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View Full Version : A little advice, please?



MCools
09-14-2010, 05:25 PM
I am looking to add more live plants to my 10 gallon tank. All I have is gravel for substrate. I'm looking for something tall to hide the heater and filter, as well as one or two mid sized plants. I have good lighting as well, both natural from a nearby window and the tank lights.

I have tried red leafed ludwigia(sp?) but it only comes in cuttings here and I can't get it to develop roots. I also had what I found out was hornwort, which also comes in cuttings and made a big mess of my tank. I don't like all the little bits floating around waiting to clog up my filter!

I still have some kind of grass that is doing well, and even has sent out an offshoot under the gravel. I must be doing something right.

What can I add that will be easy-ish to grow and not make too much of a mess? I prefer plants with roots already, I don't have much luck with the other types.

Also, what would be a good plant food? My LFS recommended Aqueon Aquarium Plant Food. I tried it, but I don't like it too much. It didn't seem to help the plants I wanted to keep and I ended up with a HUGE algae bloom. Do they list aquatic plant foods the way they do non-aquatic? Like 0-0-1 or 30-30-30?

WhiteDevil
09-14-2010, 05:31 PM
use the seachem line or comparable for liquid ferts.
since you are using gravel you might want to consider root tabs to give the roots something to munch on rather then just drowning them in gravel.

ive got alot of stem trimmings floating in a few buckets outside, i have a thread up for them in the buy/sell area see if there is anything you like, I have tons more that I grew fine in just sand w/ tank lights in a basement.
Your best plants will come from forum members rather then stores. we take alot better care of our flora then anyone else.
there are a few threads right off the bat over there i see that would suit your desires just fine.

MCools
09-14-2010, 05:41 PM
Is there a link I can get to see what the different plants are? I don't know plant names, so I have no idea what they look like. Most of the plant pages on here don't have pictures.

taralm13
09-14-2010, 05:41 PM
You may have to wait a long time to get the roots established...also cutting the plants works wonders. I was skeptical because I too was having trouble getting my stem plants to root and grow but after I stopped messing with them (moving them around too much) and gave them a cut I was amazed! I did use plant sinkers to help out but once I gave them a good chance they took off! The hornwort is messy though and I still have never been able to keep that stuff down. I would recommend something with thicker stems as the thin ones are really a pain to get going.

MCools
09-14-2010, 05:51 PM
I haven't moved the ludwigia stuff at all but I know it's not rooting because it keeps rotting at the bottom of the stem and floating up. I've tried cutting the rot off and replanting, but with no luck. I took the last few pieces that came out and put them in a tall jar with some regular potting soil, gravel to hold it down and some tank water and I'm waiting to see if that will encourage some root growth. If it does, I'll put that back in the tank, but I don't really have much hope.

MCools
09-14-2010, 05:53 PM
You may have to wait a long time to get the roots established...also cutting the plants works wonders. I was skeptical because I too was having trouble getting my stem plants to root and grow but after I stopped messing with them (moving them around too much) and gave them a cut I was amazed! I did use plant sinkers to help out but once I gave them a good chance they took off! The hornwort is messy though and I still have never been able to keep that stuff down. I would recommend something with thicker stems as the thin ones are really a pain to get going.


Wait.....did you cut the top of the plant? I tried to cut at the bottom so it would be fresh (like a live Christmas tree) when I put it under the gravel....Is that part of what I'm doing wrong?

rich311k
09-14-2010, 06:02 PM
Hornwort is a floating plant it will never stay down.

For other stems. Strip the leaves off the bottom couple of nodes and plant that. It should root fairly quickly if the conditions are to its liking.

taralm13
09-14-2010, 06:05 PM
Yes cut the top off and then plant that as a new plant. What happened when I did that was a TON of new growth from both the cutting and the old part. Instead of just being one long stem of leaves they started to grow more stems from all over the original stems. It happened pretty fast too. It has been so cool to watch. I also cut off the bottoms when they rotted....mostly that happened with my hornwort but also I have Bacopa Australis which did this a few times too. I finally got it to root well and now need to trim it as it is too tall. I ran out of plant sinkers though and I am currently trying to figure out what else to use to get it to stay.

MCools
09-14-2010, 06:12 PM
I guess maybe the ludwigia stuff just doesn't like my tank. I tried trimming the bottom leaves off when I put it in the tank. If the pieces I took out and planted actually take root, I'll try trimming the top a bit.

Thanks for the advice!

AmyLynn
09-15-2010, 01:32 AM
I had terrible luck with ludwigia in my tank. But I've had wonderful luck with all types of crypts. Go to plantgeek.net and research the amazing variety of cryptocorynes. There are a couple of varieties that will get plenty tall to hide the fittings in a 10g tank.

HeatherB
09-15-2010, 02:07 AM
I also have Amazon Swords. I had them in a 10g. I find they kinda grow to the top and then stop. If you were to put them in a larger tank they grow bigger. I still have a sword I bought when I first started keeping fish. I also like that it is hard to kill. I have chopped all the leaves off- have cut the whole bulb/root structure completely in half and it all comes back. Good purchase I say.