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Salix 10-03-2010 05:23 PM

first attempt at keeping live plants
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I went to the pet store today and picked up some Amazon Swords and some Wisteria. I was hoping to get some that are kept in tanks and come in the little plant pots, but sadly they were all out and a new shipment wouldn't be coming in for another two weeks. I decided to try the plants they keep in the plastic tubes and the roots are surrounded by this gel stuff as they were having a sale on them and if they do die there won't be a great monetary loss. There are six Wisteria plants and three Amazon Swords in all.

They look pretty healthy from what I can tell. All are brightly colored, only one Amazon Sword had a brown leaf that I picked off and one leaf has some yellowish spot and in the middle it is translucent which I've come to understand is caused from nutrient deficiency. I did a 10% water change this morning before I left so tomorrow I'll add some of the Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium as I've heard adding it the day of a water change is counter productive because the water conditioner will counteract what's in the fertilizer.

The florescent bulb is a 10 watt and I only have one on the left side of the tank. It's a compact florescent bulb, that looks kind of like the ones people use in their ceiling light fixtures and lamps and whatnot. I thought putting one on each side would be too bright and I've been having enough trouble with algae growth with just the one. Should I add a bulb to the right side of the tank or does it look like the swords and two wisteria in the back be getting enough light?

I also made sure to take the mesh bag of carbon out of my canister filter before adding the plants. The only problem now is without that mess bag the water is flowing a little quicker and making a very annoying sound. Would it be alright to add just an empty mesh bag without the carbon particles? This tank is in my room and I won't be able to sleep with this noise.

tanker 10-03-2010 06:52 PM

In relation to the lights, I suggest waiting and see what happens. I worried about the adequacy of the light in my small tanks but the plants I put in did well with whatever-the-light-was-that-came-with-the tank. If your plants struggle, then you'll know that you need more than you've got but, until then, give it a go and see what happens.

As for the filter, my (internal, not canister) filters had a bag of carbon wrapped with filter material. After I took the carbon bags out, I just added another piece of the filter material which I cut from a large piece that I use to replace my filter material. You might look into whether you could add another layer?

Salix 10-03-2010 08:41 PM

The wait and see approach sounds good. I think there is enough light for all of them, but I wasn't sure.

As for the filter situation, it isn't a canister like I thought. It's an internal power filter, the Tetra Whisper 10i to be exact. It takes medium sized "bio bags". I used to buy the 8 pack that comes with empty mesh bags, and packets of the carbon that you add yourself whenever they needed to be changed. I didn't foresee this problem so I wasn't planning on buy anymore but luckily I have one left that I'll be able to use. Hopefully adding the empty mesh bag will take care of the noise and reduce the strength of the water flow because my betta is seriously unhappy at the moment.

Salix 10-04-2010 12:22 AM

Added the empty mesh bag and it worked. The water flow is back to normal and the noise is gone so I'll be able to sleep. My betta is now back to swimming around the tank and flaring and posturing whenever I put the mirror in his eyesight. I'll update with pictures if/when there is growth and after I add more gravel to it.

kitten_penang 10-04-2010 04:23 AM

one thing you should know about planted tanks. active carbon in the filter will take away trace metals that are used by the short it would be counter productive to use seachems flourish with it. plus there is no need for aeration as the betta can breath atmospheric air and the plants need co2 and give out a certain amount of o2 in the day
about the lighting. i suggest you leave it on for less hours a day to help with the algae problem.

Salix 10-04-2010 09:28 PM

I don't have any carbon in my filter. I added an empty bag to slow down the speed of the water flow so now there's just a gentle current like there was before. Without the empty mesh bag the water flow was noisy and a little too strong for my betta. He definitely wasn't happy with it.

kitten_penang 10-04-2010 10:10 PM

well bettas like still water

Salix 10-05-2010 04:31 PM

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Got some more gravel from the pet store today and made a plateau that's two inches deep for the Amazon Swords. I gently took them out of the water, and did a 20% water change to suck up anything in the gravel before adding the new. I also put about half a gallon of water in a 1 gallon bucket to put my betta in while I added the gravel. He's a very curious creature and no doubt would have swam over to see what was going on, and I thought it better to be safe than sorry.

I also got some more Amazon Swords, so now I have six in this tank but I will be getting a hood and light for another 10 gallon that I have so three will remain in here, three in the other, and all six will be transplanted to my 45 gallon in a couple of months when they're a little bigger and when I have the funds to buy enough blue gravel to create at least a three inch plateau in the back half of the tank.

I do have a quick question for anyone who can answer this: how deep does the gravel need to be for Wisteria? Right now there is only about half an inch for them. Is that enough gravel or should I get some more?

Inga 10-05-2010 05:57 PM

I hope your Wisteria fills out like mine did. In a week or two it will look like this Your Betta will probably enjoy them. :)

I think my gravel is about 2 1/2 inches deep under the Wisteria

Mikaila31 10-05-2010 06:02 PM

IMO your going to need that other bulb in the tank, your really pushing low light ATM.

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