Re: Fishproof plants?

> From: N.Monks at nhm_ac.uk (Neale Monks)

> Any ideas on species of plants that will do well in aquaria with "robust"
> if non-herbivorous fishes? Such as catfish and cichlids. The sorts of
> conditions I am thinking of are:
> *coarse gravel substrate (perhaps with fertilizer in the loewr levels)
> *high nitrate / phosphate (but low nitrite, of course!)
> *vigorous aeration and/or filtration
> *active fish

I have had reasonable success with keeping Valisneria tortifolia 
(corscrew val) and Echinodorus (sorry, I haven't yet identified which 
species those are, probably more than one species though) in a 175 
litre tank with American cichlids. The cichlids are C.nigrofasciatum 
(4), C. spirullum (2) and C. (Thorychtis) meeki (3). There are also 
two Ancitrus sp. in the tank. I know it is crowded but I keep 
agression down that way. 

All plants are potted with gravel on top and bottom of the pot and 
soil in the middle. I put rather large gravel on top. I use medium 
size clay pots (about 8-10 cm top diameter). Echinodorus are one per 
pot while I put 5-8 Vals in each pot. So far, only Val has been 
reproducing, although only slowly. The plants do suffer some damage 
from the cichlids but not too much. Echinodorus seems to be able to 
withstand attempts to dig it out better - once it has rooted well. On 
the other hand, I found that if the fishes decide to dig out Vals, it 
is easier to move the pot to different position than to replant it 
over and over. 

If you are planning to have diggers, you can forget about plants 
unless you pot them. OTOH, the pots provide additional hiding places 
as the cichlids can hide between them. 

I found that adding some soil helps the plants. OTOH, it produces 
a royal mess when the fishes do dig the plants out. 

So far, my only problem is that most of the leaves are covered with 
algae (about 2 mm long hairy stuff and spots). Anybody has
suggestion what may be causing it? I change about 20% of water every 
week, filtration is by a canister filter.



Jan Fidrmuc

CentER for Economic Research
Tilburg University
P.O.Box 90153
5000 LE Tilburg, 
The Netherlands

Phone: +31-13-466-2678, +31-13-466-8221
Fax: +31-13-466-3066
Email: J.Fidrmuc at KUB_NL