Tropical Fish Keeping banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
being new to this hobby I have many questions. I want live plants. My neighbor says to have an undergravel filter and I won't have to clean or change the tank for years. The plants will do great. He claims his has been up for years and I think it looks great. Full of large plants doing well. I have a canister filter on my 4-5 week old aquarium a couple of plants looking poorly no undergravel filter. I don't know which way to turn. I really need help. My neighbor claims to have been doing this for 20 years or more. Is he right? Please help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,252 Posts
What size tank is this? What kind of lights do you have (Looking for specifics here such as T8 T5s or leds.) What kind of kelvin rating do they have? How long are they on for? Do you use fertilizers? What fish do you have? His many? Are you running an air stone?

If you already have a canister there is no point changing it out for something else. You can have lush looking plants with a canister. We just need more info to help ya out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
20 gallon high, a plant type fluorescent tube,don't know what a kelvin rating is, fertilizers? didn't know I should? 7 tetras. lites are on for about 10-12 hours no airstone. I don't know all the plants the guy at the Aquarium adventure store picked them out
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
undergravel filters shouldnt be used in planted aquariums. the roots tend to get in there and clog it. id go with a canister filter. you should dose with a plant food for aquariums once a week and depending on the plants be using root tabs. and your plants will love you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
Yes, you should dose with Flourish Comprehensive (Amazon.com: Seachem Flourish 500ml: Pet Supplies), weekly, it doesn't need much. It's a liquid fertilizer, and if you have plants like crypts, swords, heavy root feeders, you should use root tabs, right now I'm using Flourish now, and people also use API. (here's flourish: Amazon.com: Seachem Flourish Tabs 10 Count: Pet Supplies) (And API: Amazon.com: API Root Tabs 10 Count: Pet Supplies)
http://www.amazon.com/Seachem-Flour...1377186003&sr=1-1&keywords=flourish+root+tabs
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,676 Posts
I have heard undergravel filters are no nos for plants but your friend could be correct.

FWIW I initially tried just a few plants in a normal setup years ago with almost no results.

But when I used a peat moss/sand substrate and lotsa plants with no filters and no water changes everything changed for the better.

I let the plants condition the tank for a week then added fish slowly.

the plants really took off and 8 years later I had descendants from the original cycle fish which were red wag platties.

So I basically stuck with that method over the decades.

I think what happened is I reached a point where the plants and nothing else conditioned the tank. And as a result both the fish and plants thrived.

I also found out the less I do the better the tank is.

my .02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
I have heard undergravel filters are no nos for plants but your friend could be correct.

FWIW I initially tried just a few plants in a normal setup years ago with almost no results.

But when I used a peat moss/sand substrate and lotsa plants with no filters and no water changes everything changed for the better.

I let the plants condition the tank for a week then added fish slowly.

the plants really took off and 8 years later I had descendants from the original cycle fish which were red wag platties.

So I basically stuck with that method over the decades.

I think what happened is I reached a point where the plants and nothing else conditioned the tank. And as a result both the fish and plants thrived.

I also found out the less I do the better the tank is.

my .02

This. People are so quick to dismiss a century of experience because of something typed on a webpage by a total stranger who may or may not be someone you wouldn't trust to water your lawn.






Plants have a LOT do with local water chemistry. Chances are, the things done by your neighbor are more likely to work for you than something done by someone from a completely different part of the country... or world.

However, there is more to your neighbor's story... He has something preventing root growth into the filter. It might be he is growing water column feeders, or he has a screen that effectively makes the undergravel not work in the traditional sense... but is dragging the nutrients directly to the roots of the root feeders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,676 Posts
could be it's a reverse flow undergravel filter?

Or that the overriding thing is the plants.

Which means ugf or no the plants would make the tank last for years and years.

FWIW I have used the planted method in 1/2 dozen cities in the US with various municiple water sources while I was being moved around in the air force.

All with the same results.

So I doubt the conditions of any one city made any difference in the success of the tanks.

