Too many plants? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 20 Old 04-09-2010, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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Too many plants?

I've got a 10 gallon and it's got 4 swords that are about 3/4 to the top and 3 bigger swords where some of the leaves are curved and about 2" of the leaf is laying on the top...I'm wondering if there's an optimum number of plants...It's hard for me to see how it would be possible to have too many plants, but I just don't know. They seem to be growing okay, every week or so when I do a water change I take out about 5 or 6 leaves that are starting to turn brown.
Can somebody tell me anything about that.

Thanks
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post #2 of 20 Old 04-10-2010, 11:13 AM
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When there's no space left for fish, you have too many plants. Some swords do grow large, and in a 10g might be too big for the tank. Depending upon the species, removing outer leaves sometimes helps to keep the plant within the tank. Some species have floating leaves naturally. If you could identify your plant species, or post a photo, I may be able to suggest more.

As for the brown leaves, this sounds like nutrient deficiency; swords should not have leaves browning weekly. Are you using any liquid fertilizer, and if yes, which one and how often? Also, how many fish and what type are in this tank? And what is the light (type, watts) and how long is it on daily?

With these questions answered, I should be able to solve the browning leaf problem.

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 #3 of 20 Old 04-10-2010, 11:28 AM
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Too many plants? No such thing!

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post #4 of 20 Old 04-10-2010, 12:59 PM
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Well, I for one would say you can have too many plants... I like having a wide variety of plants, and with too much growth, you can't see the forest for the trees, so to speak.

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post #5 of 20 Old 04-10-2010, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Hey Byron, and Aunt Kymmie: Thanks for the feedback....Here's the answers to your questions:
1. No, I don't use any kind of fertilizer....I was reading about using the pellets you put under the plants that they're better than the liquid, and was going to buy some of them. (Understand I'm new to this).
2. It's a community tank, and I think it may be a little crowded...
5 platties
1 big blue ghromi
3 red tailed sharks........they get along well, NEVER seen them fighting.
1 clown loach
2 small angels
4 zebra danios
1 cory catfish
1 bleeding heart tetra
2 black tetras

The light is called a Bio life and it's a 15 watt bulb.
it's on from 6:30a to 7:30 p

I do a 10% water change weekly.

Thanks again for your help
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post #6 of 20 Old 04-10-2010, 01:21 PM
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Never quit, you have a real problem looming with that many fish (and that type of some of them) in a 10g aquarium. My earlier comment about never too many plants was in jest (as was Aunt kymmie's similar), but there is no jesting here. This is a disaster waiting to happen, but we can suggest how to resolve it. What I will say will be direct and blunt, and please accept this as beneficial help for you and your fish.

First, redtail sharks require a large tank; they grow much too large for a 10g, and like all fish they grow throughout their lives and if they are in too small a space they will be stunted, which briefly means the internal organs develop but the external doesn't and innumerable health problems can occur. Crowding also affects a fish's behaviours. The fish is not in good health because it is under stress constantly. This applies to any potentially large fish in a small tank. It is not kind, it is quite cruel to the fish to put it through this ordeal.

This applies to the angel fish, sharks, clown loach and blue gourami. These fish are not suited to a 10g tank, please see if you can return them to the fish store; many stores will understand such a predicament (many of us went through this at the beginning, I know I did) and offer a credit on supplies for your fish; even if they just take them, it will be for the good of the fish. Another point, these fish need company, their own species; clown loaches are highly social fish that interact, but at a mature size of 8-12 inches they need a huge tank for 5 or more of them.

And not only the fish you take back, but the others in the tank, who are also under stress from having these other fish in there; they simply do not have the "room" to avoid each other, highly stressful.

Tetras are shoaling fish, like the loaches I mentioned, and must be in a group to be "happy" and thus free of more stress which brings on poor health. Same for corys; at least 3, preferably 5, in a group to be happy and healthy. You don't have room for 5-6 of the bleeding hearts, corys, black tetras (black skirts presumably), zebra danio and platies in a 10g. You need to decide which fish you want, and return the rest. Out of all these, a group of 5-6 of one or two of the tetras/danios/platies plus 3-5 corys would be max in a 10g.

Lucky you have plants, as they are doing an incredible job of preventing things from being even worse for the fish. And a weekly partial water change of only 10% is not anywhere near sufficient; 50% of this tank needs to be changed weekly, and with all these fish it should 3 times a week. Even that will not prevent poor health and deaths down the road, so please consider removing some of these fish.

I won't get into the plant problem as the fish are far too urgent an issue.

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]

Last edited by Byron; 04-10-2010 at 01:23 PM.
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post #7 of 20 Old 04-10-2010, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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Byron: First of all, don't even think my feelings are hurt, I feel lucky you were honest. How else would I learn? Okay, here it is Saturday, so I'm off to a couple of of the pet shops to see if they'll take back the red tails, clown, and gourami. I'd like to keep the platties as they have much more color. If they won't "buy" them back, that's fine...The concern is the health of the fish, and not the money.
Give me a couple of days and I'll get back to you, hopefully with a much vacated tank!

Thanks again for your help
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post #8 of 20 Old 04-10-2010, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by never quit View Post
Byron: First of all, don't even think my feelings are hurt, I feel lucky you were honest. How else would I learn? Okay, here it is Saturday, so I'm off to a couple of of the pet shops to see if they'll take back the red tails, clown, and gourami. I'd like to keep the platties as they have much more color. If they won't "buy" them back, that's fine...The concern is the health of the fish, and not the money.
Give me a couple of days and I'll get back to you, hopefully with a much vacated tank!

Thanks again for your help
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Thank you for caring for your fish. A wise decision. I would also take back the two tetra species; platies and zebra as you have will work, and a couple more corys. Keep us posted, and good luck.

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 #9 of 20 Old 04-10-2010, 02:49 PM
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Never quit, I'm also glad you're going to be rehoming some fish. That is an unbelievable amount of fish stuffed into a 10gl. (Don't feel bad, I did the exact same thing with the first 6gl tank I set up, lol)
Let us know how it goes!

If you don't stand up for something you'll fall for anything...
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post #10 of 20 Old 04-11-2010, 07:37 PM
You can certainly have too many plants in a tank. Swords tend to outgrow a lot of tanks. Every time I get a red rubin that is 10-12" tall it outgrows my tank within 2-4 months depending where I place it. Usually its a good 2.5 feet tall when I finally pull it out. I pulled over a dozen good leaves off my current one last week so it wasn't stealing all the light. But plants can over fill a tank. Generally stem plants in my experience they hit the surface, send off tons of side shoots and form a think plant layer. They start blocking out all the light, which will cause the lower leaves to die off. On top of that my larger fish like the angles get stuck in the only small open areas left.

.... I'm probably drunk.

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