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Thread: Proper plants for my lighting?
09-26-2013, 09:52 AM #1Member Goldfish
- Join Date
- Jun 2012
Proper plants for my lighting?
I have an 80 g tank with two 48'' light fixtures rated for 40 w each. I have a sand substrate and want to know what types of plants would be good for a completely unplanted 80g. I've looked at some of these big plant packs on aqua bid and don't want to waste $$$ on a bunch of plants that will all die. Any help is highly appreciated.
09-26-2013, 04:23 PM #2
Your tank and lighting is well suited to a majority of plants. You have what I would term moderate light, so any plants requiring moderate or low light will do well, and there are many.
Before that, though, I will mention tubes, because this is what really matters. With 48-inch tubes and 40w, this is undoubtedly T8 lighting. "T" numbers refer to the tube dimension in 8ths of an inch. This is important when buying new tubes because you want the ones that will fit and work in your T8 fixture. T5 for example will not. Don't know what tubes you now have, perhaps you could check at one end of them for the data. The Kelvin rating is what matters here. I can explain further when I know what you now have, and will suggest good alternatives if necessary.
To the plants. Sword plants (Echinodorus species) will thrive with moderate lighting; some of the red-leaf cultivars may not do as well, or remain smaller. Crypts (Cryptocoryne species) too, though these are rather fussy plants sometimes, but if left alone they can do very well. Anubias and Java Fern and Java Moss are low-light plants that grow on wood and rock, and these can be very useful. Most of the stem plants require brighter light, with a few exceptions; one is Pennywort, which grows like a weed in my tanks (which have your lighting). The pygmy chain sword is a nice substrate plant, as are most of the crypts I mentioned.
Floating plants are a nice addition, providing a "roof" for the fish which they certainly appreciate; many fish show much more intense colouration under a canopy of floating plants. Here you can use Water Sprite (Ceratopteris cornuta, the floating species is best), Water Lettuce, or Frogbit. I prefer Water Sprite, it is one of my favourite plants; daughter plants are produced on alternate leaves, and fairly rapidly. I bought one plant back in 1997 and today I have it in several of my tanks and I toss out a handful almost every week.
Let me know about the tubes and if you have any questions. Some of the "plant packages" some online suppliers have are quite useful, though you may get some plants in the mix that won't last. If you find any you like, I don't mind having a look and commenting.
Byron.Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]