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Old 06-12-2013, 08:01 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Miami, FL
Smile To plant or not to plant?

So over the past few months I've had some failures with turning my little guy's tank into a partly planted one. It was partly due to me making a spur of the moment decision at the pet store without really knowing what I needed to do to make it work.

I have a 5 gal tank, and it came with LED lights in the top lid. I don't know how many watts they are, I haven't been able to find out anywhere...

I do get about 45 mins of direct sunlight in my room daily, but the rest of the day its not too sunny.

Should I try again (properly this time) with some java ferns, or should I just stick with the fake plants?
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:36 PM   #2 
Join Date: May 2012
I always forget my plant list when I go to the LFS or pet store, lol. I have killed at least a few
If you really want real plants then go for it! Make yourself a low light plant list and remember to carry it with you. It has been my experience that most pet stores only seem to have plants with higher lighting needs. Rarely can I find the low light plants. I have better luck at the LFS but if I don't get in there within a few days of a new shipment they are all gone. Too bad about the LED's. Most of those on inexpensive or small tanks are not bright enough for plants. If it were incandescent you could easily screw in whatever CFL you needed for your lighting needs. Hmm. If you really need more light you could get one of these

You could clip it to a shelf or install a small towel bar on the wall behind the tank to clip it to. You could clip it to the table top as well and shine it in from one side. I saw these on clearance at Lowes today for $5. You can easily put a 13, 20, 23watt CFL in it for higher lighting needs. Just make sure it's a 6500K bulb.

I would opt for a fast growing stem plant to get started. Java ferns can be slow to take off unless conditions are really right IME.

I bet you could make a really cute NPT for very little $$ in a 5g. The bonus there being you wouldn't need a filter after it gets settled.
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:31 AM   #3 
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That is a fantastic idea. I'm out running errands today, so I might as well pick up a lamp, bulb, and give it a try.

Thank you!! :D
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