Can you help me identify a few plants I inherited? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-08-2011, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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Can you help me identify a few plants I inherited?

So this is a 10g aquarium. Live wood, non-fertilized sand. Well I put an aquarium tab into the sand every month.....plants are growing like crazy. All but the lilies, but I don't blame me because the 3 shoots that I got all were basically dead when I got them. My friend did some major trimming in her tank, and gave me the trimmings. She didn't know what most the plants were, all I know is she gave me "some kind of lily", water sprite, and 3 other plants that she could not name. The wisteria, I bought, and "tried" to make a carpet out of it, well you see how well that worked.Can anyone help to identify the other plants?
Also, any clues to what I could do to lower pH in the tank? It is currently sitting steady at 8.2, and I can do nothing to lower it it seems. Peat moss seems to go low, then spike super fast back up to at least 7.9. Fish don't seem to mind, a school of 7 neon tetra. All other readings are within good range...nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia all consistently read as 0. I have kinda given up on pH because everything I read says that a high but steady with other readings withing good range, is better than randomly to ideal readings.
Last thing...there is this pesky little nuisance of what seems to be a worm infestation in my tank The last 2 pictures show what I have gathered to be the dead carcasses (they build massively on any surface while I am at work . They come out of the sand and are a brown color, and sometimes white. What can I do about these?
The sand btw, is caribsea Moonlight sand. I am running a 20" dual T5 HO light currently with an 18W 10000K lamp and 18W Actinic lamp. I know that I should probably switch out the actinic with another, but I love the way the neons shine under it, and the plants don't seem to mind. I currently have no CO2 system, but am planning on getting one withing the next 2 weeks. My filter is a Fluval Edge 30g filter. The heater is an old one I can not give you any specific, but it keeps the tank between 74-81...never higher than 79 unless I can't cool the house due to ac issues
Also, if anyone could recommend a bottom feeder that won't destroy/uproot any of these plants that would be awesome!
Thanks in advance for your help!
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-08-2011, 10:59 AM
DKRST's Avatar
The third picture is Rotalia indica. It's my favorite stem plant. Grows great for me.
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post #3 of 4 Old 07-08-2011, 03:51 PM
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I like the aquascape, but you do have some issues with plant growth. I'll explain the pH issue at the end.

Light. Plants will do much better with some red in the mix, and with CO2 this will likely be even more crucial. Plants will only photosynthesize (grow) up to the limiting factor, meaning the factor which is at that point no longer available and thus it limits/stops further growth. If there is not a balance between suitable light (intensity, spectrum and duration) and available nutrients, plant growth will be inhibited and may stop altogether. The actinic is not good plant light, I would replace it with a "Daylight" or full spectrum tube, with a spectrum high in red, blue and some green and a Kelvin around 6500K. The 10,000K tube is also high blue and that will keep the blue on the fish bright.

Nutrients. Is anything other than a substrate tab being used? And do you mean just one tab? Which brand? The stem plants (Wisteria, Ludwigia, etc) will benefit more from liquid fertilization as they assimilate nutrients via roots and leaves, and roots grow all along the stems of the Wisteria as well. Substrate fertilization is of limited value to such plants. And if CO2 is added, you will be looking at major water additives to balance that, probably daily depending upon the CO2.

Now to the pH. You are correct that a stable pH is preferable because pH fluctuations that are significant can seriously harm fish; it is highly stressful, it weakens the immune system, and causes organ damage. The reason you cannot adjust it is the hardness. With such a high pH (8.2) i would expect significant hardness in the tap water. Can you tell us the GH and KH (alkalinity)? You can find this out from the water supply folks, many now have websites with data posted. This will tell us how to best lower the pH if that is necessary. You can read more on the hardness/pH issue in my article here:

While neon tetra are now tank raised and thus somewhat adaptable to harder water than nature intended, it still takes its toll. It would be preferable to lower the hardness--again, this has to be attacked rather than the pH which will then fall correspondingly. And it is the hardness that is critical to soft water fish anyway. Can go further in this when the hardness numbers are known.


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 4 Old 07-08-2011, 06:29 PM
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and the fifth picture is a dwarf water lily.

Originally Posted by Christople View Post
^^ genius

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