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Re: Low Light Plants

On Mon, 11 Sep 2000, Tracie wrote:

> I have just started to get serious about having a planted tank. Right
> now, I have a 20 gallon high with a 2 20 watt flourescent fixture on it.
> I would like to upgrade to something brighter but so far have no idea of
> what I am looking for.  I would like some input on fixtures and what
> type of lighting I need for this tank. Also, I do not want plants that
> need a great light intensity. Medium to low light plants are fine. So
> far, I am growing Java moss like crazy. With my current tank status,
> what other plants are low light that will grow?

People keep referring to 20 gallon "high" tanks.  What is that?  I know of
at least three sizes for 20 gallon tanks, and I'm not sure which one is
being referred to.  I have a 20 gallon long (30" long - what an awkward
size).  I also have what I call a standard 20 (2 feet long, about 1 foot
front-to-back)  that I think some people call a 20 "high".  A friend of
mine has what I call a 20 "high", which is a hideous tank for planting; I
haven't measured it, but I think it's something like 2 feet high, 10"
front-to-back and 20" across.

*If* Tracie has what I call a standard 20 gallon, then I can help.  Two
20-watt fluorescent fixtures won't make a bright tank, but they do provide
enough light for low light plants and most plants with moderate light
demands.  Many common Crypts will grow well in that setup.  I've also
grown dwarf Sag, Echinodorus tenellus, Ludwidgia repens and Lileaopsis in
the tank, among others.  Some of the higher-light plants like the
Lileaopsis and E. tenellus tend to "reach" unless you're careful about
keeping bright tubes in the fixture and keeping other plants from shading
the tank.

Really, as long as you're careful about your choice and rotation of
fluorescent tubes, planting pattern and pruning you can grow most of the
plants we keep in the hobby.  The only ones you probably can't keep are
the really light-hungry plants (glossotigma, for instance).  I've had more
trouble finding plants that stay small enough for the tank than I have had
finding plants that will grow in the available light.

Roger Miller