Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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luckysarah 11-08-2010 12:24 PM

I bought some hornwart today from the pet store.....

Heard it was easy to grow and great for fry to hide.... of course read all that before I bought it... now all I can find it threads where people hate it and complain about it lol

and now I see why

The needles, I do have a mesh net around my filter uptake and all the needles seem to be collecting there (and everywhere else)... my mollies are picking at the ones on the filter intake as well as the plant itself.

So question is... do you think the mollies will eat the fallen needles or do I need to clean them up?

Whats the best way to clean them? (I tried a little with my cleaning tube but it got clogged with the needles quickly)

Is this plant worth having around and are the needles going to continue to fall?

eileen 11-08-2010 12:51 PM

The needles may continue to fall. Sometimes they go into a shock but each broken peice can become a plant. Hornwort is a floating plant it can be weighed down by plant weights. It will also die if the tank water is to warm sort of like its melting away. It could be dropping needles as it might need more light.I think it is best as a floating plant as it gets more light floating on top of the water.Hornwort and Anacharis are the #1 plants for sucking out Nitrates,nirites and ammonia from your tank and providing oxygen for ponds or aquarium according to my Tropical fish hobby magazine.If you need a good cover for baby fish use java moss not as messy and grows in low or high light. You can also use floating plastic plants for fry cover. I use a fine net like a brine shrimp net to clean smaller junk in my tanks on the sand.

Maybe you can take it back to the pet store if you just bought it if you do not like it and get something else. Most pet stores will take it back with a receipt within a certain time frame.

iamgray 11-08-2010 09:32 PM

I personally like it. I have found that in both of my tanks, it settles down a bit after the initial placing of it (but at first, and anytime I've moved it to a different spot in the tank, the needles are a pain in the butt for awhile). I don't use it as a floating plant - I jam it into the substrate... in doing that, i think I've somewhat created the problem of needles floating around when i move it based solely on the fact that the part that's stuck under the gravel will die off. As far as fish eating the pieces of it... I've never seen any of my fish actually eat the needles. I've seen them pick at little pieces of algae when the odd bit starts forming on the plant, and I've seen them take the floating dead needles in their mouths but they spit them out immediately.

I can't honestly tell you if that plant is worth having... just because I like it, doesn't mean that you'll ever like it. And maybe the reason why I don't mind it while you hate it could have something to do with the fact that I'm not bothered by picking the dead needles off the filter intake if they start to accumulate... maybe I've become desensitized to what a nuisance it really is? I guess for me it's not really a matter of "the needles on my hornwort are magical and never fall off," it's more a matter of "meh, no big deal... if I see they've accumulated, I just reach in and grab them and throw them out."

Soooo... I hope my endless rambling has somewhat helped put things in perspective... it's maybe not a plant for everyone, but perhaps if you give it another day or two it'll settle down and stop dropping so many needles.

luckysarah 11-09-2010 08:52 AM

After the initial needle drop the plant has been fine and has actually grown a bit since yesterday.

The mollies are enjoying it and seem to be eating the fallen needles (for the most part)

So I think I will hold onto it and see what happens.

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