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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; --> Thanks. I'm pretty much at that point where I need to decide if I am going to start throwing out cuttings or just REALLY ...

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The shotgun approach to planting a tank
Old 02-28-2013, 06:25 PM   #81
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Thanks.

I'm pretty much at that point where I need to decide if I am going to start throwing out cuttings or just REALLY over planting the tank.

Next project is to do something with the java fern plantlets. I have enough to setup a nice driftwood java fern display now. They're still just floating around here and there.

Jeff.
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:51 PM   #82
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Ludwigia... NOT!

I was told at the LFS that the red plant I bought was a red ludwigia. I've been watching the odd post here and there about other people's ludwigia and wondering why mine looks just a bit different. I figured it was due to low light. Today I also noticed that it has come unstuck, yet again, from the driftwood that I attached it to. I would just plunk it in the substrate but getting it closer to the light seemed like a better option... that and the stems are just not sending out ANY roots so the darn things will not stay in the sand.

Today I finally got around to trying to properly ID this plant. Step one, check out all ludwigia varieties... there are a number. No real match. Next step, red aquatic stem plants... found one and did some relative images and, BINGO! plants that look exactly like mine.

Nesaea, red leaf. African plant... possibly flowering.

Apparently it is very difficult to grow and requires high light levels (I assumed being it is red)1

My next project (java mat) ended up being delayed for a number of reasons.

The dwarf hygrophila are getting out of hand now and I feel that my tank is nicely stabilized so I will be pruning some back and NOT replanting all the cuttings. I would like to free up some space for a couple more plants and relegate the DH to background duty from now on.

I know that any aquascaper will probably say that fewer species of plants look better, or might even be more natural, but I like the varied greens and the odd reds and just figuring out what works for my tank setup. The other advantage I think that I am seeing is that there is no single draw on nutrients that a more homogenous plant cross section might have. My nitrates have yet to cross 5ppm and I don't perform large water changes unless necessary, (twice so far while getting fish setup). I'm not certain which variety is responsible for that, probably duckweed is top of the list.

Fertilization has been minimal but I may step that up from once a week to twice a week and see if there is any noticeable difference... there is just so much plant material now that I anticipate more ferts would be prudent.

Jeff.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:38 PM   #83
 
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Oh if only you lived closer, I cringe at the thought of all those lovely cuttings getting thrown away D:

Anyways, the tank is looking gorgeous, I'm so jealous.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:32 PM   #84
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Well, that was the first time that I had to toss plant material after a pruning. Did a 60% WC change and some gardening.

I pulled some dwarf hygro stems from the centre area, put a few more along the rear to the right and gave everything a severe haircut. I was tossing a lot of stem pieces that were 12" or longer. (Sorry Jen, they wouldn't travel well anyway).

I stuck the Nesaea in the centre front. Even though these stems have never produced roots in two months they managed to stay in place for the day. I redirected the flow to reduce water movement on one side more than the other.

The only small concern is that removing so much plant material MIGHT reduce the ammonia sink capacity of the tank. I know that it has also cycled but it cycled based on lots of plants. I'll watch for a day or two and see if that remote possibility arises.

I noted that the brazilian pennywort has now reached the surface, that makes it over 20" tall and growing. I am curious what it will do now that it has a leaf at the surface. Interestingly the base of the stem has very little root growth... I think that this plant would do well in a still surface as a floater... It might even be a more natural method to coral my duckweed, although keeping it thinner is serving the same purpose.

Jeff.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:55 PM   #85
 
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That is one happy little tank :) Beautiful!
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:45 PM   #86
 
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Are you using Quikcrete Playsand?
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:39 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jentralala View Post
Are you using Quikcrete Playsand?
No, it's a home hardware product. Lake sand from somewhere in Quebec I think. Lots of colourful quartz and some shell tidbits.

Jeff.
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:37 PM   #88
 
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you mention java mat, liek java moss? heard that grows at a snails pace in high light, keep us posted with how that works as i know you will ^^
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:28 AM   #89
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I should clarify, Java Fern mat. Basically tie a bunch of java fern rhizomes together to create an underlying mat with lots of ferns growing out of it. I tend to think that plants do better when planted close to other same species of plant. That's partly why pretty much everything in my tank is in fairly tight groupings

Anyway, the mat lets me provide a different level for plants as well. i have a vertical driftwood with ferns sort of stuck into it but it was done hap-hazardly. I would like to have a well done version with the new ferns and will probably go with vertical again just due to space restrictions. I may even consider suspending it.

The java moss that I have I had to prune this weekend, took almost 1/3 of it out as it was getting a little out of hand... slow growth under low light? Slower than some other plants, maybe. Considering how small the branches are, I would say that, based on relative growth rates, it is in line with everything in my tank other than the dwarf hygrophila and the new Bacopa Caroliniana.

On that note, the BC is supposed to be a slow grower... Right now it is shooting up as fast as the DH. I have literally inches of growth over the weekend since cutting back the DH... probably a combo of more light and less competition for nutrients. I see that it does grow submerged with the tops growing emmersed and perhaps flower... I thought as much based on the look of the stem. Too bad my lid is so tight to the water... I think I will transfer a small stem to my jug project and see how it does there.

My wife would be much happier if that "jug full of green crap" were a little nicer looking... I don't see what the problem is though.

Jeff.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:46 AM   #90
 
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I have a container of "green crap" also. My wife keeps asking me if I'm going to do anything with "those worms".
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