Still just my.02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,059 Posts
I have no problems growing plants with a canister filter. Would I grow them better with an undergravel filter? No clue, since I haven't used one since I was a kid, long before I kept plants.

I doubt I'm local to you, but I can still make some observations. Your neighbors plants do well and he has an undergravel filter, you'rs aren't doing well and you have a canister filter. It's almost impossible for us to say the filteration is the cause or his success and and the source of your trouble. If the two tanks were identical in size, brand of lighting, type of lighting, duration of lighting, substrate, type of fertilizer, fert routine, brand of fert, bioload, feeding amount/brand, type of plants, water parameters, etc then we could compare because the filter would be the only variable. I doubt that is the case though.

Pet store employees are a mixed bag. Some will offer great advice, others not so much. You let one pick out your plants. The first thing I would do is try and ID them and see if they really are suitable for your tank and go from there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I also have a friend from this Midwest area that had tanks when he was a teen (20 + tanks according to him ) he supposedly raised fish for a local retailer. He claims to have only used under gravel filters and never cleaned or changed a tank for over 1-2 years. Never heard of water changes and only had live plants which he claims he also wholesaled shoots from. I don't know. Again, I am very confused about this and wish I could get to the bottom of things. My friend says, just because things are different due to newer technology doesn't make it work better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,252 Posts
Bonz I think I could compare tanks all day long and still be confused. LoL

There are obviously different ways to achieving the same results, better plant growth. Figuring out what works in ones tank or someones elses may not necessarily work in yours unless they are exactly the same as BWG has stated. We can all tell ya how we do it in our tanks but that won't necessarily help yours as they are different.

But we can help you figure what might work in your tank if you can tell us what you have in your tank. Which you have some. The light I assume is one T8 bulb that's 18" long? This is going to put you in about low to maybe lower end medium light plants. So the next thing is I again agree with BWG that you need to figure out what plants you have too see if they fall into that class. If you can post pics of them we can help ID them.

Another thing is all plants need fertilizers in one form or another. There different ways but the easiest in a low light tank is to buy a fertilizer Flourish Comprehensive is a good brand and it won't take much for your tank. With out all the nutrients the plants won't grow or struggle to survive.

My suggestion here is to look at getting some fertilizer and figure out what plants you have. Because even with fertilizer being right If the plants need bright lights and you have low light they will still not make it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,201 Posts
I agree with what's been said. If you don't even know what kinds of plants you have, how could you possibly blame it on the filter? Not that I think you're playing the blame game... but in this hobby people like to place blame on whatever is most convenient.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bonz

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,139 Posts
I would say choose a method (are more than one or two) and follow it. If it is your friend's method,then so be it.
I also agree that it would help to know what plant's you have.Some places like Petco,Petsmart.offer plant's that are NOT true aquatic plant's.
Other plant's do best (See Anubia,JavaFern) if attached to wood or rock with thread ,or fishing line as opposed to being stuck too deeply into substrate.
Lot's of plant's lose leaves intially when going from submersed to totally submerged (is normal) and will sprout new growth within week's assuming condition's are favorable (light's,nutrient's)
Don't know if planted tank section is still on the menu here,but it is worth a read or perhap's Bing,google,forum that strictly addresses planted tank's.
Method I chose to follow, and that has produced good result's over a three year period was Tom Barr's NON CO2 method.
Followed it to a T and was/am pleased.
I bought dry fertilzer from Aquariumfertilizer.com (Macro/Micro package).
Walstad method is another method I have used and it too work's.Does not make any difference what type of filter is used until or unless you should decide on injecting CO2 where good circulation is important for CO2 /nutrient distribution.
For low tech,natural planted,no CO2 then fish waste ,combined with Comprehensive fertilzer like Seachem's Comprehensive,will go far in helping the plant's get the food they need .
Be aware,,a couple folk's who post here, have been banned from other forum's for giving downright wrong to dangerous advice if the health of the fishes or invert's in your tank/my tank's are primary concern.
Find somebody you trust,,and follow their advice .Research planted aquarium's.:cool:
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top