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Old 06-28-2013, 08:45 AM   #1 
Canis
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Would this setup work?

I really want to plant my 3 gallon tank, but I'm not sure if this will work?
Here is what I am planning:
-I already have a java fern tree, this will be the main piece.
-Miracle Grow Organic Potting Mix capped with black or white petco sand
-dwarf hairgrass carpet
-floating hornwort and/or water sprite

Will this setup work? I guess I'm a bit worried that I won't have enough stem plants, but would the roots from the hairgrass aerate the soil enough so that it doesn't become anaerobic, and suck up anything that can be harmful to the betta?
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Old 06-28-2013, 04:33 PM   #2 
lilnaugrim
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If you have floating plants you're not going to get a very nice carpet of DHG. Also you'd need a high lighting system to get any sorts of carpet other than java moss carpet. I'd suggest actually planting the water sprite and hornwort and just letting it grow up to the waterline and then curve over, it would be really pretty. Hornwort can get messy because it's a cold water plant and so it sheds it's needles very often in hotter temps. If you get green Cabomda this will work better and doesn't really shed much, still grows fast too.

As far as your substrate, yes that will work. I suggest an inch to 1.5 inches of capping sand so it doesn't get so messy.
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:01 PM   #3 
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Would I be able to get by without the floating plants? I have a 23W (technically 60W, but the output is only 23) bulb that I put over the tank, and it lights it pretty well.

PS, I'm sorta a noob when it comes to lighting XD
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:04 PM   #4 
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Unfortunately it's not the wattage or the Kelvin rating that determines low/mid/high lighting, it's something called PAR and it can be kind of confusing. Is you bulb an incandescent or fluorescent. If you can, fluorescent would work better as incandescent's are basically useless. You might be able to get away with it because you would have an NPT so it would supply enough nutrients but at this point it'd be a trial and error. But if you had floating plants it'd block the lights, that's all.

You can however get a suction cup for airline tubing and attach a floating plant to it so it stays at one side of the tank and then have the other part with the carpet, that could work. But again, you'd need to have enough light is all.
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:17 PM   #5 
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Its a 6500k fluorescent bulb, would I need a higher one? I can get one if so.
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:17 PM   #6 
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It has been growing my medium light plants pretty well, and is starting to redden up my ludwigia repens quite a bit lately. Not sure if it will be okay for the hairgrass or not though?
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Old 06-29-2013, 03:18 AM   #7 
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Just wanted to add that hornwort is the aquatic plant that Satan grows in his aquarium... In other words it is a nightmare and will turn your tank into a sea of tiny green needles that are impossible to clean out.

As you can tell I have had a bad experience with hornwort lol
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Old 06-29-2013, 03:58 AM   #8 
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A 6500k light is perfect for growing your plants.

I have floaters in all my tanks and just put them towards the front or off to the side so they don't block the entire top and it seems to work. I keep them trimmed so they don't get to big.

I also dislike hornwort, it's rough and itchy and is hard on a bettas fins. There are tropical hornwort kinds that are supposedly softer and not as hard but touching the hornwort we have just creeps me out and often leaves red scratches on my hand when cleaning the tank.

Water Sprite is wonderful. It's beautiful and very easy to grown. You can float it or plant it. We have one mother plant that is planted in my 29g and all the other babies that float came from her. The planted one is so, so very big and the roots are throughout at least half of the aquarium, so I imagine it sucks up a lot and it slows the water flow down, which is nice for a betta.

I've not tried DHG yet in our tanks but plan to soon. With your 6500 light, you should be fine so long as the light reaches the bottom. I've read so many differing stories of DHG, some people grow it well in medium to low light and some people don't. Probably just depends on your tank. I plan to get a small bag or two of it next time we go to Petco to try out.
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:16 PM   #9 
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Oh yeah, don't get any Myrio either, very similar to Hornwort where it just sheds it's needles >.< pain in the tushie!

and yes 6,500K fluorescent is perfect!
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