Live Plant Scaping

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by Brannor, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. Brannor

    BrannorValued MemberMember

    Below is our tank as it was last night. I don't know the names of any of the plants... my wife bought them and in the tank they went. :shy:

    I've got a bit of algae grown on them as they were in the tank during the initial cycle startup. The plants in the back right have struggled... one of the species (broad leaf one) has slowly melted and just died completely. The ones that have reached up higher seem to be alive and growing leaves at the top, but I think the guppies at the rest of them down below. That corner seems to be a corner of doom for plants (poor circulation?) but the neon tetras seem to love it there.... or they're just hiding behind the ship.

    I want to plant more plants in that area that'll survive, and I also want to add some 'ground cover' plants to the area in front of both ship halves.

    The 'fluffy' plants behind the driftwood have grown quite well (occasionally go a little brown), to the extent that I was able to break off some pieces and plant them behind the left ship part - and they've continued to grow there.


  2. Sleepinghorse

    SleepinghorseNew MemberMember

    I think you are right, some small plants at the front of the ship will look good. What about dwarf sag or dwarf hair grass?
  3. OP

    BrannorValued MemberMember

    Pulled out all the dying plants. Placed an Indonesian Java Fern in the back. Added two species of grass in the front to create a 2 tone grass area.

  4. aussieJJDude

    aussieJJDudeWell Known MemberMember

    One looks like mondo grass - the dark green one... looks good though.
  5. OP

    BrannorValued MemberMember

    Ok... the grass doesn't seem to be doing so well. I mean, it's not dead (yet). But after a week, several pieces have broken off and they generally don't look amazing... I've attached the Java Fern to the back of the ship to allow the rhizome to be out of the strata. I took a piece of the plant in the front left to put in my wife's tank and was amazed at the extensive root system it had developed in just over a month. It still gets algae hair though... I do see to have a bit of it all over - even have some actual green algae tufts growing on the top of the helmet and front ship section.

    I'm concerned that the area from the middle heater (at the back) to the right is like a death zone for plants. Other than the Hornwort and the front left plant, everything else seems to struggle. I've put Osmocote in the substrata that it says can last 6 months. So I don't want to add too many of them - most were planted under the first batch of plants.

    Could it be the circulation? I can see that floating debris goes to sit at the top above the pump intake, and once it sinks, it goes to the bottom right corner under the outlet.

    Basically, what am I doing wrong that is causing those plants to suffer?

    EDIT: Oh, and does having activated carbon in my 3-stage filtration affect the plants by removing anything they need?


    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018
  6. matt.PC

    matt.PCNew MemberMember

    I am still fairly new to aquascaping, but I will tell you my experience with dwarf hairgrass. My DHG melted for the first week or two, but since then it has grown very nice.

    I am guessing your grass was probably grown emersed and now that it is submersed, the original grass is melting, but it should let out some new shoots shortly. The grass will require tabs around them since they typically get nutrients from the substrate. I see you have gravel, but cannot tell if you have any soil under it.

    So, I would recommend to just wait for now and do not remove them - you may have to trim off the melting parts so as not to increase area for algae to grow and ammonia release from rotting plants, but lets see what someone else recommends.
  7. aussieJJDude

    aussieJJDudeWell Known MemberMember

    I think the reason is that theres not enough light to grow the plants you want there.
  8. 86 ssinit

    86 ssinitWell Known MemberMember

    Tank looks nice. Are you using any fertilizers or root tabs? What kind of light?
  9. OP

    BrannorValued MemberMember

    Tank is an Aqua One 980 with 3 T8 Fluro lights build in. Maybe I should clean the cover - I think it has some scale or something on it from moisture drying and leaving residue.

    Tropical Tube 25W 30in T8
    Tropical Tube 30W 36in T8

    I think it's 2 of the longer ones and 1 shorter. I had been running them at 06H30 to around 19H00 each day. Today I've set them on a timer to give two stints of 4 hours each.

    I've used Osmocote tabs (triangular tabs that you shove into the substrata).
    Osmocote® Plus Trace Elements: Water Gardens & Aquatic Plants - Scotts Australia

    Substrata is smooth gravel.