Just added some live plants. What next to do

ewolfe315
  • #1
In the 20 gallon tank I just added:

2 Amazon Swords
1 Hornwort
1 Filligree--I have no clue on this one.

These are planted right into the small gravel and crushed coral. Now is there anything I have to do to keep these plants living? Never had much luck,but that was in my bigger tanks where the fish uprooted them and even ate them.

1) Do I have to add anything,such as iron or plant food ? If so which kind is best

2) Which fish to add. And which fish won't eat them ? Currently there are a few guppies and 3 algae eaters in there.

3) If I have to add plant food or an iron supplement will this harm any fish that I place in there?

I am trying to grow these to place in my other tanks,but I know of a few culprits of live plants, the clown loaches and the pleco. Once I even seen my Angels playing tug of war with them.

Thanks

John
 
jsalemi
  • #2
Well, the plants will get a lot of their nutrition from the nitrates in the water, and you can also add some root tabs (for that number of plants, maybe 1) to give them a good start. Not too many fish actually eat plants (some African cichlids I think, and most of them would get bigger than a 20 gallon could support). Most freshwater fish don't bother the plants, except to eat the occasional stray piece of food off of them.

I'm more concerned with you having crushed coral in the tank. That could raise your pH very high, which wouldn't be good for most freshwater fish. Have you tested your pH?
 
Isabella
  • #3
1) Do I have to add anything,such as iron or plant food ? If so which kind is best

2) Which fish to add. And which fish won't eat them ? Currently there are a few guppies and 3 algae eaters in there.

3) If I have to add plant food or an iron supplement will this harm any fish that I place in there?

(1) You can add liquid iron fertilizer if your plants are not doing well. If they do well without any fertilizers, don't add anything. I assume you have standard lighting (i.e. below 1.0 wpg)? I, for example, have 1.73 wpg of lighting over my tank, which is considered lower-medium lighting. My plants were doing fine without any liquid fertilizers, though I started adding Seachem's Flourish to my tank. After I've started adding Flourish, I got algal blooms, so I stopped using any liquid fertilizers. With liquid fertilizers, you have to watch out for algal outbreaks. UNLESS you're adding CO2 to your tank. Plants metabolize much faster with CO2, so they use up all the nutrients from the fertilizers much faster. And that means less or no algal outbreaks. But with low lighting and no CO2, plants metabolize very slowly, which means they won't consume all the nutrients very fast. The leftover nutrients are used by algae. Too many leftover nutrients will cause algal outbreaks. And so on ... get it? ;D

(2) Most tropical fish should not eat aquatic plants. The fish you have shouldn't eat your plants. What algae eaters do you have?

(3) Generally, no liquid plant fertilizers should harm your fish. Though something really strange happened to me not long ago. I am suspecting it was the fault of my liquid plant fertilizer, but I am not 100% sure. If you have the time, read this: https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/my-baby-cherry-barb-is-dying.14160/. Maybe it's just delicate tiny fry that are prone to health problems when grown in water full of plant fertilizers. I know one thing though: I'd never try to raise my baby Angels (or any fry whatsoever) in water full of chemical commercial products. Plant fertilizers are chemical commercial products, which is a fact.
 
ewolfe315
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Well, the plants will get a lot of their nutrition from the nitrates in the water, and you can also add some root tabs (for that number of plants, maybe 1) to give them a good start. Not too many fish actually eat plants (some African cichlids I think, and most of them would get bigger than a 20 gallon could support). Most freshwater fish don't bother the plants, except to eat the occasional stray piece of food off of them.

I'm more concerned with you having crushed coral in the tank. That could raise your pH very high, which wouldn't be good for most freshwater fish. Have you tested your pH?

Joe, The Ph level with the crushed coral in it is only 7.2,which is exactly where I want it to be. Now there's only about a cup or 2 of it in there mixed in with the gravel. I needed it because of low PH. All my water parameters are right on.

Now as for the fish eating the plants,I should have said uprooting them instead. Sorry about that,but I did see the clown loaches having a good old time in my 55 gallon.

John

(1) You can add liquid iron fertilizer if your plants are not doing well. If they do well without any fertilizers, don't add anything. I assume you have standard lighting (i.e. below 1.0 wpg)? I, for example, have 1.73 wpg of lighting over my tank, which is considered lower-medium lighting. My plants were doing fine without any liquid fertilizers, though I started adding Seachem's Flourish to my tank. After I've started adding Flourish, I got algal blooms, so I stopped using any liquid fertilizers. With liquid fertilizers, you have to watch out for algal outbreaks. UNLESS you're adding CO2 to your tank. Plants metabolize much faster with CO2, so they use up all the nutrients from the fertilizers much faster. And that means less or no algal outbreaks. But with low lighting and no CO2, plants metabolize very slowly, which means they won't consume all the nutrients very fast. The leftover nutrients are used by algae. Too many leftover nutrients will cause algal outbreaks. And so on ... get it? ;D

(2) Most tropical fish should not eat aquatic plants. The fish you have shouldn't eat your plants. What algae eaters do you have?

