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Plants In A Low-lit Clown Loach Tank
July 21, 2009
10:05 pm
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rob
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Hi guys!

I've set up a clown loach tank, which is only lit by 1 T8 30” 25w marine blue actinic tube; are there any plants that will survive in such low lighting? I'm not too concerned if they won't thrive & grow, just survive! I'm looking for large-leafed plants if poss, as there's a couple of powerheads in the tank, and the loach used to dig up or nibble at small-leafed plants.

cheers, Rob

July 21, 2009
11:40 pm
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Matt
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Señor Gudgeon, can it be true?? /ohmy.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":o" border="0" alt="ohmy.gif" /> /tongue.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":p" border="0" alt="tongue.gif" /> Have you tried Anubias mate? You can grow it attached to bogwood or rocks.

Cake or death?
July 22, 2009
11:16 am
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Bluedave
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How big is the tank, mate?

As Matt said anubias species will do well in low light set up's, there are some very different looking varietes and all sorts of different sizes:

Anubias barteri var. barteri is the biggest and most robust of the anubias (45cm height)
Anubias barteri var. angustifolia
Tropica do a couple of decent sized one - Anubias barteri var. coffefolia and anubias var. caladifolia 1705.

Anubias Barteri Var. nana will do well but doesn't grow big at all, makes a nice foreground plant in big low light set ups.

Other plants that do well in low light -

Java fern is a classic - again there are different types (narrow and forked etc)
Vallis and Hygrophilia polysperma can do ok down to 0.5 WPG.
Cryptocoryne sp. do VERY well in low light (in fact they prefer it in a lot of cases). There are even more varieties available than anubias.
Amazon Swords (Ech. Bleheri) will manage with low light but will take ages to grow and require a lot of iron.

Java fern and anubias are the most robust plants (attached to wood or rocks) to have with clowns as they have a tendency to dig everything else up! Crypts might not do so well in with the clowns, as they are not really robust enough IMO.

Thats about your lot I reckon - loads of anubias and java fern would look good I reckon.

Pics below of one of my old set ups (had a lot of light though!) with a massive Anubias var. Barteri (on the left) and foreground of anubias var. nana at the front. This set up had 3 clown loaches in it that were forever digging stuff up!

P1150730.jpgImage Enlarger

P1150740.jpgImage Enlarger

Hope all that helps!

July 22, 2009
10:39 pm
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Eyrie
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Definitely java fern. It's the only plant I have left in my Sumatran tank because the clowns trashed the rest (including my attempt at a cryptocorene lawn) /sad.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":(" border="0" alt="sad.gif" />

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Mature, sensible signature required for responsible position. Good prospects for the right candidate. Apply within.
July 23, 2009
9:15 am
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Bluedave
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Great set up Eyrie

July 23, 2009
5:43 pm
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rob
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QUOTE (Matt @ Jul 22 2009, 12:23 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Señor Gudgeon, can it be true?? /ohmy.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":o" border="0" alt="ohmy.gif" /> /tongue.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":p" border="0" alt="tongue.gif" /> Have you tried Anubias mate? You can grow it attached to bogwood or rocks.


hello mate /cool.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="B)" border="0" alt="cool.gif" /> how's tricks? you were polite & kind enough not to kick my arse when you saw my loach tank, but it had too much in it, so I've modelled it (almost) exactly on your knowledge base article now. will have to get some piccies up here, but with the actinic lighting I'm struggling to get decent photos, will post some as soon as I've got some

will check out anubias then, I'm getting together a little list of plants people have mentioned, then gonna go shopping online!

July 23, 2009
5:47 pm
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rob
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QUOTE (Bluedave @ Jul 22 2009, 11:59 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
How big is the tank, mate?


hi Dave. it's 18G (36x12x10 of water, with a couple of inches of sand/rocks at the bottom); I know this is way too small for the loaches, but I plan on moving house in the next year, when they'll be moving to a 6 foot+ tank just for them, in the meantime, just trying to do the best I can with where they are... apparently I'm now allowed more than 5 tanks in the living room & 2 in the kitchen /sad.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":(" border="0" alt="sad.gif" />

QUOTE (Bluedave @ Jul 22 2009, 11:59 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
As Matt said anubias species will do well in low light set up's, there are some very different looking varietes and all sorts of different sizes:

Anubias barteri var. barteri is the biggest and most robust of the anubias (45cm height)
Anubias barteri var. angustifolia
Tropica do a couple of decent sized one - Anubias barteri var. coffefolia and anubias var. caladifolia 1705.

Anubias Barteri Var. nana will do well but doesn't grow big at all, makes a nice foreground plant in big low light set ups.

Other plants that do well in low light -

Java fern is a classic - again there are different types (narrow and forked etc)
Vallis and Hygrophilia polysperma can do ok down to 0.5 WPG.
Cryptocoryne sp. do VERY well in low light (in fact they prefer it in a lot of cases). There are even more varieties available than anubias.
Amazon Swords (Ech. Bleheri) will manage with low light but will take ages to grow and require a lot of iron.

Java fern and anubias are the most robust plants (attached to wood or rocks) to have with clowns as they have a tendency to dig everything else up! Crypts might not do so well in with the clowns, as they are not really robust enough IMO.

