New to plants
Ah, so I finally took the plunge into the world of live plants. I went to the store and bought two anubias. (I can't recall the exact type of anubia). I'm actually rather excited! I looked around hoping to find some of these 'root tabs' I've heard people talk about. I was unable to find any. I plan to simply let them grow and see how well they grow without using a fertilizer of any sort for now. If they start dying and it seems fertilizer is needed, I'll take a look into that.
My main question is, as far as anubias go, do they need their roots exposed? buried? can I let them kind of float or do they need to be tied down to something? And lastly, do the leaves need to be completely submerged or is it okay for the leaves to poke out of the water a bit?
Anubias are one plant that I have not picked up... probably won't and I am not certain exactly why. I think I like crypts for the leafy style of plant look. So I can't really comment on the leaf in or out of the water but I might guess that they might be OK with some exposed leaf.
These are not a substrate plant so need to be tied down... if you have a course gravel they might be OK planted as there would be more water flow around the rhizome and "roots".
The root tabs are great for swords and vals... the only things I have used them for. They won't help anubias as they are not substrate planted.
Others might have more definite answers for the leaf out of the water issue.
Its not really a big deal as to whether or not they can be out out of the water or not. As soon as the quarantine period is over, they will be moved into my big tank where I intend to plant one into the gravel (if they seem to do okay planted) and another will be tied down to a piece of drift wood and fully submerged.
The rhizome, which is the thick "root" like structure from which the leaves grow and the fine roots, must not be buried or it may rot. Anubias is best attached to wood or rock. It can be carefully lodged into a crevice, or tied on with black cotton thread or fishing line. As it settles, the fine roots will anchor it.
As for leaves above water, yes, but this plant is a bog plant [check the profile, click the shaded name] so the leaves emersed will die off (assuming they are now submersed leaves) and new emersed leaves will develop.
As for fertilizer, as Jeff said substrate tabs will have no benefit as the roots are usually not in the substrate. A liquid fertilizer added to the water will suffice. This may or may not be necessary, if the only plant is Anubias. Plant nutrients occur in the tap water at water changes and from fish foods that become organic waste and are broken down by bacteria in the substrate and subsequently get into the water. However, depending upon the fish load, feeding and GH of your tap water, a comprehensive liquid fertilizer may be beneficial. I can suggest some if asked.
So, anubias don't need to be planted. I have them essentially 'weighted Down' using a few pieces of gravel resting in crevices between the leaves. Sorry, I have a hard time fully understanding all things plant at the moment so bear with me if I ask questions again or what not. At the moment I don't think fertilizer will be necessary. The only thing I'm worried about is perhaps not being able to provide enough light to keep the plants healthy. I'm just going to experiment and see how it goes.
One question though, how long should I keep the plants in isolation before i put them into my tank and why is it necessary to quarantine plants again?
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not really nessicary to quarintine plants, i just rub mine under water from the tap and rinse them off if you will. some plants are sold with snail hitchhikers riniseing them off in the tap will get rid of those guys. java ferns are low light plants and should do well in pretty much any lighting.
I kind of figured that would be the main reason. I haven't seen any hitchhikers so I'm hoping there won't be any. If I were to just rinse them off well would that get rid of any snails that might have tagged along?
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I almost got a dragonfly nymph on my last plants.... but they wouldn't let me keep it:cry:
That's kind of cool. Why wouldn't they let you keep it?
Re light, Anubias is a shade plant. In direct light it sometimes fails, or more usually brush algae will encrust the leaves. A cover of floating plants is ideal. And floating plants are easy, and extremely beneficial as well.
The only time I would perhaps consider quarantining new plants is if they came from a tank with fish at the store. Plants can transfer pathogens like parasites and protozoan, just as any wet object from an infected tank. Some stores keep plants in their own tank(s) to make this unnecessary.
It is next to impossible to quarantine for the removal of algae or snails. I suppose that after several weeks in QT the snail issue would likely be non-existent since the eggs if any would have hatched and the snails be sufficient size to see. But the small snails that normally hitch in with plants are very beneficial and I would not even try to remove them.
As for algae, this can occur no matter what. Any dip in some solution would have to be so strong to guarantee killing the algae that the plant would almost certainly be harmed if not killed itself. And algae is natural in an aquarium, and we can keep it under control.
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