Planted Aquarium kaki

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bernGPS
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Re: Planted Aquarium kaki

#51 Post by bernGPS » Sat Sep 06, 2008 2:19 am

Hi Lawrence,

Sadly only the Blyxa and some of the round leaf plant left. I suspect the useable of the light is not reaching the plant leave. as the water is quite deep. Also, there isnt enough nitrate in the sand yet. I might be giving the gold fish to my sister in law when I go back during the Hari Raya time and putting in soil aka nitrate into the bottom of the tank before topping it up with the coarse sand. Hope the tank will be established by CNY.

Of the 3 bunches of the Blyxa I got last time, I planted a bunch in a salted egg jar with some burnt soil as the base and topped with the coarse sand. I put a few guppy and platies and a couple of sword tails in in. The jar was left exposed to the sun. The male guppies and a few platies didnt survive but the Blyxa is doing very very well with very long tape like leavesextending across the surface of the water. It was only half way to the top of the water when I planted it. The plant is also sprouting many buds with new plants growing from the runners. Good sign.

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Re: Planted Aquarium kaki

#52 Post by LLCC » Sat Sep 06, 2008 9:58 pm

ecxellent! now you have succeeded in setting up a NPT, you can now replicate that for your non-goldfish tank and not have to change water in a loooong time ever.

Another reason your goldfish tank's plants didn't do well is possibly because the goldfish eat the fine leaved stem plants. Bigger leaves are harder to eat, and the blyxa's long leaves make grazing difficult so these 2 plants survive. In a big tank like yours, you only need 1-2 watts per gallon of light to grow plants. So don't change the parameters by increasing the light after you've offloaded the goldfish. Just replant it in the same way you did for your kiam chai jar tank and observe. Too bright a lamp brings its own set of problems.

However, you need to be very careful with the soil you put as the base layer. It must be fertiliser free. The burnt soil you used may contain fertiliser like Ammonia or urea, and that may have killed the guppies and platies (which are tough fish to begin with).

So test soak your soil before deploying, or you will have a hard time undoing the mistake.

To test, put a sample of your intended soil in a coke bottle, 2 inch deep. Fill with dechlorinated water, set aside. Test for ammonia and nitrate every day for 2 weeks. NO3 testkits are more costly, so it is optional. But the NH3 testkit is cheap and readily available so you must test that.

If the NH3 is 5 parts per million or more on setup, it means you cannot put fish in immediately after you've planted, but wait till the time when the NH3 drops to below 0.5ppm. NOTE: it is 0.5ppm or lower for NH3 (Ammonia) before you can introduce fish.

So if the test soak results say that NH3 drops to 0.5ppm on the end of the 1st week, it then simply means in your final tank setup, you need only test on day 7 to establish if NH3 is safe for fish, and you can then go out and buy your fish, and have them safely living in your tank.

NO3 is not as deadly as NH3. However, if your test says that you have over 80ppm of NO3, it is best not to use this soil, as it had been artificially fertilised and will harm fish. Do not rely on your coarse gravel cap to keep the fertiliser below - it won't, and convection will send the ferts into the water column within 1 day's temperature change. The gravel cap is just to keep the sediments trapped below so the water stays clearer.

Good luck with your plans and do post some photos of how they've grown.

BTW, you may want to google Takashi Amano, to take a look at some of his tanks for inspiration. He does some very beautiful underwater landscapes using Blyxa.
Lawrence Lee

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Re: Planted Aquarium kaki

#53 Post by bernGPS » Sun Sep 07, 2008 12:06 am

Thanks. Will take some photo of the kiam chai jar when I go back. Looks likeit would be a challenge looking for good soil base.

Planning to keep red tail shark (is that a plant eater?), pleco, neon tetra, sword tails and platy.

