Beginner Plants for a Small Brackish Crab Tank - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-06-2012, 02:37 AM Thread Starter
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Beginner Plants for a Small Brackish Crab Tank

I'm fairly new to plants in the aquarium, but I really would like to start including them in my tanks. I've done a lot of reading about beginner plants for freshwater tanks, but I'm not sure what to start with in my crab tank:

10gal tank-- about 6 gallons of water, the rest is rocky land for the crabs
15w fluorescent
mildly brackish (~1.005)
2 red claw crabs (male/female)
pH ~8, water is on the hard side
76F

I know my crabs love eating vegetables, so I stuck a few small amazon swords in there as a test (I know it's not brackish but it was the only healthy looking aquatic plant my petsmart had; once I have a better idea of what I want I'll be ordering online). Sure enough, they lifted the plants out of the gravel, clipped the leaves off, and ate the roots. I tried anchoring the plants with heavier stones, and I just woke up a bunch more floating leaves and missing roots.

Can anyone can recommend a good beginner plant that my snip happy herbivores won't destroy? Or at least probably won't destroy?
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-06-2012, 10:06 AM
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Try some mangrove stalks, they can handle brackish water and might be tough enough to handle crabs.
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-06-2012, 05:51 PM
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Java Fern would likely survive. No fish I know of will eat this plant, over all others, probably because of its bitterness and toughness, so it may work with crabs. And it tolerates slightly brackish water too. We have it in our plant profiles, click the shaded name to pop up the profile.

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 #4 of 7 Old 01-07-2012, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. I will definitely try Java Fern with them. I looked up mangrove stalks and they look neat, but I don't think my piddly little 15watt light is going to cut it. Maybe if I manage to keep some plants alive in there for a few months I'll look into investing in some better lighting. :)
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-07-2012, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Myrtaceae View Post
Thanks guys. I will definitely try Java Fern with them. I looked up mangrove stalks and they look neat, but I don't think my piddly little 15watt light is going to cut it. Maybe if I manage to keep some plants alive in there for a few months I'll look into investing in some better lighting. :)
That is more than sufficient light over a 10g. And Java Fern is low light, so that will not be a problem. I had Java Fern thriving in my frog vivarium which was a 20g with a single tube over it.

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 #6 of 7 Old 01-10-2012, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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I meant I didn't have enough light (or enough room, really) for mangrove stalks. Java Fern seems nice and low key. :D

I've also added Anubias Barteri to my wishlist and I think I'll stick with those two for starters. At the very least they will be a good test of what I can get to survive!

So far it seems that if I fill a terra cotta pot halfway with sand, plant something in the sand, and then layer gravel over the rest of the plant, they can't dig it up. Didn't stop one of them from clipping off a leaf first though :/ It's really fun to watch them go at it, just kind of expensive...I'm thinking of growing some Ancharis in my 15 and feeding them clippings.
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-20-2013, 09:58 AM
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how about some floaters? If you are wanting to add some plant life other than for feeding purposes? Just realized post was a year old not a month.... How did your brackish experiment work?
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