy to grow

my dad had a look at the lights and based on size and comparison its probably about 1.5-2 watts per gallon