Plants for low light/ low maintenance 55g.


Junior Poster
Aug 23, 2008
Alright, what i have for lighting is 2 40w t12 lights one 9000k one 6500k. As for substrate it is just medium size aquarium gravel. Fish load is 1 angel 25 lemon tetras and 12 cory cats.

Ideally i don't plan to dose at all but since i do have some dry ferts laying around it may happen.

here is a picture of it so far...

The only plant currently in there is lace java fern.

My plan is to add the following plants

Vals, Italian (Vallisneria spiralis)
Water Sprite(Ceratopteris thalictroides)
Java Moss (Vesicularia Dubyana)
Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis)
Subulata, Dwarf (Sagittaria subulata)
Wendtii, Green (Cryptocoryne wendtii)

I am not looking for rapid growth, just to keep the plants alive and have them propagate(slowly) and to add some more things to the tank to liven it up a bit especially on the upper half.

Any suggestions on what plants from that list will work with me and which won't? also any others that would be suggested.

are my intentions to have plants with just gravel as a substrate low light and no dosing unreasonable?


Guru Class Expert
Jun 8, 2007
My experience with hygrophila is that it grows very fast and sucks nutrients out of the water fast too. You may want to skip that one, or just have a very small amount if you're not going to do dosing and keep it pruned. Lots of crypts would be nice, they'll do great under those conditions. Anubias would do very well too. You might want something for algae control, 5 oto's would be a good thing to have in your tank, cuts down on the maintenance (i.e. algae scraping).

Henry Hatch

Guru Class Expert
Aug 31, 2006
If you're using plain gravel you might consider adding some root tabs for the run in period until the gravel becomes a little more enriched from decomposition.

I would also add more plants as soon as possible. It's better to plant heavily from day one. I like to cover at least 50% of the substrate and usually closer to 75%.

If you like stem plants you might try rotala indica or lugwigia repens.