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What would i need to grow plants?


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  • Regular Member

What kind of plants do you want to grow? I'm no lighting expert but different plants have different lighting needs. If you have some in mind you might want to post the types of plants you were thinking so the lighting gurus can help you with that. :D

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  • Regular Member

Are you intending to grow these emersed or submerged? Depending on the way you wish to grow them, will determine what equipment you will need.

Unfortunately I'm in a bit of a rush this evening, but I'll come back to this thread with a more detailed response later for you. :)

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Your current list of plants are all fairly easy growing, so they should all do well in a fairly low tech planted only tank. :)


Submerged grow out:

Substrate: You will want a decent substrate if you're going for the plant only route. Something like ADA Aquasoil Amazonia is ideal since it is nutrient rich, however, you can also use Eco-Complete or Flourite. You can even layer potting soil underneath some gravel, you just have to ensure it has no pesticides or toxins added to it.

Fertilisers and CO2: Fertilisers are always handy to have around when dealing with plants -- a broad spectrum fertiliser such as Seachem's Flourish is ideal. If you wish, liquid iron can also come in handy; however, if you're just looking to grow plants and not sustain an elaborate aquascape, iron isn't detrimental (you may find your tap water already contains adequate amounts of iron anyway). Furthermore, aquatic plant soils often have trace elements of iron, they're loaded with a slew of micro and macro nutrients.

In regards to CO2, once again, if you only intend on creating a grow out tank, I wouldn't invest in a CO2 system. Not only are they expensive, but for a beginner, they can be a little complex. If you really want to mess around with carbon dioxide, you can easily make a DIY system using not much more than some yeast, an empty soft drink bottle, and a length of airline tubing.

If you're interested, the following is a very interesting article in regards to nutrient enhancement in aquatic plants.


Lighting: This is where things become a little more complex. In an aquarium, we measure lighting using PAR (Photosynthetically active radiation), this is how plants (aquatic, marsh and terrestrial) perceive light. The type of fixture you choose (T8, T5 or T5HO) will be your call, however, depending on the size of the tank, you'll want to adjust accordingly -- a T5HO fixture on a 10 gallon tank, for instance, would be far too much lighting; it's a high output bulb after all. Keep in mind that PAR levels are affected by distance and the reflector on the fixture. In regards to distance: should you choose to hang a light, as opposed to it sitting on the aquarium, PAR levels can decrease. Likewise, the closer a fixture is to the aquarium, the higher its PAR output will be.


If PAR is too complicated for you to grasp (which it can be, it is quite confusing), you can use the archaic watts per gallon rule (1 watt per gallon = low lighting, 2 = medium lighting, and 3+ = high lighting). That said, this is not the most accurate means of determining lighting levels and should be avoided if possible.

In regards to bulbs, this is once again entirely your choice; 6400K bulbs, for example, tend to be more yellow than the white light produced by a 10,000K bulb.

Emersed grow out:

To keep this concise I'll try and mention this in as few words as possible. For an emersed grow out -- meaning the growing of marsh plants in a humid environment -- you will need the majority of equipment used for a submerged tank. However, you will also require some cling film in order to help retain the humidity in the tank. Basically you plant, mist the plants with water every 1-2 days, and seal the top of the tank with cling film. Of course this is a simple explanation, but should you wish to go this route, I'd be more than happy to elaborate. :)

Edited by dan in aus
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  • 3 months later...
  • Regular Member
  • Regular Member



Amazon swords


Egeria Densa

Jungle vals

Do goldfish eat these usually?

Goldfish will graze on almost anything, so it's best to see what works for you. What some people's goldfish might eat, yours may not.

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