(3) Generally, no liquid plant fertilizers should harm your fish. Though something really strange happened to me not long ago. I am suspecting it was the fault of my liquid plant fertilizer, but I am not 100% sure. If you have the time, read this: My baby Cherry Barb is dying Breeding Fish 14160. Maybe it's just delicate tiny fry that are prone to health problems when grown in water full of plant fertilizers. I know one thing though: I'd never try to raise my baby Angels (or any fry whatsoever) in water full of chemical commercial products. Plant fertilizers are chemical commercial products, which is a fact.

Thanks Isabella, great advice there. Yep it's low lighting,LOL, 15 watts for 20 gallon, so just below 1wpg.. I just went to the new pet store here near my house and I was looking for a 30 watter,but no luck. Almost bought a bottle of plant fertilizer,but said no to that. I've read on different sites that you should and you should'nt, so I did'nt. But I did come home with more plants, amazon sword,hornwort,and wisteria. I really like the hornwort and the amazon swords are around 10 to 12 inches high. I'm hopeing these swords grow to about 2 feet so I can add them into the 120 gallon high tank I have. The silk plants that I have in there,look like there just to small for that size tank. It's 26 inches high.

As for the algae eaters, I know there not that 1 kind(forget off the top of my head the name) but these guys are just your normal algae eaters.I think. I have them in there just in case I need them in my other tanks. These algae eaters are brown,then after about a month or so,they turn a bright yellow color. So I have no clue what they are but there very peaceful and do there job.

How about those Plant food tablets they have out are they worth useing or not ? Would you use them?

I' think I already read that article about you and the fertilizers and what had happened. That's why I am here asking and I know your one of the top banana's here on your planted tanks.
 
jsalemi
  • #5
Joe, The Ph level with the crushed coral in it is only 7.2,which is exactly where I want it to be. Now there's only about a cup or 2 of it in there mixed in with the gravel. I needed it because of low PH. All my water parameters are right on.

In that case, cool!
 
Isabella
  • #6
How about those Plant food tablets they have out are they worth useing or not ? Would you use them?
Well, it depends. I like to keep my tanks as natural as possible (i.e. no chemical additives at all, if possible). But that's me. Like I said, a heavily planted tank with CO2 addition will use up more nutrients and it will use up these nutrients much faster. So it will most likely need some kind of fertilization. But a low-light tank that is not fully planted and that doesn't have CO2 injections, may do well without fertilizers (especially if plants are selected well, i.e. low-light plants only, etc.)

Another thing to look at is the substrate. If your tank is mature and if your substrate is either (1) nutrient-rich, or if it is (2) plain gravel but full of fish wastes, this alone may serve as a source of nutrients to plants, as fish wastes are a great natural fertilizer for plant roots. But if your substrate is an inert gravel (i.e. not nutrient-rich) and if it's very clean (i.e. no fish wastes accumulated), then you may want to add plant root tabs around the more demanding rooting plants such as Amazon Swords. The roots will need to feed on something so that the plants can thrive.

If you decide to use plant root tabs, be careful not to disturb the substrate too much as it can make a big mess. (1) It can cause algal outbreaks, and (2) it can cloud the water.
 
Gozer_1
  • #7
Sounds like your tank is doing well. My advice would be to run with it. Go with what you have and see what happens. If you start to see signs of deficiency in your plants, you can always pick up a little something for them. Personally I use Flourish and Flourish Iron in a Medium\Low light tank. Mainly for the benefit of one plant in particular. The tank is moderately planted and I do have a touch of algae but only enough to add some character and to feed my Otos. The tank is also pretty under stocked. Stock level is a huge factor in nutrient load. If you have a fully stocked tank then the fish will likely provide all you need.

Regarding your Algae eaters, are they chinese Algae eaters and if so I recommend Otos instead. My experience with Chinese algae eaters is that they get kind of mean in their old age and mine wouldn't touch algae unless it was in front of his face and he yawned. lol Otos on the other hand are great cleaners. Don't add them unless you have algae going or you'll have to feed them. I hate having to actually put algae in my tank.

