live plants and filters
ive got a 20 gallon tank. new flourite substrate ( i didnt wash it when i put it in as i was advised by the fish guy i got it from that it takes out the nutrients and the plants will grow better without it being rinsed) the water was deep deep brown couldnt see thru it i left it with filters off and plants floating for about 4 to 5 hours. i then turned on one of the filters and the second filter about 3 hours later by morning it was almost clear i murked it up agian planting the plants into the substrate now its slightly clouded. duck weed came mixed in with the plants which i know spreads fast so to keep the plants from getting too little light i made a duckweed dam out of plastic piping down the center of the tank with the filters on either side of the dam.
what i am now wondering about filteration i plan to get more variety of live plant some val moss for sure but as it is i cane see the small floating parts of the plants getting stuck to the filter intake. ive never really done the live plant thing before... are the plants going to stay rooted? will the filter suck them up and harm them if they grow to close to the filter intakes? should i be making some kind of differnent end on the filter to keep the plants away from the intake?
oh as well the only plant i have in there so far is hornwort
Plants won't uproot themselves but some fish might do it, also pieces can come off the plant and get sucked into the intake. If your concerned about it you can add a prefilter onto the intake, which is just a piece of sponge that slides over it. You can make your own, or buy them, I use the sponge for the Fluval Edge on my aquaclears, $1.99 @ petsmart.
Also, some plants actually like a moderate current, like java fern, which would happily live near an filter intake. :-) But do be aware that the dead plant material will get stuck on the intake cover/pre-filter sponge/filter wool, so these may need to be rinsed in old tank water more often than you're used to in an unplanted tank. Have fun, good luck!
Also i have found that hornwort takes a little while to "settle in" when you first get it. It'll drop leaves/needles like crazy for the first day or two, but after that if you clean the intake of any of them, you shouldn't notice too much more debris unless you decide to move the hornwort around. At least, that's what has happened in my experience.
Oh i should also mention... After getting hornwort for the first time about a year and a half ago, I have stopped bothering to plant it. I found that the parts that were buried in the substrate would die, so I've opted to keep it floating. I think it gets its nutrients from the water column rather than the substrate.
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