Grass tanks - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-29-2005, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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Grass tanks

Hey,

I decided on a grass-only (or rather, lawn-only) for my 20g tall tank (24x12x16), with the occasional driftwood and rock. I'll be having a few algae eaters and neon tetras. Thats pretty much it in terms of fish.
Substrate is play sand that i washed; and it is about 2" deep. DIY CO2. The lighting will be 2x23W coil flourescents (2.3 wpg). I was wondering if this is good enough to keep Eleocharis (hair grass) thriving, and if anyone has any pics of grass-only tanks would be great.

Also, does anyone know how much hair-grass cups i should buy to get started in my 20. Any tips on planting/seperating runners etc would be appreciated.

Thanks
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-29-2005, 09:22 PM
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hmm...Ive tried growing hairgrass with playsand before....hairgrass needs substrate fertilization...so you might wanna consider that...

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-29-2005, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
 
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Is hairgrass harder to grow than glosso and riccia?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-29-2005, 10:56 PM
 
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Glosso is by far the easiest to grow and spreads quickly but the toughest to trim as it just keeps growing over itself.

Hairgrass takes a long time to spread but its very easy to trim.

Riccia spreads quick and is fairly easy to grow, but it must be weighed down or it will float. Pick your poison

Marcel
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-29-2005, 11:11 PM
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
 
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Alright, ive found a 10g tank of what im hoping to accomplish. Riccia looks awesome when its lush like a carpet for the forground. I think i'll try the riccia.

Theres a local shop here that sells the thin metal rods. Question is how easy is it to bend it to a desired shape. Do i need to use any tools, or freehand.

Heres the link: http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.or...=0&vol=0&id=59

Edit: Gah, ive found a link for a hairgrass tank. It looks exceptional aswell. I CANT DECIDE

http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.or...=0&vol=0&id=59
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 04:07 AM
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Check Momotaro's Journal If you are gonna go the riccia route...

I am currently trying to grow a riccia foreground as well...but at the moment...am using plastic mesh to organise and carpet...is working farely well right now!

Good Luck

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 04:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moe88
Is hairgrass harder to grow than glosso and riccia?
In my opinion they are both the same if you got enough lighting....
but as mentioned before glosso spreads like a fire...while hairgrass will take some time to carpet....

on the other hand glosso doesnt need substrate fertilization and gets its nutients from the water column...

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 05:24 AM
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All good comments/ideas. I would add that hairgrass (IME) needs lots of CO2 to grow dense enough to create the carpet effect. My 46gal (click in the signature) is covered with 70-80% hairgrass.

Microsword is one of the slowest to form a carpet. I would stick with hairgrass, glosso, or riccia. Dwarf sag can be nice too, but doesn't have the same look as a "normal" carpet. It's kinda "flowery" and height can vary. And remember, riccia floats .

FISA brings up a good point, hairgrass likes iron - eco complete might be a better option if you can afford it.

Regardless of the carpet plant you choose, I would recommend putting some fast growing stems in the tank at setup. Algae blooms can really set back, or even kill off, carpet plants.

Buy 2 or 3 pots. Get yourself a pair of forceps. Separate the hairgrass into individual plants. Roll up your sleeves and set aside 1/2 hour. Spread evenly thoughout the area you want to carpet. Unlike some other grasses, you can push hairgrass faily deep, so don't sweat about suffocating it. The runners will get around.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 01:13 PM
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One thing to think about, if you want a riccia foreground something that helps is to grow the hairgrass and intertwine the riccia in the hairgrass. Riccia pieces might float up but the riccia carpet usually stays put like this.

After you get the hairgrass established, give it a haircut so it is about half as tall. This simulates an herbivore 'attacking' the plant and the hairgrass responds by spreading out as fast as it can.

The nice thing is this responce mechanism also comes in handy if you are trimming a riccia/hairgrass carpet. You don't have to worry about the hairgrass when you trim the riccia, you can mow them both down together.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 02:17 PM
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The problem with riccia is that it's near impossible to find.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 05:51 PM
 
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two spiral compacts will not give you 2.3wpg. Close to half of your light is lost through restrike because the bulb isn't an efficient shape.
it wouldn't surprise me if you get very slow growth with those bulbs, but they might work.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
two spiral compacts will not give you 2.3wpg. Close to half of your light is lost through restrike because the bulb isn't an efficient shape.
it wouldn't surprise me if you get very slow growth with those bulbs, but they might work.
Don't know how I missed that in the first post. I've actually tried this setup on my 10gal. No dice. Even with DIY CO2, I couldn't get the grass to go. It's not all dead; there are a few healthy blades here and there, but no carpet. I have vals, rotala and ludwegia in this tank. The vals and rotala are the only plants that seem to thrive.

(Sorry for the lousy photo quality. Our camera at work (the tank sits on a filing cabinet) is a dinosaur.)
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-31-2005, 04:08 AM
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Grass does very well in the long term.
Needs good CO2 and moderate light.
As far as sunstrate ferts, no way, this plants has no need for it, never did.

I've grown it in plain sand and nothing but water column ferts better than the photo's, but it will also do great in onyx sand, EC stinks for hair grass, it's too light weight, large grain sizes and takes longer to become established.
Onyx sand is the best for this plant IME.

But it also does well with plain old sand and also did very well with Kitty litter and sand.

You can grow it without CO2, takes a while though.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-31-2005, 04:17 AM
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moe88 ...one of the most important thing with planted tank is the lighting ...

I would recommend getting compact flourascent lights....

if for some reason you can't....do a search on this forum for ligthing..

lotta valuable info.

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