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Too many plants?

This is a discussion on Too many plants? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> I notice you didn't mention the angelfish. You should return those as well. I have some angelfish that wouldn't even have any room above ...

Old 04-11-2010, 09:37 PM   #11
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I notice you didn't mention the angelfish. You should return those as well. I have some angelfish that wouldn't even have any room above or below their fins in a 10g tank. If you wish to keep the angels, you could always upgrade to a 20 or 29g tank. Just to throw that out there. :D
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Old 04-11-2010, 11:42 PM   #12
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YAY!!! I'm so happy your are removing some of those fish from the tank. You'd have very big problems later if you hadn't made this very good decision. Horray for responsible fishkeeping!

10 gallons are hard to keep looking good IMO. I have a ten gallon and my swords, which are actually quite small for swords, take a lot of space. So I know what you mean. There are ways to scape your tank, also, whereby you create a visual feeling of vastness (mostly involves using smaller plants). But I can't give you advice here because I'm still learning that myself!!!

p.s. if you're keeping the angelfish, no upgrade to a 55 gallon!
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:21 PM   #13
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I too am glad you're taking some fish back. As stated, your remianing fish will be much ahppier and healthier due to your responsible actions. If you have any questions regarding stocking, ask at this forum first. Don't trust the LFS, as they usually just want to push their stock or many employees don't know responsible fishkeeping. Keep us posted on your progress.

Agreed. 55g+ for adult Angels.
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:52 PM   #14
Okay, I'm back! I gave all the fish except the platties, the danios and the cory cat to the pet shop....Even the angle fish went! So now I''ve got an almost bare tank! That's okay, as long as the fish are healthy....That's my goal....So, can you tell me what I need to do with the plants? I think my original question was do I have too many plants? Oh, and I'll get a couple more cory cats too.
I'll be going to run the Boston Marathon, (my handle, Never Quit, has to do more with endurance running than anything else. I use it on the running forums, so it was easy to use it here) so I won't be back until next Tuesday, so when you reply keep that in mind as far as me getting back to you.

Thanks again for everyone's help certainly appreicate it.

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Old 04-16-2010, 01:21 PM   #15
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OK, on the plants with browning leaves. This is almost certainly a nutrient deficiency. With so many swords in a 10g and no fertilizer, they are not getting at least some of the required 17 nutrients, and most likely these would be the micro-nutrients.

Macro-nutrients like carbon (from CO2) and nitrogen (as ammonia/ammonium) both come from the fish and biological processes) and others may be in your tap water and fish food. Micro-nutrients like iron, copper, and several other minerals are not so easy to get without fertilizer.

I would recommend a good liquid fertilizer; Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium is what I use, and in the past I've had good plant growth with Kent Freshwater Plant. In both cases ensure it is exactly these you get, as both companies make several different plant products but these are the comprehensive ones you need for your situation. Nutrafin's Plant-Gro liquid is another product I have not personally tried but others say it works.

For swords, the substrate tabs/sticks would also work as these plants are heavy root feeders. You are probably going to have to cull some swords, depending upon the species, as they have very extensive root systems and it sounds like you have more than you should in a 10g anyway. I would suggest we determine the species, consider which may have to go, and if you then might want something else in the tank to contrast. The liquid fert would be sufficient as it feeds everything; substrate ferts only work on substrate-rooted plants.

If you don't know the species, can you post photos? When you return, this will help us decide which fert is best. And good luck in the marathon.

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Old 04-16-2010, 04:00 PM   #16
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let me say for future reference, do not mix male and female platies in the tank. Platies are livebearers, like guppies, mollies, and swordtails.

Originally, my 10G guppy tank had 4 females and 2 males. Now, I have over 35, and I have to sell/give away about 20 fish per month.

Last edited by redchigh; 04-16-2010 at 04:05 PM..
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:57 PM   #17
Okay, got back late yesterday and the FIRST thing I did was check my tank...Everybody looked GREAT! And what I did notice this morning is they're not swimming around like crazy.....Like when I had all the fish in the tank. Now they're calmly going around and picking on the leaves and such. Before they were always going nuts! Man, I feel bad about the abuse I unknowingly put them through....THANKS for all your input.
Attached are two pictures...the "10 gallon" is a shot that I hope you can ID the plants and to give you an idea of what I have. The other is a close up of some kind of algae....Should I just leave it on the leaves or do I need to pull those leaves off?
Byron et al, after you have ID'd the plants please give me your recommendations and I'll get the plant food you suggest........Also, please tell me which online place to use, since I doubt our little pet shops have it.
Boston was the hard work of training begins to run another marathon and have a qualifying time.....
I feel bad for Ryan Hall, what a gifted runner!

