Bamboo in My Fish Tank??

Fish Monster

Valued Member
Messages
204
Reaction score
0
Points
101
Experience
3 years
Hey gys, yet again I find my self turning to the Fish Lore and it's group of experts, and newb's like me looking for help. So here is the question I thought it would like nice to put the bamboo plants I have had in small pots in with my Discus, is this a no no or am I cool to do so? I have had them for a long time now I kind of collect them I suppose, I would be still using the BB but putting in about 7 or 8 little pots witht the bamboo in the tank, oh and the Bamboo would be totally submerged as they are only a few inches tall, is this ok?

I have seen it done at the LFS but I do not know if it is special bamboo looks the same to me and theres was just floating not totally submerged. I read some where that it may "water log" the Bamboo and that it can only be done if the leaves come above the surface.

I also do not want to throw off my water chemastry, nor do I want the plants to be toxic to my Discus.

Please guy/girls any help here would be apreciated thank you in advance!
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #2

Fish Monster

Valued Member
Messages
204
Reaction score
0
Points
101
Experience
3 years
Again this is what I wm currently thinking about doing with my "BB" tank but if this is not sutible for my Discus while growing them out in the BB then is this type of arangement ok for when they are adults? Like I said before I want to provide some for of coverage or retret for them while they are growing out and I would keep the plants in their pots for easy removal and clean up, and this is how I plan to do it wether they are in a BB or the final show tank I am planning on having. How long will it take for these guys to be considered full grown? in other words when you can you go from 5 - 7 feedings a day to just 3 and when is a BB tank no longer needed for these fish? I am willing to do whatever it takes to make things happen the way the need to for these fish to grow to their full potential this is the reason I took harpua advice on the BB tank which took the wife and I about two hours to accomplish but well worth it I might add makes clean up and water changes a snap as well.
 

Aquagirl1978

Well Known Member
Messages
798
Reaction score
3
Points
113
Experience
5 years
I have bamboo in my Blood red parrots tank and ONLY the leaves are sticking up before the BRP I had it in my 10 gallon guppy tank, I have had no problems.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #4

Fish Monster

Valued Member
Messages
204
Reaction score
0
Points
101
Experience
3 years
Well this bamboo I have is all in pots in gravel and they were not bought from the pet store, I am assuming they are the same kind? I am under the impression that there is only one kind of Bamboo? Oh and was the bamboo you used totally submerged? or did the leaves stick out of the water??? Mine would be totally submerged as they are only several inches high what do you think? any one else have anything to add?
 

Nutter

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,459
Reaction score
148
Points
308
Experience
More than 10 years
As far as I know you cannot keep bamboo fully submerged. The leaves need to be poking out of the water. I think there is one particular bamboo that can be grown fully submerged but I couldn't ell you what kind I'm afraid. Ordinary bamboo will survive for long periods fully submerges so I would probably give it a try if you want but just keep an eye on it over the coming months. If it starts to rot & die off, remove it.

As far as the fish go, you don't need to have a bare bottom tank for them ever. it's just easier to keep clean while they are younger. If the fish are all up to about 1" I would seriously consider moving them to thier permanant home if they are the only residents. That way you can just plant thier tank properly & not worry about wether or not the bamboo is going to be any good.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #6

Fish Monster

Valued Member
Messages
204
Reaction score
0
Points
101
Experience
3 years
So you are saying if my Discus are over inch in size which I am sure they are probally more like 2 - 3 inches is my guess you think I should go ahead and had the sand gravel I plan on adding latter now? i just took all the gravel that was in it out on Friday I was under the impression to grow them out to adults in a BB then I could add the gravel and plants. Also even in the finished product I was still planning on using bamboo maybe some drift wood, but the bamboo I was going to keep in seperat little pots just for the ease of cleaning the gravel I can take the plants out and vacume the gravel really easy if I kept them in small pots you know? But thats all I wanted was like a black sand bed some bamboo in pots and some drift wood thats about it keep it simple and nice but with ease of water changes and vacume jobs in mind. But like I said I was told to grow them out in a BB because of how much they eat as youngsters I was thinking Iwould have to do this until adult hood, like in a year from now is what I had imigined, is this not rite? rite now I feed them all the time and vacume all the time it really is easier in a BB once the feedings are at like 2 to 3 times a day then I was thinking thats when I can add all my other things into the tank, any thoughts?
 

