Fishkeeping Tips 8 - Keeping Plants




 Setting Up

 Brine Shrimp


 Red Worms



 Vinegar Eels




 Water Changes



 Making Stands



 The Fishroom

 The Goodeids

 The Swordtails

 Plant Species



 Site Index

 Fixit Guide



     Everyone would like to keep live plants. When provided with a few consistent basics, many types of plants are easy to keep
     and will do very well with minimum care. The water that comes from the tap must give you a fair start. Generally, softer
     water and a neutral to slightly acid pH is best for plants. See Plant Species for more information on identification and
     care of the specific types of plants that I have found to be easy and functionally best for the fish kept here.

     Primarily standard cool white or houseplant designed Compact flourescent light bulbs are used, on for about 10-14 hours a day.
     With the occasional 4' shop light hood, I will use 1CW and 1WW (warm white) bulb per fixture. Plants respond to water changes
     (Plants DO NOT do better in dirty water, as intuitive as it may seem they would), and air driven box filters provide aeration.  over
     the last few years, 4 foot light hoods are being discontinued,  and when considering initial expense, cost to run and longevity,  
     CFL bulbs are used here, and the "daylight" type have been found  to do an excellent job at growing plants. Due to expense and
     other  issues, we do not use LED lights here on any of the tanks. I understand that many fishkeepers swear by them. 
     I understand that a number of issues have arisen over time that have, for the time being, convinced me that LEDs are not yet
     ready  for the type of lighting  this fishroom requires.

     After years of experimenting to find which plants grew best in the water available from the tap, about a dozen species are used,
     with little desire to explore any further as the plants are currently very functional and are at maximum density most of the time.
     Potted plants are kept in 4" to 6" clay pots filled with soaked peat, with a layer of gravel or sand over the top to prevent the
     soil from fouling the aquarium. The tanks themselves are all bare bottom. The potted plants include various Amazon Swords,
     Crypts, Sagittaria, Vallisneria, and Anubias, and the soil needs to be changed about once a year or it will contribute to
     unhealthy conditions in the tank. Floating plants include Java fern, Java moss, Bolbitis fern and Water Sprite. Various
     species of Duckweed are removed to keep it from blocking light into the aquariums, and used as infusoria starter or
     food for others in the fishroom. The tanks maintain a natural, wild, but clean look. You may choose to save your excess
     Duckweed- dry it out, and use it as an excellent culture source for raising infusoria (microorganisms for newly hatched
     egg layer fry). Do not disparage Duckweed as it represents much that has been removed from the aquarium over the
     course of its growth to help keep the fish healthy.

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                                                                  Rapid Grow Fertilizer Secret:

     Most fertilizers sold for aquarium use are relatively expensive and unrealistic for a large fishroom. I used the 1 gallon liquid
     fertilizers that cost $20-40 which would last about 6 months, which was cost prohibitive. After much searching and many
     years of wrestling with this issue I have created the perfect solution. Following conversations with aquarium plant and hydroponics
     experts, and two years of testing in this fishroom, I have released Select Aquatics Rapid Grow Fertilizer. This fertilizer produces
     amazing growth in a short period of time. A single 6 oz. container will treat over 44,000 gallons!
     To purchase, and for more information and customer feedback, go to the Rapid Grow Fertilizer Page Here.



Java Moss grown without the                            The same line of Java moss
Rapid Grow fertilizer.These                               grown with the Rapid Grow
pics are of the same line of                                fertilizer.
moss, same water, light etc.









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