Italian Val, Green Cabomba, and Ludwigia Repens Questions - Page 8 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #71 of 75 Old 09-10-2010, 12:01 AM
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Stem plants normally are planted cut end in the substrate. As they grow toward the surface, you can pull them up and cut off the lower ends (some will regularly lose leaves at the lower end) and replant the nicer looking upper portions, then when they reach the surface, repeat. This maintains the plants at the desired height. If allowed to grow past the surface, most will trail along the water surface and lower leaves will almost certainly die off.

Some can be left floating; cabomba works well like this in fry tanks, as the fry can hide in the floating cabomba. But the plant won't obviously have the same appearance as it will planted in the substrate.

Brazilian Pennywort is a stem plant that does very well floating; the leaves face upward at the surface, grow larger, with the roots dangling down. An excellent easy-to-grow floating plant.

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 #72 of 75 Old 09-13-2010, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Do you know if I can heavily plant my aquarium (like your Amazon and South American tanks)? I mean, would it still be like a biotope? Maybe I can actually have a foreground, midground and background... ;)
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post #73 of 75 Old 09-13-2010, 08:04 PM
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Do you know if I can heavily plant my aquarium (like your Amazon and South American tanks)? I mean, would it still be like a biotope? Maybe I can actually have a foreground, midground and background... ;)
I prefer to call my tanks "geographic", a term I coined from Dr. Ted Coletti's aquascaping column in FAMA back in the 1980's. To me, it means that all fish, plants and "decor" come from the same general geographical area, say the Amazon, or SE Asia, or Central Africa, whatever. Within that framework, you can choose a stream or river or flooded forest; my 90g flooded Amazon forest tank is quite different in concept from the 115g Amazon riverscape. But in both cases, you would never see the large variety of plant species (and fish) that I have in any one watercourse in the Amazon.

A biotope strictly speaking is much more specific, to perhaps this or that stream. So the fish and plants (and decor, be it sand/gravel, leaves, branches, rocks) would be only what you would find in that particular stream.

Heiko Bleher has done a lot of work creating biotope tanks. Another person is Oliver Lucannus. They have articles in magazines, displays, websites, books. Of course, sometimes we allow a bit of fiddling, esp with plants. Few natural streams will ever have the assortment of plants (or fish for that matter) that we place in our aquaria.

Most would consider a true biotope to be rather dull, depending upon the area. For example, Oliver's Orinoco biotope detailed in I think AFI a year or so ago consisted of a tank with brown sand, chunks of wood, no plants except one floating stem. I've forgotten the fish in it, but it was a far cry from my planted tanks. The Rio Negro and Rio Guapore rivers have lots of aquatic plants, something that is not all that common elsewhere. When we speak of forest fish needing plants, we usually think of the flood season when they spawn or during the "dry" season they live in streams that may be devoid of aquatic plants but have overhangining vines and branches into the water, and that is where the fish congregate.

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 #74 of 75 Old 09-14-2010, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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What do you think of these plants:

- Bacopa Monnieri (as a main plant)
- Echinodorus Cordifolius (near intake tube)
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post #75 of 75 Old 09-14-2010, 08:10 PM
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What do you think of these plants:

- Bacopa Monnieri (as a main plant)
- Echinodorus Cordifolius (near intake tube)
The Bacopa being a stem plant will fill in a space. The E. cordifolius I really like, but the leaves tend to be floating or very near the surface, so below you just have stems. I like that, and wanted it in my 115g Amazon riverscape, but the effect of the stems (which I thought would be nice for the fish to swim through) rather got lost when the E. bleherae grew so much they have filled the space.

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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