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Low Light Plants

Author Topic: Low light plants  (Read 1879 times)

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Offline Wil7985

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Low light plants
« on: October 29, 2016, 06:00:44 AM »
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I would like to have some live plants if its possible, but I only have cheepo led lighting is there any beginner plants that would suit this type of lighting ? my tank is a 60l with a fine gravel substrate. 

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Offline Matt

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Re: Low light plants
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2016, 07:57:09 AM »
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Hi Wil, There are a few different choices depending on what you want to go for.

By far the easiest things to grow are anubias and java fern.  these are both plants which grow from a rhizome meaning you don't actually plant them into the gravel, they grow attached to a piece of wood or rock and absorb their nutrients from the water. They are pretty indestructible and need no special treatment.

mosses and floating plants are also very easy growers. try java moss and frogbit.

Beyond this, there are a number of ''stem plants" which grow well whether planted or floating.  these are also good because they too absorb their nutrients from the water again requiring no special treatment.  It might be that you have to experiment a bit to find a plantlie this that works for your tank conditions, but ones to consider are; pennywort, Hornwort, egeria densa, hygrophila to name just a few.

This leaves (excuse the pun), the basic 'traditional' root growing plants that take their nutrients from the gravel. For these you may wish to purchase som root tablets that will provide nutrients to the plants but there are again some fairly indestructible options out there such as vallis, amazon sword, crypts.

a good website for you to refer to is the tropica website www.tropical.com/plants. I'm afraid I've used a few scientific and a few common names here but hopefully this will get you started 8)

Offline fcmf

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Re: Low light plants
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2016, 08:40:44 AM »
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Hi Wil,

I'm relatively new to keeping live aquatic plants, have been experimenting with quite a few and correctly anticipated that I wouldn't be very skilled at it. However, the anubias (which I attached to some wood) and the moss balls seem to be the longest-lasting and actually thriving, so I'd definitely recommend those.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Low light plants
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2016, 08:47:02 AM »
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Most of my tanks have LED lights, and I'm very low tech when it comes to plants - I don't add any CO2, and don't remember the last time I actually added any liquid fertiliser to any of my tanks (apart from my plant holding tanks), and I'm amazed at what I've grown. Even my axolotl tanks, which are kept below 19C most of the time, and don't have much light because axies dont have eyelids, have grown several plants, not including anubius and java fern.
Sometimes it's a matter of seeing what works in your water conditions.
I have bought plants from both of these places, but you can also get quite a variety of plants from the LFS
https://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/
http://www.aquariumgardens.co.uk/

@Matt has listed some of the very hardy plants, and I will admit that I have grown amazon swords tied to decor in my axolotl tanks, because those fellas can't be trusted not to dig everything up and eat the substrate.

I only got into live plants a few months ago, so still experimenting with what works for me.

Offline Cod_only_knows

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Re: Low light plants
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2016, 08:23:06 PM »
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If you have a soil substrate I would recommend any of the Cryptocoryne genus. The grow exceptionally well in low light and a slow growing and so need minimal maintenance. They will most likely suffer 'Crypt melt' after planting, but don't worry as this is very common. Leave the plants in the tank and in a week or so you'll see new leaves popping out of the substrate.

Java fern, Anubias and Bucephalandra grow well when attached to decor in low light aquariums. The latter can be a little difficult to find.

Many stem plants will grow in low light, but will often get leggy. I'm currently having great success with Rotala rotundifolia, which goes a lovely pink colour as it reaches the top of the tank. Hygrophila polysperma is a fast growing plant that is very robust. I heard that Hygrophila difformis is also a good low light stem plant but haven't grown it myself.

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Offline Matt

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Re: Low light plants
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2019, 09:27:49 PM »
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Old thread this so apologies but... I wrote up a list of the plants I have had most success with which I thought might be of interest to our readers:

Rhizome plants and mosses:
Anubias species (any)
Bucephalandra species (any)
Java fern (Microsoft pteropus)
Bolbitis heudelotti
Java moss (taxiphyllum barbieri)
Mario moss balls (cladophora aegagrophila)

Rosette and bulb plants:
Crinum calamistratum
Crypt species (any)
Echinodorus species (e.g. Amazon swords)
Dwarf Sag (Sagittariua subulata)
Vallisneria (any)
Aponogetum capuroni

Stem plants:
Bacopa monnieri
Egeria densa
Hygrophila species (any)
Ludwigia palustris (hard to grow red)
Hornwort (ceratophyllum demersum)
Lysimachia nummularia Aurea

Carpeting and floating plants (carpeting species need good planting substrate):
Lilaeopsis novae-zelandiae
Hellanthium tenellum
Micranthemum Monte-Carlo
Eleocharis parvula
Limnobium laeviggatum
Lemna minor

This is simply based on my experience and may not mean all these plants work for everyone... but it might be a useful pick list for anyone stepping into live plants or looking for the next one to give a go...

Offline fcmf

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Re: Low light plants
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2019, 02:45:50 PM »
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This is very helpful indeed, @Matt - many thanks!

I have some anubias, marimo boss balls, hornwort and the remnants of some java moss in my tank. I'm currently taking a break from growing live plants although did treat the fish to an Echinodorus as their Christmas present/tree.

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