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fenix
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi- this is my first attempt at posting a new thread, so please excuse any gaffes...
I'd like to share some recently gleaned information on live plants and how to grow 'em here in FL. The water here is so much different from anywhere else I've been that in my opinion, it has to be treated in some way or other, in order to be successful at growing them, much less propagating them. That having been said however, a tankfull of live plants is so much prettier and healthier than a bare one or one with just a rockpile that live plants become a necessity..
Those plants with which I've been anywhere near sucessful are Amazon Swords, Vallisneria (eelgrasses of various types), Java Fern, and most of all Watersprite- with which I've been so lucky as to ship my excess up to New Hampshire, give it to friends, and sell bunches at auction- two months in a row, and I still have it "comin' outta my ears"!
I would like to state that there are 3 primary rules, or items you must have to grow plants sucessfully- these are sufficient or adequate light, food, and water chemistry/minerals- get those three items right and your plants should start putting out runners (babies)- or in the case of Watersprite, grow to about two ft. tall- I can't bring them in to auction because their stalks are too tender and brittle- one of the few drawbacks is that they snap way too easily. They can't be bent over in a bag--
With watersprite, the more light the better- increase your wattage/lumens by using compact fluorescent bulbs- the kind you use in your lamps to save electricity. You can get these at walmart or home depot or elsewhere, as well as the sockets and brackets you'll need to upgrade your strip lites. Any fool can wire them up in series- if you have any trouble just bring your striplight to a meeting!
NOTE: if you get green algae, either you don't have enough plants in your tank or your lites are on too long, or both. If your algae is a different color, your lights aren't on long enough!
You MUST hold your sprite plants down with either strip lead, a small piece of rock, or fishing sinkers wrapped around the base with fishline- but be gentle/ delicate- as if you were handling thin eggshells!
Watersprite isn't particular about water chemistry- if you have angels or guppies, a grove of sprite will improve it; i.e. make it softer/ more neutral with time. With live bearers it helps to hide the fry too- if "planted" thickly enough!
Another advantage of sprite is that you can grow it in a brand new tank, once the Chlorine and chloramine are gone - you don't have to cycle the tank a bit- well, maybe 24 hours if you don't have a heater..
Java fern is almost as easy to grow as sprite, but you need reduced light, or shade the java fern with full grown or floating watersprite, or it will decline- Don't try to bury the roots on either one of these plants- just weigh 'em downor you'll find the sprite floating and the fern declining--
For the other plants I mentioned just keep the PH neutral or they take a long time to acclimate- and probably will grow quite slowly, if at all!
Note: I found "river gravel" , about the size of rice- to be best as a substrate. If you're in a hurry, add fertilizer to a new setup, but watch out for algae.
-Dave-
 

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fishboydanny
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584 Posts
one of the few drawbacks is that they snap way too easily. They can't be bent over in a bag--
you can use a bucket or a tall jar...

Great tips! I needed some info about how to make tank lights (I usually just buy stuff, but regular light systems at the pet store are too expensive... i'm 16 and on a budget!)
 

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Aquarium Nut
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23 Posts
Dave,
Great post & info.
One thing I might add is that you want to use "Daylight" bulbs.
Warm White "WW" or Cool White "CW" don't really work out all that well in my limited experience.
I try to find ones with a Color Tempperature of 6500K
By the way, where did you find "river gravel" , about the size of rice- to be best as a substrate. Sounds like the stuff I have, just might be too big. (Estes walnt - abouth the size of "BBs"
 

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fenix
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good point- I must've lucked out, or all that was available at wallyworld was daylight bulbs- I believe that they were 4 bulbs for six dollars and change- TY for your reply, Tom!
 

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fishboydanny
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584 Posts
I have a big female, a smaller male, and three juvies (this doesn't include the latest brood, bunches of little babies!) they are in a livebearer community including those platies, a orange hifin, a black female, far too many small guppies, and a few mollies (a few wild type, two wild caught spotted mollies, and a domestic dalmation... don't forget the babies!). I'd have plants in there, but the back was painted by the previous owner to limit sunlight (might try plants anyways)
 

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fenix
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Excuse my tardy response- PC has been down for 3 weeks!
- Tom, you can buy "river gravel" at most sand & gravel stores- I'll bring in a sample for the Aug meeting.
- Dan, yeah, the stems are extremely delicate, but if broken you'll have babies enough- and with strong enough lighting they'll reach 2 ft in no time.
-Hint: I use liquid fertilizer too- "Kent" brand. -Expensive tho'.
 

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fenix
Joined
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Danny- I just noticed your note re a painted rear glass- all my tanks either have a plastic b'ground or face a wall- you don't want sun to hit the backside of your tank! It causes algae and makes it harder to see the fish- to remove a painted-on b'grd is easy if you use a single edge razor blade- availableat most hardware stores for less than a buck..
 

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Registered
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66 Posts
for the 16 yrs old have u tryed diy led's?
 
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