Planting / attaching and maintaining "Riccia"
I am hoping to introduce "Riccia" into my tank, both in the substrate and onto some bogwood with java fern and also onto a few rocks. I'd like some advice on how to attach the plant to the wood and rocks and on how to plant it into the gravel (if possible).
Once it is planted into the gravel how easy is it to clean the substrate if you end up with a carpet of growth? and finally are any of these fish going to be unhappy at having such a carpet in the tank - cory's, clown loaches, danios, neons, cardinals white skirted tetra's and a Bristlenose?
The tanks a 270 litre partially planted at the moment.
I am awaiting a shipment of both "Seachem flourish excel" and also "Seachem flourish tablets" I'm also presuming that combined these will benefit the java fern (the excel) and the many crypts I have sprouting (the tablet\0, also hoping the excel will benefit the riccia.
At this moment I'm not working with a direct external CO2 source.
I believe Riccia is a floating plant; I don't know if it is possible to attach it to wood, perhaps someone else with direct experience will comment.
Corydoras (and loaches) root through the substrate, and I always keep a good patch along the front open to feed them.
The substrate tabs will benefit the crypts.
Excel I do not recommend, for a few reasons. First, in a planted aquarium it is important to establish a biological balance between fish, light, plants, bacteria and nutrients. Once this is achieved, it is possible to have the aquarium basically run itself, with minimal input by the aquarist aside from food for fish and plants and (perhaps) regular partial water changes [these depend upon fish load and plants]. I prefer a natural balance; carbon, a plant nutrient, occurs as CO2 from the fish, plants and bacteria and organic waste breakdown, and in most tanks it is sufficient for the plants if the light is kept minimal (benefiting the fish as well). Once you start adding carbon, be it as diffused CO2 or Excel, you are upsetting the otherwise natural balance and creating a different one, requiring more light, more nutrients. The more you add or interfere, the more the balance is being affected.
Second reason is that some plants do not like Excel; I have learned from many planted tank aquarists that Vallisneria will completely fall apart with Excel, at the amount recommended on the label. Some report this occurring quickly, within a day or two (giant Vall seems worse for this), others over a period of a few weeks (with corkscrew more). This does not surprise me, since Vallisneria is particularly adapt at assimilating carbon from bicarbonates, which is why it is so good in harder water compared to other plants such as bog plants and mosses which rely more (or completely) on CO2. Here again, a question of balance. Java Fern does not need carbon supplementation; I had an incredible stand of JF in my amphibian vivarium where there were no fish in the water and the only CO2 came from the air at the surface and the obvious biological processes.
Third, some fish are adverse to Excel. I understand cardinal tetras have been known to wane when Excel was used. I don't know if this is the "carbon" factor or simply the chemical factor, but I suspect the latter; characins are especially sensitive to any chemical, and there are chemicals in Excel according to Seachem's data. Cardinals being mostly wild-caught fish would be more likely to exhibit problems with any chemical substances added to their environment. Corydoras are the same, and you mention having them.
Fourth, in summary really, I prefer adding nothing that is not absolutely essential to an aquarium. Water conditioner is essential to protect fish from chlorine; plant fertilizer and fish food is essential to feed the plants and fish. I see no need for anything else. Excel is not a fertilizer per say, it is a liquid carbon supplement with issues as I noted above.
Ugg, looking up ricca and you get all these pics of half naked women T.T; anyways, from the looks I can't get an idea on what the plant it... I see some above the surface and some planted on wood and stuff so idk which one it is!
But anyways, you can always use thread, netting, or fishing line to attache a plant to a rock.If the plant's roots will attach to the rock, you can remove the thing holding it down once it attaches. Not sure how ricca is.
Ohhh, it's riccia. I just noticed that now. Not ricca.
But anyways, if it's roots won't attach to the rock, then you can probably still use the above to attach it to the rock, but it will never attach on it's own.
Depends upon the plants whether substrate ferts will be useful. Swords and crypts, yes; however, for 15 years I maintained beautiful swords and crypts with only liquid fertilizer, so it is not "essential." But having added sticks last year only next to the largest swords (Echinodorus macrophyllus, E. major) the sword's growth was amazing. But it is not necessary; liquid still has to be added, for these and other plants.
Floating plants and plants that root on wood or rock (Java Fern, Java Moss, Anubias...) obviously receive no benefit from substrate fertilizers and liquid is essential. Stem plants are probably 50/50, as they produce roots all along the stem, and I have no statistics for substrate over liquid for stem plants.
Unless you have one or more large swords, I wouldn't bother with substrate ferts. My crypts in the 70g do not have substrate and grow fine.
I have a lot of crypts, dwarf saggitaria, and one sword plant, so I might consider try it at least. :] I'll prolly ask more questions in the future before I try it or do some research. It can't hurt, can it? :p
In all honesty i'm not sure what look you're going for. If you've been surfing the net looking at Ricca and thinking your going to get some lush carpet or bog wood with a golf course look. Think again.
This plant is high light plant meaning you should have at least 5-7 watts per gallon. If your tank is around 75 gallons then unless you have some crazy light source, the bottom of your tank isn't going to get enough light. You also want to pump 6bps-8bps of Co2. With all that being said it floats. So you have to tie it down to everything.
Want a carpet of ricca? buy a bunch and cut ceramic tiles to the shape you want. Tie down the ricca to the tyle usinig fishing string. Put it on the base of your tank and pump your tank full of Co2 and high lighting. Trim and prune your growing plant until it's the shape you want it. Rinse and repeat for your wood and rocks.
Alot of tanks you see in these competitions are either nano or post production plants. Meaning they are grown out of a tank or in a low water enviroment with high lighting and co2 Then put into a tank and pruned and given high lighting again and co2 for a 4 months then pruned again and then fish added for pictures. I used to go to alot of fish shows and they would bring in fish tanks a week before the show that were completely empty and then setup these crazy aquascapes with post production plants that were being grown for just that purpose, by the time the show started they were pruned and stocked with fish.
Don't get me wrong there are people who spend the bucks to get the effects. But the tanks depths are taken in to consideration.
I just don't want you to fall victim to a ricca fantasy plant trade that isn't a true representation of your outcome unless you're fully equipped, to have high growth with a super light and co2 needy plant.
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