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-   -   Water Wisteria, Java Ferns and Java Moss? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/water-wisteria-java-ferns-java-moss-100849/)

freemike 05-07-2012 10:02 PM

Water Wisteria, Java Ferns and Java Moss?
 
What would be the best way to grow these plants? I'm not looking to do a real high tech setup, but right now my plants the ones listed are having mediocre results. I have the plants in sand substrate.I use aqueon plant food and they get 8 hours of light a day. The light they get is all artificial, it's a 6500k 15watt fluorescent light. Two on the 10 gallon tanks and one on the 5 gallon. I'm not sure of the water hardness level. I do get some growth, but it seems to die faster than it grows. Right now I have more dying stems than new ones on the Wisteria. The Java Moss seems to explode in growth, but then it dies back. The Java Fern I have one narrow and broad seems to be chilling and these two aren't dying, and growing but slowly. I'm looking into getting the Seachem products such as flourish, but I'm not really sure which ones to get for the plants. I'm also open to other brands, but from reviews these seem to be the best. I'm just not sure which way to use them as I don't want to kill my fish/frogs/snail to grow my plants. I also have a moss ball in one of the tanks.

Species of animals I have with the plants:
Betta
Axelrod Corydoras
Albino Cory
Assassin Snail
African Dwarf Frog

Byron 05-08-2012 09:42 AM

A bit more data wold be helpful to sort uot the problem. First is the light, by "fluorescent" do you mean fluorescent tubes, or compact fluorescent (CFL) screw-in bulbs? This makes a big difference as I'll explain when I have your response.

On the fertilizer, I've not tried the Aqueon but from the ingredients it should be adequate. When it is gone, you might want to look at one of two others i can recommend. Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement is a complete nutrient fertilizer. They make other products under the Flourish name, to make sure it is the Comprehensive Supplement. A small bottle will last a while, you use very little. Another good product is Brightwell Aquatics' FlorinMulti.

Java Fern is a very slow-growing plant. Wisteria is just the opposite, fast growing. I should be able to ID the issue when I have the light info.

Byron.

freemike 05-08-2012 10:19 AM

I'm not sure about the light. It's the aquaculture bulbs from Walmart.
Posted via Mobile Device

Byron 05-08-2012 10:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by freemike (Post 1073503)
I'm not sure about the light. It's the aquaculture bulbs from Walmart.
Posted via Mobile Device

Are they long tubes, or (normal) screw-in bulbs?

freemike 05-08-2012 11:01 AM

Screw in bulbs.
Posted via Mobile Device

Byron 05-08-2012 11:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by freemike (Post 1073562)
Screw in bulbs.
Posted via Mobile Device

Good, so you have CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs, 15w each, and they are what is commonly called "daylight" with a 6500K rating. Good light for plants and fish.

Java Fern is a low-light plant, so it will do best in some shade. Floating plants are ideal for this, and as you have Wisteria, it will grow up and along the surface if you let it, or it can be allowed to simply float unplanted.

Wisteria is a high light and thus high nutrient plant. In some tanks it grows well, in others never. The 10g with the two bulbs may be sufficient light (the 5g with one is not so I would only float it in this tank if you use it here). Make sure it is in direct light (if planted in the substrate). Being fast-growing, it will aim toward the light and upon reaching the surface the lower leaves may die off due to lack of light blocked by the upper portions of the stems. Trim it regularly (depends upon the rate of growth, but may have to be weekly during the water change) but uprooting it, cutting off the top portion down as far as good leaf growth, and replanting the top portions in the substrate. Wisteria needs good nutrition, and if the leaves are dying off even in good light, it may be lacking calcium or potassium. What is the GH of your tap water?

Byron.

freemike 05-12-2012 02:35 AM

Sorry for the delay I've been busy lately... The only thing I have to test the GH is strips and it shows somewhere between 25-75. I know they aren't very accurate but that is the best I have. I'm also looking into adding excel with the comprehensive flourish for a source of co2.

Byron 05-12-2012 09:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by freemike (Post 1078099)
Sorry for the delay I've been busy lately... The only thing I have to test the GH is strips and it shows somewhere between 25-75. I know they aren't very accurate but that is the best I have. I'm also looking into adding excel with the comprehensive flourish for a source of co2.

This likely explains the Wisteria problem. You have very soft water--I assume those numbers are ppm, since anything close to 75 dGH would be impossible. So at 75ppm, the highest in the range, it is just 4 dGH which is very minimum for most plants. This was one of my problems with Wisteria, and other plants too for that matter, as my tap water is near-zero GH. The calcium, magnesium and potassium in Flourish Comprehensive is minimal, since the product is geared for the "normal" North American water supply that is medium hard. Those of us with soft water need to supplement these three macros although slow-growing plants will manage on Flourish Comp. And Wisteria being a fast-growing stem plant will need additional macros. [By the way, I would verify your GH with the water supply folks; they might have a website with data posted, or they should be able to tell you.]

I do not recommend Excel as a carbon supplement. Some plants will die (Vallisneria, mosses, probably some others). Second, it is not really necessary in natural (low-tech) systems as sufficient CO2 will occur from fish and plant respiration and (mainly) bacteria in the substrate breaking down organics. Third, as this is chemical and given it kills some plants and has been known to kill fish if overdosed, I would not use such a product just out of principle.

The Flourish Comp will suffice generally; if the GH numbers are accurate, dosing calcium/magnesium/potassium will help fast-growing plants which otherwise might not last.

Byron.

freemike 05-14-2012 03:10 AM

Well I don't know... but I added the excel two days ago and the wisteria is really taking off I'm getting plenty new growth from the roots and the existing stalks have added some noticeable height. I also cut off the dying stalks when I added the excel. I must have been wrong about my hardness, but I really do appreciate your advice and knowledge. I'm also going to be switching to flourish (comprehensive). I'm using a syringe to dose the tank to make sure I don't kill anything.


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