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Re: Plants for a shiner tank

   I'm going to have to disagree with y'all about the use of UG filters in a
plant tank.  I have a 20 gal. high, river-type tank,  that has been set up
for almost four years.  I use an undergravel filter with a small powerhead
as my only source of filtration.  I also added an airstone to provide some
extra oxygen. The gravel consists of a mixture of 50% #2 sandblast gravel
and 50% pea gravel to a depth of 2 1/2 - 3 inches.  I have multiple pieces
of driftwood and a few small stones.  The light is a Pennplax 15w
flourescent bulb that sometimes stays on 24hrs but never less than 12-14
hrs. I use no heater and the temperature stays at around 68-70 F in my air
conditioned living room.  I have a plexiglass cover over the entire aquarium
so water evaporation is minimal.  The water I use is de-ionized and is
tannic stained from the drift wood.  The pH stays at around 6.4.   In the
four years of its existance, I have done minimal water changes less than ten
times. The water is siphoned  out through the UG lift tube to remove some of
the mulm and detrius from under the filter plate.  Plants include Java fern,
Java moss, various crypts, Hygrophilla polysperma and a broadleaf Amazon
sword. I had water sprite but took it out because it kept taking over.  I'm
getting ready to do the same with the Hygrophilla.  I have some wild
Ludwegia that I collected last weekend to put in its place.  All of my
plants are prospering without the use of chemicals or other additives.  I
have very little algae, and it is not problematic.  The bulk of it is on the
plexiglass top where the water condensates.
   The first inhabitants were a school of miscellaneous La. shiners, some
Gulf darters  and some Elassoma zonatum (Pygmy sunfish).  These fish lived
for almost three years with no disease and very minimal fish loss.  I only
really lost fish when a baby Black madtom that I had put in the tank and
forgot about, grew to adulthood and ate every fish in the tank before I
discovered him.  He now resides in my pond.  The aquarium has been restocked
with the same assortment of fish and I have had no fish loss and all of them
are healthy and thriving.  I feed them once a day and often skip feedings
once or sometimes twice a week.  They are fed heavily, but not more than
they can eat.
   I have a new 75 gal. tank that I am setting up soon and I will use an UG
filter in it as well, with the same type of set up.  I know that this set up
won't work for everybody, but it works for me.  If you are starting out with
live plants, the best thing to do is to experiment and find out what works
best for you.  The main thing is to obtain a balance where everything works
... says the "Phishhed"

a.k.a. Phishhed        <*(((>{
AOL-Inst.Msgr. screen name: welaka

           "It's not the quantity, it's the quality !"
Check out my web pages at:
Contact me at; phishhed at acadiacom_net

-----Original Message-----
From: Josh Wiegert <jwiegert at nexus_v-wave.com>
To: nfc at actwin_com <nfc at actwin_com>
Date: Thursday, August 06, 1998 11:31 AM
Subject: Re: Plants for a shiner tank

>I fully agree with you here on UGFs.  They provide fair filtration, but
>IMNHO, just not enough to warranb their use.  They're far too much hassle
>to be worth it, especially with plants, breeding fish, and fish that like
>to dig.
>Hornwort, IME, has been diffiocult to grow.  It generally just falls
>apart, poluting the water badly, and leaving its "needles" all over the
> ><>
>J. L. Wiegert                            NFC at actwin_com List Admin
>Come Chat at SomeThing Fishy             To join: Send e-mail to
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>www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/2308  'unsubscribe'.
> Dubotchugh yIpummoH.                      bI'IQchugh Yivang!
>On Wed, 5 Aug 1998, D. Martin Moore wrote:
>> > Hi all,
>> > I am about to setup a tank for some Redfin Shiners. I bought this
>> > tank used with a UGF. I plan to add at least 1.5 inches of gravel on
>> > of the UGF and grow some plants. Any suggestions on what kind of plants
>> > get for the tank? I would prefer native species which I are available
>> > Arizona Aquatic Gardens (planning to split an order w/a friend soon).
>> >
>> > I am thinking Cabomba, Watersprite, Vals. What else?
>> Sajjad,
>> Cabomba and Val require very bright light.  Much more than you will
>> get from the hood that probably came with your tank.  UGF's are not
>> too good with rooted plants either, because then you can't add
>> laterite to the gravel.  I would suggest spatterdock in small pots
>> with a little soil at the bottom.  It's native and does well in low
>> light.  There are also native(?) Echinodrus in Florida and
>> South Georgia.  Waterprite in its floating form is good too, but it
>> will overshadow your bottom plants.  Hornwort is very easy to grow in
>> almost any light.  It floats below the surface.  Duckweed is easy
>> too, but not too attractive.
>> Prost,
>> Martin
>> -----------------------------------------------------------
>> Greater American Freshwater Fishes Resource Site (GAFFeRs):
>> "Fie on thee, fellow!  Whence come these fishes?" - Scheherazade
>> "Any fish with good teeth is liable to use them." - Wm. T. Innes