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Background plant ideas for a low-tech nano

Majsa

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26 Apr 2017
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I'm setting up a low-tech nano shrimp tank (20L) and I'm hoping someone could suggest a nice plant for the background. I have now crypt wendtii back left but I think I need a little more colour, bright green or even pinkish...something rather tall, and preferably slow-growing. The water is rather soft (rainwater with tap but may move to GH+, with a fresh active substrate).

IMG_3302.jpg
 

Garuf

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If you have a robust enough substrate in terms of nutrients then “most” rotala rotundifolia variants will grow okay after a period of adaptation. Just don’t expect them to look as lush and dense as they do in a co2 injected tank.
 

Majsa

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Might be a bit boring, but I’m about to redo my own 20 litre shrimp cube and have ordered bolbitis and anubias gracilis for the back. Looking forward to seeing what others suggest 🙂
I like bolbitis a lot, in fact the plants in my nano come from a high-tech tank I'm closing down, and that one was more or less taken over by bolbitis :) I don't know if the same would happen in a low-tech, probably not, but I decided against bolbitis for this one and the plants are going to a friend this weekend.
If you have a robust enough substrate in terms of nutrients then “most” rotala rotundifolia variants will grow okay after a period of adaptation. Just don’t expect them to look as lush and dense as they do in a co2 injected tank.
I hadn't thought of rotala rotundifolia...would "orange juice" possibly be one of those variants? Are these fast growers in a low-tech (wouldn't wat to prune too often)?
 

Garuf

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I aren't sure, you'd have to try it for yourself and see, it "should" work, but results always vary with low-tech, some guys are lucky, some ain't so. I had h'ra in a low tech and it was flushed with colour.

Nothing really goes fast in low-tech, you'd probably prune IDK, like, 4 times a year in my experience.
 

erwin123

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dsc00655-aromatica-colour-16-oct-21-jpg.jpg

Limnophila Aromatica as it can colour up in a low-tech tank (no liquid carbon added), or Rotala "Blood Red" which remains red even in low-tech
 

azawaza

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Valisneria or crypt crispulata? Something with nice long leaves seems in place:)
Seems you have low light; go with Wolf6, especially the latter, goes well texture-wise with the low-light plants you have now.

Happy planting! :)
 

shangman

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Doing lowtech there are 3 plants that reliably go red for me: red tiger lotus, echinodorus (there are many varieties and some are quite small and red), and ludwigia super red. All of them will go more red in brighter light, but that's a balance in lowtech so you don't get much algae. These plants all went well for me in rainwater, but they should have some substrate in the back with nutrition like root tabs to grow well. Ludwigia less so, but it does seem to help.
 

Majsa

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Thank you all for the suggestions!
Valisneria or crypt crispulata? Something with nice long leaves seems in place:)
Crypt Crispatula is one of my favourite plants...I have it in another low-tech (similar conditions, 50% rainwater), but it has grown really tall so I think it would become too big for a 20L. Vallisneria nana could be nice.
Doing lowtech there are 3 plants that reliably go red for me: red tiger lotus, echinodorus (there are many varieties and some are quite small and red), and ludwigia super red. All of them will go more red in brighter light, but that's a balance in lowtech so you don't get much algae. These plants all went well for me in rainwater, but they should have some substrate in the back with nutrition like root tabs to grow well. Ludwigia less so, but it does seem to help.
I saw a picture of your lotus in your journal and it is stunning!
I haven't grown echinodorus before so I was thinking of echninodorus rosé (or maybe tricolor), it seems to be of a good size. Once the plant gets taller than the water lever, will the leaves then lay on the water or grow out?
 

Stan510

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That's a tough one for a 5 gallon aquarium. Maybe spiral Val? I find its slow growing compared to the straight leafed. You could try Hairgrass,Eleocharis regular form not the dwarf that seems to have become more common these days.
Pearlweed has the small scale foliage..but it is not slow growing. Only to start..after that it might need weekly pruning in a small aquarium.
 

Majsa

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I went for echinodorus rosé eventually, it's growing quite slowly so I have no idea of the actual size yet. Everything is covered in a nice layer of brown algae, maybe I can post a picture when it's gone and the tank has grown in :) I will wait at least until after the Christmas before adding shrimp, probably longer if it's cold and have to order online.
 

Stan510

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There is a Crypt that is tall,but not tape grass like tall,just taller than the lower Crypts. George Farmer showed in a vid done at Danish shop ( Youtube search for "epic tour of Unimati) with Cryptocoryne undulata. It actually has a reddish brown color to it.
 
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