Aquarium Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello.
I have two tanks, a 30 gallon and a 10 gallon.
My 30 gallon I have 3 angel fish, 2 bala sharks, 2 skirted tetras (one black and one gold), and 2 dwarf gouramis (one is a flamed dwarf). There is also a pleco.
The bala sharks and black skirt tetra are a year and a half old.. maybe closer to 2 years old. The angel fish are about a year old, and the gold skirt and two gouramis are less than a month old.
In my 10 gallon tank I have two sunburst mollies, a year old, and two blue paradise gouramis, less then a month old. There were 3 tiger barbs, but two have died ...

I was wondering if I should put in some live plants in the tanks. I had a very bad experience when I got my 10 gallon (first tank), and there was one snail in the plant that over took my tank and some fish ended up dieing. I had to completely clean my tank to get rid of all snails....
So I kind of have a stigma against live plants...
Is it better for fish to have live plants in the tank? And which plants work best in tanks? Can it still work with plastic plants? Do the real plants create more algae/get covered in algae?

Anyone have any advice on this subject? Thank you!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
756 Posts
Yes and no.

There are pros and cons to live plants. Live plants are a natural filter for your tank, they consume heavy metals, phosphates, nitrates, etc. They provide food for some fish to nibble on (platies, mollies, plecos), hiding and shelter for others. They provide another soucre of oxygen to the tank and in general they look better than artifical plants/decor.

But like you stated, they often come with uninvited guests like snails, which are not all that bad as they help clean a tank, but if not kept in check can overrun a tank. Plants differ in their requirement for light and nutrients, so extra care is required for a planted tank. Plants do not create more algae, but they consume certain compounds. If these compounds are defficient this can allow certain algae to grow. However in a plantless tank algae has free reign given the right parameters.

When stocking a tank with plants the number one rule is to put in a lot of plants. This prevents most algae from being able to compete for nutrients. Basically it comes down to how much work you can or want to put into a tank and doing your homework before purchasing a particular plant to match your tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So does a planted tank need a lot of natural light?
The tanks will be in a basement that has two windows.
Not much natural light.
Would that affect the plants?

If purchasing plants, would it be possible to .. "detoxify" them to get rid of any uninvited guests?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Actually, you can TOXIFY instead.

You can use either unscented household bleach or Potassium Permanganate.

When using BLEACH, you will want to soak the plant for five minutes in a solution of 1-2 cups bleach to a gallon of water. Then make a bucket of dechlorinated water and soak the plant in there for five minutes. Rinse well, and you're good to go.

You can also use POTASSIUM PERMANGANATE. Mix a solution of 1/2 teaspoon Potassium Permanganate and a gallon of water, and soak for 15 minutes. Rinse well.

The potassium method is less effective, but less damaging on fragile plants. You don't want to use bleach on delicate ones...

Also, don't get the Potassium Permanganate on your clothes or skin. It is not pleasant...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks for your replies.

where can I get the potassium?

and also, how many plants should i have for the 30 gallon and 10 gallon?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Hi,

natural light promotes algae growth, so the less natural light the tank gets the better.

Snails are actually good for your tank, and if they overrun it there's too much food for them. A snail population explosion is a sure sign that you feed to much (which might have spoiled your water in the first place and caused the fish to die). They are best kept in check with a lot less flake food thrown in. Sorry to put it so bluntly, but that's just the way it is...

If you want to eradiacte any unwelcome guests from new plants you can also simply use carbonated water - the bubblier the better. Douse the plants for about 20 seconds - not longer, sensitive plants like baby tears suffer from being exposed to this too long. The low pH in combination with the high CO2 content kills any live "guests" on these plants. Possible eggs are not hurt though, but the other methods do not do anything to these either. If you want to make totally sure that there are no inhabitants in these plants you don't want to introduce into your tank keep the plants separately for two weeks after the carbonated-water cure and after that period, douse them again.

Cheers
Ulli
 

·
fishboydanny
Joined
·
584 Posts
how about CONTROLLING the population of snail with a couple yoyo loaches? in the ten you only need one..... I've heard that these guys are so good that you'll rarely see a single pest snail....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you forall your input...
Ulli Bauer - I got my first "live plant" when I just got my 10 gallon aquarium. Before my tropical fish I had goldfish. They would eat whatever was put in the tank, so I may have been over feeding my tropical.

Fishboydanny1 - i don't have much room in my tanks. How big do yo-yo loaches get? do they aid in keeping the >tank< clean, like pleco's or catfish?
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top