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Old 01-09-2013, 11:19 AM   #21 
OrangeAugust
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I had my 5 gallon tank up and running for a few weeks with plants in it before I decided to put my betta in it (I didn't officially start cycling it yet). Within 3 weeks, my tank was fully cycled and I think it was because I started running it with plants in it. Anything living will get bacteria started.
Anyway, live plants are difficult to grow if you don't have the right lighting. I never use fertilizers or CO2, but lighting is really the key. I was able to grow some plants when I had "low light" (which was a 60 watt CFL bulb with a 2700 K rating. you need to check the bulbs for K rating). the higher numbers are whiter light, which is closer to daylight. You need at least 6500K for growing medium to high light plants. I ended up with a really great LED desk lamp that really caused my plants to start growing. But in my low light situation, I had an amazon sword, a rosette sword, hornwort, and fanwort. They all grew slowly and survived, but many other plants I had tried before that did not.
But in any type of lighting, I recommend fanwort as a floating plant. I just really like how nice it looks. Also, Rosette Sword and Amazon Sword. Supposedly Water Wisteria is supposed to be super easy to grow and supposedly grows like a weed no matter what, but almost all of mine has died over the past month since I got it. It's really fustrating.
People say java fern and anubias are good low light plants, too but I don't have any personal experience with those.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:07 PM   #22 
minanicole
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeAugust View Post
I had my 5 gallon tank up and running for a few weeks with plants in it before I decided to put my betta in it (I didn't officially start cycling it yet). Within 3 weeks, my tank was fully cycled and I think it was because I started running it with plants in it. Anything living will get bacteria started.
Anyway, live plants are difficult to grow if you don't have the right lighting. I never use fertilizers or CO2, but lighting is really the key. I was able to grow some plants when I had "low light" (which was a 60 watt CFL bulb with a 2700 K rating. you need to check the bulbs for K rating). the higher numbers are whiter light, which is closer to daylight. You need at least 6500K for growing medium to high light plants. I ended up with a really great LED desk lamp that really caused my plants to start growing. But in my low light situation, I had an amazon sword, a rosette sword, hornwort, and fanwort. They all grew slowly and survived, but many other plants I had tried before that did not.
But in any type of lighting, I recommend fanwort as a floating plant. I just really like how nice it looks. Also, Rosette Sword and Amazon Sword. Supposedly Water Wisteria is supposed to be super easy to grow and supposedly grows like a weed no matter what, but almost all of mine has died over the past month since I got it. It's really fustrating.
People say java fern and anubias are good low light plants, too but I don't have any personal experience with those.
I'm really glad you told me about the K rating thing - that helps me a lot with how to compare bulbs and their "quality" for tanks. I'm definitely bookmarking this whole post because I like the different variety of recommended plants. I wish I had enough tank room for all of them!

The only mid-to high light plant I'd like in the tank is the dwarf grass, so I'll probably save buying that for when I have the funds to buy the special lighting and whatever else I may need.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:14 PM   #23 
SQUIRT1216
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Hmmm. Be careful with led light. They tend not to work as well (well at least the one that you could afford anyways). Usually the best one is t5. But t8 should be fine
The bulb that I told you usually 2700-3000k. An actual 15w light strip is from 3500k to 10000 k

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Old 01-09-2013, 08:14 PM   #24 
minanicole
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Originally Posted by SQUIRT1216 View Post
Hmmm. Be careful with led light. They tend not to work as well (well at least the one that you could afford anyways). Usually the best one is t5. But t8 should be fine
The bulb that I told you usually 2700-3000k. An actual 15w light strip is from 3500k to 10000 k
Hmmm, okay. All of this is very alien to me. I'll write these numbers down though - and check Walmart!
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