I am so torn....lives plants or not - Page 2
Tropical Fish

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources » Freshwater Fish and Aquariums » Beginner Freshwater Aquarium » Beginner Planted Aquarium » I am so torn....lives plants or not

I am so torn....lives plants or not

This is a discussion on I am so torn....lives plants or not within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by HollyinWA Thanks, and sorry it took me so long to get back. Your tank is beautiful! I had left a compliment ...

Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools vBmenu Seperating Image Search this Thread vBmenu Seperating Image
I am so torn....lives plants or not
Old 01-28-2010, 01:10 PM   #11
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyinWA View Post
Thanks, and sorry it took me so long to get back. Your tank is beautiful! I had left a compliment on there previously. It caught my eye.

As for the water movement thing, I am little subborn....I prefer it...at least some. I have gotten mixed opinions on this. Most on here say no air stones and minimal surface aggitation, and then at a LFS where the owner is very experienced said that if I was injecting C02 then I would not want a lot of surface aggitation or a big amount of air bubbles coming from a sponge filter, but if I am not injecting C02 it is not a big problem and actually can benefit it somewhat. This is what confused me and the fact that I prefer a little more surface movement than what most planted tanks have.

I think where it may bug me is, my tanks are not fully planted so I can't even imagine having no top movement. I think once I get all the plants in there and it is set up like nature is set up then the stillness will be more natural. I hope that makes sense. I have always had fake plants.

Your tank is a good example of what can be done well even with airstones. Thanks again!

BTW, when you say you use Excel to supplement the C02 the fish provide, what exactly is that? I will look it up.
That advice from the store makes absolutely no sense if you think about it. In a tank with CO2 added, having surface disturbance that removes some of it is not that critical because you are adding it anyway. But in a natural tank with no added CO2, there is a limited amount from the fish and biological actions, and driving it off is lessening what little there is. Quite the opposite from what he/she told you.

One last thought, remember I said "minimal" surface disturbance, not no surface disturbance. I have a surface "wave" in my 115g but no CO2 shortages given the plant's growth. You just don't want to overdo it.

Excel is a liquid carbon supplement from Seachem; they say it can be used in place of CO2. It is obviously not exactly the same thing, but it does provide "carbon" which plants need. Some plants, like Vallisneria, are quick to assimilate carbon from carbonates which is why this plant does well in harder water. Bog plants prefer CO2 over carbonates. The thing with Excel is you need to add it regularly, daily I believe (never used it, no need to) so that is another expense that I believe should not be necessary.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 01-28-2010 at 01:14 PM..
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2010, 02:28 PM   #12
 
eileen's Avatar
 
I have a 55 gal. that I started with all plastic plants. I slowly switched them out for live low light plants, no co2 or fancy stuff low key. I have 2 15 watt bulbs that came with the tank and have them on a timer for 9 hrs. On at 1pm off at 9pm. The plants that are doing really good at Vallisneria, and spiral vall it grows really fast and looks like kelp in your tank. I have that all along the back.

Other plants I have that are growing well are:

Java moss rocks/ Java moss with java ferns on wood or rocks
Java ferns
Cryptocoryne wendtii
chain sword
dwarf sagittaria
hornwort
I have a pool filter sand instead of a gravel tank bottom
Lg. sword plant
eileen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2010, 06:05 PM   #13
 
HollyinWA's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
That advice from the store makes absolutely no sense if you think about it. In a tank with CO2 added, having surface disturbance that removes some of it is not that critical because you are adding it anyway. But in a natural tank with no added CO2, there is a limited amount from the fish and biological actions, and driving it off is lessening what little there is. Quite the opposite from what he/she told you.

One last thought, remember I said "minimal" surface disturbance, not no surface disturbance. I have a surface "wave" in my 115g but no CO2 shortages given the plant's growth. You just don't want to overdo it.

Excel is a liquid carbon supplement from Seachem; they say it can be used in place of CO2. It is obviously not exactly the same thing, but it does provide "carbon" which plants need. Some plants, like Vallisneria, are quick to assimilate carbon from carbonates which is why this plant does well in harder water. Bog plants prefer CO2 over carbonates. The thing with Excel is you need to add it regularly, daily I believe (never used it, no need to) so that is another expense that I believe should not be necessary.

Byron.
Thanks, Byron. What you said in your first paragraph is what I was thinking when she said that....common sense....but since I do not know much on this I thought maybe there is something that I am missing or just don't understand. What you said makes sense to me and it did come to my mind. I was hoping that she was right. Since she is experienced I wonder why she said that. I am pretty sure that is exactly what she said because I was complaining about me not wanting to have to worry about having to minimize my surface movement or having bubbles, etc.

