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I just found the fish sites on the web and wanted to share some things I
do. As you might guess, I am a pretty amateur fish/plant person.
I have raised aquatics outside in my cattle troughs during the summer
(near Houston, Texas)for last two years. I have had great results
with giant vallisneria (which grows very lush along with the spiral
flowers) and various amazons which grow enormous (8" long leaves on top
of 24inch stalks. Fish breed and grow large quickly. Plecostomuses go
from 4" to 1 foot over the summer.
I would like to hear from other people who raise plants outdoors.
(suggestions for plants which can be started outdoors and then
transplanted inside to aquariums).
-We use well water (moderately hard). Tank sizes are 50 and two 300
gallons. I estimate that when a particular tank is in service, it gets
30% water change over per day (cows watering). Tanks may sit 2-3 weeks
without any use, though.
- By experience, we found that the best results occur when the tank gets
partial shading (we use tallow trees, a fast growing weed). Tanks
without shading get too hot.
- Never used any sort of fertilizer. To start a tank, I shovel in dirt
to get a layer about 2" deep. You get a brief algae bloom. After it
settles down, youi throw in a couple of feeder goldfish to control the
algae. When the water temp. gets high sixties in May, its time to
plant. Swords get started in flower pots. Val and anachris just get
weighted with rocks to the bottom.
- The cows add green mulched grass from their mouths when drinking. It
makes a fluffy deposit on the bottom of the tank that grows plants like
wildfire. The tallow trees add some organics also. As mentioned, to
control the algae, we throw in feeder goldfish.
- Vallisneria and anachris will overgrow other plants...so I plan to
segregate swords to own tank next season
- The plants form a sturdy substrate of roots. T transplant , I take
the plant along with the substrate and plant them in my 135 gallon
cichlid tank in the fall (heavy undergravel filter/outside filtration/no
fertilizer) I cover the root mat with ~1/2 " of sand
The vallisneria is just now starting to yellow after 3.5 months in the
tank (will eventualy die off to be replaced by replanting from outside
tank . The main amazon sword centerpiece continues to do well, but
many leaves lost when they poke their heads through the waterand I have
to cut them off.
-I am just starting to modify my setup in line with all the good
information I read here about UGF and fertilizer and DIY CO2. Upgraded
lighting to 4 - full spectrum bulbs. Stay Tuned
Question - How can I eliminate goldfish (along with their eggs) in my
outdoor tanks when I want to transfer my cichlids outside for breeding
without damaging the plants?