Animal Stories - Stem Aquarium Plants


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Barbara - 2006-02-14
this is a plant with high tolerance for just about everything. it doesnt much care about pH, lighting, etc. The roots grow unbelievably quickly, so be warned it will be serious competition for surrounding plants and a potential problem for an undergravel filter. The one thing this plant really hates is to be crowded by its own or another kind. if this happens, it will drop all of its leaves except the top rosette, which isnt a great look. Also avoid bruising the stems during maintinance.

there are many ways to use it. wisteria can be used as a groundcover in the front of the aquarium, or in a bunch in the middle or back. it is interesting when contrasted with big broad or long straightleaves of a different shade of green or red (i.e. ozelot sword, or vallis).

finally, avoid buying cuttings that have been cultivated above ground, which will display large roughly outlined oval leaves, as these cuttings will take longer to adjust to their new environment.

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Animal-World info on Anacharis
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Bernadette M. - 2005-01-05
I remember always having anacharis in all the fish tanks we had when I was growing up. As a child, I worked in a neighborhood tropical fish store and remember that anacharis outsold all other plants many times over, mostly due to the hardiness of it. That was all in California.
I now live in Washington (State). I was shocked to find out that I couldnt buy anachris in the state of Washington as it was put on some list naming it a weed, and therefore is illegal to sell.
I have yet to find any plant that even comes close to it

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Kyle Morrissey - 2013-04-17
is there any special features of this plant that could help fresh water or tropical fish

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-04-17
    It is a bog plant, so does have special considerations in the aquarium. Of course, many fish do well with a planted environment. Plants create places to hide and retreat, and this plant would do the same. But because it is a bog plant, part of it needs to be out of the water. If you are putting together a vivarium, it can be a super addition. This is an aquarium that has an area for fish, but also has an outside area for semi-aquatic life, like frogs and other amphibians. I've seen, and created:) some wonderful vivariums and I would consider it a prime candidate for that type of environment. I also think it could be used effectively in an aquarium for Rainbowfish, Archers, Labyrinth fish like the Betta and Paradise Fish that look for insect prey above the water surface. It would be a very natural addition for these. My two cents worth:) But I'd love to hear other people's ideas on its aquarium uses too!
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Animal-World info on Dwarf Rotala
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Barbara - 2006-02-14
this is a high light plant. i have found that 14 hours of strong aquarium light are necessary for the plant to produce healthy growth. ideally, you want this plant to grow long, slender, rose to red colored leaves at the top. if the light requirements are not met, you will end up with scraggly grey green growth, and ultimately death of the plant. This is also a good plant for discus tanks, because it can quickly grow to the surface, giving discus a sense of security. when the stems begin to curl to stay underwater, cut off about 1/3-1/2 of the top part of the plant and replant. If there are any new shoots at the bottom of the old stem, allow them to grow out to make more plants.

this plant is a fairly heavy feeder, but can do just fine in plain washed gravel, and mine even tolerates an undergravel filter. I would put in some sort of nutrient supplement.

dont be scared off by the horror stories, just follow the heavy light heavy feed rule, and you should be sucessful.

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  • sep - 2010-11-17
    I disagree with Barbara's comment, I have two T5HO bulbs over a 55 gallon tank and leave my lights on 8.5 hrs daily and these plants are doing well as a result. Of course I dose Seachem's Flourish line of ferts daily and I have an iron rich substrate as well. Leaving your lights on about 14 hrs a day will do you no good and will lead to bad algae outbreaks.
  • Abelard A - 2011-06-27
    I understand that it needs good light and fertilization, but my worries are that some of my fishes need only not too bright light. How can I make my fish tank both beneficial to my fish and this kind of plant?
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Animal-World info on Hornwort
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osru - 2006-05-11
Hi everyone! I think your site is very interesting and useful. I always bookmarked it.

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Animal-World info on Brazilian Pennywort
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CarolO - 2012-07-22
I was given a section of Pennywort as a floating plant. It didn't die but didn't do great, either. I attached it to a piece of driftwood to try it under the water and now it's growing like crazy. It has tripled in the last month.

