Looking For Best Low Tech Floating Plant For My 29 Gallon With Cardinal Tetras

DoubleD80

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Was thinking of putting a floating plant in my tank to calm my cardinal tetras skittishness down. I have a 29 gallon planted with java fern, java moss, Anubis, and apongeton. The apongeton is almost dead because of my Farlowella catfish shredding it haha. I don’t fert or use co2 and don’t want to. Any suggestion?

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DoubleD80

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Fahn said:
Dwarf water lettuce, Salvina natans, Amazon frogbit, mosquito fern (azolla), water sprite (IMO broad leaf water sprite looks best). All of them easy and low maintenance, just make sure your tank doesn't have a crazy amount of flow.
I don’t have a crazy amount. But the aqueon power 30 HOB I have does create a current on the left side of the tank and a lil on the right. Ot cause a swirling effect from front of tank to right side then back to the middle where the outflow is.
 

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DoubleD80 said:
I don’t have a crazy amount. But the aqueon power 30 HOB I have does create a current on the left side of the tank and a lil on the right. Ot cause a swirling effect from front of tank to right side then back to the middle where the outflow is.
Shouldn't be an issue.
 

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DoubleD80 said:
Thanks. Any idea about red root floaters and if they are low tech and easy to grow? I’d rather not use ferts. They look pretty cool.
They're less forgiving than other floating plants and prefer higher light.

Regardless of what plants you use fertilizers are a requirement.
 
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DoubleD80

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Fahn said:
They're less forgiving than other floating plants and prefer higher light.

Regardless of what plants you use fertilizers are a requirement.
Ok thanks for the info.

I was really contemplating on adding a floating plant to my already planted tank. I really like the look of frogbit and red root floaters but don’t know which one would be best for my 29 gallon low tech no ferts tank. I have a regular fluorescent light bulb that came with the tank hood. It’s been plenty of light for my java fern java moss and Anubis. Would it be enough for either of those plants? I have a HOB aqueon power 30 filter and don’t know if that would be to much current for those plants? Thanks for any help on this decision.

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DoubleD80

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MrBryan723 said:
Frogbit, duckweed and the like will indeed get sucked up by the filter.
So floating plants aren’t in my future? Haha

But say of it didn’t get sucked up by the filter. What plant would be best for my tank set up? Frogbit or red root floater?
 

Fahn

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Just put a prefilter sponge over your filter intake.

Frogbit would do much better than red root floaters.
 

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Don't use any duckweed! Trust me on this, it will take over your tank, be everywhere, and you will regret it. I personally recommend Brazilian Pennywort as a floating plant. It looks pretty nice and is easy to pull out when it gets too big.
 
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DoubleD80

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Fahn said:
Just put a prefilter sponge over your filter intake.

Frogbit would do much better than red root floaters.
Thanks. Just like how the red root floaters have shorter roots. And the red roots. What would be the challenge with red root floaters? I really like the look haha. I have seachem flourish comprehensive. Would that be good for either one?
 

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DoubleD80 said:
Thanks. Just like how the red root floaters have shorter roots. And the red roots. What would be the challenge with red root floaters? I really like the look haha. I have seachem flourish comprehensive. Would that be good for either one?
If you want shorter roots go with Salvinia natans. I have it in all my tanks and love it.

Red plants are typically more demanding, they need higher levels of light and consume more nutrients. Without these, they turn green or even die off.

Flourish comprehensive is just a trace element fertilizer, plants will starve on it because it's the equivalent of trying to survive on a diet of Flintstone vitamins. Something like NilocG Thrive or even dosing dry ferts like Potassium Phosphate is much, much better and covers all the bases for plant nutrient requirements.

Here are some pics of Salvina in one of my tanks.

photo_2019-06-04_11-20-00.jpg
photo_2019-06-04_11-20-04.jpg
 
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DoubleD80

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Fahn said:
If you want shorter roots go with Salvinia natans. I have it in all my tanks and love it.

Red plants are typically more demanding, they need higher levels of light and consume more nutrients. Without these, they turn green or even die off.