Nutter

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,459
Reaction score
148
Points
308
Experience
More than 10 years
I know some people like to grow Discus out to full size in a BB tank but I don't see the point. So long as they are being fed the correct amounts there shouldn't be that much waste to clean out. Vaccuuming the substrate once a week should be fine as long as your not over feeding them & vaccuuming a substrate is isn't exactly hard. IMO there's no reason they can't be put straight into a planted tank with substrate etc in it. Keep in mind that having some plants directly in the substrate will help with the detrius so it might be a good idea to consider having a few plants actually planted in the substrate as well as your bamboo in pots.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #8

Fish Monster

Valued Member
Messages
204
Reaction score
0
Points
101
Experience
3 years
Well I guess (from what I hear) the point of the BB is because the ypoung ones have to be feed so often it's easier to clean a BB tank during that period where they are being feed several times a day. I really do not see how it can/will cause stunted discus though? I suppose the theroy behind that is if you do not grow them out in a BB then you will not be able to clean out the substrate 100% which can lead to poorer water conditons than what would exsist in a BB and there for they can become stunted as a result. This is at least what I have come to understand by reading the many posts, In fact you are the first person I have heard from who has both the experince and kn ow how who has actually said that you do not need to grow them out in a BB and you have over 2,000 posts. With the amount of water changes I do and keep in mind as I am taking the old water out I am vacuming the bottom as well why not rite? if I have to take water out for a water change I may as well vacume too, so I vacume the tank with every water change so we are talking like 4 to 5 times a week if I were to have substrate in the tank I really do not see how it would become all that dirty? There would certainly be almost no time for toxins to build up with the amount of water changes I do and with that along with my technique of vacumeing evrytime I do one any how I doubt I would have stunted discus. However having read the posts in here and having the fear of God put into me I was so scared I would have stunted discus if I did not grow them in a BB that Friday after work my wife and I took all of it out I added a Blue Dimond discus and the only thing in there now is a heater an air stone one fake plant whghted down a floating fake plant at the top and a PVC pipe on the bottom thats it, no Bamboo in there yet I am to afraid to do anything at this point. Also I have a cory cat in there and one small pleco that keep the bottom clean any way I mean they are always cleaning the bottom from what the discus do not eat that with vacuming and all the WC's I do I thought it would be ok to add my black sand substrate I want along with poted Bamboo But I am Afraid to do it now that I just went thru all that work to get the BB and I do not want stunted discus so I thought rather be safe than sorry, I just do not know what to do. Of course I would like to have my 1 or 2 pices of drift wood poted bamboo and substrate (what the finished product will look like) but I am scared to do it. I need to hear from some others on this before I make up my mind
 

Kunsthure

Well Known Member
Messages
1,633
Reaction score
32
Points
143
Experience
Just started
The short "bamboo" sold in pots is not real bamboo, it's actually a member of the lily family. It's often called lucky bamboo just because it looks like bamboo. As far as it's suitablility for use in a tank I'm not sure but I think I remember reading that it'll disintegrate in time because it's not an aquatic plant.

-Lisa
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #10

Fish Monster

Valued Member
Messages
204
Reaction score
0
Points
101
Experience
3 years
Oh I see so the stuff I have is more than likely not suited for the tank, hmm ok. I guess than if I want bamboo in the tank I should purchase it from the fish store? I did not know that I just assumed there was only one kind and I figured what I had was bamboo indeed, I do know that it does not grow any taller than what it was when I purchased it, well except for the leaves. I have some of this "bamboo" for over five years now I just keep them in little decrotive pots with water in them thats why I thought it was ok to use. I am glad I did not use it thats why I joined this forum to get the information well like I said if I desire Bamboo than I will have to get the stuff thats at the fish place. I was kind of wondering that my self if what I had was in deed the same thing pays to check into things doesn't it, lol?
 

Nutter

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,459
Reaction score
148
Points
308
Experience
More than 10 years
Buying it at your LFS isn't going to help I'm afraid. The only form of bamboo that I know of that can be kept fully submerged is Blyxa Aubertii which looks more like a large tuft of stiff grass than bamboo. Three Way Sedge (Dulichium Arundinacium) is supposedly able to be kept fully submerged but that seems to be debated just as much as the Dracaena does.