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Animal-World info on Cabomba
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Rick - 2013-02-01
I have some that I put in my 10-gal Hagan aquarium 1.5 months ago. Until 4 days ago, they were doing GREAT. They grew so quickly, I had to cut them and replant the cuttings. Now, they all appear to be dying. The only thing that happened is (1) I did a 50% water change (but used filtered water AND added water conditioner) and (2) I killed a bunch of snails that had come with the plants (these or others I got on the same shipment). When I killed the snails, I smashed them and then pulled out the bodies with a paper towel. However, 4-5 days later, I noticed 6-8 very small (.5mm thick, 5-8mm long) white worms on the back glass. It was 2 days after I noticed the worms that my Babomba Green started dying. Any ideas?

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  • Anonymous - 2013-02-06
    Snail killers usually contain copper which can also kill plants. Copper is also the main ingredient in many ich medications like 'quick cure' and so should be used sparingly in a planted aquarium. If it is copper in your snailicide medication, filter the water with carbon to remove it along with dechlorinated water changes. Good luck!
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Slyfish - 2012-05-11
I have a couple of these cabombas in a ten gallon tank. I used to have some in a five gallon tank that died; I'm pretty sure it was from too little light. So in this 10-gal I put in a special grow light and they live well. I guess they have enough light, or is it something else? Anyway, my problem with these plants in the 10-gal tank is that they won't take root. They're healthy otherwise, but they have no roots so my 3 catfish uproot them when they poke around in the gravel for food. I've tried fertilizer and trimming the stem bottoms but nothing works. The stems just have this brown, kinda hard end to them, like flowers in a vase do after a while. I have nuetral to slightly acidic ph, and healthy levels of nitrate and alkalinity and stuff, from well water. It's not really a big problem, but I'm getting tired of replanting them every day. Anybody have help?

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  • Sourav - 2012-11-30
    yes they will the plants will grow well if you have a under grveal filter the roots will grow in all the sediment that is pulled under the filter tray if you put peat and clay in the water will cloud up as the fish dig in the grvealReferences :
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Animal-World info on Japanese Rush
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Beverly - 2007-06-26
The description here says it will live up to a year submersed in water. I got 3 bunches of this after being told (mistakenly, by store employees) that it was a fast-growing, easy aquarium plant. All three bunches were dead (rotting from the bottom up) within a month. I was very disappointed that these were sold as aquarium plants as they did not do well at all. I do not recommend these for an aquarium. Perhaps they would grow well at a pond's edge, above the waterline, but I do not know.

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  • Kyle Morrissey - 2013-04-17
    but they look great
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Animal-World info on Brazilian Pennywort
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Andrew - 2008-08-07
I found the Brazilian Pennywort to be a hardy plant even at low temperatures. Some dark spotting will appear on older leaves, but they needed to be trimmed by this stage anyway. Trimming will allow a burst of younger shoots to take up the available light & space. At first I couldn't work out how to present this awkward, fragile & spindly tangle. I wanted it to be anchored as a ground cover, sprawling along the bottom and creeping up the sides of my tank, but it would not stay anchored or in the position i wanted. So, in the end i threw a whole lot of stainless steel kitchen hooks at it - to keep the mess at the bottom & gave up on it; walking away...To my surprise & delight the next day, the leaves and stalks had resolved their buoyancy issues - settling into wonderful fantasy-like, lily-pad layers (nature always proving the better designer), giving an unexpected magical appeal (so much so, it remains as the central theme of that tank still today).
My advice with Brazilian pennywort as with most stem plants is to submerge whole plant in water overnight to resolve buoyancy issues, good idea to treat water with an antibacterial preventing unwanted nasties. Try even acclimatising your plant first by just floating it (out of a bag) on the surface of the aquarium for a couple of days.
DESIGN TIPS:
- submerge for 12 - 24 hours prior to design to clear buoyancy problems
- place (enough) s/steel hooks along selected runners to achieve a neutral
buoyancy(mid-floating)
- work with the natural buoyancy of plant in fast flowing tanks, let it settle
where it lands - nature is an incredible designer when given the chance! let the
current determine its best position
- although the stalks/branches are incredibly brittle out of water, with leaves that
should fold & flop in any water flow - it is remarkably resilient even in strong
currents. At first a few leaves may fold, don't worry too much as the plant will
soon compensate for this over a day or 2 rectifying the leaf to upright & open.

Overall I love Brazilian Pennywort or Cardamon as is sometimes called - due to it's sweet spice-aroma emitted when out off water. I've found the perfect lily-pad ascetic without the slow growth & smell!

have fun...

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