Now that you explained what Excel is, that makes sense as to what that other poster said....that bubbles do not remove "liquid" carbon.

Also, I do remember you saying minimal movement not no movement. I am not too concerned about my 56 gallon...can lesson that easily, but my 14 gallon is another matter. I have a sponge filter in there that is doing very well with bubbles (even though I rather not take up room with a sponge filter) and a Biowheel 150 which is one size up for filtration since I, at the time, did not think I was going with live plants. It moves the water quite a bit but only to the left side of the aquarium. I am afraid to decrease my filtration on this tank right now. I do have an extra canister, but would probably want to hook it up first for awhile before I took the other one off. The plants seem to be doing ok, but we shall see.

I will keep you posted and thanks again.

Last edited by HollyinWA; 01-28-2010 at 06:08 PM..
HollyinWA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2010, 06:18 PM   #14
 
Mean Harri's Avatar
 
Ya see Holly, I told you that pet store lady could go pound salt. She doesn't know her rear end from a sand dune. And now she's steered you wrong at least twice. Injecting co2 or not surface agitation adds o2 which isn't what the plants need. Now if you were doing plastic plants you could surface agitate all you want for o2 for the fishes.
Mean Harri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2010, 06:30 PM   #15
 
HollyinWA's Avatar
 
Yep, looks like she may be pounding salt again...even though she was not really pounding it down me...just answered my question once. I will have to question her on this...why she said what she said. I am curious.

Anyway, I will eventually give in to the water aggitation thing. I am a little subborn. I think once I get my tank stocked completely with the live plants it won't bug me so much not to have the normal aggitation that i am used to. For me, there are pros and cons and I am still struggling a bit. I then read that post that someone tried live plants and it ended up being a nightmare. This better not happen to me. I wonder what they meant by that....why a nightmare...what happened? I may go to that thread and ask.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mean Harri View Post
Ya see Holly, I told you that pet store lady could go pound salt. She doesn't know her rear end from a sand dune. And now she's steered you wrong at least twice. Injecting co2 or not surface agitation adds o2 which isn't what the plants need. Now if you were doing plastic plants you could surface agitate all you want for o2 for the fishes.
HollyinWA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2010, 06:41 PM   #16
 
HollyinWA's Avatar
 
I have a question. Just so I understand the process. I know that surface aggitation and air stones creates 02, but how does it "drive out" C02. What is it excactly doing to acheive this....driving out C02. Fish give off C02 from breathing in Oxygen. What is the water aggitation doing to drive out C02? Common since tells me I guess that it would be somewhat the same thing that when fish breathe in oxygen and then releases C02....water takes in oxygen and then releases C02. Maybe I just don't know why the aggitiation or bubbles does this or how or why it does this and why it does not do it without the bubbles or aggitation. I could google it and find out most likely.
HollyinWA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2010, 07:50 PM   #17
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyinWA View Post
I have a question. Just so I understand the process. I know that surface aggitation and air stones creates 02, but how does it "drive out" C02. What is it exactly doing to acheive this....driving out C02. Fish give off C02 from breathing in Oxygen. What is the water aggitation doing to drive out C02? Common since tells me I guess that it would be somewhat the same thing that when fish breathe in oxygen and then releases C02....water takes in oxygen and then releases C02. Maybe I just don't know why the aggitiation or bubbles does this or how or why it does this and why it does not do it without the bubbles or aggitation. I could google it and find out most likely.
I know there are more knowledgeable members here who could better answer this from the scientific side than I can [members like iamntbatman and Pasfur come to mind]; I do a lot of research and have for years, and I try to remember the results so that I can apply them. Sometimes I have to go back and dig out the technical reasons, and sometimes they are so complicated I can't really bother.

At the surface of water there is a constant exchange of certain gasses like oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and maybe others I can't remember; for the purpose of your question, oxygen enters the water and CO2 exits the water. I believe this is a molecular exchange or something like that. The more increased the surface area of the water, the faster this exchange occurs. When you add bubbling effects, it causes more water surface being exposed to the air, so more gas exchanges both ways. It's sort of like biological filtration in a filter: bacteria colonize the surfaces, and you insert porous rock to provide more surface, so in any given amount of space you will have many times more surface for bacteria. Same idea with the gas exchange, the more agitated the water, the more it comes into contact with the air.

Byron.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2010, 08:09 PM   #18
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyinWA View Post
Yep, looks like she may be pounding salt again...even though she was not really pounding it down me...just answered my question once. I will have to question her on this...why she said what she said. I am curious.

