Is to many plants bad for my fish?
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Is to many plants bad for my fish?

This is a discussion on Is to many plants bad for my fish? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> I just started my aquarium a few weeks back(36 gallon bowfront).I have about 13 live plants in there.All still somewhat small. I heard to ...

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Is to many plants bad for my fish?
Old 09-10-2012, 07:49 AM   #1
 
Is to many plants bad for my fish?

I just started my aquarium a few weeks back(36 gallon bowfront).I have about 13 live plants in there.All still somewhat small.
I heard to many plants can cause the fish to need more oxygen?My balloon Angel Rams and my Gourami seem like they are breathing a little harder with there mouths open to breath.I have Seachemm Flourish Excel.I use 1/2 capful daily.I don't have a co2 system or a air pump.Is this something i need?I just want the best for my fish.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:22 AM   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluydgrl View Post
I just started my aquarium a few weeks back(36 gallon bowfront).I have about 13 live plants in there.All still somewhat small.
I heard to many plants can cause the fish to need more oxygen?My balloon Angel Rams and my Gourami seem like they are breathing a little harder with there mouths open to breath.I have Seachemm Flourish Excel.I use 1/2 capful daily.I don't have a co2 system or a air pump.Is this something i need?I just want the best for my fish.
No, your plants are actually doing your tank a great service in helping to keep the parameters stable by absorbing any toxins that may occur in a newly set-up tank!

As a general rule, in a 24 hour period, plants RELEASE more oxygen than they take in, however, this only happens as the end-result of photosynthesis while the lights are on and the plants are active. When the lights are off overnight, the plants are still respiring - taking IN oxygen, but not releasing it. In a very densely planted tank with a high amount of fish, it is possible to have some issues overnight with low oxygen levels, but I really doubt that this is an issue in your tank at the moment.

If your fish are showing signs of having trouble breathing, it can't hurt to err on the side of caution and add a bubbler - especially through the night when it is more likely to be a problem. Loaches are active in the evenings and will ALSO be using more oxygen when the lights are out. . .but I really doubt your plants are dense enough yet to be causing a problem. One thing to consider is that Gourami are labrynth fish and breathe from the surface (they actually thrive in waters where oxygen is in shorts supply). I don't keep gourami (yet) but my Betta (also Labyrinth fish) open and close their mouths normally, as do my rams (Bolivians) - both of these make the stereotypical 'fishy faces' - so it *may* just be normal behavior for these fish that you're seeing (glad that you're keeping such a close eye out! I'm thinking if you have an issue, oxygen is not necessarily it! I would do a water test, just to make sure things are where they should be as far as toxins in the tank. Things can easily fall a little bit off in a newly set-up tank, even when it's been cycled, so it's best to keep an eye on parameters fairly diligently for a month of so after initial set up.

As far as ferts are concerned, a LOT of people use Excel, but I don't prefer it. Having looked into the ingredients in that product. . . well. . . do your own research, but I don't feel that it's the safest or best option for the fish. I recommend Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive, instead. It gives the plants a broad range of micro and macro nutrients - everything they need to thrive - and only needs to be dosed one time a week. If you have any plants that feed heavily from the roots (like crypts and sword plants) you'll want to look into their line of root tabs to keep this type of plant happy!

Hope this helps. . . good luck with your fishies, and remember that its ALWAYS better to be cautious and keep them safe, than to let a possible issue go that might cause harm.

Last edited by Chesh; 09-10-2012 at 09:33 AM..
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:29 AM   #3
 
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Oh! I should mention that you should look at the surface of your water to get an idea of how much oxygen is getting into the tank. The more surface agitation there is, the more oxygen is present, so if you DO feel that the fish aren't getting enough, upping the flow on your filter could help out. Bubblers don't actually add oxygen to the water by releasing bubbles, rather, the bubbles rise up and create more movement at the surface, which in turn allows more oxygen into the system. If the surface of your tank is very calm and has little movement, a bubbler is a good idea. . . usually, if the fish are having trouble with oxygen they will be 'piping' which means gasping for air AT THE SURFACE. This doesn't apply to Labyrinth fish like the gourami - they normally breathe at the surface of the water.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:32 AM   #4
 
I just tested my water this am.It looks real good.Maybe I will get a air pump for the night time when the lights are off?
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:35 AM   #5
 
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Good! If it is just these two types of fish, you're probably just seeing normal behavior. In tanks that are taller than they are long (which I *think* yours is), it's more difficult to get oxygen to the bottom of the tank, anyway, so adding a bubbler to use either overnight or all of the time won't hurt anything - always better safe than sorry!
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:45 AM   #6
 
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Oh! I should mention that you should look at the surface of your water to get an idea of how much oxygen is getting into the tank. The more surface agitation there is, the more oxygen is present, so if you DO feel that the fish aren't getting enough, upping the flow on your filter could help out. Bubblers don't actually add oxygen to the water by releasing bubbles, rather, the bubbles rise up and create more movement at the surface, which in turn allows more oxygen into the system. If the surface of your tank is very calm and has little movement, a bubbler is a good idea. . . usually, if the fish are having trouble with oxygen they will be 'piping' which means gasping for air AT THE SURFACE. This doesn't apply to Labyrinth fish like the gourami - they normally breathe at the surface of the water.
I run API (Rena)XP1 canister filter.The water movement on top is going in a circular flow.Its not a fast movement but just right i think?
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:46 AM   #7
 
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Sounds perfect to me! As long as the surface tension is being disturbed, I'm betting everything is fine :)
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:49 AM   #8
 
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Originally Posted by Chesherca View Post
Good! If it is just these two types of fish, you're probably just seeing normal behavior. In tanks that are taller than they are long (which I *think* yours is), it's more difficult to get oxygen to the bottom of the tank, anyway, so adding a bubbler to use either overnight or all of the time won't hurt anything - always better safe than sorry!
Actually i have 1 Dwarf Gourami,2 Kuhli Loaches.Leaving in a hr to go get 3 more.I have a Dojo Loach,3 Panda Cory's 4 Balloon Angel Rams.Killisfish,1 large rock shrimp and about 5 Ghost shrimp.I'm going to get a school of some tetra's i think.I like the Bleeding Hearts.What would you recommend?
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:54 AM   #9
 
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Sounds perfect to me! As long as the surface tension is being disturbed, I'm betting everything is fine :)

I have my one Dwarf Gourami in my 36 gallon and one in my 5 gallon long.I tried to put them both together in my 36 and the fought.Is there anything i can do like maybe get a female also to put in so they wont fight?Or gould i get another male?I just love these fish and want them in my 36 without the fighting.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:59 AM   #10
 
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Oh, sorry! I know. . . from the thread you put up yesterday or so, that's why I mentioned the loaches being nocturnal ;) What I meant is that the gourami and the rams (as far as I know) do the nom nom nom motion with their mouths normally - it isn't indicative of a problem with them. Of course I don't have gourami, I have Betta, and I don't have Angel rams, I have Bolivians, so maybe someone with more experience with these can chime in. I think they're fine!

Glad to hear that you'll be getting more Kuhli (and returning the Dojo?)

Go back and read my last post or two on the other thread regarding stocking, I'm not sure if you read my last comment there, and I *think* I tried to answer some of your stocking questions regarding the gourami there. Let me know if I can help any further, and good luck!
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