Flourish comprehensive is just a trace element fertilizer, plants will starve on it because it's the equivalent of trying to survive on a diet of Flintstone vitamins. Something like NilocG Thrive or even dosing dry ferts like Potassium Phosphate is much, much better and covers all the bases for plant nutrient requirements.

Here are some pics of Salvina in one of my tanks.

photo_2019-06-04_11-20-00.jpg
photo_2019-06-04_11-20-04.jpg
Thanks those look pretty cool. Do you have to use ferts with that? Would they work with a HOB filter?

I have a aqueon power 30 filter.
 

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DoubleD80 said:
Thanks those look pretty cool. Do you have to use ferts with that? Would they work with a HOB filter?

I have a aqueon power 30 filter.
I use NilocG Thrive S in all my tanks. I get really good results.

I have Salvinia in tanks with HOBs, canisters, and built-in filtration, and have it as the main source of filtration on a 1 gallon vase.
 
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DoubleD80

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Fahn said:
I use NilocG Thrive S in all my tanks. I get really good results.

I have Salvinia in tanks with HOBs, canisters, and built-in filtration, and have it as the main source of filtration on a 1 gallon vase.
Do they sell that in the states or Chicago? How much cause when I checked on amazon it was $35 Canadian.

Fahn said:
Just put a prefilter sponge over your filter intake.

Frogbit would do much better than red root floaters.
Would the prefilter sponge hurt my filter in the long run or cause to much strain on the filter?
 

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DoubleD80 said:
Do they sell that in the states or Chicago? How much cause when I checked on amazon it was $35 Canadian.
I think I paid $27 USD for my bottle of Thrive S, which translates to $36 Canadian. It isn't cheap but it is very concentrated, 1ml of regular Thrive treats 10 gallons.

As for the prefilter sponge, when you do your weekly water change just take it off and rinse/squeeze it in the bucket of tank water. They can get clogged but it won't strain your filter. I use them on all my filters.
 

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DoubleD80 said:
Would the prefilter sponge hurt my filter in the long run or cause to much strain on the filter?
Only if it gets plugged with debris and the flow is hindered. Sometimes depending on tank setup and type of fish, I need to clean the prefilters every 2 days. But that takes about 10 seconds lol. I use tap water and pressure to clean them, but if you want to preserve BB on them, rinse them in old tank water.
 
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DoubleD80

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Fahn said:
I think I paid $27 USD for my bottle of Thrive S, which translates to $36 Canadian. It isn't cheap but it is very concentrated, 1ml of regular Thrive treats 10 gallons.

As for the prefilter sponge, when you do your weekly water change just take it off and rinse/squeeze it in the bucket of tank water. They can get clogged but it won't strain your filter. I use them on all my filters.
Ok thanks!

DoubleD80 said:
Ok thanks!
Did you notice the fish acting different at all when you dose? Last time I dosed the flourish comprehensive with in minutes the fish were flashing and acting erratic. I immediately did a water change and they stopped flashing. That’s why I’ve been kind of weary of using ferts. That and the plants I currently have are thriving without it.

I used the recommended dosage!
 

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I have never had any fish or inverts react negatively to fertilizers, Flourish included.
 
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DoubleD80

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Mmmm. Guess I’m just lucky haha

angelcraze said:
Only if it gets plugged with debris and the flow is hindered. Sometimes depending on tank setup and type of fish, I need to clean the prefilters every 2 days. But that takes about 10 seconds lol. I use tap water and pressure to clean them, but if you want to preserve BB on them, rinse them in old tank water.
Ok thanks!
 

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You could also try Dwarf Water Lettuce if it's legal in your area. Once it gets going, the floaters get pretty decent size and I have no issue with them getting moved around by water flow.
 
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DoubleD80

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Sergeant Pepper said:
You could also try Dwarf Water Lettuce if it's legal in your area. Once it gets going, the floaters get pretty decent size and I have no issue with them getting moved around by water flow.
Ok thanks. I have a hood on the tank. Would that be a problem? There’s only a inch or two from the water to the hood.
 

