Jump to content

Recommended Posts

  • image.png.6206453af6b754e1536bdccebfde7e67.png
    Im looking to get more plants into this 75 gallon again but want to get a better understanding on some things before I dive in again on grabbing more plants.

There was some dwarf hairgrass and some C helferi in this tank that did really well for awhile(2 months) and then just started to die back until there was nothing left of them and had to take them out. I would like to get a carpet going but again that's why I would like to get a better idea about what I have/need here.

Currently the tank has a Fluval Aquasky 2.0 on it. Is this light not suitable for a lot of these medium/high light plants at the 75 gallon depth? Should I replace the 2.0/add a 3.0 with it? These are the things I'm trying to understand.

Interesting plant suggestions are also welcome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators

I'd say to optimize, you may want a coarser substrate so that nutrients can get to the roots of the carpeting plants. As for lighting, adding a fluval 3.0 would help quite a bit. I'd have that be in the front 1/3, and the aquasky towards the back. With the logic that taller plants go in the back and need less lighting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input,

So based on that then is it correct to say that with a depth of a standard 75 gallon tank that the Aquasky ends up being low light by the time the light gets to the substrate and that the Fluval 3.0 ends up being more of a medium light by the time the light hits the substrate? Just trying to get all my logic straight before I go about ordering stuff trying to fix everything.

As for the substrate I have the sand in there since I figured it would be better for the Corys and bottom feeder fish. That and I do enjoy the aesthetic of the sand. Are you thinking I should be putting gravel in or just find a larger grain sand?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi @RickHunter,

I agree with @Cory that an Aquasky 2.0 is not sufficient light for most plant species in a 75 gallon.  I too have a 75 gallon and I use a Fluval 3.0 on it in conjunction with two 55 watt power compact 24" fixtures.  I run the Fluval 3.0 for 6 hours per day and the two 55 watt power compacts for 2 hours per day for a 'noon burst'.  I have tested the Fluval 3.0 at full output and can get about PAR@99 at a depth of about 21" through a clean Aqueon Versa-Top.  So I would call it medium-high light levels.

As for Pogostemon helferi they can grow well with PAR@50 with sufficient nutrients and photoperiod.  However, my experience with Eleocharis sp (hairgrass) is that it grow very poorly for me unless I have CO2 injected into the tank.  A good alternative would be Hydrocotyle sp. as a foreground / groundcover that requires less light and will grow without CO2.

Hydrocotyle tripartita (aka sp 'Japan') in foreground right side

As for fertilizers, I have been moving away from water column fertilization as my main source of plant nutrients and going to plant tabs.  The roots definitely can find the nutrients even through sand and I find with the lower nutrient levels in the water column algae on the glass, plants, and substrate is markedly reduced.

30 gallon w/Fluval 3.0 & CO2; root tabs with minimal water column dosing; HTH Pool Filter Sand substrate

Edited by Seattle_Aquarist
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for all the info.

@Seattle_Aquarist I will probably try the Hydrocotyle if things dont work out after trying the hairgrass one more time with a better light. I also was using Cyprus Helferi in the tank rather than Pogostemon Helferi as you were mentioning. Still good information regardless 🙂

I should mention (since it looks like I forgot in the initial posts) that when the tank had the hairgrass and C. Helferi that it had root tabs put in the substrate and was receiving a weekly dose of liquid fertilizer (or as me and my fiancé like to call it, plant fart juice 😛).

I'm leaning towards picking up a Fluval 3.0 and some plants from Coop (namely some hairgrass and Vallisneria at least). Do you think I should wait for warmer weather before ordering the plants since this would be shipping to northern Pennsylvania?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

The hairgras is actually spreading quite nicely compared to when I put it in. I actually bought too much which is why it's in larger clumps because I was expecting smaller pots of it than I recieved.


This was the hairgrass on Feb 6th to compare with the previous photo for reference

(You can also see how much smaller the baby tears was)


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...