Success With Plants Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V1 #9
>>From: "shaji (s.) bhaskar" <bhaskar at bnr_ca>
>>Daily dosing with fertilizers is probably the least time-consuming of
>>the chores involved in keeping a plant tank. It takes only an
>>additional half-minute to add the fertilizer while you are feeding
>your fish. (Or do you have that part automated as well? If so, you
>>you could look into automating fertilization.) Missing an occasional
>>day will not matter.
>>But honestly, I still have this nagging feeling that you are
>>under-estimating the effort that is needed to keep a Dupla-style tank
>Okay Shaji, I'll bite :-)
>I'm getting this feeling that you're referring to some deep dark
>maintenance nightmare secret of plant tanks here, and for the life of
>me, I can't think what it could be. What all do you consider involved
>with keeping a Dupla-style tank going? My guess would have been (once
>established) mostly water changes, cleaning prefilter, pruning plants,
>plucking out dead leaves, feeding fish, testing water (iron and KH,
>generally), fertilizing, and every now and then changing bulbs on the
>If it helps any on providing a baseline, I currently maintain a 75
>gallon reeftank, a 20 gallon "jewel tank" reef, a 100 gallon marine
>fish tank, a 58 gallon and a 30 gallon mbuna tank and a koi pond
>(roughly 1000 gallons). The ~130 gallon tank that's heading for plant
>tank was full of mbuna 2 weeks ago, and my 30 tank
>cichlid hatchery is currently shut down... I also garden, keep
>parrots, work a full-time+ job, and handle 3 net.businesses on the
>side... I used to work staff on CI$ Fishnet, edit the newsletter for a
>regional cichlid club, and write the occasional article for the
>magazines, before having a massive burnout on hobby "side activities"
>a few years ago. I'm just now getting back into seriously enjoying my
>aquariums, mostly by doing new stuff (marine, koi, and now plants).
>I've not had a full year without owning fish for about 30 years now
>(got my first tank when I was about 6).
>And then =after= lunch... (just kidding)
>Just re-read the above. Yuck. I didn't mean to provide a complete
>fishkeeping resume, just trying to establish where common ground for
>conversation might be - I'm not new to keeping tanks, or even to
>keeping them correctly, for the most part :-) I'm just new to
>(hopefully) serious plant tanks. I've had "so-so" plant tanks over
>the years, and am just looking for the opportunity to do one
>Back to the topic, to be honest, at least half of my objection to
>going to the Dupla fertilization system is Dupla. I've always
>resented their pricing, their approach, and for a large part their
>publications-as-thinly-disguised-advertising. Currently in N. Dallas
>(not exactly a fish-store haven), none of the five or six shops I
>frequent carry Dupla, so that leaves me down to mail-order, with it's
>attendant delays and requirements that I plan further ahead in my
>materials inventory than I know I'm likely to do. I'm more the "oops
>- out of Amquel, gotta run to the store" kind of guy.
>- - Chuck
> clawson at onramp_net
I am with you! And like you, I am way overextended in terms of my time
commitments to a variety of family, home & job requirements. Quite
frankly, I question all of the effort some put into their plant tanks.
I currently have five tanks, two of which freshwater plants/fish tanks.
I do not test the water in my two freshwater plant/fish aquariums for
anything. I believe the key to success is primarily related to
ensuring that you have sufficient light, providing supplemental micro-
nutrients, and completing frequent water changes.
My procedures for the two tanks I maintain is as follows:
1) 4 watts of lighting per gal. Fluorescent bulbs are changed
once a year. I suppose I should gradually change them to ensure a
more uniform light intensity, but this way is less trouble.
2) Semi-weekly (i.e., twice a week) water changes of 25 and 50%.
3) Providing daily additions of micronutrients from one of the
three following products: Kent's Freshwater Plant Supplement, K.R.
Schoeler Enterprises Natural Gold, or SeaChem Flourish. I figure
among these three products, I should be hitting all bases in terms
of plant nutrient needs.
4) Use of laterite and Seachem Flourish tablets in the gravel.
5) DIY CO2 injection.
Obviously, I am probably not providing the optimum environment, unless
it is by pure luck. But I am able to grow successfully virtually every
species I have tried (i.e., multi species of: Aponogeton, Bacopa,
Echinodorus, Hygrophila, Ludwiga, Rotala, and Sagittaria). The one
species I just cannot get to grow is Hygrophila polysperma (figure
that one out). Generally, I have to thin out, prune, etc. once every
While I certainly do not condemn those who use more elaborate
equipment, test for everything under the sun, and probably have
increased plant growth, I just do not believe it is not necessary to
achieve a high degree of success with plants. My current challenge is
to try and figure out the requirements to successfully grow Aponogeton
Huntington Beach, CA