Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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saint fu 08-10-2011 08:40 AM

Floating Plants for my gouramies
Hi all, i would like to add some floating plants to help reduce any stress my gouramies are getting from being at the top of the tank without plant cover. I don't want to use plastic plants, but I am clueless where to start for live plants.
Could anyone recommend a good plant that would be suitable to surface cover, that would not be eaten by the gouramies or any of my other fish (barbs, rainbow shark, leperinus, danio).
Also, should I cover the entire top of the tank with plant cover, or just an area? I have two gouramies, and was hoping that if i covered about one quarter of the tank that they would be ok.

Byron 08-10-2011 09:53 AM

Water Sprite is excellent, or the stem plant Brazilian Pennywort can be left floating. Cabomba and Wisteria floating also work. Click the shaded names to see the profiles with photos.

You have problems with that mix of fish, but if memory serves me I have commented on this previusly.

In another thread you also mentioned using pH adjuster. This is not advisable, these chemicals can harm fish.

redchigh 08-10-2011 10:02 AM

I have all of those plants in my tanks, and the one my gourami absolutely LOVED was stargrass (Heteranthera zosterifolia)

They ripped it out of the substrate and made it into a floating plant. The portion they used died a little bit (due to the bubbles I imagine), but they spawned in it three times.

It's such a fast grower too, if you buy a 'bunch', you can plant it in the gravel and just don't trim it. It will grow up and float on the surface.

You don't want to cover the whole surface, definately. Just about 25% should be fine, as long as it's away from filter flow.

saint fu 08-10-2011 11:16 AM

thanks for the replys, i think the water sprite may be the way to go for me. I'll have to see what my lfs has in stock.
@ byron, yes you have mentioned the mix of my fish before, but so far everyone is getting along well, and I can't bring myself to just flush a fish because the may not get along later. I am also no longer using the PH adjuster. I had a problem with low PH previously from overfeeding, but now that I have it under control, I don't use it.

redchigh 08-10-2011 11:21 AM

I would never flush a fish... I'm sure Byron only meant to try to find a new home for it- Not kill it because you didn't do your research.

Some pet stores will take them back, and there's always,, mailing them to someone, etc etc

saint fu 08-10-2011 12:11 PM

Meh, like I said everyone is getting along for the most part. The whole point of this thread is so that I could make my fish more comfortable without having to remove anyone. I try to do my "research" before buying, but a lot of information is contradictory, sometimes you just don't know what will/won't work until you try it.

Byron 08-10-2011 02:08 PM


Meh, like I said everyone is getting along for the most part.
Don't expect this to last. None of us can change a fish's inherent behaviours/traits just because we want to. Fish are not domesticated animals that can be trained somehow. They are small now, but as they mature they develop, and they will be in poor health and aggressive.


The whole point of this thread is so that I could make my fish more comfortable without having to remove anyone.
As above, you can't make this work when it is contrary to nature. I cited a study recently that has now proven that fish confined to small aquaria (small to the fish's instincts) will be more aggressive as a result. It is the fish's only way to handle frustration, it just lashes out. If it lives that long. The other side is that fish in too small a space do not develop properly and become stunted or deformed internally. It also weakens the immune system so they are prone to disease and health problems they would otherwise never encounter. You don't know when the point will be reached that the Leporinus for instance suddenly lashes out and eats smaller fish (which it will, it is a natural predator), or it may die prematurely; as a 12-inch fish it needs a 90g, and it is a shoaling fish to boot.


I try to do my "research" before buying, but a lot of information is contradictory, sometimes you just don't know what will/won't work until you try it.
This I cannot agree with. No one should be deliberately experimenting with living creatures. I admit there is often conflicting information, but one has to trust the sources that have the best credentials so to speak. I am not for a moment suggesting that I know all there is to know, I certainly do not. But I have written most of the freshwater fish profiles here and I have researched every reputable source I could access. The fact that many of these are written by biologists, ichthyologists and highly respected aquarists, and that their data agrees, is a reliable indicator that the data is accurate.

The first thing all of us had to learn as aquarists was that we cannot have every fish in an aquarium; most of us undoubtedly killed off a lot of fish learning this, I know i did all those 50 years ago. If the health of our fish is our prime concern, we will ensure we can provide what it needs to live its life as nature intended.


saint fu 08-13-2011 08:25 AM

back to the topic, i got some pennywort and my gourami loves it. he took to it like a home very quickly.
off topic, i did find someone to adopt my leporinus and danio. i hope byron can sleep a little better at night.

Tha Bizness 08-25-2011 11:39 AM

I have a few Wisteria plants floating in my tank in a bunch. I put them in a little over a week ago to try to lower stress. The roots have already started growing down. Seems like a hardy little plant that wont be little for long. I got the snail free petsmart variety.

saint fu 08-25-2011 12:05 PM

my pennywort is doing what I need for my gourami, but I wouldn't say that it is thriving. It is still alive and doesn't have any browning leaves, but it isn't really growing either. I need to do some homework and see if some plant food would help.

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