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quick breeding tank setup question...
I'm making my 30 gallon into a large breeding/brooding tank for the hopeful future... what I'm wondering is, if I use it for brooding, do I have to lay down a substrate? or is a glass bottom okay? I want to pack it with floating plants, perhaps java moss or somethign like that, something that doesnt need to be planted in gravel, any suggestions?
Hornwort, anacharis/elodea, duck weed, red root floater, and a lot of other plants will grow very well floating.
As for substrate, if it is only for the fry, you won't need any.
I agree, substrate is not needed for fry or brooding, and all plants I would have suggested except the duckeweed. Duckweed is a pain in the butt to get rid of once it is started, and all it takes is a tiny piece of a dried leaf to cause it to start growing... it is best known for taking over tanks and killing other plants by drowning out light and consuming all of the nutrient level. Duckweed is a lot of work to care for once it gets going, it grows almost overnight into unmanagable amounts. I would avoid duckweed unless using it to feed something. Hornwort and hair grass aka naja grass have always been my favorites, along with java moss. One other that my livebearers always do well with is wisteria, but it requires a good light source and can tend to have very brittle stalks, so can get messy if its needs are not met.
Teardrop rotala is another I've always found quite easy and good for fry because it is dense... along with fox tail and other "needle leaf" plants. Be forewarned, fox tail and others like it will tend to also need higher light and good nutrient levels with iron additives. While dense enough to make good fry plants, if plant care isn't something you wish to worry about, hornwort is one of the easiest, as is the naja grass and java moss. When using plants in a brooding tank, be sure you have thick cover from top to bottom of at least 1 end of the tank, so the fry are able to move to all ranges of the tank safely until the adult fish is removed.
I agree that duck weed is a pain in the neck. If you plan to use an HOB filter or Canister I would not get Duck weed. If you pllan to use sponge filters it can be used fairly easily and not worry about hoaving to deal with it clogging the filter. To be honest I hate the stuff but some people love it.
Another thing that works since fry actualy prefer darkness is to use the fake grass that you can find but make sure it is a soft and not sharp type.
Most of my brooding/rearing tanks are as barren as can be. There are a few, however, that have a few plants such as java moss, elodea, some members of the wort family, and such. All use sponge filters, either the "billi" type or the square or triangular style. Some do have a sustrate, mostly because I was to lazy to remove it or had no more 5g buckets to dump it in, no other reason. I must also say here that the substrate that I use is dark in color. This tends to keep the young 'uns less stressed and allows for earlier determination of those fish that have sexually dimorphic coloration. Some of the tanks are also using power filters. This only occurs when their is no danger of the fry geting "pureed" in the filter.
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