Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys just wondering what your opinions are for an easy to grow aquatic plant..
I seem to have no luck with them, just want a simple growing plant that's gonna thicken up and
Is easy and fast to grow
Thanks in advance
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,531 Posts
The only time I have success with plants is if I do a LOT of work...even java fern and anubias. I don't think there is an easy/fast plant that will grow regardless of conditions. Actually a very fast growing plant can cause problems...so something that grows steadily but not too fast would be ideal.

I did like Hygrophilia difformis, but it sheds plant material constantly and like many stem plants, it gets top heavy after a while and you have to start over.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
783 Posts
Duckweed or watermeal ... you'll never get rid of it ... it just keeps on coming ... :lol:

I have some in a number of smaller tanks that I grow and then feed to the mbuna (P. acei and M. auratus) in the 55G ...

Somebody has to be eating it ... it's always gone within a day or two after I toss it in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
Hornwort. It can be placed in the substrate or left to float. It grows like a weed, probably because it is lol. It does not grow roots so one less thing to worry about. If your fish are aggressive though they'll tear it to shreds. It's messy when it breaks apart. I got rid of it because my boys wouldn't leave it alone. It's really graceful and dances in the water though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've never witnessed my fish eat my plants they seem uninterested in them which is a good thing..
Have had bad experience with duck weed had a pond put the back I put duck weed in there and next thing you know it's filled with it it's a bloody weed haha..
so Anubis's attached to drift wood sounds like my best bet
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,531 Posts
The problem with anubias is that get covered with algae and the leaves die. I had success keeping it off with CO2. Or you can clean each leaf carefully as often as possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would I go about setting up co2?
Yeah the algae on the leaves is what I'm experiencing at the moment it's so annoying I feel I'm chasing my tail a bit with it
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,531 Posts
It's a system you buy...costly...that infuses CO2 into the water at the right level for the plants. I never bit the bullet but I think it would cost between $500 and $1000 for a decent system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
You can definitely get a good CO2 system for less than $500. But once you get into CO2, you're no longer talking easy. The extra CO2 means extra growth, which means extra nutrient draw, and that means constantly keeping on top of a fertilization schedule. Plus plants will grow much faster, and that means frequent trimming/thinning. When things go wrong, they'll usually go wrong faster too.

There is no straightforward answer to your question - plant growth depends on light, fertilizers and CO2, get any of that equation wrong, and either the plants won't do well, or you'll get algae. IMO the best approach is to make light the limiting factor, which restricts you on plant species to anubias, crypts, vals, java fern, and some few swords. Hornwort, as suggested below, is nice looking for a while, but messy in the long run, so I tend to avoid it. Floaters like duckweed would work, but I don't personally care for. Water wisteria may or may not do well in low-light conditions. Some minor, occasional fertilization may be required here. If you have a high bioload, as fish food will typically add too much phosphates and not enough potassium, which will inhibit plant growth somewhat, in favor of algae. If you have low bioload, you may need to supplement the full NPK plus micros.

There is a middle ground, which uses something like Flourish Excel to add some carbon, without going all the way to CO2. You can support somewhat additional light that way, with somewhat more work in fertilization and trimming. My advice is to start with a true low light setup first, and see how that goes, and how much more effort (and money) you're willing to spend.

Also, avoid fish that eat your plants. In a low light setup they'll eat faster than the plants will grow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
DJRansome said:
The problem with anubias is that get covered with algae and the leaves die. I had success keeping it off with CO2. Or you can clean each leaf carefully as often as possible.
This can usually be combat with fertilization, usually potassium (my guess you may have had a high bioload with too much phosphate). Otocinclus can be good options for leaf cleaning, but they tend to be communal, and you need a fair bit of algae load to support them, and they don't do well with larger or aggressive fish, so they're not good matches for most cichlid tanks. Depending on what type of algae, may types of shrimp make good cleaners as well, but just about any except the smallest fish will eat them, so only suitable with carefully selected tankmates.

Together with/instead of fertilizing potassium another option is to use a phosphate remover, but I've only gone that route when things got badly out of balance, since the phosphates are useful plant nutrients when in correct proportion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
One last thing to mention, substrate matters, even in a low light tank. For most plants the roots aren't just anchors, but they will take up nutrients through them. So, inert substrates like gravel and silica sand will not be as conducive to plant growth/health as a soil-based substrate. I've had great success with Aqua Soil Amazonia. A somewhat less expensive (but still not cheap) alternative is CaribSea Eco Complete, which I've also used with good results.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,531 Posts
I actually had zero phosphate...I added it for a while to get the ratio between nitrate and phosphate in balance. I also had no luck with Excel and I'm not good at being regular/precise with dosing.

Otos and shrimp are not an option for Joey and I since we do African Rift Lake cichlids. Also they do eat plants....even anubias and java fern.

I had the best luck with crypts.

I'm sure I will try again someday
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
767 Posts
Joey85 said:
Hey guys just wondering what your opinions are for an easy to grow aquatic plant..
I seem to have no luck with them, just want a simple growing plant that's gonna thicken up and
Is easy and fast to grow
Thanks in advance
I don't know about fast but definitely easy for us. We have very good luck with anubias tied to rock or driftwood. We do absolutely nothing to promote the plant growth and I find myself trimming them a couple times a year. I just move the cut pieces to other tanks. In some of our fry/grow out tanks I just wedge the anubias between rocks to hold it down.
Do our african cichlids tear some of it up.....yep....but it still manages to grow and spread.

I brought about five pounds of duckweed home and spread it through our tanks, three days and it was all gone. I haven't seen it since and that was about a year ago. Our african cichlids did enjoy it though!!!! :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
I have about seven plants in my aquarium but here are my three anubias. The first one is being held by a rubber band, the second one is still in the pot it came with and the third one grew onto a rock by itself.

Like some others, I do not do anything special for my plants. When they get to the point where they are dying or are a nuisance, I remove and replace them. The anubias however, have stood the test of time. Each one of these is the original plant that I initially purchased.





 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
I grow many types of anubias, even more types of java fern, valisneria, swords, nypmphiodes hydrophylla "tawain", crypt spiralis, ludwidgia, and ambula in a tank with sand and no Co2.
And... with a tank full of earth-eaters. :)

The trick is an adequate balance of lighting and fertilizers. Fertilizer- need macro and micro nutrients. The easiest way to do this is with an all in one fertilizer like Thrive and a product like Excel. Also, need root tabs around the base of heavy feeders like swords and valisnera.

My system is somewhat "old-school" as I use Seachem liquid ferts: N, P, K, FE, Flourish, and Excel. But, being that I have 4 planted tanks I will be looking into dry ferts soon.

This is my tank about a month ago. I redid it last week because it was getting too overgrown with plants and I needed to open up more substrate for the geophagus because reaching maturity.


 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,531 Posts
Beautiful! Inspirational!! I've never been able to even come close without CO2. Maybe I just have not gotten the balance right or been able to maintain it long enough. I've had crypts do OK but nothing like that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Thank you. :)
I tried many plants that didn't do well, but I kept trying.

I found the trial and error to find plants that would work with my fish as well as dialing in the light versus fertilization to be enjoyable, though.

I went through BBA, green spot algae, several types of plants floating constantly because the geophagus wouldn't let them root... but, I was determined. Mainly because when I told others a year and 6ish months ago I was planning on a planted tank with earth-eaters people were insistent it couldn't be done or appalled that I would even try.

Last week I redid my aquascaping and took many of the java ferns out to make room for more substrate room for the fish. But, it is still a heavily planted tank.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top