Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   A few beginner plant questions (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/few-beginner-plant-questions-59880/)

Seanmiller09 01-14-2011 07:31 PM

A few beginner plant questions
 
Just wrote this whole post out then somehow erased it all.:roll:

I'll try again. LOL.

I have a few beginner questions. I bought these plants from petsmart after getting "all I needed to know" from the employee working. After reading the beginners guide, I am not so sure I know "all I need to know". I want to get this setup right before attempting to start a larger setup.

Setup:
10g
5 Red Minor Tetras
2 Zebra Danios
1 Red Eye Tetra (poor fellow)
1 Pleco
1 Corey Cat
1 Snail (maybe two, I saw a tiny one on the glass a few weeks ago)
Lightly planted (4 small clusters)

http://i322.photobucket.com/albums/n...h/100_1527.jpg

http://i322.photobucket.com/albums/n...h/100_1597.jpg

http://i322.photobucket.com/albums/n...h/100_1642.jpg

First of all, what type of plant is this? The employee at petsmart seemed kind of rushed and kinda handed these to me when asking her about what type of plants would be appropriate for my setup.

Do I need to worry about running my bio filter material or carbon filter with so few plants? Is this enough plants that I could get away with just running a sponge type filter material?

I planted these about two or three days after thanksgiving. Since christmas, I have been seeing alge growth almost as fast as when I started my tank. Don't plants help reduce this by competing for food? Would this also indicate that my carbon filter is not removing too many nutrients or just not removing the nutrients that alge needs (if they are any different)?

Lastly, does anyone have any sugestions for a few more plants that would allow for more cover? My Zebra Danios seem to be running the show (I blame my self for putting them in such a small tank, but I got them about 4 years ago before having any knowlege of fish needs).

I know of leaving something out, oh well.

Any input, questions, comments, concerns, sugestions, etc would be awesome!

Thanks
Sean

Seanmiller09 01-14-2011 07:53 PM

Also, is alge growing on plant leaves harmful to the plant?

Jwest 01-14-2011 08:02 PM

Don't listen to petsmart employees.. always do your research first. What lights are you running on this baby?

Plants are going to remove hazardous things like ammonia but your still going to get algae and it wont hurt your plants.

I would reccomend anubias, anarchis, Java fern, and java moss. If you have a low wattage. I would recommend getting a bottle of seachem flourish for your plants. It's great stuff

I would not recommend getting a pleco in that size of tank unless you plan to upgrade soon. That thing will easily out grow your tank.

Seanmiller09 01-14-2011 08:25 PM

I'm running a walmart fish section fluorescent 10w bulb, and a low watt incandecent since my other fluorescent died on me.

And thanks for the quick response and input!

I've been looking for a good used large tank in the Knoxville area for a while now. But this college student budget isn't helpful for the hobby. Hopefully a few of those fish will be happy in a nice large tank soon.

Jwest 01-14-2011 09:52 PM

look on craigslist once in a while.. I found my 100g with a stand, and hood for 40 bucks on there. It was steal.

jschristian44 01-14-2011 11:16 PM

wow 100g with a stand for 40 dollars? are you kidding me? that guy must be loaded.

Jwest 01-15-2011 11:14 AM

no. it was like a high hippy. he was growing weed in his living room

Seanmiller09 01-15-2011 12:35 PM

ah, the 100g hydroponic fish tank. atleast your plants should be getting good nutrients :-)

Byron 01-15-2011 12:38 PM

We all made mistakes; they can teach us a lot, and hopefully we avoid them as we learn.

Quote:

First of all, what type of plant is this? The employee at petsmart seemed kind of rushed and kinda handed these to me when asking her about what type of plants would be appropriate for my setup.
I'm not sure frankly; the leaves resemble those on Hygrophila difformis grown in low light, and this is certainly a stem plant. I'll have to do further research.

Quote:

Do I need to worry about running my bio filter material or carbon filter with so few plants? Is this enough plants that I could get away with just running a sponge type filter material?
At the moment, I wouldn't mess with the filtration. This is only a 10g tank, and you have too many of the wrong sort of fish in it [more on this in a moment] so I would leave well enough alone. I am glad to hear of a larger tank, I'll comment on this too when I reference the existing fish. With more plants, a sponge filter would be better in a 10g, something to bear in mind when the larger tank is running. Sponge-type filters work fine in tanks under 55g; I prefer a canister in 55g and larger (one rated to the tank size).