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My mom has a corral of water lettuce in her 29 gallon with an HOB filter, they stay in the corral. Without the corral, they get knocked around too much by the HOB current and melt.

No problem with the hood
 

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DoubleD80 said:
Ok thanks. I have a hood on the tank. Would that be a problem? There’s only a inch or two from the water to the hood.
Dwarf water lettuce gets bigger than most other floating plants. It shouldn't be an issue if you wanted it, but worse case scenario you drop your water level another inch.
 
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DoubleD80

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Fahn said:
Dwarf water lettuce gets bigger than most other floating plants. It shouldn't be an issue if you wanted it, but worse case scenario you drop your water level another inch.
Ok thanks. I’m between that and frogbit! Although I would love the red root floaters! Haha

angelcraze said:
Or you could build a corral out of plastic staws or airline tubing.
How do you attatch the straws or airline tubing to the tank? Have you done this and where did you set up your corral?

angelcraze said:
My mom has a corral of water lettuce in her 29 gallon with an HOB filter, they stay in the corral. Without the corral, they get knocked around too much by the HOB current and melt.

No problem with the hood
Thanks. How and where in the tank did she set up the corral?
 

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DoubleD80 said:
I was really contemplating on adding a floating plant to my already planted tank. I really like the look of frogbit and red root floaters but don’t know which one would be best for my 29 gallon low tech no ferts tank. I have a regular fluorescent light bulb that came with the tank hood. It’s been plenty of light for my java fern java moss and Anubis. Would it be enough for either of those plants? I have a HOB aqueon power 30 filter and don’t know if that would be to much current for those plants? Thanks for any help on this decision.

5AF2C889-AE62-4F9F-838F-7BDC90848A77.jpeg
I think a floating plant would look great in your tank. I have them in all three of mine. I recommend dwarf water lettuce, which I have to thin out every month or so but which does not take over the whole tank.
IMG_2171.JPG
 

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Lovecich said:
I think a floating plant would look great in your tank. I have them in all three of mine. I recommend dwarf water lettuce, which I have to thin out every month or so but which does not take over the whole tank.
IMG_2171.JPG
Thanks. Yeah I was contemplating between frogbit, red root floaters, and dwarf lettuce like you have. Just wondering how it would handle my HOB filter cause I’d rather not have to put a corral cause of the look. And feeding my cardinals flakes would be hindered because the current usually pulls the flakes to the outflow and pushes it down to them since they won’t come to the top to eat! Since my dwarf gouramI thinks he owns the tank haha

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Fahn said:
Just put a prefilter sponge over your filter intake.

Frogbit would do much better than red root floaters.
would frogbit do good with a tank with a full hood? Thanks again for all the help.
 

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DoubleD80 said:
Wo

would frogbit do good with a tank with a full hood? Thanks again for all the help.
So long as it's getting adequate lighting then yes. Personally I prefer all my tanks open top.
 
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DoubleD80

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Fahn said:
So long as it's getting adequate lighting then yes. Personally I prefer all my tanks open top.
Ok cool. Yeah I really like the look of open top but last time I went on vacation there was about 2-3 inches of evaporation when I got back haha.
 

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DoubleD80 said:
How do you attatch the straws or airline tubing to the tank? Have you done this and where did you set up your corral?


Thanks. How and where in the tank did she set up the corral?
I don't corral them cuz they are not disturbed in my tanks. But we just fit straws together to make a box or shape, let it float and added water lettuce inside the shape. It was just floating in front of the HOB, covered 1/4 of the tank surface. We did not attach it to the tank, just left it floating. For airline tubing, just make a circle, attach tubing ends and let it float. Just be careful not to shade plants underneath too much.
 
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DoubleD80

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angelcraze said:
I don't corral them cuz they are not disturbed in my tanks. But we just fit straws together to make a box or shape, let it float and added water lettuce inside the shape. It was just floating in front of the HOB, covered 1/4 of the tank surface. We did not attach it to the tank, just left it floating. For airline tubing, just make a circle, attach tubing ends and let it float. Just be careful not to shade plants underneath too much.
Thanks!
 

