Re: Before I buy ...
Karen A Randall wrote:
> Good thing you checked first. Otherwise you would have wasted
> lots of money.<g>
And, no doubt, had a real battle with algae for a time.
> But you are making a mistake avoiding fast growing plants.
> You can expand slowly from this "starter" list:
> Water Sprite (Ceratopteris sp.)
> Hygrophila sp.
[other good suggestions snipped]
In my experience one of the best plants for breaking in a tank
and getting the allelochemical levels up to a point to inhibit
algae growth is Ceratopteris thalicroides (or is it siliquiosa?)
It is the one which grows rooted and has the highly divided leaves.
It grows positively like a weed. Of course, it is important to
include one or more species of Hygrophila (preferably difformis
and polysperma) which also grow quickly but somewhat slower than
the Ceratopteris. These would be your second stage plants if you're
starting from scratch. If you already have a planted tank with
a large stock, you could start a tank with these as well. As well
as the fast growing plants, I also introduce other plants at
start-up and prune out the faster growers as the less competitive
types get established and when the algae situation seems under
control. Salvinia is a good, fast grower which can be used to
shade plants which are prone to algae attack like Crypts, Bacopa
and Ludwigia. No tank would be complete without Aponogeton crispus
(IMHO ;-) which provides a very nice contrast and who could forget
the Amazon sword plant? To a large extent, the choice of plants
must also take into consideration the amount of lighting you
intend to provide. Strong lighting without CO2 or an organic
substrate would really limit your choice of plants (perhaps
Valisneria and Elodea can subsist on carbonates). In my (somewhat
biased) opinion, we shouldn't consider CO2, laterite or soil
substrates and good sufficient lighting as radical methods
in aquatic gardening at all! Hope you enjoy your new tank. :-)