This is what I was trying to explain to you further up the page. Bamboo is just a bad idea really. There are far better plants that are easier to maintain & that you don't need to worry about dying on you.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #12

Fish Monster

Valued Member
Messages
204
Reaction score
0
Points
101
Experience
3 years
Ok well any sugestion would be great sumthing I can keep in a small pot or so, this way when I clean the tank I can just remove the pot gently and I will be able to clean the substrate so much easier I think that way? don't you? and like I said before any sugestions on some tall plants for the back of the tank and maybe a few smaller ones for some filler, you know some where for the fish to hide a little bit and feel safe but not taking over the whole tank and not to hard to take care of something hardy I dont know maybe thats asking for to much?
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #14

Fish Monster

Valued Member
Messages
204
Reaction score
0
Points
101
Experience
3 years
I give mine frozen blood worms, freeze dried blood worms, something called chiclid delight which is also frozen and its a good mix of everything like veges and meat, then theres another frozen I will feed them it is too a frozen cube of mixed things. So three diferent kinds of frozen foods and the freeze dried blood worms. There favorite by far is the frozen blood worms though.
 

Nutter

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,459
Reaction score
148
Points
308
Experience
More than 10 years
I'm not a fan of plant in pots & I don't think it makes any difference to the cleaning either.

That said, if you want them in pots, that's fine, it won't effect most plants. Water Wisteria ia always a good one potted. Vallis is really good for the back & sides of Discus tanks though it will do best planted in the actual substrate. Pretty much any aquarium plant will grow in a pot. Probably best to avoid the large Sword plants though as they have huge root systems. A couple of the small-mid sized Swords in pots could work well for the mid-ground area though as the pot will restrict the root growth & the eventual plant size.

I really do encourage you to just plant the substrate though as it honestly isn't anymore work to clean that way than it is to remove all the potted plants & then clean. If anything, it's probably easier. If you do a google search you will find hundreds of Discus tanks that are substrate planted. I honestly can't ever recall seeing one where pots were used rather than the substrate. I guess that would make your tank rather unique.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #16

Fish Monster

Valued Member
Messages
204
Reaction score
0
Points
101
Experience
3 years
I suppose I was worried about how the whole vacuming a planted tank would work out. You see I always used fake plants and when I vacumed those tanks I always took the fake plants out and laid them on a towel, cleaned the alge off of them vacumed and put everything back. So I guess I was concerned A. how can I vacume out the substrate with plants in there and B would I accidently up root them and break their root systems in the process? I really like to go deep with the vacume and get as much of that nasty stuff out of the water. Also if I go with the san substrate as I seen at the dealer where I buy my Discus from will the plants A be able to develop a good strong hold and build a good root system in the sand and B is sand going to be an adiquate substrate for the growth of plants live plants that is?

I did hear though that plant are good to keep in tank because of all the nitrates and nitrites they absorb and feed on it help maintane an healthy aqurium. But I also read that with Discus tanks you have to be careful on what you put in because the type of water we keep for our Discus may not be suitable for some plants like the high temps of 85f like I keep my Discus in may be bad for some plants and my ph is 6.5 is this to acidic for some of those plants?

I would like to go the natural way and have it look like I took it from their natural home in the Amazon that would be cool, some plants and a bit of drift wood thrown in the center I think would make it look really nice.

That brings up another question I have is the long types of drift wood that lay on the bottom almost flat better than the kind that stick straight up and kind of at an angle from like a slate base better or some kind of fake root of a tree looking thing best? I just thought of this one is reall drift wood from the LFS better than the "plastic" look a like I am kind of worried about the drift wood realesing toxins or changeing the chemistry of my Discus water but I like the look. So maybe the fake looking stuff would be best? or is the reall drift wood ok to use and I do not mean the drift wood I find my self but the kind that is treated and whatever else they do to it thats for sale at my LFS like the ones found at that fish place is this ok for use in a Discus tank or will it mess with my water chemistry?

Now you really got me thinking of how natural and cool looking I can make this but above looking cool I want to be sure it is bnoth safe and suitable for my Discus their health and the health of my tank comes before looks you know?
 

Nutter

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,459
Reaction score
148
Points
308
Experience
More than 10 years
Sand isn't the greatest medium for having plants but with a little care it can be used very successfuly. Plant roots penetrate sand very easily & they will get a good foot hold so long as the sand is about 3" deep. You wouldn't be doing deep vaccuuming of sand anyway. If you did, you would just suck it right out of the tank. You only vaccuum the surface of the sand with the siphon hovering just a little bit above the sands surface. Most people seem to think sand is easier to clean than gravel in an aquarium.

The two biggest draw backs of using sand in a planted tank are 1: That in a deep sand bed, nitrogen bubbles can form & if the fish suck them in, they are poisonous. Don't panic, it's nowhere near as bad as it sounds. All you need to do is gently stir the sand with your fingers every week or two to release those nitrogen bubbles or you can put in Malaysian Trumpet Snails, (I think they are the ones), that will stir the substrate for you. The bubbles are not a problem then & don't pose any risk to your fish.
2: Sand doesn't have much water flow through it so nutrients don't travel from the water to the plants roots. That just means you need to use substrate fertilizer tablets to provide nutrients to the root feeding plants.

