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The shotgun approach to planting a tank

This is a discussion on The shotgun approach to planting a tank within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> I had tons of duckweed until I discovered that my goldfish liked it. I happily scooped it out of my other tanks into the ...

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The shotgun approach to planting a tank
Old 01-05-2013, 04:04 PM   #21
 
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I had tons of duckweed until I discovered that my goldfish liked it. I happily scooped it out of my other tanks into the goldfish tank. Then it disappeared. Go figure.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:30 AM   #22
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Amazon Swords

Here is my little batch of two Amazon Swords. It's a little confusing as there are also the Crypt 1 just in front... I think there are three or four of those but they are not in focus.

The swords don't quite look typical but I think that it because they are still fairly short. The blurry fish (hey, I was shooting plants, not fish) are about 1" long for reference... Cherry Barb s. Not so much emphasis on the "Cherry" apparently.

The brown spots have not spread, they came with the plants. Next time I am buying plants I will drive across the city to visit their other LFS branch first, the plants seem to be in much better shape and more to choose from... hindsight.

These I stuck in the sand and made sure that all the roots were tucked in as well. Nothing fancy. I just made sure that the roots were deep enough that the stalks were somewhat in the sand. At my last water change (75% preceding the addition of new fish and to clear the water of some of that tea coloured patina) I rubbed off the leaves to remove some particulate (crap) that had settled on them. I'm not certain but they seem to look just a bit better for it. It may just be that the deposits were reducing some of the green vibrancy or I increased the capacity of the leaves to take in nutrients and light.

I can't say that I have seen any growth on these plants yet.

It is worth noting that EVERYTHING looks slightly better since the addition of the new fish. I was hoping that the added ammonia production would give the plants a boost.

I recall the very first time that someone mentioned putting a sword in their tank... my thought process went something like this, "...a sword.... really? How tacky is that to put a little sword in a tank for decoration". Yah, you've got to start somewhere.

Jeff.
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File Type: jpg Swords and Barbs.jpg (41.6 KB, 178 views)

Last edited by JDM; 01-06-2013 at 10:35 AM..
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:28 AM   #23
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Parameters, Fertilization, odds and ends and some pics

My water parameters are 22 dGH and 23 dKH (test kit tolerances unknown), pH 7.8.

Temperature will be in the 77F to 79F range... right now it sits at 77.7F

Lighting provided by the Marineland Double Bright LED 24" array with 12hours of light per day.

Fish feeding is minimal.

Tank is a 37 gallon high, 30"L x 12"W x 22"H

Plant list as per OP.

Cleaned playsand substrate ranging from 3/4" up front to 3" in back

Mopani and Malaysian drfitwoods, some stones.

The overall picture is pre large water change, the floating matt is post water change plus a couple of days and the individual plant is the one that I call "oregano" for lack of taking the 2 minutes it would take to actually ID it properly, maybe you guys can tell me and save me the effort That oregano has grown nearly two inches since planting... I'm a little surprised. I added a slightly better contrast sword shot here as I cannot edit my original sword post now.

I plan on cutting the water with reverse osmosis water during water changes, I added 5 gallons at the last change but have not retested since... due today now that additional fish have been in for over 24 hours. I'd like to bring the KH and GH below 20 degrees which may reduce the pH to the mid to low 7's. While the GH and KH are predictable, I'm not certain how the pH is going to respond to my RO addition.

I planted all the plants as I thought they should be planted, I'll address each one separately later, then added a half a capful of Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive. It's been the most mentioned aquarium fertilizer here so, I figured why mess with what is reported to work?

It seems to have a decently comprehensive list of nutrients, I suppose it should, given the name.

I have added this three times since setting up the tank and cannot say that I noticed anything happening... not that I should expect to I suppose. Most of the plants, with one exception, honestly didn't look terribly healthy. I was looking forward to getting some fish in place to generate some much needed ammonia (nitrogen source) as I thought that might be the largest factor in the plants apparent flagging.

I should change that, I did notice a growth appearing on the mopani drift wood that is not an algae, probably some sort of fungus. It was not easy to dislodge but the new tiger snails seem to enjoy eating it... so I've left it alone. It stopped growing following the water change, I think I can attribute it's reduced progress to not fertilizing. If the snails don't clean it up completely I may scrub it off with a tooth brush and remove it with the next water change.

During the last water change (75% or better) I pulled all plants that didn't look to be doing their best and left them to float. I also did some pruning, but I'll address that individually as each plant seemed to need something different done to it.

Since adding the fish and playing gardener everything seems to be doing better, except the fungus or whatever it really is. I have a matt of plants sitting on the surface and they all seem to be doing fine up there. The red ludwigia has some new growth at the ends, which surprised me a little.

I have not added any fertilizer since the last water change. I am not going to add any more pending seeing a reduction in the plant vitality... I'm not a fan of adding anything for the sake of adding it. I think that it would be very easy for me to over fertilize as my water has a lot of mineral content right from the tap. I know some have water that NEEDS these nutrients added so this is probably not typical.

