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Thread: Live aquarium plants... What to pick?

  1. #1
    jbigtoe
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    Default Live aquarium plants... What to pick?

    I have tried out a couple of plants and bulbs from the pet store without much success. Before trying more I am hoping for some advice.

    My aquarium is for ACFs. There is no lighting over the aquarium except the regular ceiling lights and some indirect sun light. I currently have a moss ball, a small fern and a thing with a broad leaf plant attached to it in coconut hair. The ball seems to be fine, and the fern is a little puny because the frog won't leave it alone. The other broadleaf plant seems to be not growing, and possibly rotting a little. I have some bulbs attempting to mature in a separate tank, and all they are doing is getting moldy.

    I do not plan to put a light over the tank at all, but just keep it covered with a screen. The soft daylight and interrior lighting is plenty for asthetics.

    What kinds of plants would do well in this situation? Shoudl the frog have more light? Does the lighting matter for aquatic plants?

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  3. #2
    chibikaie
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    Default Re: Live aquarium plants... What to pick?

    Most aquatic plants need supplemental lighting to do well. If you are not going to put a plant-friendly light on the tank, stick to the marimo balls (actually a type of algae). You may also get some very low light, slow growing plants to survive, such as anubias. I find that Java ferns require a bit more in the way of light, and bolbitis seems to require light and good water flow.

    The bulbs tend to be of very variable quality. Some will sprout readily, others will just rot. I do not know of any species commonly available as a bulb that will grow long term with only ambient lighting.

  4. #3
    Moderator deranged chipmunk's Avatar
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    Default Live aquarium plants... What to pick?

    Without any supplemental lighting, I would suggest silk plants. No species will thrive without light, and any natural light coming in through a window will lose it's PAR value (light penetration) within the first inch or so of water that it hits.

    They make some very realistic looking silks, I would recommend you go that route. They will be frog friendly and best of all, won't die, and don't need any lighting or fertilizer supplements.
    1.0.0 Oophaga Pumilio 'Black Jeans'
    0.0.10 Phyllobates Vittatus
    0.0.3 Phyllobates Terribilis 'Mint'
    0.0.3 Dendrobates Tinctorius 'Patricia'
    0.0.5 Dendrobates Leucomelas
    0.0.2 Dendrobates Tinctorius 'Powder Blue'
    0.0.2 Ranitomeya Variabilis 'southern'
    0.0.3 Epipedobates Anthonyi 'zarayunga'
    1.2.0 Phyllobates bicolor
    0.0.3 Dendrobates tinctorius 'azureus'
    0.0.1 Avicularia Avicularia
    0.0.1 Gramastola porteri
    0.2.0 Canines
    1.0.0 Tabby/Maine Coon Mix
    2.1.0 Genetics Experiments
    0.1.0 Bed Bully

  5. #4
    Tongue Flicker
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    Default Re: Live aquarium plants... What to pick?

    Quote Originally Posted by deranged chipmunk View Post
    Without any supplemental lighting, I would suggest silk plants. No species will thrive without light, and any natural light coming in through a window will lose it's PAR value (light penetration) within the first inch or so of water that it hits.

    They make some very realistic looking silks, I would recommend you go that route. They will be frog friendly and best of all, won't die, and don't need any lighting or fertilizer supplements.
    was thinking the same thing. natural light from the windows or indoor/ceiling lights normally get their illumination diluted as they pass thru the viv glass and more so as they pass thru water rendering the much needed light exposure useless. bulbous plants definitely need bright lights for their leafy stalks to become sturdy. you could hunt for some bulbous plants in shaded bogs but i'm pretty sure the shade of the outdoors already equals moderate lighting indoors. The only plant i know that can thrive on a 7 watt incandescent light over 16 hours are Sanseveria trifasciata which is virtually too tall for the standard tank

  6. #5
    Namio
    Guest

    Default Re: Live aquarium plants... What to pick?

    I'd suggest you to get a light fixture, they come in t5 or LED which provide a different feel, and different color light bulbs, too, so you might be able to find something you like. Then get a timer and you'd be set to get all sorts of aquatic plants! If a light fixture is a deal breaker, then perhaps you can move the tank next to a window and let the sun do its thing that is to provide plentiful light so your plants can thrive. All plants photosynthesize to different degrees, and once you take light out of the equation, you're asking a little much for them to survive and thrive. On the other hand, realistic fake plants are another option. Good luck!

  7. #6
    jbigtoe
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    Thanks everyone for the feedback. Light fixtures aren't a deal breaker, but my concern is more for the frog having a good environment. I don't want to put a light over him, because the place I got him said he is semi nocternal, and prefers the shade. I don't want him to feel like hiding because of unnecessary lighting. If silk will do and its goo for him, I'll go that route.

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