i want to add live plants to my already established tank. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 19 Old 02-02-2011, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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i want to add live plants to my already established tank.

is it as easy as just sticking the plants in there?

i have a cycled 55 gallon tank that's been running for 3 months, it finished it's cycle about 1 month ago, and i've had no issues with fish deaths. i'm up to 23 fish in it now. ammonia and nitrite are at zero. i'm also currently cycling a planted 10 gallon tank, and noticing that the plants are doing well, especially the anacharis which grows like crazy. it grows to the top, then i cut it off, and replant it, and it grows even more, and branches out. but anywayz, the success with the plants here, make me want to introduce them to my 55 gallon tank as well. so here's a few questions.

does adding plants to a cycled, non-planted tank, throw off the ammonia or nitrite levels temporarily, which could cause fish to die?

i currently only have about 45 pounds of gravel in this 55 gallon. is that enough? i think i should add another 25 pound bag or so. is it advisable to add fresh gravel to a cycled tank, granted i rinse it thoroughly?

i've also been looking at live plants that come in tubes, some amazon swords for example. they claim they are snail free. i was wondering if anyone else has bought these, and had success with them.

it seems like i had some other things to ask, but i'm spacing them out. i'll use another post later, when i think of them. thank you.
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post #2 of 19 Old 02-02-2011, 09:50 PM
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does adding plants to a cycled, non-planted tank, throw off the ammonia or nitrite levels temporarily, which could cause fish to die?

No it will not affect any of your levels

i currently only have about 45 pounds of gravel in this 55 gallon. is that enough? i think i should add another 25 pound bag or so. is it advisable to add fresh gravel to a cycled tank, granted i rinse it thoroughly?

You should have 1lb of gravel per gallon of water, so yes you would need to add more and adding new gravel to a tank that is cycled will not affect anything the old gravel will seed the new creating a bigger area for bacteria to grow

i've also been looking at live plants that come in tubes, some amazon swords for example. they claim they are snail free. i was wondering if anyone else has bought these, and had success with them.

I have never bought them in the tubes but have had very good luck with swords in previous tanks, i would be leary about buying them due to you don't know how long they have been out of the water. could have shock and drop leaves if you add them to water.
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post #3 of 19 Old 02-02-2011, 11:17 PM
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Need advice on aquarium plants

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Last edited by El Nandez; 02-02-2011 at 11:20 PM. Reason: Wrong post
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post #4 of 19 Old 02-03-2011, 05:26 AM
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I'd read Byron 4 part stickies in the Aquarium Plants section of the forum. Everything you need to know is there including lighting, substrate, filtration, fertilizer etc
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post #5 of 19 Old 02-03-2011, 06:04 AM
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As far as I know theres no downside to plants, only benefits.

Ive bought a lot of plants in the tubes, the only ones Ive ever had problems with were the already dying ones but even those are doing fine now, most of the plants in my 75 gallon I recently set up are from the tubes. Just make sure you dont get any semi-aquatic ones.
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post #6 of 19 Old 02-03-2011, 11:50 AM
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Regarding the snails... I was very "anti-snail" when I initially set up my tank. After seeing the snails go to work on some Amazon Sword leaves that were getting "hairy" with algae, I've learned to appreciate the little scavengers. If my population eventually gets too high, I'll trap them out with the zucchini slice method that's been recommended on the forum.

IF you want a planted tank without snails and purchase plants from tanks one option is to quarantine the plants in another tank and treat with maracide (malachite green) to kill any invertebrates. I'm not certain how long you'd need to wait for any potential snail egg masses to hatch out and re-treat. I don't know how susceptible the eggs are. Apparently, the new maracide formulation won't harm plants (or so they say, I have not verified this!)
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post #7 of 19 Old 02-03-2011, 01:18 PM
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I concur with advice already given by previous members, but will add a couple things.

First just a comment on the snail issue, I love seeing these busy little beavers in my tanks. Provided they are the correct sort, they will work there way throughout the substrate (Malaysian Livebearer snails) better than anything else, they will get into places nothing else can reach to eat detritus (again MLS, plus pond snails, bladder snails), they do eat algae though this has its limits but they help. Those mentioned do not eat plants, but will consume dead or dying leaves, another benefit.

Now to the plants. Light is the single most important issue. Fish don't need any light, they would be quite happy without a light over them, since most of them come from dimly-lit forest streams and ponds. But plants do need light to photosynthesize (grow) and it must be adequate in terms of spectrum and intensity and duration. If you tell us what light you now have (please be specific, with type, name, watts, kelvin,...whatever you know about it) we can go from there.

Plants also need nutrients, all of which are unlikely to be available in the aquarium, so a good liquid fertilizer is in my view essential. Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium is the best I've found for a low-tech setup.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #8 of 19 Old 02-03-2011, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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i currently have two lights in this tank, both 15 watts, one over the right side, and one on the left side. they are both 6500k. i bought them from Lowe's. it seems like 15 watts is the highest wattage i could find for 18 inch T8 tubes. it would be nice if these would work, so i wouldn't have to buy a different hood that would accomodate a larger tube. and i also have the Seachem liquid fertilizer that you recommended to me a few weeks ago.
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post #9 of 19 Old 02-03-2011, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip View Post
i currently have two lights in this tank, both 15 watts, one over the right side, and one on the left side. they are both 6500k. i bought them from Lowe's. it seems like 15 watts is the highest wattage i could find for 18 inch T8 tubes. it would be nice if these would work, so i wouldn't have to buy a different hood that would accomodate a larger tube. and i also have the Seachem liquid fertilizer that you recommended to me a few weeks ago.
I think you can get some decent plant growth with the lights you have. It will be close, to be honest, but not un-workable. Spectrum is good.

Sword plants should manage. Pygmy chain sword for a "substrate cover." and/or some of the crypts. I would stay away from stem plants as they are fast growing plants and that means higher light and nutrients. One exception is Brazilian Pennywort, which also has the bonus of being a very lovely floating plant, ideal in fact. Fast growing but easy to trim to keep it from covering the surface.

I have never come across a fish that doesn't appreciate floating plants, it obviously adds a sense of security.

There are some of the above in our profiles, and some other plants, any that require low or moderate light will probably be worth trying.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #10 of 19 Old 02-03-2011, 05:33 PM
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I know what you are talking about with the "tube plants" you get at like petco. I have had nothing but problems with them. All of my other plants have been wonderful. Those just kept dying and causing my ammonia to rise. I hate them and do not recommend them at all.

Jessi


125 gallon-
5 Bala sharks- Hans, Frans, Ace, Gary and Mary Catherine Gallagher
1 clown pleco- Bobo
1 black ghost knife fish- Twist 2
Black sand
Tons of plants
Flourish excel and Comprehensive

20 Gallon-
Guppy tank- breeding like crazy
Eco complete
Flourish excel and comprehensive
a few plants
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