Don't let those two things put you off. So long as the sand is stirred regularly somehow, there is absolutley no risk to your fish at all.

Most plants in the hobby actually prefer slightly acidic water & should be just fine at 85f. The temps would need to be consistantly over 90f before temperature would become of any real concern for most plants. If you give me details about the lighting I can recommend some plants that will work well for you. I need to know how many watts the tubes are, the type of lights (eg:T8, T5, T5HO?), how many tubes there are, the kelvin rating (if known) & the tank size. If you don't know the kelvin rating, the brand & range name will do (eg: Phillips Aquarell, Hagen Life-Glo).

The wood from your LFS should not alter the water chemistry in a bad way. If it does anything, it will release tannins into the water, making the water a tea colour. The tannins are not harmfull but they might lower the PH a little if there are alot of them being released. You can soak the wood in a tub for a week or so changing the water each day to get rid of most of the tannins or you can use carbon in your filter to remove the tannins from the tank. Give it a good scrub with hot water & a nylon brush to remove any loose material before putting it in your tank.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #18

Fish Monster

Valued Member
Messages
204
Reaction score
0
Points
101
Experience
3 years
Wow thank you this is more information than I was expecting I already copy and pasted what you wrote into a word document for letter reference, thank you. You really have some good insight here and I really do apreciate it very much sounds like you certainly know your stuff and I will be following it to the letter.

As for my lighting I bought the fixture at that fish place already had bulbs in it, I think it is suppose to be geared more towad coral reef tanks but I got a good price on it and I figured if need be I can get new bulbs. So it is a Coralife T5 low profile fixture that hold two bulbs the bulbs are 36 inches in length one is a 10K full spectrum bulb (I know its alot) and the other is an Actinic light (kind of like a black light looking thing) I think this is meant for the reef corals or something? But I like they way it looks over my tank, I have a 55 gallon so it is 48 inches in length and I think it is 19 inches deep I want to say. I know that my light leaves 6 inches on either side where there is no bulb you know the fixture is 36 inches in length and the tank is 48 but trust me I have no issues with light and it really does make for a bright tank and witht he Actinic sp? light in there it makes the water look really cool. I figure if its goos for corals than it should be fine with regular fresh water plants correct me if I am worng though, I leave the light on about 12 hrs a day I really need to buy a timmer I have one on my 30 gallon but my wife is a stay at home mom and she takes care of that for me during the day thank god or my fish would not be feed all day while I was at work and I would definately need a timmer. She makes me do all the maintenace and water changes but I rather be the one to do that stuff anyway I am so anal about it so paticular with the water its not funny I get the water temp 100% dead on what the tank water is I measure out my clarifier to the T and test on a daily basis.

Well hopefully thats all you need to know about my set up to make some good recomendations, oh I have a large floating plastic plant vine thing on the surface helps to cut down on some of the light and one fake plant which has a weighted base for the discus and a piece of PVC tube for my pleco and sucker fish and cory cat to hide in. The discus do not seem to mind the strong light and every now and again I will find them hanging out in the floating plant but not to escape the light I think they just like it.

Thank you again on the info Ilook forward to more good information from you and thanks for the drift wood tip as well I am sure that fish place only gets good stuff well for the price it better be, lol oh but what about the orientation of the drift wood flat laying or the kind the juts up and at an angle from a slate looking base I thought of buying two of them one going one way one going the other in the center middle of the tank I figured tall would be better for the discus to get some benefit out of them you know? that and the plants with the black sand is all I want I think it would realy cool when done, with maybe a half a dozen rummy nose tetras in there? oh and yeah I can buy some of that plant food you were talking about probally what once a month you think?

What do you think about that stuff I think Kent sells it for discus water I think its like black water mixture for discus fish? My concern is with all the water changes I do I would be putting that in all the time and I already go thru the clarifier almost as much as I do water lol and is it really needed any how I think my water parametrs are already pretty much dead on what do you think about all this? again a million and one questions but I trust you and you really do seem to know your stuff.