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Re: Planted Aquarium kaki

#54 Post by sabre23t » Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:37 am

LLCC wrote:ecxellent! now you have succeeded in setting up a NPT, you can now replicate that for your non-goldfish tank and not have to change water in a loooong time ever.
I've been reading this thread with some interest. Though not to the extent of wanting to start a tank. However, I would like to say, I find great pleasure and educative in reading your posts, LLCC.

I look forward to reading such post from experts, every time this thread bubles up to latest posts. :mrgreen:
The world is MyMaps!

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Re: Planted Aquarium kaki

#55 Post by LLCC » Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:34 pm

bernGPS wrote:Thanks. Will take some photo of the kiam chai jar when I go back. Looks likeit would be a challenge looking for good soil base.
Actually, you only need to get top soil that had not been fertilised. In the concrete jungle of Singapore, I go to Far East Flora (gardening chain store) and pick up a bag of Top Soil. That's all. Then just to be sure, it had not been fertilised, I do the soak test.

It is probably safer to get soil from a nursery/gardening store than to dig it out of the ground because you don't know what had been discarded in them before.
bernGPS wrote:Planning to keep red tail shark (is that a plant eater?), pleco, neon tetra, sword tails and platy.
The Red Tail Black Shark (Epalzeorhynchus bicolor) is not a shark. Instead, it's from the carp family, and is a SE Asian native.

I find them to be a quarrelsome bunch, with the dominant one bullying the others till the alpha male gets significantly larger than its brethren, or the bullied ones die or jump out of the tank to escape the bullying (yes, they do jump). If you keep only one, its antics are fun to watch as they tend to be always busy. E. bicolor does feed on very fine leaved plants and moss, but their preferred diet is live worms and fish food. So unless you starve them, your plants are mostly safe with them.

Plecos however will damage the young (tender) leaves of plants with broad leaves. I used to grow a beautiful Echinodorus oriental in my tank. Soon after introducing an Ancistrus, I found the new leaves developing holes in them. Initially, I thought the plant had a fertiliser deficiency (possibly, Ca, Mg some even suggested NO3). But all my efforts to fertilise didn't help and I thought the plant had developed a disease or was a dud from the lab (E. oriental was a lab synthesized plant, aka a cultivar). Only after I caught the Ancistrus in the act (These are awfully shy fish which tend to hide when people are around and so I hardly see them, let alone observe them feed) that I realised that the holes were pleco damage.

Happy planting and fishkeeping. I'm glad you abandoned the idea of keeping Goldfish with live plants.
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Re: Planted Aquarium kaki

#56 Post by LLCC » Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:44 pm

bernGPS wrote: Of the 3 bunches of the Blyxa I got last time, I planted a bunch in a salted egg jar with some burnt soil as the base and topped with the coarse sand. I put a few guppy and platies and a couple of sword tails in in. The jar was left exposed to the sun. The male guppies and a few platies didnt survive but the Blyxa is doing very very well with very long tape like leavesextending across the surface of the water. It was only half way to the top of the water when I planted it. The plant is also sprouting many buds with new plants growing from the runners. Good sign.
Unless you have a big volume of water, leaving the fish in the sun in a jar may cause the water to become very hot. This can kill them.

If your "Blyxa" is growing very long tape like leaves, and if the long leaves are green when grown in the sun, it may be a Vallisnera instead of a Blyxa. Blyxa leaves tend to turn pink or bronze-gold when exposed to intense light.

To increase your plants quickly, snip off the stem from the runners when they are 6 inches tall. These will then become parent plants themselves, sending out even more runners. Soon you'll be swamped with excess plants and begging people to come and take some off you. haha.

LL
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Re: Planted Aquarium kaki

#57 Post by LLCC » Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:02 pm

sabre23t wrote:I've been reading this thread with some interest. Though not to the extent of wanting to start a tank. However, I would like to say, I find great pleasure and educative in reading your posts, LLCC.

