Red Hygrophila, duckweed
While at the LFS picking up the catfish today I picked up a red hygrophila bunch. The stem is much different than the dwarf hygrophila, thicker, not the same green. I put it in a high light position in the tank due to the red factor. I don't know if the red will keep as the red ludwigia new growth is coming in green. I find it an interesting counterpoint to the ludwigia as it is green turning red compared to the ludwigia's red turning green. Perhaps I should have put them together.
I also wanted a floating plant, hopelessly hoping that the store had some, although I have never seen any other than their pervasive duckweed since early December when I started into this hobby. Same deal now.
Due to adding eight new fish (which turned out to be nine) after such a short time since the tank was setup, I wanted more of an ammonia sink seeing as the first 12 caused a nitrite spike. I know that my hygrophilia polysperma have multiplied since but I have a theory about how a tank accomodates new ammonia sources that will require more plants than I have now.
So, introducing duckweed. Surprisingly they SELL this stuff. The LFS guy told me I could get it for free as the Petsmart next door but at $1.99 for a handful... It wasn't worth the trip and the chance of getting something form a different water source. I think I got more than the "allotted" $1.99 share anyway, a good deal on the catfish and, as it turns out, an extra fish. I won't complain.
I was concerned that the duckweed would cover the surface of the water enough to affect light levels for the rest of the plants. While I was correct, I came up with a solution... other than going with larger, easier to control floaters. The tank has a middle cross support which, if the water level is higher enough, divides the surface physically. When the filter is running the right side is aswirl with duckweed while the left is totally clear. I already moved the high light plants and the light fixture to the left. The only issue is that the low light area is now lower light. I must admit that the catfish like the dark corner that is created behind the driftwood in the right rear corner.
I guess I am a sucker for a plant. I know the limits of my tank for fish, plants are another matter.
I bought some seachem tabs to try with the swords and valls. I'll see what that does, I don't know if I needed it but thought I might try it anyway.
Pic 1 is the red hygrophila in it's new home.
Pic 2 is the closeup of a single duckweed in my hand. Cool plant even if it is a weed, even according to aquarium standards.
Pic 3 is the "split tank surface"
Pic 4 is the current setup after moving a few plants around, yet again.