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Re: new plant set-up

On Mon, 20 Sep 1999, Mary Alice Kropp wrote:

> Anyway- I've got:
> I'm sure of: hornwort, anacharis, Hygrophila difformis, a crinum, Bacopa
> caroliniana, a couple of swords and a few small crypts.  There are a few
> that I'm not sure of- hopefully, pictures will follow soon.

The crinum and the swords will outgrow a 10 gallon tank.  The hornwort,
anacharis, H. difformis and Bacopa will also outgrow the tank but can be
controlled with regular pruning.  In a tank this small health plants
may need to be trimmed two or three times a week.

Even some small to medium -sized crypts can outgrow a 10 gallon tank.

> The tank:
> 10 gallon
> Penguin mini filter
> 40 watts of compact fluorescent lighting
> No CO2 supplementation at present, though I do have the capability of adding
> a yeast set-up
> pH 7.4
> The tank had (still does actually) 6 or 8 mollies from my last batch of fry
> in it.

With 4/watts per gallon lighting and no added CO2 probably the plants will
use bicarbonate for carbon and force the pH up.  The mollies may not mind,
but some of the plants will crash.  You probably will need to add the CO2,
reduce the lighting or face the challenge of getting an assemblage of
plants that can thrive together under some rather hostile conditions.

> My questions:
> 1) Currently, the lights are on from 8AM to 10 PM. Is this ok?

That's OK, but concider reducing that to 10 or 12 hours.

> 2) I have not added any fertilizer to the substrate or tank. I was given
> some Tetra Hilena Crypto tablets (1-0-25) and a partial bottle of Tetra
> FloraPride (0-0-3) by a friend who was breaking down his aquarium set up. Is
> this stuff ok, or should I junk it and get something better? Should I add
> any now, or wait and see how things go?

Neither of these provides everthing you might want in a fertilizer.  The
FloraPride gives iron and potassium, and quite a bit of both.  I think
it's good.  I have some of the Hilena Crypto, but I've never really
understood what it gives the plants other than K, which comes in the
FloraPride anyway.  If you use those and something appears to be missing,
then I'm sure Dave Gomberg could suggest a fairly complete alternative.

Roger Miller