I look forward to reading such post from experts, every time this thread bubles up to latest posts. :mrgreen:
Sabre, I'm glad you enjoyed reading the posts. I'm no expert. Instead, I'm posting because I've spent a fortune listening to the man at the fish shop telling me to get this and that in order to grow the plants well, then to get this and that to eat away the algae that grew because the plants weren't growing well enough, and then buy more of this and that to medicate the sick algae crew.... Reminds me of the nursery rhyme I sang as a kid: "...there was an old lady who swallowed a cat, she swallowed the cat to catch the bird, she swallowed the bird to catch the spider, she swallowed the spider to catch the fly, but I dunno why, she swallowed the fly, perhaps she'll die".

So having spent much hard earned cash on stuff I didn't need, I guess that makes me qualified as an "expert" - not to tell people how to plant plants and keep fish, but as an expert on how not to listen to them fish shop dudes to buy, buy, buy.

haha.

LL
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Re: Planted Aquarium kaki

#58 Post by bernGPS » Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:16 pm

bernGPS wrote: Of the 3 bunches of the Blyxa I got last time, I planted a bunch in a salted egg jar with some burnt soil as the base and topped with the coarse sand. I put a few guppy and platies and a couple of sword tails in in. The jar was left exposed to the sun. The male guppies and a few platies didnt survive but the Blyxa is doing very very well with very long tape like leavesextending across the surface of the water. It was only half way to the top of the water when I planted it. The plant is also sprouting many buds with new plants growing from the runners. Good sign.
LLCC wrote:Unless you have a big volume of water, leaving the fish in the sun in a jar may cause the water to become very hot. This can kill them.
My suspiscion too. Anyway, the jar has been moved to more sheltered spot. The water is cooler now, according to my son.
LLCC wrote:If your "Blyxa" is growing very long tape like leaves, and if the long leaves are green when grown in the sun, it may be a Vallisnera instead of a Blyxa. Blyxa leaves tend to turn pink or bronze-gold when exposed to intense light.
The leaves are green. So it should be Vallisnera than. :oops: :oops:
LLCC wrote:To increase your plants quickly, snip off the stem from the runners when they are 6 inches tall. These will then become parent plants themselves, sending out even more runners. Soon you'll be swamped with excess plants and begging people to come and take some off you. haha.

LL
Thanks for the tip. The shop I buy from has limited amount of that plant. It hard to come by actually. Maybe I can barter trade with the shops for some fish later hehe :lol:

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Re: Planted Aquarium kaki

#59 Post by LLCC » Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:58 am

bernGPS wrote:The leaves are green. So it should be Vallisnera than. :oops: :oops:
Here are 2 links to a website that can help you id your plant:
Vallisneria: http://plantgeek.net/plantguide_search. ... ype=Search
Blyxa: http://plantgeek.net/plantguide_search. ... ype=Search

The site also provides info on where is the best visual position to grow your plant in the tank, what the plant likes and their lighting requirements.

bernGPS wrote:Thanks for the tip. The shop I buy from has limited amount of that plant. It hard to come by actually. Maybe I can barter trade with the shops for some fish later hehe :lol:
Haha. Good luck in becoming a vegetable farmer!

For me, I will choose a fish shop that I know deals with its customers honestly (ie, one that don't try to persuade you to buy a ton of stuff you don't need, or sell you a fish that may turn out to be your nightmare without ensuring you are "qualified" to take good care of it. Rather, they educate buyers on good fishkeeping habits), and give the plants to them as my token of support for their good business practice.
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Re: Planted Aquarium kaki

#60 Post by PalmoAnest » Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:15 am

Guys, it was a good read to this Q&A between Bern and LL.

I've 'accidentally' started a small planted tank for my sons too. Am still trying to read as much as possible to undo some of the wrong. Started the tank without knowing Nitrogen Cycle or any other related tings. :oops:

It has been the 3rd week and my tank is not very cloudy with about 6" visibility despite very frequent partial water change.

Bern, how's ur plants doing now?

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