Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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adadkins1 08-08-2012 12:48 PM

Need some plant ideas please
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I've been lurking around here for a while so I finally decided to register today. The tank I am in need of assistance with is a 55g. I currently have a two tube T8 fixture with a total of 64 watts at 6,500K. The light is on for approximately 8 hours and I am using a split photoperiod (3 on 3 off 5 on). I've had some issues with keeping my plants growing healthy and strong. I currently have an Oriental Sword, Dwarf Water Lettuce, Crypt Wendtii, Hygrophila Corymbosa v. stricta (?), a bit of Java Moss and Crypt Spiralis just added. The two oldest plants in this setup (C. wendtii and Oriental) have shown signs of stunting and possibly deficiencies. Perhaps I waited too long to put in some more root tabs. My nitrAtes are hovering just around 10ppm and I dose no ferts aside from the root tabs for Crypts and Echinodorus. My ultimate question is: what are some other plants I should try out in this setup? I love the easy, low maintenance approach laid out in the stickies but I also want some faster growing plants if possible. I don't necessarly have an exact theme I want, just to have it planted more heavily. Also, where could I get some plants that y'all mention for my setup?

Thanks! :-D

redchigh 08-08-2012 01:13 PM

You need a fertiliser for the water column- Flourish comprehensive seems to work well. (I've personally never tried it- I make my own.) Why are you doing the split photoperiod? I wouldn't. Do you have any fish in the tank?

As for plants, I'd get more medium-sized swords along the back wall, some dwarf sag in the foreground, and Ludwigea Repens, Hygrophila Difformis, More Vallisneria, Stergrass, Cabomba Caroliana, and a dwarf water lily for the midground. The stem plants will look their best if you trim off the bottoms and plant the tops regularly. The bottoms can be left floating to sprout leaves.

As for getting the plants, You might be better off getting a 'package' on aquabid. Just read the reviews first. This one might be good for you.

adadkins1 08-08-2012 02:01 PM

Thanks, I have some of my own fertilizer that is stump remover, epsom salt, and "No Salt". Would that be sufficient for my purposes? I totally forgot that I have a small Dwarf Lily, I'm just waiting for it to grow in. I was doing the split photoperiod to avoid algal issues, but I can change it. What would you recommend for my time 6, 8, 10?

There actually are fish, this picture just makes it look like a ghost tank for some reason. 3 Pearl Gouramis, 6 Marbled Hatchets, 15 Glowlight Tetras, 4 Yo-Yo Loaches, 8 Kuhli Loaches, 1 Bristlenose Pleco, and 1 Clown Pleco.

Thanks again for the plant suggestions, I'll see if the local pet shop can get some of the more common ones in and may order others off aquabid.

redchigh 08-08-2012 02:21 PM

Stump remover SHOULD be KNO3, a good source of nitrates (if you even need nitrate).
Epsom salts is magnesium sulfate- Not really needed- just provides a couple trace elements.
No-salt is potassium chloride.. Good source of potassium.

If you have a well-stocked aquarium and don't vacuum the gravel, the only thing you'll really need is trace elements... Look into buying some CSM+B.

I've experimented with 'Rainbow' agricultural fertilizer, and it seems to work well for me.

It's really easier to just use flourish or CSM+B. If you need macros (probably won't unless you dose CO2 as well), then the No-salt, Stump Remove (IF it's Potassium Nitrate only) and a phosphorus supplement- just buy monopotassium phosphate online if you want to dose yourself.

I only dose trace, with a little potassium when needed. (Potassium is non-toxic)

As for light, it just takes some experimenting... I keep one tank on for 12 hours a day, and others close to 10, but I have lower light than you.

adadkins1 08-08-2012 02:28 PM

Okay, I'll look into getting some trace supplement for the water column. I don't gravel vac very thoroughly, just enough to get all that darn Pleco poop. :shock:

Thanks again for your help and I look forward to getting my aquarium to where I want it.

adadkins1 08-09-2012 05:31 PM

Okay, got some Cabomba and another C. spiralis for the tank today. Also added a stem of L. repens, Marimo Ball and some E. vesuvius plantlets from my RCS tank.

I have only found one issue, there are some transparent spots on my Hygrophila's newer leaves. What kind of deficiency does this indicate or what may be wrong? It has started rooting some so it is getting plenty of nutrients from the water column.

Byron 08-10-2012 12:01 PM


I have only found one issue, there are some transparent spots on my Hygrophila's newer leaves. What kind of deficiency does this indicate or what may be wrong? It has started rooting some so it is getting plenty of nutrients from the water column.
Likely a nutrient deficiency. Stem plants are fast growing, which means they need more light and more nutrients. You have the light, but from your earlier comment that you are using no ferts except the substrate tabs, there is most likely a deficiency of nutrients. All aquatic plants assimilate some nutrients via the leaves from the water, and all by the roots also from the water. So the first fertilizer to use in all cases is a liquid, and this is actually sufficient for all plants in a natural method tank. Substrate tabs can then be added to target specific plants, such as swords, tiger lotus, aponogeton. Crypts can benefit too, though I've only used liquid.

Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement is one of the best liquid fertilizers; it has all essential nutrients and in proportion. Brightwell Aquatics FlorinMulti is the same. Once or twice a week is sufficient.

Another issue is the GH. The hard minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium) are assumed to be in the source water and thus liquid fertilizer preparations and substrate tabs are low in these. But calcium is essential to cell structure. If you GH is 4 dGH (71 ppm) or higher, this shouldn't be an issue, though for this stem plant a higher GH may be preferable.


adadkins1 08-10-2012 01:54 PM

Okay, I'll be sure to try and get a hold of some ferts here soon. I definitely don't want my Hygros to die. Shouldn't be a problem as far as the minerals because we have pretty hard water.

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