I am considering you my personal mentor when it comes to this kind of like an AA sponser, lol
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #19

Fish Monster

Valued Member
Messages
204
Reaction score
0
Points
101
Experience
3 years
Oh and even after all that I wrote I forget to tell you something you asked I am pretty sure that the 36 inch T5 tubes I have are 21 watts each for a total of 42 watts but thats T5 lighting as you know they run much cooler than T8 or old school T10's thats one of the big selling points of the T5 anyways they run cooler take less pwer consumption to operate and I think the bulbs can burn efectively with all their good properties for up to one year at roughly 10 - 12 hrs per day. A lot of people don't knwo this but even if your lights are still running just fine after about 9 months they lose their efectivness or a lot of it any way I guess the phosphurs or whatever begin to degrade even if the gasses in the bulb still fire unlike a standard filliment buld that just burns out the florecent lighting will keep working long after they loose there beneficial properties which I guess in retrospect is not a reall big deal if you are not grwoing corals or plants and only using it as a way to view your fish than its not a big deal but if you are using your lighting system for plants or corals than it becomes an important factro I would replace mine evry 6 to 8 months regardles if they still work or not. Oh and the light need to sit really low to the aquarium because usually there only efective up to about 18 - 20 inches in depth if its deeper than that I think thats when you have to use those meatl halides or T5HO bulbs and those to run hot you need fans and exteranl balasts witht hose halides I think and that why people keeping a reef tank may need to buy a chiller because their lighting systems raise theri water temperture now thats hot.
 

Nutter

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,459
Reaction score
148
Points
308
Experience
More than 10 years
No guru here. I just specialise in the plants is all. (not bad with the fish usually either) Thanks for the compliments.

First up the wood you can have whatever you think would look the best. If you have a few plants for the fish to hide in & under, they won't much care about the wood. If you go for the standing style, just make sure you remove any really pointy spikes & sand those bits a little smoother. The last thing you want is a panicing fish ripping itself open as it darts through the wood.

For the lights, if I'm understanding you right, are normal output T5's rather than HO's. So as much as you might like the way it looks, your probably going to need to replace the actinic tube. Actinics are useless for planted aquariums. They are strictly for SW set ups with live rock & corals. If you can get them, Sylvania Gro-Lux tubes are the best tube for planted tanks IMO & they show up the fishes colours really well. If you can't get the Gro-Lux, replace the actinic with a 18,000k tube if you can find one. 18,000k tubes usually have lots or red & blue in them & they are the parts of the spectrum that green plants use most effectively. I know about the regular replacement of tubes for planted tanks. The phenomenon you are refering to is called Cathode Decay. I can link you to a couple of articles about it if your interested. Tank depth & light penetration is a bit of a myth. Here's a link about that that you might find rather interesting: http://www.thekrib.com/Lights/depth.html

Essentially you have a low light tank & will have no need to use co2 or anything else that can mess with your water chemistry. What kind of fertilizer you use depends on what type of plants you end up having. If most of your plants are anchored in the substrate, then substrate fertilizer tablets are the way to go. Seachem Flourish Tabs only need to be replaced every 3 months & water changes will not impact on that duration. If you have lots of plants that are attached to decor rather than in the substrate, a liquid fertilizer such as Seachem Flourish Comprehensive will serve you best. You could use dry ingredients to make up your own liquid fertilizer to that will cost you much less in the long run. I can link you to some information about using dry ferts if you are interested.

Here are some plants that I think would suit your set up:

Background in substrate: Elodea/Anacharis (Elodea Densa), Water Wisteria (Hygrophila Difformis), Sunset Hygro (Hygrophila Polysperma 'Sunset'), Jungle Val (Vallisneria Spiralis) & Cryptocoryne Balansae.

Foreground to midground in substrate: Cryptocoryne Affinis, Cryptocoryne Walkeri var. 'Lutea', Pellia (Monosolenium Tenerum), Marimo Balls (Cladophora Aegagrophila) & Water Clover (Marsilea Hirsuta)

Attached plants: Fissedens (Fissidens Fontanus), African Water Fern (Bolbitis Heudelotii), Java Fern (Microsorum Pteropus) - many variants available, Java Moss (Vesicularia species) - many variants available) & pretty much any Anubius species you can get your hands on.

Some of those plants can be used attached or planted in the substrate if it's done right & some of them can even be used floating, like the Elodea. A floating plant such as Frogbit would also go well to provide a shaded/protected area for the Discus to hide under.

Here's a couple of links to plant databases that will help you find info on most of those plants:
http://www.tropica.com/default.asp



I hope that covers it for now. It will give you a few things to look up at least. If I missed any of your questions, I do apologise. It's nearly 1am here & the brain is a bit fuzzy. I'll re-read the latest posts at work tommorow & answer anything I have missed & add in any extra plants that I think of.
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom