Is There Such A Thing As Too Many Plants?

Lacey D
  • #1
This is my 37g (low-tech, medium light) currently. I have (from the top down)
Red Root Floaters
Duckweed (volunteer...don't know how to stop it...)
Subwassertang (also a volunteer)
Java Moss
Pogostemon stellata
Anubias nana
Anubias frazeri
Cryptocoryne spiralis (or poss. Aponogeton crispus ‘Red’)? (plant on the far right)
Cryptocoryne wendtii
Ludwigia brevipes (or poss. arcuata or something else)? (plants on the far left)
Guppy Grass

Coming tomorrow are 5 different buce species (surprise pack from Dustin's Fishtanks) which I intend to glue to the "rock" terraces, and an Aponogeton ulvaceus which will be going over on the right in front of that large sponge filter.

So...should I call it good and wait for things to grow in and spread? Or can I indulge my current habit of picking up new plants every month or so? In particular I'd like more moss for the driftwood and the rock, and maybe some Anubias nana petite or bonsai.


IMG_20180827_060251.jpg

Fish stocking plants are reducing the number of endler males to 5 or so, then adding:
8-10 neon dwarf rainbows (Melanotaenia pygmaea)
4 sparkling gouramis (Trichopsis pumilus)
12 kuhlI loaches
1 clown pleco over the course of the next year.

And one last Q: Are there any really good, through books on aquarium plant identification for species/cultivars currently in the hobby? Many of these plants I picked up as unlabeled bundles or as unlabeled tissue-culture plants. Others have come accidentally bundled along with something I intentionally purchased. When I look at websites for info, all the plants pictured either look slightly different than what I was told I had, or entirely different families seem to share a lot of external characteristics. I'm a biologist...where's my key??
 
FishFor2018
  • #2
It will work but add some more lighting since a couple of those plants require high lighting. Also make sure to either dose fert’s in the tank or add a cO2 system.
 
Lacey D
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
It will work but add some more lighting since a couple of those plants require high lighting. Also make sure to either dose fert’s in the tank or add a cO2 system.
I dose with Easy Green in this aquarium 2x per week. I don't really want to get started on the CO2 method right now, but could dose with extra carbon if you think that would help. I could pick up a second light--running a Nicrew LED right now which gives off a surprising amount of light, and seems to be making everything look great, but was thinking about asking for a Finnex 24/7 Planted+ for Christmas If I get that, should I run them side-by-side?
 
mossman
  • #4
Plants need all the above to thrive, so if you add more light, you'll need more fertilizer AND more carbon. So unless you're going to inject CO2, I would stick with the light and fertilizer schedule you are currently on, if that is working. You can get your carbon by adding Flourish Excel every day, but that will get expensive with a larger tank.
 
Inactive User
  • #5
I don't think you can ever have enough plants.

Particularly, I think a well planted tank is a lot easier to manage than a sparsely planted tank.
 
Lacey D
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Well... *bleep*. I went into the local Petsmart today for cat food, and did the inevitable tour through the aquarium section. And found a bunch of plants, marked down by 80%.

So... I guess I'm going to find out how many plants is too many

IMG_20180829_184549[1].jpg
Most of these were plants I'd wanted to try, but wasn't sure how well they'd do. I know that this route is MORE likely to fail than if I bought them already submerged and acclimated to our water at my lfs...but I'm a sucker for $1 plants, and these all looked surprisingly good!

The list:
 

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Discus-Tang
  • #7
Check online to make sure they're aquatic plants. Plants like aluminium will melt when fully submerged.
 
Bryangar
  • #8
What a deal!
 
FishFor2018
  • #9
Well... *bleep*. I went into the local Petsmart today for cat food, and did the inevitable tour through the aquarium section. And found a bunch of plants, marked down by 80%.

So... I guess I'm going to find out how many plants is too many
View attachment 472764
Most of these were plants I'd wanted to try, but wasn't sure how well they'd do. I know that this route is MORE likely to fail than if I bought them already submerged and acclimated to our water at my lfs...but I'm a sucker for $1 plants, and these all looked surprisingly good!
Omg lol, we all have the same problem. Even if it’s like %20 off for anything tank/fish/aquarium related I will get it lol
 
Lacey D
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Check online to make sure they're aquatic plants. Plants like aluminium will melt when fully submerged.
All but two were plants I had researched thoroughly. I looked up the care for the other two--Hygrophilia and Alternanthera reineckiI cardinalis--at the store, and I think my setup will work. Most are slow-growers which like ferts and moderate light, but are rated "easy"... so I'm going to give it a try
 
midna
  • #11
uhhh!! i'm jealous!!!!!!! why doesn't my petsmart do that :/
 
Tsin21
  • #12
Too many plants? What is that? LOL!
As of now I have about 21 species of plants in a 33 gallon tank.
 
Lacey D
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
How things look now:

IMG_20180830_204110[1].jpg
Planted the discount plants ($12.20 in total, for 15 plants, 8 species), and then the very much NOT discounted but responsibly sourced Bucephalandra sp (5 types, omg so tiny!! You can't see them but they are on the terraces of the backdrop) and a frankly disappointing Aponogeton ulvaceus (my bad tho. I didn't realize how fragile it was. It lost all its large leaves in shipping, and there is no way it can go where I want it in the back, so it's in the front for now to get max light as it grows leaves back)

Now it's just the waiting game of trying to be patient and let things grow, and figure out what survived the transfers, and doing some trimming/replanting (esp of the lugwia and moss). And MAYBE looking up DIY CO2 setups to speed things up a bit >_>
 
Barch
  • #14
I have a 20 gallon high aquarium with 15 total fish in it mostly all tetras and one bristlenose pleco. It has a small (maybe 12inch) Nicrew LED light which goes vertical to the tank and not all the way across via horizontally, ALTHOUGH I PLAN TO UPGRADE SOON.

Right now I have a bunch of Java ferns, anubias, and I was wondering if I can just add a bunch more Java ferns, anubias and Water Wistra without having to do CO2 injections or fertilizer? I will buy the root tabs and put a couple of those in my gravel but other than that should I be fine with the setup I have?

My Java ferns are already sprouting a bunch new leaves and thriving, but I also seem to have a lot of hair algae on my plants is this okay or should I remove it?
 
HairyCatFish
  • #15
I love planted tanks. Pictures please
 
EbiAqua
  • #16
Unless your fish run out of space to swim, too many plants isn't usually an issue. Heavy, dense plantloads are great for fish; I had a 46 gallon so packed with plants that in order to feed my fish I had to part the plants on the surface like curtains.

If you're getting hair algae, try the following:
-add more fast growing live plants
-feed once every other day instead of everyday
-cut lighting back to 6 hours a day
-do 50% water changes once per week
-list your fish stock so we can tell you if you're overstocked, which can cause algae
 
Barch
  • #17
Unless your fish run out of space to swim, too many plants isn't usually an issue. Heavy, dense plantloads are great for fish; I had a 46 gallon so packed with plants that in order to feed my fish I had to part the plants on the surface like curtains.

If you're getting hair algae, try the following:
-add more fast growing live plants
-feed once every other day instead of everyday
-cut lighting back to 6 hours a day
-do 50% water changes once per week
-list your fish stock so we can tell you if you're overstocked, which can cause algae

5 long fin tetras
2 separe tetras (did I spell that right? Small orange ones)
7 neons
1 bristlenose

I do 50% weekly (will be doing it today), and I do a full on good gravel vac at the same time, scrub glass clean, rinse out biomedia sponges (in old tank water), etc.

I just moved the java ferns under direct light last week maybe that's why the hair alge all of a sudden, I'll rearrange it today.

Just now on my lunch break I bought some tall grass (forget name), more java ferns, more water wistera, got a couple Amazon swords too. It's in the water bag in my car and once I get home and do my cleanings and aquascape I'll post pics tonight for yall



Ps I have a 5.5 and a 10 gallon with just java ferns, a small water wistera, and luffa balls for my bettas
 
Vishaquatics
  • #18
Most people think that the cause of hair algae is an excess of nutrients and too much light. Sometimes, this is true, sometimes that is not the case at all. Hair algae can survive in water that is almost completely void of nutrients, and in very low light.

For your tank, I'd recommend to start dosing Thrive by NilocG (It's an all in one liquid fert). Keep up with the water changes and add the root tabs. I'd keep the lighting the same. Adding more fast growing plants (like anacharis, hornwort, water wisteria) is essential to preventing hair algae.
 
Barch
  • #19
Most people think that the cause of hair algae is an excess of nutrients and too much light. Sometimes, this is true, sometimes that is not the case at all. Hair algae can survive in water that is almost completely void of nutrients, and in very low light.

For your tank, I'd recommend to start dosing Thrive by NilocG (It's an all in one liquid fert). Keep up with the water changes and add the root tabs. I'd keep the lighting the same. Adding more fast growing plants (like anacharis, hornwort, water wisteria) is essential to preventing hair algae.

Thanks. I got the root tabs and put 2 in my tank, one near Amazon swords and one near this tall grass I got. Pics of my tank
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Kalyke
  • #20
you have lots of spare room for plants in that 20. But you should also remember that the plants that you have will grow bigger, and wider eventually.
 
HairyCatFish
  • #21
Beautiful tanks you have.. And yes I would add more plants.. I'm not sure if Water Wisteria grows as fast as my Water Sprite does, but let me tell you if it does it will spread and fill out your tanks like a weed.
I love it, I started out with 3 in my 10 gallon and it's grown so fast I was able to cut & transplant some to my 20 gallon. And it filled that so I cut and transplanted some more to both of my 5 gallons and now they're filled in too.
Every couple of weeks I go in and prune handfuls of it just so my fish can swim and go food can get down to them.
As far as algae I cannot grow it fast enough since all my tanks have either shrimp or snail's or both. Let's just say they are extremely well fed and happy and my tanks are kept spotless thanks to them.
 
rainbowsprinkles
  • #22
Kalyke
  • #23
Right now I have a bunch of Java ferns, anubias, and I was wondering if I can just add a bunch more Java ferns, anubias and Water Wistra without having to do CO2 injections or fertilizer? I will buy the root tabs and put a couple of those in my gravel but other than that should I be fine with the setup I have?

My Java ferns are already sprouting a bunch new leaves and thriving, but I also seem to have a lot of hair algae on my plants is this okay or should I remove it?

Another plant I found to be no trouble at all in a low tech tank is the ozelot sword (an Amazon Sword), which is lt green with purple spots, Echinodorus Marble Queen (Amazon sword with white pattern). Another plant that does quite well is dwarf red lily, and red tiger lotus. I used to have bolbitis, but it tended to get loads of algae and I did not like the look. Thicker leaves do not clog up with algae as much as thin "feathery" leaves.

A tip about the lighting: It does not need to be an "aquarium" light. I'm just saying, in case you think you need to upgrade to even more expensive lights (and aquarium lights can be expensive). I have just been introduced to the concept of cheap shop lights. Also those lights people use in barns. Just put blue/red grow lights in some, and regular white lights in another and use them together. You can hang them from the ceiling (if you own the house, or a stand of some kind, like a shelving unit). This really raises par. All that really matters is what bulb you put in them. This can save you loads of money. Lastly, putting your tank near a window also raises the light levels. Mine gets a few hours of direct sunlight per day. The problem with high light tanks is the balance between growing the plant or growing the algae. Even the moderate light tanks get algae.

The algae is food for many fish. Shrimp like it, baby fish love it. The best algae eaters I have found so far are nerite snails. They are quite pretty and don't breed in a freshwater tank, so they are a very nice tank purchase.
 
mwsenoj
  • #24
Two suggestions. Might you consider adding duckweed? My shrimp tank is completely matted with it and the anubias likes the shade. And second, might you consider adding something that will munch on the algae?
 
georgelee1000
  • #25
If you have enough nutrients, then no. But if you have limited about of nutrients, having a clump of plants will prob not flourish.
 
oldsalt777
  • #26
I have a 20 gallon high aquarium with 15 total fish in it mostly all tetras and one bristlenose pleco. It has a small (maybe 12inch) Nicrew LED light which goes vertical to the tank and not all the way across via horizontally, ALTHOUGH I PLAN TO UPGRADE SOON.

Right now I have a bunch of Java ferns, anubias, and I was wondering if I can just add a bunch more Java ferns, anubias and Water Wistra without having to do CO2 injections or fertilizer? I will buy the root tabs and put a couple of those in my gravel but other than that should I be fine with the setup I have?

My Java ferns are already sprouting a bunch new leaves and thriving, but I also seem to have a lot of hair algae on my plants is this okay or should I remove it?

Hello Bar...

The more plants, the better. As long as the fish have room to swim, I have as many plants in the tank as possible. The fertilizers the fish produce is all most plants need to be healthy. Just feed the fish a balanced diet and the plants will be fine. Root tabs are fine, but they will add to the nitrogen levels in the tank water. Make sure you're keeping the water clean with large, weekly water changes, this will remove the nitrogen the plants don't use.

Algae is a good thing. It's one of the best natural water filters you can have and a healthy supplement to your fishes' diet. Above all, change a lot of tank water and do it weekly and you'll have no tank problems.

Old
 
Kathryn Crook
  • #27
Wait, you showed a closeup of a java fern root. Do you think that is the hair algae? I'm sorry if I missed something there.
 

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