As far as recommended fish, well, you'll likely have more than a "few" guppies before you know it. I'm personally fond of Gouramis though they can get territorial. I'd only get one for your tank. The various small Tetras look good in a planted tank. Cichlids will destroy your plants by uprooting not to mention devour your guppies. lol Just about any smaller fish would be fine as long as it can get along with everyone else.

Hope that ramble of stuff was of any use to you.
 
Isabella
  • #8
Gozer is right. GAEs (Golden Algae Eaters) generally do have the reputation of becoming lazy to eat algae as they get older, and even of being aggressive towards other fish (particularly sucking on the slime coating of other fish). However, I have a somewhat different personal opinion regarding this fish. In my opinion GAE will be aggressive towards other fish and will be an ineffective algae eater if it is kept in too small a tank for it. Most beginners that buy this fish keep it in tanks that are way too small for this fish, so no wonder it grows unhappy and even aggressive. Hence the "negative" reputation. If it is provided with a good diet and with enough space for it to be happy, it should be a good algae eater. I have had my GAE for more than 3 years now and I have never seen him suck on the slime coating of any of my fish. He keeps my tanks so clean I wouldn't exchange it for any other algae eater. The only problem is this algae eater won't eat brush/hair algae, so if you have this type of algae, the GAE won't help with it. But then again, neither do Otos nor BN plecos eat this type of algae. In my experience (with the exception of brush/hair algae), the GAE will eat all kinds of algae and keep your tank perfectly clean if provided with good living conditions. If I didn't have hair/brush algae in my tanks, I'd never get any other algae eaters. But because I do have this type of algae, I have to get the True Siamese Flying Fox (Crossocheilus Siamensis) that is the only type of a commercially available algae eater that will actually eat hair/brush algae. I also have Otos. They're great as well and will keep your tank very clean too (with the exception of hair/brush algae, as I've said before).
 
neverendingninja
  • #9
You could also add olive nerite snails, which eat all kinds of algae, including green spot, which no algae eating fish will touch. They poo quite a bit, but eat algae like MAD, don't reproduce in Freshwater and are quite pretty
 
Gozer_1
  • #10
My CAE (the non gold variety) is a turd. He won't go out of his way to eat and he's a grumpy old codger. He's about 4 now and just sits around till food falls near him or he lands near food after chasing the much larger fish tankmates. He goes through fads of slime coat attacking on my Barbs. Every now and then he'll even get a scale or two. Then he'll just stop. I've tried feeding him algae wafers and various other meaty and non meaty foods but you'd have to pull him out and jam it down his throat to get him to eat it because you can't get it right in front of him before he swims away. Too freakin lazy or just more interested in being a jerk. This guy is in a 150 Gal tank and gets all the food he could eat if he'd just look for it. I actually had an algae outbreak recently because I was putting too many algae wafers in trying to get him to eat them thinking it'd chill him out. I had to clean everything. He's just a meany, but the Gold I used to have was worse.

So as you can see, CAEs\GAEs have a multitude of personanlities, as do most fishes. Otos will do the same job happily and with REAL effort. Lazy and Oto don't go in the same phrase.
 
ewolfe315
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Thanks for all the input there. At least now I know what kind of Algae eaters they are. I moved 1 of the Amazon Swords into the 55 gallon,just to see how it does in this tank. Well not to good, the tips of the plant became yellow and now transparent. Any suggestions on what I can do. Like I said I never had any luck with live plants. I could'nt find anything in that Plant definency article on this. Is it a lack of Iron? Should I snip these leaves off?

John

Isabella I read that article on plant geek about the CO2,Wow that took about an hour to read and I still can't figure that out,LOL..
 
Isabella
  • #12
Ewolfe, lol, yeah . I am still learning all about CO2 as well.
 
Barbrella
  • #13
IMO, water wisteria is one of the easiest plants. Right now, I have only a 15 watt Sunglo bulb in my 20 gal tall tank. The wisteria is touching the surface of the water.
I snapped the top off of one to put into another tank, and already the stump has sprouted new leaves. This happened within 5 days.

The other plants here are Anubias, Java Fern and Cabomba. The cabomba really needs more light, which I"m planning to get when my brother gets around to reworking the lighting in my hood.
 
MagpieTear
  • #14
CO2 Frightens me to be honest. I'm just happy I have new leaves on my plants instead of them dying on me. One thing at a time for now I guess.
 
Isabella
  • #15
CO2 Frightens me to be honest. I'm just happy I have new leaves on my plants instead of them dying on me. One thing at a time for now I guess.
I'm afraid to use CO2 as well, which is why I haven't gotten it yet. Though I am thinking about it.
 

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