View Full Version : Plants Don't Last Forever Do They

06-17-2007, 08:09 PM
I just looked at the sticky about all the easy aquarium plants, and did some research on my own about some that interested me. One especially was the Banana Plant, but when I found this qutoe from an owner, it kind of worries me:

"Banana plants don't last that long, losing all its bottom leaves soon after the first long shoot appears. It will die after it has sprouted a few shoots. It's definitely a good idea to cultivate these plants if you don't want to keep buying them after they die. "

Is this true? I mean, I just want a plant that I can put in the aquarium and literally, forget about it. You know, a plant like algae, one that never dies and continuously grows. I am worried because I am using a standard hood light (it came with my hood, model: Eclipse Natural Daylight F15T8) and don't want to have deteroriating plants. Will the plant deteroriate in my 20 gallon tetra tank filled with 5 Black Skirt Tetras, 6 Serpae Tetras, and 6 Red-Eyed Tetras? I had this tank for two years now and would definitely appreciate plants to it.

here is the link to where I found the quote: http://www.aquahobby.com/garden/e_banana.php


06-17-2007, 09:00 PM
Well, nothing lasts forever, but I guess that's not what you want to hear.:wink2:

Most plants will eventually reach a stage where they stop growing, get old and eventually die off. To keep a plant healthy you need to ensure that there is constantly new growth.

Some will be touchier than others, but if you're looking for low maintenance plants, there are several options out there. The only "no maintenance" plants are the plastic kind.

I have fair success with Hygrophila, the only plant in my 10g at the moment. It grows easily, maybe too easily. I have to regularly cut off shoots and propagate (or trash) them. On the up side, it keeps that nice fresh green color of new leaves, so it's not entirely a bad thing.

06-18-2007, 01:57 AM
I guess aquatic plants are all annuals then. What was your longest lasting plant and how long?

06-18-2007, 05:39 AM
No Plant as any other living thing lives for ever. But there are plenty of them which thrive for lots of years, if maintenanced.

And of course you have to maintenance your plants.

You are new to plants, then a banana plant is exactly the plant you should NOT chose. This plant is something even folks with a real green thumb have lots of respect. Its a very difficult one to keep.

Nice plants for beginners, which will last for some years are for example Echinodorus, and then I would recomend the bigger ones, not those which look like grass. Or you take the smaller Valisneria. Once they accepted the new whereabouts, they start to grow heartily, and you can always cut out the older ones, cuse you will have enough young plants to keep on going.

Alas there is some disatvantage with them. After a while its possible they wont grow in spots they used to grow.

Thats because the inflict something to the substrate which hinders plant grow. It might be possible you have to change the substrate.

If you use any roots as decoration, Javafern is also a haerdy easy to keep plant, but it should sit on the decoration. Plantees into the subtrate is no good.

But every plant has to be maintenanced in a way, exactly as you maintenace your pot plants or garden plants.

Lady Hobbs
06-18-2007, 01:11 PM
Tank plants are not annuals. Annuals are outdoor plants that only live one blooming season. Possibly java fern and moss would do fine in your low lit tank with little maintenance.

06-18-2007, 01:52 PM
That's good to hear that they should last some time. I just thought that they would last "forever" like Mums or roses. Anyhow, thanks.

06-18-2007, 02:24 PM
Aquarium plants would probably be classed as perenials, but you need to propagate them to get the most out of them.

Like almost all plants, you also need to fertilize and the appropriate substrate, keep that in mind when you pick out the varieties you buy.

06-18-2007, 03:08 PM
and more delicate and demanding plants require CO2 and fertilizer. a few plants like java moss, java fern, and duckweed can strive without any special equipment

06-18-2007, 03:20 PM
if plants die of old age, then only sexual propogation should be able to let them go on forever... ie if you split the rhizome of a java fern you have two seperate plants with identical dna, and they'll continue to age. new plantlets should be a mix of the parent dna, is this right?

06-18-2007, 03:48 PM
A good low maintenance plant are cyrpts. They grow slowly. Another one is an amazon sword. All you need to do is cut off some leaves occasionally.

06-18-2007, 06:49 PM
Boy do I need to learn about taking care of plants. Several years ago in my five gallon aquarium, I had a moneyworth in there. Over the period of a week, it disintegrated into brown chucks and eventually dissappeared. Since then, I never though of raising plants again so in my 20 gallon, the bottom is nothing but medium sized rocks. I'm sure Java Moss is a good fit, but my local store sells nothing but Swords, grass, Moneyworths, and Anubias. But then again, the last time I checked they were almost out of plants.

I have a question about the Anubia. At the store, the leaves are brown on the edges. I read that when this happens, remove those leaves. However, almost all of the leaves are brownish somewhere. Do I just remove all the leaves? All the Anubias looked that way. Thanks.

06-19-2007, 12:31 AM
I have a question about the Anubia. At the store, the leaves are brown on the edges. I read that when this happens, remove those leaves. However, almost all of the leaves are brownish somewhere. Do I just remove all the leaves? All the Anubias looked that way. Thanks.

My first suggestion would be not to buy a dieing or diseased plant. If you do buy one do not cut the leaves off, as the plant needs the leaves to undergo photosynthesis to create the energy necessary to create new healthy leaves.

That's good to hear that they should last some time. I just thought that they would last "forever" like Mums or roses. Anyhow, thanks.

Keep in mind that even your mums or roses will eventually dies, but through seeds and asexual reproduction (aka off-shots) descendants of the original plants live on. The same thing applies to aquatic plants. If you provide the plants that you choose with the necessary light and nutrients you will have more plants in your aquarium than you will know what to do with.

06-19-2007, 02:30 PM
I'll look for the better plants in the selection, but that really depends on what the store has instock. The plants tell have do not get sold very often and can be in the tank for at least a year or more.

Lady Hobbs
06-19-2007, 03:51 PM
It doesn't matter what kind of plants you get, all will need some maintence. Dead area's cut off, trimming if they get too tall and fertilizers needed.

I don't have the lights I need right now on my 55 gallon and constantly am moving lights about to get more on the plants. Not a big variety on the low light ones and they are generally the slow growers, as well.

06-19-2007, 04:07 PM
I'm aware of caring for the plants :) . It's just that the store does not and all of their plants are decaying. Slow growing plants are exactly what I am after, but not plants that are half dead when I purchase them :( .

06-19-2007, 07:18 PM
one place to check out is http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ swap and shop. (you have to register to view the swap and shop but it is worth it).usually you can get some good deals, and shipping is much more reasonable. 4.60 for USPS priority 2 day.

06-19-2007, 08:46 PM
I may try that, but i have never purchased livestock online before and am not really confortable trying it.

Thanks though.