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20 Gallon High Tank - coralife T5 NO 2 bulb, first go at plants

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Doc7, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. Doc7

    Doc7 Subscriber

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    This is cross posted from the slower board on this site "New to Aquatic Plants", with some additional questions near the bottom so it's not an EXACT cross post


    Hello all,

    After having my tank up and running for over 6 months now, I have taken the plunge to add real plants, partly because my 2 honey gourami would really appreciate some floating plants and partly because I want to continue expanding in the hobby after a great first 6 months.

    In the last few days the tank has gone from this:

    [​IMG]

    To this:

    [​IMG]

    Obviously the log is fake (I have a piece of driftwood soaking in a bucket, I suspect it's more than a week away from being ready to add to the tank yet, to which I plan to add Christmas or some other Moss) and the red plants, but I did add 8 Corkscrew Vals and some watersprite (one rooted, a few floating)


    I removed the stock hood w/ 17W bulb, and added a Coralife Aqualight 2 x 14 W T5NO fixture.

    Substrate is sand - I added 6 API fertilizer tabs spaced out along the back where the Vals are.

    No CO2 and no ferts yet...


    From what I am reading here, it sounds like I am WAY under on plant mass you guys would recommend? This lighting, I believe, would fall under "Low" category (due to the poor reflectors on coralife is what i have read) - the tank is 16 inches deep being a 20G-High and I think this means a lot less light reaches the substrate level.

    The Vals look worse today than yesterday, the leaves sort of seem to be "missing" parts (but not quite holes - just parts where it's much much less green and leaf-like and almost see-through) - not sure if this is part of the plant acclimatisation process?

    So I do plan to add a log with moss on it later on, and I have to keep a bunch of sand out for the corydoras - but what would be some recommendations for plants, in a 20 g, to fill it out plant mass wise? I go on night shift for more than a month without a day off very soon, so I need to stock it out in the next 3 days and after that I will be unable to go to an LFS (though, package shipping is an option if there are reputable dealers or even hobbyists I can locate through message boards).

    I don't know much but am learning about fertilizers and wouldn't be completely averse to CO2 either, although it seems like the diffuser equipment involved would be another eyesore to add to a tank this small!



    I wonder if the Coralife 2 T5-normal output lighting, approx 16 inches above substrate sitting on top of tank, would be OK to build a moss carpet with plastic structures that i have seen used for that kind of carpet. do i need EI or CO2 for that?

    just don't want an algae explosion but i wanted to add real plants and needed to upgrade my lighting to do that in a healthy way. This probably won't be my "Main" tank after i have learned a lot more and go to a four-foot tank w/ a friendlier substrate etc, this is my first aquarium and i am just trying to hit a bunch of aspects and figure out where I want to go in the hobby.

    Any suggestions to my tank as it is right now and comments on what I've written are hugely appreciated! I've encountered nothing but helpfulness throughout the aquatic message boards and figured at this point I couldn't stay away from this particular forum any longer.
     
    #1 Doc7, Apr 20, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2011
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