Plants and Lighting Options for African Cichlid tank...

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Dom90

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Ok before I go under fire and get told that I cant do plants in an African cichlid tank and that they'll just uproot and destroy my plants.... I been learning a lot about some semi-aquatic plants that can use nitrates such as lizard's tail and pothos, from CindiL and KarenLM and Kimberly4403. So I'm thinking this is the best way to go to make a healthier environment for my 40 Breeder which has 10 Victorian haps. How would I use a light fixture if part of the plant is above the water and only the roots and only a little bit of the plant itself is under water? Any overall recommendations?
 

Bluestreakfl

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Id recommend you go with standard lights for the tank itself, meaning nothing fancy just enough light to be able to view the tank properly. Then for your aerial plants, add some sort of light fixture that hangs above the tank. You can use the clamp on style lights, or anything really. Most of those types of plants dont have huge lighting needs, My pothos gets very little light being above my tank and is growing fine. Alot of the plants commonly grown with roots submerged are common houseplants and are fairly undemanding. CindiL may be able to elaborate more, I know all of her tanks have some form of Riparium style growth.
 

CindiL

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Do you have any natural light in the room? The pothos is a low light plant to begin with and would require very little if there are windows in the room. That said, I use the marineland hidden LED's on the front of the tank and aim them across to the back of the tank where my plants are. Ironically its my aquatic plants that are leaning towards the main window in the room. The terrestrial plants are growing straight up.

I currently have lucky bamboo (dracaena) and the dracaena colora, umbrella grass, and pothos. Plants that grow by river beds do really well like the umbrella grass but I'd start with a pothos.
 
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Dom90

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I had a lucky bamboo plant given to me a couple years ago that I recently put in a 10 gallon. But I no longer have the 10 gallon tank. The only thing is it clouded my water and turned it yellow. What am I doing wrong?

ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1438093760.135035.jpg


 

CindiL

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I don't know, that doesn't make sense. Is it possible it was coincidence? I have mine in a plastic jar with some tiny pebbles and I'd guess about 50% is up out of the water. Did you have it fully submerged maybe?
 
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Dom90

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Ok well, like half the plant was submerged but the leaves were above the water. I heard that you're supposed to rinse off the roots before submerging them, is that correct?
 

CindiL

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Yeah, rinse off any dirt.
 
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Yea that was my fault, I just put it in without thinking of rinsing it. I'll do better next time!
 
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Would this work?
KarenLM
 

CindiL

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That's where I got my pothos. Just rinse all the dirt off the roots.


 
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Dom90

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Ok great, looks like I'll be heading to Home Depot today then!
 
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On second thought, my aunt has a huge bamboo plant at her house. Could I just cut off a branch and put it in my tank? Or does it necessarily need roots to grow and use nitrates?


 

CindiL

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I think it will grow roots once you put it in water but your curly bamboo would make a nice addition.
 
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CindiL

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Nice!
 
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How long would it take for these bamboo plants to grow some roots?


 

CindiL

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Hmm, I don't know but I would think within a week you would see some roots start....
 
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