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DoubleD80 said:
Ok cool. Yeah I really like the look of open top but last time I went on vacation there was about 2-3 inches of evaporation when I got back haha.
Also floating plants help guard against evaporation. But they can also deplete o2 levels at night if the surface is covered.
 
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DoubleD80

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angelcraze said:
Also floating plants help guard against evaporation. But they can also deplete o2 levels at night if the surface is covered.
Thanks for the heads up!

So I just went to my Lfs and picked up some really nice red root floaters for my tank! They have really nice big roots. I did notice though that my dwarf gouramI ate some of the roots after I put it in. I’m hoping when I get home he didn’t destroy the nice root structure haha. Any body have any experience with this?
 

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DoubleD80 said:
So I just went to my Lfs and picked up some really nice red root floaters for my tank! They have really nice big roots. I did notice though that my dwarf gouramI ate some of the roots after I put it in. I’m hoping when I get home he didn’t destroy the nice root structure haha. Any body have any experience with this?
Gouramis will tear roots and leaves off of plants in order to build nests from bubbles and vegetable matter. I used to have a dwarf gouramI named Piggy who would grab a mouthful of duckweed from one end of the tank, and race over to the other side and spit it into his mass of bubbles and half-rotten plants. I'd have to remove his nests after a while because they would smell like a swamp. He would get upset but calm down after a little while.

Also, many floating plants will shed roots when added to new tanks. This is normal as they acclimate to new conditions and will regrow new roots.
 
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DoubleD80

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Fahn said:
Gouramis will tear roots and leaves off of plants in order to build nests from bubbles and vegetable matter. I used to have a dwarf gouramI named Piggy who would grab a mouthful of duckweed from one end of the tank, and race over to the other side and spit it into his mass of bubbles and half-rotten plants. I'd have to remove his nests after a while because they would smell like a swamp. He would get upset but calm down after a little while.

Also, many floating plants will shed roots when added to new tanks. This is normal as they acclimate to new conditions and will regrow new roots.
Thanks again for your quick response and helpful info! I know you said get frogbit but I couldn’t resist getting to red root floaters when I found out my lfs had them! They look awesome and have huge root structures! Just hope my light is enough and I’m putting the right ferts in. They seemed to have found a spot that doesn’t push them into the HOB filter. Hopefully when I get home all is well. If they don’t survive I’ll take your advise and get the frogbit next time

I’m almost positive I saw him eat the roots he ripped off! Haha you’re ever do that? And mine is a good hog to! Doesn’t give the cardinals much chance if he notices food falling to them!
 

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DoubleD80 said:
I’m almost positive I saw him eat the roots he ripped off! Haha you’re ever do that? And mine is a good hog to! Doesn’t give the cardinals much chance if he notices food falling to them!
He might be snacking on them, they do like a bit of vegetable matter and algae in their diet.

Yup, I had to trick my DG into eating at one end of the tank while I dropped food for tetras and corys on the other end. If I didn't almost every bit ended up in his fat belly! Piggy would stick his head out of the water and follow me expecting to be fed, I could pet the top of his head while I fed him from my fingers.
 
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DoubleD80

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Fahn said:
He might be snacking on them, they do like a bit of vegetable matter and algae in their diet.

Yup, I had to trick my DG into eating at one end of the tank while I dropped food for tetras and corys on the other end. If I didn't almost every bit ended up in his fat belly! Piggy would stick his head out of the water and follow me expecting to be fed, I could pet the top of his head while I fed him from my fingers.
Guess I better start putting algae wafers in during the day to to keep him off the roots! They are some really good looking roots I would hate for him to ruin them. He has a cool personality and also comes to greet me when I get the food out! I try to keep him at the top of the tank. I do have to shew him away some times when he starts scaring them away from falling food!

Lovecich said:
I think a floating plant would look great in your tank. I have them in all three of mine. I recommend dwarf water lettuce, which I have to thin out every month or so but which does not take over the whole tank.
IMG_2171.JPG
Silly question but with all the coverage on the top from floating plants how do you feed flakes if you use them? My cardinals only eat omega one super color flakes. Couldn’t get them to really take to micro pellets.
 

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