Thats about your lot I reckon - loads of anubias and java fern would look good I reckon.

thanks a lot for all this, gives me lots of good stuff to go on, nearly ready to go shopping now!

QUOTE (Bluedave @ Jul 22 2009, 11:59 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Pics below of one of my old set ups (had a lot of light though!) with a massive Anubias var. Barteri (on the left) and foreground of anubias var. nana at the front. This set up had 3 clown loaches in it that were forever digging stuff up!

P1150730.jpgImage Enlarger

P1150740.jpgImage Enlarger

Hope all that helps!

wow, lovely pics & tanks! something to aspire to...

July 23, 2009
5:48 pm
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rob
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QUOTE (Eyrie @ Jul 22 2009, 11:22 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Definitely java fern. It's the only plant I have left in my Sumatran tank because the clowns trashed the rest (including my attempt at a cryptocorene lawn) /sad.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":(" border="0" alt="sad.gif" />


thanks. tank still looks lovely! yeah I'm looking for dig-tolerant species where poss 😉

July 24, 2009
9:07 am
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Bluedave
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Is there a reason why your using actinic? Could you not change the bulb to a daylight one?

You've actually got 1.16 watts per gallon (WPG) on the tank, I'm assuming the 18 Gal is UK Gallons. WPG is measured in US Gallons so thats 25 watts /21.6 US Gal.

If you change to a daylight tube thats plenty of light for all the above plants.

July 25, 2009
12:14 am
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Matt
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QUOTE (rob @ Jul 23 2009, 06:26 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
hello mate B) how's tricks? you were polite & kind enough not to kick my arse when you saw my loach tank, but it had too much in it

As far as I remember we'd had a few imbibes and you were more interested in showing me your iphone! /laugh.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="Laugh" border="0" alt="laugh.gif" />

Cake or death?
July 27, 2009
10:06 pm
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rob
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QUOTE (Bluedave @ Jul 24 2009, 09:50 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is there a reason why your using actinic? Could you not change the bulb to a daylight one?

You've actually got 1.16 watts per gallon (WPG) on the tank, I'm assuming the 18 Gal is UK Gallons. WPG is measured in US Gallons so thats 25 watts /21.6 US Gal.

If you change to a daylight tube thats plenty of light for all the above plants.

I was just looking at options to have reduced light in the tank really & thought I'd try one out. the fish don't seem to mind & I'm not aware of a reason I shouldn't be using one (though happy to be corrected if there's a health reason for using a daylight bulb!) so I'd like to stick with it.

Yep, 18 UK gallons. I've just bought some RO Right for prepping RO water for their tank, so hopefully they're gonna appreciate the higher water quality.

July 27, 2009
10:20 pm
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rob
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oh & I've put a little vid of the tank up here, though I've since added 3 bits of bogwood..

clown loach tankImage Enlarger

July 27, 2009
10:45 pm
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Matt
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Tank looks good and much different to when I last saw it mate. Fish look happy and healthy too. /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> Have you noticed any difference in the loaches' behaviour since you changed it?

Edit: what's 'RO Right' then?

Cake or death?
July 28, 2009
8:48 am
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Bluedave
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No problems with the light mate, it's just keeping plants would be easier with a different tube, lol.

Tank looks great - do you really need any plants in that set up?

Matt, RO right is just a re-mineralising product for RO water.

July 28, 2009
12:26 pm
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rob
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QUOTE (Matt @ Jul 27 2009, 11:28 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Tank looks good and much different to when I last saw it mate. Fish look happy and healthy too. /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> Have you noticed any difference in the loaches' behaviour since you changed it?

Edit: what's 'RO Right' then?

thanks mate! yeah they're out way more & interact with each other more. they're also out during the day a lot now, as I think they think it's night time /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> a couple seem to be growing a little faster too, but I have recently changed their food, which I think they prefer.

hoping to get some good pics soon, as the vid doesn't really do it justice

July 28, 2009
12:31 pm
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rob
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QUOTE (Bluedave @ Jul 28 2009, 09:31 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
No problems with the light mate, it's just keeping plants would be easier with a different tube, lol.

Tank looks great - do you really need any plants in that set up?

Matt, RO right is just a re-mineralising product for RO water.

nah I don't need the plants, I just think a little green would look good with all the brown that's in there! and the loach do like interacting with the plants (just not too much, I hope!)

July 28, 2009
12:35 pm
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Bluedave
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They won't look green under that light though, they will look black!! pmsl

A big anubias or some java fern would look alright?

July 28, 2009
9:19 pm
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rob
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QUOTE (Bluedave @ Jul 28 2009, 01:18 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
They won't look green under that light though, they will look black!! pmsl

A big anubias or some java fern would look alright?

yeah, good point! gonna try some anubias & java fern, along with a couple of other types, and see how they bear up, black or not /wink.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=";)" border="0" alt="wink.gif" />

July 29, 2009
8:19 am
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Bluedave
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look forward to the pics /thumbs_up.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":thumbsup:" border="0" alt="thumbs_up.gif" />

August 20, 2009
6:17 am
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Bluedave
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Heh Rob,

Did you get any plants in the end?

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