Ooops....I have no idea! First ever plant!
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Ooops....I have no idea! First ever plant!

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Ooops....I have no idea! First ever plant!
Old 03-06-2013, 03:10 PM   #1
 
Ooops....I have no idea! First ever plant!

I spent most of the afternoon looking at posts on here raving on about the benefits of plants, with having a titchy bit of 'spare' ammonia I thought "yep, non-chem solution to my problem."

So I've just been and bought a plant. A green one, with a bit of red around the edges. I don't know what it is. But thats not my problem....the problem is I have no idea what to do with it now I have it home!!

I asked for the easiest plant to look after that wouldn't need ferts or pumped CO2 or whatever else gets put in for happy foliage and the lady said "this one or this one.....this one is quite messy and breaks so I suggest this one." Me: "ok, it'll do"

It came with a stone weight, O shaped, with a bit of foam wrapped around two stems stuffed inside it, it has no roots to bury like I was expecting....just two blunt stems. So what do i do? Try and 'plant' it in the gravel, leave it as it is, just plonked in the tank as it came from the shop or is there some sort of green thumb thing I have to do.

At the minute its just plonked. :/

I'm pretty sure my lights are ok for it, they're 2 white T5's. But is there anything else I need to consider....?

Be nice.....It's my fist plant!
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Last edited by HerMooness; 03-06-2013 at 03:17 PM.. Reason: I took a picture!
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:15 PM   #2
 
Can you post a picture of the plant or, if not, describe a bit more about the appearance of the plant (leaf shape, size, etc)
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:18 PM   #3
 
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Can you post a picture of the plant or, if not, describe a bit more about the appearance of the plant (leaf shape, size, etc)
I edited my fist post...its not the bright red one....thats easy, its plastic. The one with the really long leaves....it looks more like a purple outline in the photo... :/
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:47 PM   #4
JDM
 
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On the lights, plants do better under certain colours of light referred to as colour warmth or temperature measured in degrees kelvin. The ideal range is between 6,000 and 7,000 kelvin. This will be printed on the bulb. If it is not then you probably have just a regular bulbs.

That plant has a distinctly non-aquatic look to it... only because it reminds me of a plant that my Mom used to have potted in the house. I can't help with ID though..

Jeff.
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:05 PM   #5
 
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Originally Posted by JDM View Post
On the lights, plants do better under certain colours of light referred to as colour warmth or temperature measured in degrees kelvin. The ideal range is between 6,000 and 7,000 kelvin. This will be printed on the bulb. If it is not then you probably have just a regular bulbs.

That plant has a distinctly non-aquatic look to it... only because it reminds me of a plant that my Mom used to have potted in the house. I can't help with ID though..

Jeff.
many of the plants in ur aquarium are also on land, its all about how they are started out. the lighting may be a issue. plants with any red in them usually tend to need higher light and if you dont have anything "special" your gunna have a hard time. with how to plant it you can either do 2 things, take off the weight and foam stuff first with either option. but you can float it untill it sprouts roots or you can just plop them in the substrate and they will root there. your choice, without a roopt system im guessing a stem plant which takes nutrients from the water more so then the roots. so maybe look into a good comprehensive liquid fert to does with. if the plant is "easy" that should be all it needs with some light.
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:49 PM   #6
 
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Everything that's been posted is true, but...

This is a terrestrial plant. A species of Dracaena I believe. It may survive submersed (in the aquarium, under water) for a few months, or it may not.

It is sadly very common for the chain stores to continue to sell terrestrial or at best semi-terrestrial plants for use in an aquarium. It must surely frustrate many aquarists starting out with plants, seeing dying plants, and some undoubtedly give up. That is indeed unfortunate, as there is little else as beneficial for a fish aquarium as live plants. And they are not difficult.

We have fish and plant profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page, and you will find several plants with photos included. Some of these are extremely easy, some will be more demanding.

One of the best plants in any aquarium is one that floats. Some are strictly floating, but some of the stem plants can be left floating and work very well. The benefit of floating plants is that they are fast growing, which means they use a lot of nutrients, and here we come to your ammonia. Plants in the aquarium need nitrogen, and they prefer it as ammonium (ammonia), so they are quick to grab it. Floating plants are close to the light, so the more intense light is already there for them. And one more nutrient, carbon, is more readily assimilated as CO2 from the air so the floating leaf plants have an advantage.

Hope this helps.

Byron.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:27 PM   #7
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Here is an example of a Dracaena Fragrans, sub the yellow for the red and it is almost the same plant... This is what my mom had. took me a bit to find it but with Byron's clue it was easy.

The leaf/stem attachment is what made me think non-aquatic.

If you want an easy fast growing stem plant look for a dwarf Hygrophila , often sold in bunches, I got nine initially. When these get too tall, cut off the top half and plant it, then you have two (or double what you started with anyway) . I've had the best growth with those over many others and have since lost count of how many stems are in my tank. Floaters are hard for me to get so I've little experience with any other than duckweed .

A bit of seachem's flourish comprehensive for a liquid fertilizer once a week.

Take look at my plant thread linked in my signature below if you want to see what is working and how for me.

Jeff.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:40 PM   #8
 
JDM - thanks for your info on lights....I'll have a look in the morning, not wise to check now as they may be a bit toasty. :/ That plant does look very similar apart from the one I have the leaves come of branches as opposed to the 'trunk'. I like the look of that dwarf hygrophilia, and the profile seems to suggest its easy to keep. Not so keen on the duckweed in all honesty, especially with it supposedly inhibiting algae as much as it says, going back to keeping my snail alive!

Money Mitch - I have opted with trying to 'plant' it, I was going to just leave them floating as you suggested but they kept bobbing upside down with the bottoms out the water. Recalling my biology lessons regarding xylem and phloem for nutrient and transport in the stem I guessed this wasn't gonna be good for the plant. I just hope they stay there and that my Zebra snail wont knock them out. Or chomp on them...I've read that they don't like plants much but I read a lot online that turns out to be complete bull in the end so I guess I'll just wait and see.

Byron - Thank you for letting me know what my plant is - or isn't as it turns out. Grrr at Pets at Home. At least if it dies I know it might not be completely my fault. We'll see how it goes. I would love to get a proper planted tank set up but with the tank the size I have, I don't know if its worth decking it out fully, especially since I'm eyeing one up over double the size! I will definitely look into those floating plants and on the profiles....I thought the profiles were just for fish, I never thought to look for plants. 1 Question: I have bubbles, and the pump says it has a "primary white filter and secondary carbon filter", what's the deal with them and plants if any? Thank you so much for your input, it makes me feel alot more determined to persevere with plants.

Thank you so much guys for your help. I can't thank anyone enough for answering my endless questions!! You'd think I'd have it sussed after 5 months of constant reading but there is so uch to earn and I'm loving every minute of it!

:D
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:56 PM   #9
 
Is there a more common name Dwarf Higrophilia is known as? I'm seaching online to buy it but cant find any results on any site.

Thanks. :)
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:29 PM   #10
 
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Is there a more common name Dwarf Higrophilia is known as? I'm seaching online to buy it but cant find any results on any site.

Thanks. :)
It is always best to search plants by scientific name, Hygrophila polysperma in this case. Common names are often confusing with fish, but with plants they are largely non-existant. When I write the plant profiles here, I have to have a "common" name, that is how the program operates, so I make one up. Sometimes I may find a common name elsewhere, but usually not.
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