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I am about to purchase a new tank (40-50 g). But, I would also like to try and have real plants in it. These new tanks come with LED lights, so my question is; will this lighting be sufficient to grow any real plants? if yes; which ones?

If not, then what would your recommendations be; and how would they fit onto the tank(I am concerned they may not fit).

Thanks so much!
 

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I am about to purchase a new tank (40-50 g). But, I would also like to try and have real plants in it. These new tanks come with LED lights, so my question is; will this lighting be sufficient to grow any real plants? if yes; which ones?

If not, then what would your recommendations be; and how would they fit onto the tank(I am concerned they may not fit).

Thanks so much!
Hi there

So without knowing what tank you are specifically referring to but generally the lights that come with most tank kits are not bright enough or in the correct spectrum to grow plants. There are some small tanks that come with lighting specific for growing plants but it is pretty clearly indicated on the packaging.

Now as far as new lights go you have to consider your options. In my experience you can either plan to have a lower light, no injected CO2 "Low tech" tank that will have a lower overall cost and will require less maintenance but will limit the selection of plants you can grow, or you can have a higher light, injected CO2 tank that will require more maintenance, better and ongoing fertilizer needs, and ongoing supply of CO2 that will be able to grow what ever exotic, colourful plants you wish. You will have to consider your budget.

If you chose to go the low light, no CO2 route I would head over to the "Low tech" forum at "theplantedtank.com" and see what other people have done but plan on buying at least a plant specific lighting system like a T5HO 2 bulb fixture with fluorescent bulbs specific for plants or a planted LED run on short cycles.

If you chose the high light route I would start looking at a plant specific LED light like the fluval planted 2.0 or the finnex planted plus 24/7 (you will need more than one to reach medium high light) or any of the other available lighting systems (the lighting forum at the planted tank is a good resource to check out) but beware these lights will likely cost you somewhere around $200 each minimum for a tank that size. I ordered my lights from "Drs Foster and Smith" in the U.S. and while it was somewhat expensive it was reliable and quick delivery. If you go that route you will also likely need a quality CO2 injection system ($200-$300 from CO2 art or green leaf aquariums or you can take your chances with a milwaukee regulator but I didn't risk it) as well as plant specific substrate (Ecocomplete, ADA aquasoil, tropica soil etc) and a consistent fertilizer routine (I ordered mine from "the plant guy" website based in winnipeg).

I have 2 tanks set up as "High tech" tanks attached to a single CO2 source with 2 outputs and while I am very happy being free to grow what ever plants i want with lots of success it does take quite a bit of upkeep (Buying fertilizer, much more frequent trimming, refilling CO2 cylinders at fire safety supply stores etc) and i imagine the two tanks cost me at least $1500 or more.

My advice is to go to tropica's website and look at the variety of tank layouts and plants available and decide whether you want to go low light/low tech or high light/high tech while keeping your budget in mind and then make some decisions.
 

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Hi there

So without knowing what tank you are specifically referring to but generally the lights that come with most tank kits are not bright enough or in the correct spectrum to grow plants. There are some small tanks that come with lighting specific for growing plants but it is pretty clearly indicated on the packaging.

Now as far as new lights go you have to consider your options. In my experience you can either plan to have a lower light, no injected CO2 "Low tech" tank that will have a lower overall cost and will require less maintenance but will limit the selection of plants you can grow, or you can have a higher light, injected CO2 tank that will require more maintenance, better and ongoing fertilizer needs, and ongoing supply of CO2 that will be able to grow what ever exotic, colourful plants you wish. You will have to consider your budget.

If you chose to go the low light, no CO2 route I would head over to the "Low tech" forum at "theplantedtank.com" and see what other people have done but plan on buying at least a plant specific lighting system like a T5HO 2 bulb fixture with fluorescent bulbs specific for plants or a planted LED run on short cycles.

If you chose the high light route I would start looking at a plant specific LED light like the fluval planted 2.0 or the finnex planted plus 24/7 (you will need more than one to reach medium high light) or any of the other available lighting systems (the lighting forum at the planted tank is a good resource to check out) but beware these lights will likely cost you somewhere around $200 each minimum for a tank that size. I ordered my lights from "Drs Foster and Smith" in the U.S. and while it was somewhat expensive it was reliable and quick delivery. If you go that route you will also likely need a quality CO2 injection system ($200-$300 from CO2 art or green leaf aquariums or you can take your chances with a milwaukee regulator but I didn't risk it) as well as plant specific substrate (Ecocomplete, ADA aquasoil, tropica soil etc) and a consistent fertilizer routine (I ordered mine from "the plant guy" website based in winnipeg).

I have 2 tanks set up as "High tech" tanks attached to a single CO2 source with 2 outputs and while I am very happy being free to grow what ever plants i want with lots of success it does take quite a bit of upkeep (Buying fertilizer, much more frequent trimming, refilling CO2 cylinders at fire safety supply stores etc) and i imagine the two tanks cost me at least $1500 or more.

My advice is to go to tropica's website and look at the variety of tank layouts and plants available and decide whether you want to go low light/low tech or high light/high tech while keeping your budget in mind and then make some decisions.
Thanks so much for the detailed information, really useful :)
 

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On timers, I use fluorescent bulbs for about 10 hours a day. Then switch to red L.E.D. for a few hours in the evening. Darkness overnight, with just whatever light comes from the street through the windows. I trim old growth every couple of weeks or so to allow more room for the new growth. Of course, all these plants are very low maintenance to begin with. The only "food" for them is tabs buried in the sand and whatever else they absorb from the substrate and water. :0)
 

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You can not use any LED light to growing plants. Here you need to remember that LED's have many variations, So they are all not suited for plant growth. So if you want to successfully grow your plants then you need to choose LED grow lights which release specific colour and sufficient intensity level.
 
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