Thanks again for your help
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Old 04-21-2010, 02:15 PM   #18
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Hi, could you post new (larger) photos please? The ones in the last post are thumb size and when I try to enlarge them they blurr beyond recognition.

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Old 04-21-2010, 03:22 PM   #19
Sorry, Think this should work better.

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Old 04-21-2010, 04:56 PM   #20
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Those are better. First on the plants, they are Echinodorus (swords). The ones in the back are E. bleherae which is the most commonly available sword. The ones in the front on the left could be E. amazonicus which is nearly identical to E. bleherae but remains smaller and has narrower leaves. But I have had E. bleherae that resemble these and grew larger in time. If these remain small, they will be E. amazonicus.

As for the algae, I think you have a couple.

The "fuzz" stuff that will usually line the outer edge of the leaves as it has done on the leaf centre in the close-up photo is black beard algae; it is also on one edge of the leaf near the surface. When it is this thick on a leaf, the leaf should be removed; push it downward at the base (on the crown) and it will break off easily. I find that when sword leaves have brush algae they are dying anyway, and the base of the stem in my experience will always be brown (dead) so it comes away even more readily. I don't know if the algae causes the leaf to die or if the algae attaches to dying leaves, i.e., not sure which comes first. I have this in my 90g and 115g. I leave it when it is on wood, and only remove leaves when it is significant. Best way of controlling it is to ensure the light is not more than what the plants need in balance with the nutrients. Only once in 15 years have I had what I consider a fairly heavy infestation, and that was in 1997 or 1998. Last year I thought it might be increasing a bit in the 115g, so I knocked an hour off the light schedule, from 12 down to 11 hours daily; it stopped spreading and in fact dissipated a bit. I do not consider it troublesome in either tank now.

I also think there may be some cyanobacteria, the bright/dark green appearance on some of the sword leaves. If this is slimy and you can easily remove it with your finger, it is cyanobacteria. This is not a true algae, it is a bacteria, but it is commonly considered as a "algae" trouble. Organics cause it, plus light of course; but usually it appears if the organics in the tank are heavy, caused by too many fish, overfeeding, insufficient water changes, and again with plenty of light. I had this bad in my 70g last autumn. It is under control now, each week I see a strand or two, small, among the floating plants; I remove it. If this green is just the plant leaf, and that is possible with the light and angle of the photo, it is nothing.

I went back through this thread and see that you are not fertilizing presently, and this probably is the reason for the brush algae; the light is there but insufficient nutrients for the plants that will normally out-compete algae in a balanced system. The browning leaves you mention are another sign of insufficient nutrients. On the light, it is sufficient but maybe reduce the duration by an hour or two from 13 hours down to 11; using a lamp timer that you can buy in hardware stores is the best, as then you have consistency [you may already have one, fine].

As you have all swords, substrate ferts would work fine. However, in my experience, the swords will grow even larger, and given their present size it might be best to use a good liquid comprehensive that will provide what they need but not so much that they will grow out of control. Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium is one I use now. I have had good luck previously with Kent's Freshwater Plant; I have not tried the newer Kent line, Plant-Pro or Pro-Plant they call it, as these are individual nutrients and I do not advocate dosing individual nutrients, it is too difficult if not impossible for non-botanists to work out the proportion and more trouble can ensure. I've done that, been there, etc.

Another probably good fert is Nutrafin's Plant-Gro liquid. I have not myself tried this (intend to), but others report success and this company's substrate sticks under the same name certainly work. But again I would suggest the liquid in your situation.

Whichever you get, follow the directions as to quantity and frequency. Over-dosing ferts can cause other problems with plants and fish. Everything has to be balanced. If you can, I would get the Flourish, it is a very small dose (for a 10g it would be less than 1/4 of a teaspoon once or twice a week) so it will not be that expensive long-term. The small size bottle will last you several months with the one tank. The Plant-Gro I believe uses a lot more each dose so it may be more expensive by comparison.

Remove any yellowing or brown leaves; yellowing leaves on Echinodorus will never recover and trimming the outer leaves (these will mostly be outer leaves) also helps to limit growth, as will trimming the roots, but not that yet. Get yourself one of those ferts, reduce the light, and in 2 weeks you should see some changes. It is the new growth, which is always from the centre of the crown on Echinodorus, that is the key; even the now-green outer leaves may yellow, if so, remove them. Keep us posted.

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