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k so *** been wanting live plans in my tank. how the heck do i do this. some places sell driftwood that has live plants on them already and i plan on buying just the plants. but what kind of light do i need? i have just a regular florecent aquarium and plant light it says. just one 48in bulb. on my 125. what else do i need? will they live with just that bulb? i mean they stay alive at the store wiith just a regular light. also i noticed people say u need way more that what you really need so if someone could make it simple and explain what to do that would be amazing!
 

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I wouldnt get real plants because whats gonna happen most likely is they will be uprooted by your cichlids and may be picked on and eatin just go with fake plants. Just my opinion you can always go with live plants if you want to though.
 

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Well I have added some Jungle Val to my tank last week as a "test" and so far so good. Havent touched it at all. I know these and the Java fern and Java moss are "low light" plants but would think you would need a little more light than that. How much? I dont know really but you could always get some "cheap" ones like I did and see how they do. I am running a Marineland Double Bright 36" on my 75g and alot of people say it wont work but so far it seems to be ok but only has been a week so we will see.
 

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Since a 125 is 6 feet long a 4 foot light won't provide complete coverage.

You will have more success with 30 plants than with 3 plants to start...sometimes you buy one to see how it goes, and it dies, so you give up.

If it is a plant light and you cluster a bunch of low-light plants like java fern right under it there is no reason they should not live as long as your fish don't eat them.

Good luck. :thumb:
 

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a few days ago i added some small clay pots to my tank for my plecos. i was gonna put them in upside down so i made holes in the sides of them. i really do not care for the clay pot look though.

i had about 5 java ferns just stuck in the sand and i could not figure out why they wouldnt grow well. little research and i found out they attach to things and dont get planted. well i decided to pot them by drilling holes into the bottom of the mention pots and poking the root ball through. the ferns are doing alot better and the runners are afixing to the pots as well.

all my fish love the pots and they are looking better and better now that they are getting over grown. that said i really like anachris. it pretty easy to grow and grows fast. be warned though to much flourish excell will kill it fast. cichlids love to eat it however. mine have never bothered the java ferns beyond digging them up when they were planted. they did eat my amazon swords too. i have also grown grasses and swords too but the cichlids will dig and kill them as well. all were pretty low maintenance but good bulbs are a must.

before i traded in my sailfin pleco he got big enough that when he thrashed about he would dig up plants as well. just be warned plants can require more maintenance than fish and you haved to keep an eye out for dead leaves, my tank crashed when i killed my anachris with flourish and thought it was just brown from the low light.

one thing i really like about plants too is they really fill out the tank and add color.
im done rambling.

edit: i forgot to add, some plants do really really poorly if they are directly in the current from powerheads, grass and swords will rot in a matter of days.
 

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DJRansome said:
You will have more success with 30 plants than with 3 plants to start...sometimes you buy one to see how it goes, and it dies, so you give up.
That's interesting. Could someone explain why this is so?
 

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zimmy said:
DJRansome said:
You will have more success with 30 plants than with 3 plants to start...sometimes you buy one to see how it goes, and it dies, so you give up.
That's interesting. Could someone explain why this is so?
I'm not in agreement with this, although in all probability the prediction is true. :D

The majority of folks out there light their tanks with linear fluorescent lighting that runs the entire length of the tank. 3 plants means that all the light shining down where there is no plant just grows algae. Plants and Algae are natural competitors and so you give the algae quite the advantage over plants when the plants just plain don't exist.

The reason I can't agree with DJ even though she's right is that it gives no option for those that really only want a part of their tank planted.

What I try and tell people is that you needs plants under the light and don't light what isn't planted. This may mean that for those out there that want one, two or three plants... that they are looking into some sort of spotlight setup on their tank. I used to use small compact fluorescent lights to create powerful spotlights. I am now switching over to DIY Cree LED setups.
You can still use a single fluorescent tube light over the tank to avoid the spotlight effect being too noticeable and you can set the spotlights as timers.

riccvicious... if all you want is one or two of those low light plants on your tank, then consider what your options are for a spotlight over where they will be growing. If you, friends, your dad or someone is handy, they can build a wooden hood that will allow you to have all sorts of lighting and keep it all hidden from sight. If looks aren't important, then sometimes a simple $10 clip on light with a spiral fluorescent lamp in it can be enough to supplement that single tube light you already own.

Let me know if that helps!
 

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Number6 has way more experience with plants than me. :oops:

There are certain things needed for plants. The secret is finding the balance of light and nutrients so plants grow but excess algae doesn't and that's not always easy...I still struggle.

If you are doing anything special for plants (light, nutrients) I think finding the balance for one plant is harder than finding the balance for a dozen plants. With a dozen at least you have a dozen living things with varying needs at varying times to help accomodate fishkeeper error.

If you have no other reason for keeping at least a dozen plants, one plant will show the effects of fish nibbling more than a dozen.

They don't have to be spread through the tank though...that is true.
 

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I have a twin bulb flourescent hood on my 90 gallon tank that is planted with cryps, anubias, java fern, and java moss. These are all low light plants and they all grow like weeds in my tank. I would suggest that you start with any of these. The anubias are especially tough.
 
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