Quote:

I planted these about two or three days after thanksgiving. Since christmas, I have been seeing alge growth almost as fast as when I started my tank. Don't plants help reduce this by competing for food? Would this also indicate that my carbon filter is not removing too many nutrients or just not removing the nutrients that alge needs (if they are any different)?
Quote:

Also, is alge growing on plant leaves harmful to the plant?
Filtration has basically nothing to do with algae, in general; it can affect higher plant growth. Algae is a plant, but one that can take advantage of poor light and nutrients which would be detrimental to higher plants, and thus algae exploits these areas.

Looking at your photos, I see no sign of troublesome algae. Some algae is natural in any aquarium, we just aim to keep it in balance. It is not harmful on its own, but if it starts coating plant leaves, it "smothers" the leaves and they will die, and so will the plant if it persists.

Plants do compete with, and out-compete, algae; but the balance between light and nutrients has to be there. Light needs to be adequate in intensity (brightness) and duration for photosynthesis to occur, and the 17 required nutrients have to be available. Plants will only photosynthesize (grow) up to the point at which something is no longer available; we refer to this as the limiting factor to growth. Light should always be the limiting factor, to keep algae in check. Too much light with insufficient nutrients will cause algae to take over quickly.

Type of light: I am assuming the fixture has screw-in bulbs, and the "fluorescent" you mention is a compact fluorescent? This is very workable; I have a two-bulb incandescent fixture on my 10g and 20g, each with two 10w CF "daylight" bulbs, and the plant growth is phenominal. You need daylight bulbs with a kelvin rating around 6500K. I know GE makes these as I use them, and you can buy them in hardware or home improvement type stores for a few dollars. I won't go into the spectrum (kelvin) stuff, you can read more about that in the articles at the head of this section entitled "A Basic Guide to the Natural Planted Aquarium."

To ensure nutrients are present, a liquid fertilizer is best. Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium is one of the best. It may seem more expensive that other brands, but as you use so very little (about a 1/4 tsp once a week in a 10g) it last and long-term is more economical.

Quote:

Lastly, does anyone have any suggestions for a few more plants that would allow for more cover? My Zebra Danios seem to be running the show (I blame my self for putting them in such a small tank, but I got them about 4 years ago before having any knowlege of fish needs).
Many plants will do very well if you follow my suggestions for bulbs and fertilizer. Personally I tend to stay away from stem plants, or have just one; they grow fast, which means regular (weekly usually) trimming and pruning to keep them tidy, and I prefer plants that will tend to stay "as is" other than growing of course. Swords are ideal, especially the pygmy chain sword. The dwarf sword would work well in a 10g. And there is a compact form of the common sword Echinodorus bleherae available. These are all included in our plant profiles: second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page, or click on the shaded name in posts.

Crypts are fine, but fussy, and you might want to wait until things are more settled. Java Fern and Java Moss are good, they attach to objects (wood, rock). Floating plants are very beneficial because they tend to grow fast (super natural filtration) and they provide cover and shade (most fish prefer less bright lighting over them, it eases their stress). Ceratopteris cornuta is ideal; Brazilian Pennywort allowed to float provides a beautiful cover plant.

Now to the fish stock issues. Zebra Danio, like all danio, rasbora, barbs and characins (tetra, hatchets, pencilfish) are shoaling fish, meaning they must be kept in groups. Six is usually the minimum number, more is better. They will be less stressed in a larger group, and many species have significant interactions between members of their group that is important for the health of the fish. However, space must be kept in mind; in a 10g which as you admit is too small for Zebra, I would not get more, but if you like this fish and get the larger tank, definitely.

Red minor tetra is probably the Serpae Tetra, Hyphessobrycon eques. This is a fish I do not recommend for community tanks unless they are much larger, and then the other fish must be carefully selected. A group of 8 Serpae is minimum, 12 or more better; they can be very nasty, to each other and to other fish in the aquarium. It varies from fish to fish; and they should never be combined with slow, sedate, or long-finned fish. All this is referenced in our profile of this species.

Corydoras are also shoaling, living in groups of hundreds. Singly, the fish is under considerable stress, whether or not this is evident visually. Three is minimum, five is preferable. Something else to bear in mind for that larger tank.

Hope this helps.
Byron.

Seanmiller09 01-15-2011 03:26 PM

This has been an extremly helpful post. I appreciate all input.
I have been thinking about seting up another 10g (cheapo from walmart) and jumpstarting it with some of the decorations, gravel, and filter material from my current set up to take some of the stress off my fish in my current tank.
Any sugestions about wich fish I should move out once the tank has cycled?


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