Want to give plants a try..
So, I just set up a 56 gallon (Dimensions: 30" W x 18" D x 24" H) and havent started do a fishless cycle yet, but plan to this weekend. I like the idea of real plants for not only for aesthic reasons but also for the benefits they provide to the overall tank health.
I did have a few questions that I was hoping to get answered:
1) I have the following lighting system http://www.marineland.com/sites/mari...l.aspx?id=3384. Would this lighting be suffcient? I don't see anything in the specifications that tells me the Watts per gallon as mentioned in Dave66's post on light requirements so I was unsure if it even met the minimum recommendations.
2) Should I wait til I go through a complete fishless cycle prior to introducing plants?
3) This question is a matter of opinion...How do you think having a mixture of real and artifical plants in the same tank look?
well each watt of a t5 is roughly 83 lumens, and i would recommend 2 watts per gallon or low level plants in a tank that size. so doing the math no that light will not be sufficient as a tank that size you would want more like 9200 lumens. however the lumens compared to something like t5 a halide and leds are different im assuming this atleast gives you a base of what you should be looking for.
i would wait till atleast till after the ammonia part of a cycle is done. some hardy plants may be okay with ammonia but i know alot of them probably wont be so happy.
if you are going real, theres no reason to not go all real. even for a few you will need the substrate/ ferts and the lighting. since you are spending money forthe real plants might as well go all real as obviously fake plants wont benefit from these at all. in other words, if you are spending the money for real plants, fake plants seems like a waste.
I was under the impression that it's perfectly OK to put plants into a tank at any stage during cycling - even from the very beginning.
I also agree that if you're going to get real plants, skip the fake ones. There are plenty of easy plants that don't need anything special added to get them to grow.
46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted cory catfish, cherry barbs, guppies, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
5 gal QT with green corys & 2 guppies
Thanks for the quick responses.
I guess I should have clarified that I already have the tank decorated with fake plants and I was thinking of gradually replacing them. The thought of adding real plants came a few days too late
Possibly low light plants, I say this because I have the 18" version of that light over a 20g [It's not really scaped it's just a tank that holds my feeder mollys and I grow some plants out for other tanks in it as well].
Originally Posted by olden44
Here's a pic from Jan
It works, I wouldn't call it blazing growth and your tank is significantly taller.
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there may be a select few plants who dont like ammonia but most will love it. ammonia is a a form of nitrogen that is relatively easy to break down, and plants love nitrogen so they will readily consume it.
if the ammonia concentration gets really high then it may harm the plants
If your water is more acidic (low pH), most of the ammonia (NH3) will convert to ammonium (NH4). Ammonium is much less harmful to fish and essential to aquatic plants for breaking down proteins. If you have a high pH, I'd wait until the cycle is at least into the nitrite stage. If you have a lower pH, go ahead and get plants now.
not trying to be argumentative but when i was cycling my first tank it was well water with a ph of around 8. while cycling i had anacharis, anubias, hygrophilia difformis and polysperma, java fern, and amazon sword and they all flourished.
as long as the ammonia level isnt really high, like 3-4 and above most any plant you put in there will be fine