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TexasTanker 05-12-2010 10:38 AM

Planting... is this a mistake?
I'm about to plant my 55 gallon tank. I have about 20 plants for it. I was really proud of myself for getting first pick off the truck and a good deal. I picked what was aesthetically appealling and fit with the theme for my tank and would be ideal for fry to hide in... then... it occured to me that my anacharis, foxtail, and hornwort would be a total pain in the butt to prune and keep debris from piling up. (when compared to larger leafy plants) these things seem to sluff off needles, tiny leaves and chunks constantly. With only 7 plants in the 55 gallon tank so far, I'm clearing my filter intake daily. They're all quite healthy and growing like crazy, even with inadequate lighting in a cycling tank.

Should I toss these plants and find something with a few large leaves, instead of thousands of tiny ones? Is there a trick to keeping a tank with fish that utilize plants and keeping such leafy plants?

Austin 05-12-2010 02:10 PM

I had the same problem with you with my hornwort. I kind of only have a tiny bit left now. It's quite bothersome. I'm not sure if there's any way to prevent this though.... maybe if you have a lot of light and trim it regularly so that leaves don't get old and die and fall off?

aunt kymmie 05-12-2010 02:11 PM

I keep anacharis in my tanks (gave up on the hornwort and foxtail due to the "shedding" of leaves) with no problem. Let's wait for a plant guru to come along. There's a reason your floating plants are shedding leaves as much as they are (the inadequate lighting and perhaps a nutrient deficiency?) so perhaps if that gets solved you can keep all your plants. I keep only half of the surface in my tank covered with floating plants because on the other half I have plants that require bright light.

redchigh 05-12-2010 02:18 PM

The only trick is to keep it healthy.

If it's healthy and allowed to spread, it doesn't shed. If its forced to pile up, then the leaves at the center die off and eventually fall out.

I don't have parotsfeather but I have anarchis and hornwort- anarchis never sheds, hornwort only does in my 10G with lower lighting and my cichlids.

My 10G livebearer has hornwort and anarchis, and 20 watts of CFL light over it.
Maybe they prefer more light?

I don't fertilise, but the tank is overstocked... so...more light and a nitrogen deficiency could be your problem.

I know nitrogen's the one thing I have TONS of. Well, because the numbers are so low the plants must be sucking it up. Over 2 dozen guppies in a 10G, nitrates never over 20.

aunt kymmie 05-12-2010 02:20 PM

So that was the problem...I kept the hornwort piled up (since I read it'll spread like a weed and didn't want it to) so no wonder all the needles dropped off.

TexasTanker 05-12-2010 11:24 PM

Thank you. I pulled it out and it's all going to it's own tank until I have really good lighting and the tank is more established. I did put all my anacharis in the 55 though. I'm content with it for now.

redchigh 05-13-2010 04:08 PM

Well maybe try spreading it out in the tank you have.

I have all of mine tied mid-stem to a rock and I put the rock a few inches from the filter. The current keeps it spread out.

I know my hornwort grows well, but as for the reason, I'm not completely sure.
Try spreading it out and leaving the light the same- then we can know for sure. :)

Angel079 05-15-2010 08:40 AM

What's your light, fert and parameters situation?

I donno the "style" you wanna go for in the tank but maybe consider incorporating plants such as Rotala (which you may like best with fine leaves but not shedding) Swords, Hygrophilias, Ludwigia, Pennywort, Narrowleaf chain sword, Java Moss, Crypts....there's a ton plants that will not be as fine and "shedding" on you all the time, provided they have good conditions to thrive in and are good quality plants to begin with.
The place I exclusively use to plant all my tanks because of the good quality and fair prices is

TexasTanker 05-15-2010 09:21 AM

Thank you Angel. I'm gonna look into that after I get my tank sorted. I seem to have inherited some kind of worms, little mites and snails. I posted someplace else about it, no response. Last night during the water change I was inspecting the water for fry. What I found totally grossed me out. Little worms that resemble inch worms in their movement. It was almost teardrop shaped when stretched. White to sand in color and about an inch long. I also noticed these teeny tiny little bugs that I can't describe but to say they look like dots on crack. The single snail I first saw has now dozens of tiny snails of the Malaysian trumpet variety. My fish seem fine but in my googling of the worms last night I found an article that says detritus worms (which could resemble my worms... or most any worm) can kill KH and lower PH rapidly during a wormy population explosion. I happen to have that problem. My KH is non existent and it's a battle to keep my PH above 6.5.

Any tips for that?

redchigh 05-15-2010 11:07 AM

Oh, those worms and dots are easy to get rid of.

Put some hungry fish or shrimp in the tank.

You shouldn't worry about them. Are there fish in the tank? I'm going to assume either 1, there are no fish, or 2, you feed them every day, or 3 they're big fish that totally ignore a tiny tasty snack.

I had them in a 5G everywhere- I introduced a male guppy and 2 ghost shrimp, and the worms and dots were gone in less than a day.

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