A few questions
I just have a couple questions I need answers to:
1. I put in two 13w cfls (60w equivelent) into my 10 gallon tank the other day, and it seems extremely bright. The edges of the tank (the silliconed edge) are basically glowing. Is this too much light? Will it stress out my fish? How do I know if my fish don't like the bright light? I've read that watt per gallon ratings are just for flourescant lights, and the incandescant rating is irrelevent, I have also read that my hood has terrible (or none) reflectors. All signs point towards it not being that bright, but it looks really bright anyway.
2. My anarachis stem came unburried (again) today so I decided to try to float it. Somehow, the filter seems to pull the plant towards the outflow place, it makes no sense. The plant is pulled until it gets under e outflow place and is pushed down, it flies around the tank until it gets wedged under the filter... I raised the water level a little and it seemed to help, the plant was pulled in until it sort of got stuck in a corner neer the filter. How do I get it to stay in the. Side of the tank I want it to? Will clumping them together help (more weight, harder to toss around by the filter)?
3. Kind of a simple question: is ludwigia sold in bunches? How about wisteria?
Perhaps this should have gone into the aquarium plants section... But the plant questions are kind of side questions (I had another question but I forgot it, I'll ask later when I remember)
Thanks in advance!
(This is my 100th post on TFK!)
The 13w might not be too much, depending upon the plants (species and number) and the nutrients. Remember, it is all about balance. Too much light intensity and algae will plague you. You seem to have mostly stem plants, which prefer more light (and more nutrients) as they are fast growing. Some good floating plants will help shade the fish. Any of the floaters in our plant profiles would do.
I'm a mere novice compared to Byron when it comes to plants, but with regard to floating plants I might be able to help. Many filters, especially HOBs return water across the surface with a velocity that upsets any floating plants. You can reduce this by making a simple baffle from an empty water bottle:
Byron- ok, thanks for the feedback. How would I go about floating them if they have to float (plants like hornwort)? Even if they don't have to be floated I would like to float them to shade my java fern. I still don't understand why the plants would float towards the filter.
Abbeys dad- would this type of baffle work for an internal filter? Also, I filled the water up so the filter was barely making any current, and the plant still floated toward the filter... I was thinking I could bunch them together and have one of the stems draped around something, I'll try it, hopefully it will work
Thanks for the replies!
Oh yeah, I just remembered my last question:
I was reading Byron's article on bacteria in the aquarium, and he mentioned not to disturb the gravel. I don't think I will disturb the roots of any plants because I don't have any rooted plants, and when I push in the gravel vacuum a huge amount of debris comes up. I feel that if I stop removing all that waste my tank will turn in to ammonia (and down the road nitrate) central.
You're correct. That crap does need to be removed. That was one of the reasons I chose sand, nothing gets down between sand grains, or not much. Feeding the fish quality food keeps stuff that they don't digest (filler) from sitting around as does not having sinking food go hiding between the gravel. I am currently doing a tank Reno at work and I am removing the gravel to replace it with sand as it is a much cleaner substrate.
How much of the detritus you want to remove from the substrate depends upon various factors. In some of my tanks I never touch the substrate, in others I run over the surface and in a couple I dig into it a little bit.
If the aquarium is basically balanced you really do not need to touch the substrate much, if at all. Now first, let's be clear on what "balanced aquarium" means, as I use the term. The fish load must be no more than what the aquarium can handle. And this not only involves mere numbers of fish in relation to water volume, but the fish species matter too. Then there are plants. The number and type are important here too, as with fish. Then there are the water changes, amount of food being added, etc. All of these factors affect the tank's biology.
If everything is basically balanced, the detritus that collects on the substrate gets pulled down into it (sand or gravel makes no difference) and decomposes. Snails are important here, as they break down the large bits into much smaller bits that the various bacteria can more easily handle. The bacteria break down the organics completely. Some of this becomes nutrients that the plants can use. Some feeds the anaerobic bacteria and other bacteria that need nitrate to complete the nitrification cycle. I explain this in that article on bacteria.
An aquarium will always in my view be healthier if it is generally left alone. Weekly partial water changes are essential, but beyond this, the less you fuss with the biology the better.
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