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floating plants
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don clark
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Joined: 14 Sep 2011
Location: florida

PostPosted: 2011.09.18(Sun)7:18    Post subject: floating plants Reply with quote

I am a brand new collector, I want to develop a livebearer, killifish planted community tank, why don,t I see anything about floating plants, such as water lettuce, are they problematic, or especially difficult? also can you inject co2 and still have fish. high co2 is bad for all animals, can they balance themselves fish produce co2, plants o2 ? Question
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UncleWillie
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Location: Georgia, USA

PostPosted: 2011.09.18(Sun)8:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a few issues with floating plants in a tank setting. Fine-leaved or small plants like watermeal and duckweed tend to be a nuisance. They blow around in the current stick to everything, and once established, near impossible to get rid of. The largest floating plants like water lettuce and hyacinth are just too big and require too much light for the average home aquarium. I have found that the Salvinia, frogbit, and watersprite are much more suited for the average tank. They are not terribly large suck up a huge amount of excess nutrients, and are easily removed and controlled.

For the setup you describe, I definitely recommend floating plants. In the flagfish and topminnow breeding tub I mentioned in your other thread, I had the entire surface covered in Salvinia and a few large hyacinth plants. In the warm summer temps, those floating plants not only provide refuge for fry and all the critters they eat, but also help keep the water temperatures from getting too dang hot if the tank/tub ever gets direct sunlight.

Regarding CO2...
If you have high-light tanks, then you will have to dose fertilizers and inject CO2. However, if you are still talking about floating plants, then don't worry about any of this. Floating plants will get their CO2 from the air and reduce light entering the tank below, where you can just have a decent substrate and low light plants.
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DaleJr
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Joined: 16 Feb 2010
Location: Memphis, TN

PostPosted: 2011.09.19(Mon)7:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are many variety of floating plants that you can use.

Duckweed
FrogBit limnobium laevigatum
Red Root Floaters Phyllanthus fluitans
Water Lettuce Pistia stratiotes
Riccia fluitans

You can also go the lilly route and use Tiger Lotus and/or Banana Plant.

Co2 isnt a requirement to grow plant, UNLESS you have high light and excess nutrients. The co2 in most cases is used not only to help the plants but to ward off algae. So really your lighting and plant selection determine if co2 is needed. The target area for co2 is 30ppm this is measured by pH and KH also by a drop Checker with calabrated 4dKH solution.
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