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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I recently decided to start a planted tank. I would like to try some of the following plants

- Fissidens
- Flame moss
- Java moss
- Dwarf hairgrass
- Anubia nana
- limnophila aromatic
- zosterifolia

*** grown some of these simpler plants like java moss and anubias, but the others would be a new venture and seem to require more specific parameters. I'm looking to do this in a 45 long 48"x12"x17" and have found many florescent lights with 2 T5HO bulbs for a total of 108 watts. What I'd like to know is if anyone has experience with any of these plants and has any good suggestions on what type of light fixture and bulbs to get. Also I plan to put a school of 15-20 pygmy rainbows, 6-8 panda cories, a pair of bristlenose and 6+ apistogramma panduro in the tank in case that influences anyones opinion. Any advice would be much appreciated, thanks in advance!
 

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i had some dwarf hair grass once it didnt do to well as i haven't got enough light output on my 55g
it can look really good once it takes hold and starts to spread though.

how about adding a bit of vallis?
 

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The way I see it, you have two options for keeping life plants, low tech and high tech:

- Low tech means about 1-1.5wpg, no CO2, no or minimal fertilizer.
- High tech means a lot of wpg, CO2 injection, and regular dosing of fertilizers and trace elements.

Low tech tanks limit you in the number of plant species you can keep. I have had good experiences with Anubias, Java fern, Java moss, Echinodorus, Valisneria, and Cryptocoryne. These are also plants that tend to do well with cichlids, meaning they aren't easily shredded or eaten. Plant growth will be slow, but you can have very healthy plants in a low tech setup. Plants can live for years that way, and also propagate, meaning you can have them indefinitely.

If you want to keep more fragile and more light sensitive plants, a high tech planted setup will make this possible. From what I understand, you need all three ingredients to make this work - high wattage lighting, CO2, and fertilizers . If you use just one or two and not the others, you will boost algae growth and your plants will die, or some other similar disaster will occur.

With a properly setup high tech tank you can keep any submersible plant, and the rates of plant growth achieved are phenomenal. That can mean you need to do maintenance on those tanks every other day, because the plants need to be trimmed, or levels of CO2, fertilizers, and so on need to be adjusted.

A great place to learn more about planted tanks is The Planted Tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Will- I think you're right some valis would be a good addition as far as something taller

Another thing that just came to my attention after looking at another members website- would I be better served to buy the expensive fixture that hold the T5 bulbs 2 54watt, one 6500K one 10,000K daylight bulb, or should I go to menards and buy a 4 foot fixture for 10 bucks and outfit it with 2 T8 32 watt, one 6500K bulbs for a fraction of the cost? I have never tried either so if anyone has I'd love to hear your opinions!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
mueller-It was actually your site I was cruising and noticed the light source you had on your 240 gallon aquarium. It looks like a good alternative to the expensive lighting systems i've been seeing. I am unfortunately unsure of the differences between the two types of systems and tend to have an affinity for some of the higher light requiring plants, such as the lawn type plants. thanks for the link though maybe I can find answers there.
 
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