Floater for 5.5g - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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Floater for 5.5g

I have a planted 5.5g with co2 and dosing ThriveS. It has cherry shrimp and a betta and a nerite snail. I'm looking to add some floaters to soak up some of the nutrients in the tank to help curb a bit of the algae.

What kind of floater would do well in that small of a tank without going crazy and taking everything over like duckweed does?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 01:42 AM
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Frogbit, red root floater, dwarf water lettuce, will all work well and are easy to thin and don't take over


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 05:12 AM Thread Starter
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Out of those 3, which take up the least vertical space? Ie shortest roots
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 12:02 PM
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Frogbit can get big and grow very long roots so I'd avoid that. The smallest options would be red root floaters or salvinia natans. Both of those the max root length is about 2", although it's usually much less. Salvinia grows in chains, bright green and flat to the surface. Red root floaters look a bit more delicate and go from green to pink to red depending how bright your lights are.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys!
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 02:42 PM
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I second RRF as a good option. I have gone from DWL to frogbit to RRF looking for the best fit for my 2.5 gallon and the RRF roots don't creep down nearly as far as the other two. They also get pretty pink to red hues under high light, and kick out beautiful little flowers.

Something weird about floating plants: they HATE current. In still water, each plant gets larger with longer roots. In tanks with more surface current, each plant seems to stay small if they make it at all. For example, I got a handful of DWL a while back and put it in two tanks. One 29g with lots of surface motion, and the other a 90g that's pretty calm. In the 90, the DWL gets almost tee cup sized with +4" roots. I give away bags of the stuff. In the swift 29, they stay the size of a quarter with very short roots. I have never thinned them out from that tank. Both came from the same initial batch. Since then I have noticed an across the board similarity in floating plants that more current keeps them smaller. A form of plant torture, maybe, but it works to keep them smaller

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 03:30 PM
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Sounds like the plant you are looking for is duckweed. Small plant minimal roots (much shorter than those others) but does spread fast. So do the others but not as fast as duckweed. Just scoop some out every week or couple of days. If you have shrimp you can actually blend it with some water and air dry it and it makes amazing shrimp food as well.


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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 04:02 PM
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Will, nice tidbit about the duckweed shrimp food, I'll give it a try. Thanks

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 04:07 AM Thread Starter
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Interesting, I specifically want to avoid duckweed, as it's just too difficult to get rid of if you don't want it, and I don't fancy throwing out a bunch of plants weekly.

As for the growth, I do have pretty still currents, my surface agitation is a sponge filter on an air pump with a limiter set to about half power. My betta doesn't complain about the current at all.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 10:52 AM
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I'd avoid duckweed too, as once you've got it getting rid is an issue. The red root floaters are only about 1cm round so still pretty small.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Any suggestions where to get some RRFs? I'm not sure where a reputable place is to buy them and we don't have any locally
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smooshface View Post
Any suggestions where to get some RRFs? I'm not sure where a reputable place is to buy them and we don't have any locally
I have some very nice RRF. If your interested PM me?


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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 04:49 PM
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After 3 years of switching between multiple, these are my findings.

Dwarf water lettuce is the most attractive. For a short tank, it will grow to the bottom and block everything. For tall tanks, it is the best. With time, they grow a little larger than the diameter of a baseball. If you are willing to trim the roots short every week or more, great. Otherwise, they take over your scape.

Red root floaters were ALWAYs iron deficient even with what I thought was overdosing iron. This ended up with more leaf debris than I wanted to devote time to cleaning up.

Salvinia has very short roots, looks nice, and is easy to keep healthy. This is the best for short tanks (under 14ish inches), hands down.

Frogbit was very successful for me. The thing I disliked was the root structure. They looked great from the top, but the long thin roots were meh.


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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
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...

Red root floaters were ALWAYs iron deficient even with what I thought was overdosing iron. This ended up with more leaf debris than I wanted to devote time to cleaning up.
.
Never ever dose any extra FE in any of my tanks and my RR floaters look great just like in the picture.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 09:11 PM
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Same here my RR floaters grew like crazy, if I didn't thin regularly they'd grow over each other and out of the water. No shedding I noticed.

I've just added some Hygroryza aristata (asian water grass) I really like the root structure on. It's a little bit Christmas moss sort of shape. Not suited to a small tank though as the surface stuff is fairly big.
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