maintenance with live plants?

shellbell4ever
  • #1
Ok... So now I have upgraded all my tanks with live plants...Question, when vacuuming do I just go around the plants?
 
capekate
  • #2
yes, you will not want to disturb the roots. If you vacuum too close, the plants will be uprooted.
 
shellbell4ever
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Thanks capekate!
 
Jimold
  • #4
Ok... So now I have upgraded all my tanks with live plants...Question, when vacuuming do I just go around the plants?

Actually, this is my tank if you haven't seen it:



I almost never vacuum it. Instead I have an assortment of shrimp and algae eaters that keeps garbage pretty much in check while also being a riot to watch. Just something to consiider.

Oh, and capeKate is definitly right, if you do vacuum, hold it about 1/2 to an inch above the gravel so you don't stir it up too much. This way you'll get just the top stuff. Besides, whatever has sunk into the gravel will break down and become fertalizer for your plants, you don't want to get rid of it.
 
shellbell4ever
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Thanks Jim...You have a beautiful tank..I'm Jealous By the way what kind of shrimp do you have in there?I'm thinking of getting Ghost shrimp.
 
Jimold
  • #6
Thanks... I have ghost shrimp, amano shrimp and Flower (or bamboo) shrimp. Each one does something a bit different. Ghosts are great little all-purpose garbage eaters, and will scavange the bottom for any little scraps they can find. Amano, or Japanese Algea eating Shrimp, are the greatest shrimp you can buy. They're the only thing besides a siamese algae eater that will eat hair algea, and if you ever come acrossed any, BUY THEM ALL!!! Lastly my Bamboo Flower shrimp are filter feeders and have these really cool fan arms they wave in the water trying to catch food.
I also put 2 crystal red cherry shrimp; little algae eaters, but I've never seen them sinse, so I don't know if they're still alive in there or not.

One thing about inverts and plants, however, that you should consider, is that inverts are very sensative to heavy metals. So you have to be careful about fertalizing the plants so you don't poison your shrimp. I only use plant tabs, that you stick in the substrate, I never use liquid ferts. This is why I don't vacuum so much, rather let the fish poo do what it's meant to, become plant food..lol.
Oh, and same thing applies to fish medications... anything with copper in it especially will kill your inverts.
 
shellbell4ever
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Jim,
I love your Tank and plants especially the long wavy one in your bottom left hand corner...what is that? I gotta have one (or more )
Thanks again for the maintenance tips with the live plants!!!
 
BlueGreen
  • #8
How do you keep your tanks so clear w/ the live plants? Today, I pulled several out as the tank was filthy w/ plant parts everywhere. Maybe, I'm not cleaning enough. I have the Eheim 2324 cannister and I don't think it is moving enough water so I added my old hang on power filter to help clear it out.
 
Jimold
  • #9
How do you keep your tanks so clear w/ the live plants? Today, I pulled several out as the tank was filthy w/ plant parts everywhere. Maybe, I'm not cleaning enough. I have the Eheim 2324 cannister and I don't think it is moving enough water so I added my old hang on power filter to help clear it out.

I have to scrape my front and side glass every couple weeks for spot algea, but other than that and pulling out pieces of leaves that might have broken off I do very little maintanence. The trick is I have a few main show fish and LOTS of assorted bottom fish /algea eaters, fish, shrimp, and snails. And One thing I learned is unless I spot the wrong species of Ramshorn snail (the kind that eat living plants) I leave all the snails alone, even though I have dozens: ramshorn, trumpet and something I'm not sure of... looks like a teardrop. If they only eat dead stuf and don't hurt the plants, they have a home with me. And you see the result! What is also handy is when I forst check the tanks in the morning I look for the snails. If I see them and the shrimp all cluttered up together I know something died in the night. And 99% of the time they've already striped it to the bone, so I don't have to worry about having a dead fish rot and screw up the tank.
 
BlueGreen
  • #10
Wow! Thanks JI'm for the info. - It has been several hours since I added the other filter and it sure has cleared it up tremendously. I am going to pull the other filter back out tomorrow to see if the Eheim can keep up or not. I did keep two plants species but pulled three other types that were just too messy. Again, thanks!
 
Jimold
  • #11
Wow! Thanks JI'm for the info. - It has been several hours since I added the other filter and it sure has cleared it up tremendously. I am going to pull the other filter back out tomorrow to see if the Eheim can keep up or not. I did keep two plants species but pulled three other types that were just too messy. Again, thanks!

2 things... first don't get me wrong. I check my tanks daily for any pieces of dead leaves, etc... so it's not like I don't take care of it. I baby these to the point of being annoying about it..lol.
The other thing is my tank is actually like the 5th or 6th rebuild, the one I finally got right. And lots of those rebuilds were me experimenting with other plants. You might look at my tank now and go "Wow", but that's mainly because I know now thru trial and error what species I have good luck with and I try and stick with them. There are some plants species that I have terrible luck with, whether it's my tank conditions or bad plants to begin with or just bad luck, I don't know. But I've found that if I try plant a couple times and it just keeps dying or falling apart, I avoid it and move on to something else. Luckily thre's a lot of species to play around with, so if you're going for a certain look or whatever it's usually not to hard to come up with a substitute species. Sometimes it turns out to be cooler looking in the long run anyway.
I'm not sure the exact quote, but author Peter Hiscock said it best, "Who knows with plants? You can make everything as perfect as possible, but in the end some plants just will not grow."
 
GuppyTeacher
  • #12
forgive me for hijacking this post but I was wondering what the low plant is that is growing on the bottom and on the driftwood in Jim's tank. Beautifuly tank by the way.
 
angelfish220
  • #13
Moss of some sort, lookes like it could be java, but couldnt say for sure.
 
Jimold
  • #14
forgive me for hijacking this post but I was wondering what the low plant is that is growing on the bottom and on the driftwood in Jim's tank. Beautifuly tank by the way.

You're not hijacking...lol. That's Java Moss growing all over the place. And thank you.
 
GuppyTeacher
  • #15
I like the looks of it and it would be an excellent addition to my tank. I will have to look for some. Thank you
 
Jimold
  • #16
I like the looks of it and it would be an excellent addition to my tank. I will have to look for some. Thank you

It's really easy to grow... put it in a tank it likes and the stuff grows like a weed. And it adds a great "natural" look to any tank.
 
Trio123
  • #17
so what was that long thin wavy plant in the left hand corner that shellbell4 was asking about? I'm curious too
 
Jimold
  • #18
Opps, sorry. That is a Crinium calamistratun.
 

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