Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi there i just bought a 40 gallon tank that is 36in long 18in deep and 17in high and i plan on doing a planted tank but! i dont know how and want it to be right so heres my situation.

i have my marineland 100 gallon canister filter i plan on using since i already have it

i dont know what lighting i need or is recomended (i have had luck with just a regular florecent bulb and a single plant b4 so i dont know whats good haha)

also is just regular tubesand ok for plants? i love how it looks and i clean it of course but is it ok for plants? does it matter?

im wanting plants like a kind of moss that cover a majority of my driftwood and rock and want a couple long plants for random spots and something like a grass to kinda take over the bottom so please if someone could give me a list of what i need to even have a planted tank it would be amazing and perhaps a list of good plants.

thank you so much
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,492 Posts
What is tubesand?

What kind of cichlids do you have? The mosses may not do well in a higher pH like you would have for Africans.

The grassy bottom plants need a lot of light and maybe even CO2, is that the kind of set-up you want?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Being newer into the planted tank world I have done a lot of research lately since I too have only kept single plants from time to time in a regular tank. For the best advice I suggest posting in the plant forums and not cichlid such as plantgeek or aquaticplantcentral.

First what is you pH and kH? I used to keep my kH above 20 and had a real hard time with plants. Since I lowered it to 7-9 with a pH of 8.0 I have done much better.

Standard lighting I assume you have the regular T8 fixture. My plants lived if thats what you want to call it but never thrived. I bought a Zoomed doublebulb T5 HO fixture and my plants are doing much better and growing and even making baby plants.

Ferts is the other aspect to consider, I use Seachem Flourish and the plants seem to appreciate it. I also have a 50/50mix of sand and eco-complete substrate for plant and use roottab ferts for the swords.

As for plants themselves any carpeting plant, grasses, thick bushy plants, etc these usually need a higher light than a standard bulb to even survive. Some also require CO2 which I have never done. Lastly with a high pH some plants will not survive while others will adapt fairly easily.

For a low-tech lower light setup I would suggest any of the anubias variants such as barteri, nana, coffeefoila, etc or java fern variants such as regular, phillipine, windelov, or tropica if you can find it, most of the mosses, java, singapore, flame, christmas tree, an african fern called bolbitis, and depending on the species certain cryptocoryne or swords, *** had luck with the ozeolot sword and tropcia sword but not the radican or melon with high pH and low light.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks i plan on having things like rainbow cichlids and alot of small cat fish pretty much id like alot of plants i figure since it is a small 40 gallon tank its gonna be pretty easy still isnt set up im currently painting the stand i made then its all going up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
320 Posts
Don't use T5 high output unless you plan on using CO2. I've had good sucsess with the Coralife t5 normal output fixture on a low tech planted tank. Normal flourenct twin tube fixtures work well too. I've tried high output and it's just too much light. I ended up with BBA on all my plants. I had a 36" high output fixture on a 50 gallon.

Dwarf Sagittaria is a nice grass plant for low light tanks. You shouldn't have to add ferts as long as you do regular water changes. You substrate might work. You might want to mix some Flourite in with it or go with a plant substrate.

Here is a list of some low light plants that will work with the lighting I discribed.

Java Fern - Microsorum pteropus
Windelov Java Fern, Windelov Fern - Microsorum pteropus 'Windelov'
Narrow Leaf Java Fern - Microsorum pteropus v. 'narrow leaf'
Java Moss - Vesicularia dubyana
Green Hygro - Hygrophila polysperma
*Sunset Hygro - Hygrophila polysperma 'Rosanervig'
Ceylon Hygro - Hygrophila polysperma 'Ceylon'
Rotala Rotundifolia - Rotala rotundifolia
Rotala Rotundifolia sp. Green - Rotala rotundifolia sp. 'Green'
Rotala Indica - Rotala indica
Hornwort - Ceratophylum demersum
Parrots Feather - Myriophyllum aquaticum
Moneywort, Water Hyssop - Bocapa monnieri
Brazilian Pennywort, Pennywort - Hydrocotyle leucocephala
Crypt Wendtii - Cryptocoryne wendtii
Crypt Balansae - Cryptocoryne Balansae
Pygmy Crypt - Cryptocoryne pygmaea
Guppy Grass - Najas guadalupensis
Anubias barteri - Anubias barteri v. barteri
Anubias barteri 'marble' - Anubias barteri 'marble'
Anubias barteri v. 'glabra' - Anubias barteri v. 'glabra'
Anubias nana - Anubias barteri v. 'nana'
Coffee leaf anubias - Anubias barteri v. 'coffeefolia'
Crypt retrospiralis - Cryptocoryne retrospiralis
Crypt spiralis - Cryptocoryne spiralis
Golden nana - Anubias barteri v. 'nana golden'
Narrow leaf nana - Anubias barteri v. 'nana narrow leaf'
Petite nana - Anubias barteri v. nana 'petite'
Philippine Java Fern - Microsorum pteropus 'Philippine'
Red Java fern - Microsorum pteropus "red"
Crypt Becketii - Cryptcoryne becketii
Pelia - Monosolenium tenerum
Waterwheel Plant - Aldrovanda vesiculosa
Bacopa - Bacopa caroliniana
African Water Fern - Bolbitis heudelotii
Hornwort - Ceratophyllum submersum
Crypt Aponogetifolia - Cryptocoryne aponogetifolia
Micro Crypt - Cryptocoryne petchii
Tropica Sword - Echinodorus parviflorus 'Tropica'
Downoi - Pogostemon helferi
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
JD is right, T5HO fixtures are a lot of light. I do have T5HO's on three tanks, only one has pressurized co2. The other two are a 29g and 26g bow, I dose NPK and Excel daily. I have no algae in these tanks. (The only tank I ever had bba on was the pressurized co2 tank). If you go T5HO on your tank, since it's less than 18" high, I'd suggest hanging the fixture from the ceiling, this way you can lower or raise your lights easily. I would also suggest each bulb is on a separate switch, giving you lighting options.

I also have two 20g longs with T5NO's. Good lighting for a shallow tank (13" high). Growth is slow, but steady. However, I prefer the look a T5HO fixture gives off over the NO fixture.

Also, I don't think dosing macro's (NPK) has much to do with wc's. I know I get micro nutrients from my well water, but not macro nutrients. You need both to sustain healthy plant life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks alot its helping so much im gonna take the list of plants suggested to me when i go shopping for them and as for co2 should i go with it or no? i plan of having ALOT of plants i mean i want pretty much a full planted tank and im not sure even how to run thoes or what their for im not sure what chemicals i need i mean really im trying to do my homework b4 i go shopping for the plants and lighting lighting and plants i got pretty much figured out but chemicals and co2 im stil clueless to because my lack of knowing whats what :/
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,492 Posts
What is a rainbow cichlid? If you mean rainbow fish I think you would want a dwarf species in a 36" tank but they do like planted tanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
a rainbow cichild or Herotilapia multispinosa is a central amrican cichlid it gets about 5in their a less agressive fish. i plan on having probably 2 and then just a few cory cats and clown plecos. its a good size tank for being only 36in long its pretty wide.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top