Jeff.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg tank early overall.jpg (68.7 KB, 175 views)
File Type: jpg floating matt.jpg (85.9 KB, 177 views)
File Type: jpg oregano.jpg (36.6 KB, 177 views)
File Type: jpg Swords and Barbs high contrast.jpg (43.9 KB, 177 views)
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:54 PM   #24
 
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The "oregano" plant is I believe Hygrophila polysperma; it has that leaf structure and stem nodes. But I wouldn't insist if someone argues this.

The two swords I would move apart; they will get huge. They are most probably the "common" sword, Echinodorus bleherae in our profiles though as it mentions there this might actually be E. grisebachii. But they will grow to 20 inches in height and spread almost as far, so moving them apart will allow for better development. I have noticed that when these plants are close together, one often grows and the other is rather stunted. In your aquarium, I would leave one where it is and move the other close to the left side, about 4-5 inches in from the end wall.

With all these plants, and most being heavy feeding, I would dose Flourish Comp at least once a week. Weakening plants initially will not help them. Your harder water does contain the hard minerals, but these are not in Flourish in any significant amount anyway. What you will be missing are the trace minerals. These will occur from fish foods, but unless you have a heavily-stocked fish tank with multiple feedings per day, this is not going to amount to much plant nutrition.

By the way, the brown spots on the swords are iron deposits. This obviously occurred from their previous life; either too much iron, or insufficient calcium which causes plants to uptake more iron. The leaves will not improve, but as long as new growth from the centre of the crown is good there is nothing to worry about. I would leave the older leaves on until the new growth is significant; some nutrients are what we call transient, and the plant will shift them from older leaves to assist new leaves. Another reason to provide Flourish weekly; this prevents the plant from having to go this route if the nutrients are insufficient for new growth. Remember, plants will do everything they can to grow at the maximum level, until one nutrient is missing.

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Old 01-06-2013, 02:56 PM   #25
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I hadn't considered the width of the swords. I will probably push them farther against the back wall as width will also become depth, front to back. This should cause them to flatten with their widest on the wall.

I knew the leaves wouldn't get better... I haven't looked close enough to see if there are new shoots, I'll do that when I replant them.

Yes, that may be Hygrophilia, I thought that initially but thought that my leaves were wider. I forget the aquatic plants do not always follow exactly other specimens depending on environmental factors.

I liked calling it oregano though.

Jeff.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:18 PM   #26
 
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Nice looking tank. Good job.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:39 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
With all these plants, and most being heavy feeding, I would dose Flourish Comp at least once a week. Weakening plants initially will not help them.

Byron.
True, I would suppose that by the time I see signs of less vitality it could pose problems. Once a week would be a good place to start.

Jeff.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:23 PM   #28
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Brazilian Pennywort... stem plant starter

"Just cut off the top and stick it in the gravel..."

OK, so much for the quick and dirty version, it's not quite that simple. Just like a regular plant, the node is important whereas the cut itself not so much.

I brought home most of my plants on the first trip and just stuck them in the sand figuring that the advice I'd received was fine. I wondered about the node and the stem beyond, I think I even posted something here about it.

Pic one is not as clear as I would like but I don't have another to chose from right now. That is most of the stem of one of the Pennywort's that I had.

Pic two is a shot of a healthy mid-stem node, lots of roots.

Pic three is the bottom node with some of the stem left below. Note the white and brown colouring, this is basically rotting below the healthy node. This is, more or less, what I was dealing with as all of the stems were just cut off where ever, lots of stem below each node so they were just rotting off at the bottom. They weren't staying put in the sand.

I haven't completed them yet but I will be trimming off all of the stems close to the node and replanting them in the sand. I expect that this time they will stay put and hopefully thrive... I just need to decide where they may be going first. I didn't yank the oreganos to check them as they are all doing well and, if I recall correctly, I did trim them closer before planting them.

What I am unsure of is, when I cut off the existing stems, once they get quite tall, does the lower section branch and split at the top node or is the idea to remove the lower section altogether? I would like to propagate them.

Jeff.
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File Type: jpg Pennywort whole.jpg (28.8 KB, 165 views)
File Type: jpg Pennywort node.jpg (51.4 KB, 163 views)
File Type: jpg Pennywort end node.JPG (14.0 KB, 162 views)
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:01 AM   #29
 
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Yes, where you cut most stem plants and making sure you plant a healthy node is important. Most stem plants do branch out after they are pruned. If memory serves me well, pennywort doesn't react as well to frequent pruning as most other plants. Don't know the reason for this.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:22 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fish monger View Post
Yes, where you cut most stem plants and making sure you plant a healthy node is important. Most stem plants do branch out after they are pruned. If memory serves me well, pennywort doesn't react as well to frequent pruning as most other plants. Don't know the reason for this.
I suspect it is due to the single leaf with its own little branchlet rather than a terminal node with a few leafs sprouting right from the node and the relatively longer distance between nodes.... but that's just a guess or two.

Jeff.
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