Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/forum.php)
- Beginner Planted Aquarium (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/)
- - Moss or grass? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/moss-grass-54236/)
Moss or grass?
I've never had any experience with live plants before, but I want to include some in my aquarium. I've seen some tanks online that had what looked to be grass-like plants or moss covering the bottom of the tank. I have a small ten gallon and I was wondering if/how i can go about doing this.
On a side note, I've always wondered what you do with an aquarium plant when it gets too tall. Do you trim it down?
There are aquatic mosses that look like grass but the most common thing being done recently is anchoring riccia and letting it grow submerged. Riccia is a fast growing, floating crystalwort. You can anchor with fishing line or a nylon hair net to medium rocks placed several inches apart and it will grow over the line or net and hide the anchor and fill in any bald spots. Riccia requires a lot of light and co2 when forced to grow submerged but it is the fastest and easiest plant to get to grow into that carpet look.
I have Ricca Moss and each little small peice is a plant. it is a floating plant and I went to a craft store and bought a plastic sheet with holes and cut a small hole in the back to put a suction cup in the hole and used a bath loafa netting to put over the moss on the plastic sheet. My red cherry shrimps love the moss wall I made. This can also be put on the floor of the tank. The suction cup can be buried in the sand or gravel to make a carpet. I have low light and the ricca is growing fine in my tanks with a light on 9hrs from 1pm-9pm on a timer. You can also use Java moss the same way I made mine.Here is a picture of what Ricca/Crystalwort looks like.
You may want to have a read of the 4-part series "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium" at the head of this section of the forum. This will give you an overview. If you can tell us what light you have (the type, number of bulbs/tubes, watts, Kelvin rating which will be a number like 6000K), we can advise more on that.
On trimming tall plants, usually this is applicable to stem plants which grow in a stem longer and longer; once they reach the surface it is good to cut them back and pull up the bottom parts and replant the top parts; stem plants left will float along the surface blocking light and the lower leaves will usually die off. Substrate-rooted plants do not have this issue and they tend to grow to a certain height depending upon the plant species. We have many species in our profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the screen takes you to the fish and plant profile section.
Agree with Byron. Read his guide first, and then you can look into the soil substrate guide in my signature if you're considering setting up a new tank...
Once you get the supplies (flourish, proper lights, etc) or set up a new tank (soil substrate), many plants work well.
My absolute favorite at the moment is Monosolenium Tenerum.
It does tend to grow into a rounded shape, but once a month or so I pick it up off the substrate and shake it-
It falls apart, settles over the aquarium, and sinks- A day later it changes bright green and looks like a nice combination of grass/moss. Can also be sold on the classifieds pretty easily.
It naturally sinks, so there's no need to tie it down, and you don't have to worry about fish moving it around... Seems to enjoy abuse.
Other good mosses and grassy plants to start out with are dwarf sag (planted in the substrate), dwarf hairgrass (planted, does best in sand or extremely small-grained gravel) and Java moss (Have to tie it to rocks or wood, or can place a few pieces of gravel on top to hold it until it anchors itself.)
I really like that Monosolenium Tenerum plant. If you ever have to trim that I would like some. How are those snails and 4 fry that survived doing? What kind of snails do you think those tiny snails are I sent you?
The fry are doing well (growing fast on a diet of baby brine shrimp and native wildlive in their tank- planaria I believe) As for the baby snails, I seem to have lost them- I can't find a single one.
Do you use sand? Perhaps they are MTS and couldn't hide in your substrate.
I'm pretty sure the adult assassins are in heaven. I never see them eat a snail, but there are some hollowed shells floating at the top of the tank... I looked the other day and a big fat ramshorn was crawling on top of the assassin... He seemed to be ignoring it. (Maybe he was full already.)
Trying to give them time to adjust before I add shrimp- I heard they'll eat shrimp if they're starving right after transit.
I have pool filter sand in all my tanks and black sand in one other tank. It's funny that you can not find the tiny snails. I see them everywhere in my tank on plant leaves on the aquarium glass. Still don't know what they are. The 2 Assassin snails I sent you must love your tank. Ramshorn and pond snails are a favorite as they are easy to get into then MTS snails. The assassin snails only eat 1 snail a day. Assassin snails are fast when they are hunting down snails to eat. I had some assassin snails in a plastic container and put a few pond snails and about 30 min. later checked and all that was left was a hollow shell. Look for egg pods as they will lay single egg pods on decorations and sturdy plants when they get enough to eat. The eggs take awhile to hatch and you will not see any baby assassin snails for 3-4 months as they bury in the sand or gravel before coming out.You need to Google Assassin snails as I find them really pretty and interesting. I don't think they will bother shrimps maybe dead ones they might eat.
Maybe I will order some of that moss on-line. Do you have C02 to grow it? I just use root tabs and flourish on my plants and have 2 15 watt bulbs on for 9 hrs. a day. Oh my 2 red tail guppy females I got last week at Petco dropped 3 fry in my QT tank before I put them in a big 20 gal. tank. I'm hoping for more so that I can keep the females to breed with my only red scarlet endler.
here's picture's of the red guppies and my 1 red scarlet endler male.
If anyone knows a good on-line place to maybe order that Moss please post it for me as I think I might get some.
Sweet aquatics has it. I don't use CO2, but I use soil.
You should know that.
Thanks for the information. I hope that that moss will do well with sand. With plant food they might do well. Maybe order 2 bunches since shipping will be a big amount anyways.
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