Anyway, I will eventually give in to the water aggitation thing. I am a little subborn. I think once I get my tank stocked completely with the live plants it won't bug me so much not to have the normal aggitation that i am used to. For me, there are pros and cons and I am still struggling a bit. I then read that post that someone tried live plants and it ended up being a nightmare. This better not happen to me. I wonder what they meant by that....why a nightmare...what happened? I may go to that thread and ask.
There are many successful methods for a planted aquarium with healthy fish. My particular approach is one of minimal interference by the aquarist, because I sincerely believe that for the most stable and healthy environment (all else being equal) the less the aquarist fiddles with the biological equilibrium the better, and especially with beginning aquarists or beginning planted tank aquarists. As an example, no aquarist should view their aquarium as a nightmare; obviously something is seriously wrong. Rather than suggesting to an aquarist facing problems that they need a CO2 system, then more light, then enriched substrates, then daily liquid fertilization, then more filters to balance...you can see what this could do. All of these affect the biological system, and when one of these goes wrong, things fail and fish can be stressed and perhaps even die, along with the plants. The more simple the system, provided it is balanced, the more chance it will run itself. And with beginning aquarists the tank is usually fairly small as well, so one little problem like too little CO2 can become enormous in effect--the plants will be dying, further polluting the water and removing more oxygen...you see the point.

One of my former work colleagues always said, use the KISS principle--Keep It Simple Stupid. [And I hope that is not offensive, it is just the adage.] But it summarizes my method, which is most certainly not the only way, but given the circumstances it does work. And I'd rather see a happy aquarist enjoying a healthy tank of fish and plants, than one calling it a nightmare.

Byron.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2010, 08:38 PM   #19
 
HollyinWA's Avatar
 
Thank you and you did a fine job at explaining. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I know there are more knowledgeable members here who could better answer this from the scientific side than I can [members like iamntbatman and Pasfur come to mind]; I do a lot of research and have for years, and I try to remember the results so that I can apply them. Sometimes I have to go back and dig out the technical reasons, and sometimes they are so complicated I can't really bother.

At the surface of water there is a constant exchange of certain gasses like oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and maybe others I can't remember; for the purpose of your question, oxygen enters the water and CO2 exits the water. I believe this is a molecular exchange or something like that. The more increased the surface area of the water, the faster this exchange occurs. When you add bubbling effects, it causes more water surface being exposed to the air, so more gas exchanges both ways. It's sort of like biological filtration in a filter: bacteria colonize the surfaces, and you insert porous rock to provide more surface, so in any given amount of space you will have many times more surface for bacteria. Same idea with the gas exchange, the more agitated the water, the more it comes into contact with the air.

Byron.
HollyinWA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2010, 08:41 PM   #20
 
HollyinWA's Avatar
 
Thanks again. The "Keep It Simple Stupid" I am sure is a good way to look at it and direction to take. The plant world in fish tanks is a whole new ballgame for me. I shall see how it goes. I tend to get very detailed with things so I hope I don't drive myself nuts with the care part. LOL I do like learning new things and I like my fish to be happy just like my other pets. I will keep you posted on how the beginnings go for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
There are many successful methods for a planted aquarium with healthy fish. My particular approach is one of minimal interference by the aquarist, because I sincerely believe that for the most stable and healthy environment (all else being equal) the less the aquarist fiddles with the biological equilibrium the better, and especially with beginning aquarists or beginning planted tank aquarists. As an example, no aquarist should view their aquarium as a nightmare; obviously something is seriously wrong. Rather than suggesting to an aquarist facing problems that they need a CO2 system, then more light, then enriched substrates, then daily liquid fertilization, then more filters to balance...you can see what this could do. All of these affect the biological system, and when one of these goes wrong, things fail and fish can be stressed and perhaps even die, along with the plants. The more simple the system, provided it is balanced, the more chance it will run itself. And with beginning aquarists the tank is usually fairly small as well, so one little problem like too little CO2 can become enormous in effect--the plants will be dying, further polluting the water and removing more oxygen...you see the point.

One of my former work colleagues always said, use the KISS principle--Keep It Simple Stupid. [And I hope that is not offensive, it is just the adage.] But it summarizes my method, which is most certainly not the only way, but given the circumstances it does work. And I'd rather see a happy aquarist enjoying a healthy tank of fish and plants, than one calling it a nightmare.

Byron.
HollyinWA is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
torn fin redlessi Livebearers 6 09-26-2009 05:49 PM
HELP! fish lives on the line aquakid Tropical Fish Diseases 1 06-22-2008 11:56 AM
How Trivial Our Lives Really Are herefishy Off Topic Discussions 3 11-20-2007 11:21 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:01 PM.