Kill my floating plants! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-19-2006, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Kill my floating plants!

In my 380g tank it seems that none of the plants want to stay down! I have had to use rocks and tons of weights just to get some of the swords to stay down...also the...can't remember the name right now...grass seems to be popping up one by one. Is it just a matter of time until they take root in the gravel and stop doing this?

I'm sure some of the problem is most of the substrate is only a few inches deep. Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-19-2006, 11:42 PM
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You probably want 3.5 to 4 inches of substrate minimum. What kind do you have? And of course swords end up with massive root systems so a deeper substrate will benefit them as well.

A smaller diameter is easier to plant in. Eco complete is pretty easy to use. The larger diameter will always end up on top, eventually. A deeper substrate of 3.5 to 4 inches will pretty much solve your problem, IMO. I have 4 to 4.5 inches in my 90G.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-20-2006, 02:42 PM
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Do you have any loaches or plecos? They love to see what is underneath your plants for some reason.

I second the deeper substrate suggestion. It may be expensive for a 380 gallon, so I would suggest turface/soilmaster pro/schultz's aquatic soil which is fairly cheap (especially the first two). I think all three are basically the same, with little differences, someone that has used all three can chime in here. I have had good success myself with Schultz's aquatic soil I got from the hardware store.

wait, I didn't read your name, Manofcichlids... Cichlids are notoriously tough on plants, moving them where ever they please. Some even eat them for fun. If this is a cichlid tank you may want to stick with plants that you can tie to rocks or wood - Anubias sp., Java Ferns, and Bolbitis h.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-20-2006, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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The entire tank is done with the Red Sea Flora Base substrate. When I planted the swords I added another bag to each area there were going to be swords. I could get them to bury down but I have to use these very long tongs (like tweezers) just to reach down there so it's very difficult to get anything to stay. I eventually got it down but had to put a rock behind them an the roots to hold it down. You can't see the rock, but I'll probably remove it when the swords take root.

It's also very hard to add more substrate as there is TONS of plants in the tank I'd have to remove all my grasses to make it thicker. So it's about 2" in the front where all my grasses are and about 4" in the back where the swords, cherry plant, and other larger plants are.

I saw some weights online somewhere...yeah, somewhere lol. The weight had a weighed ring with plastic in the center to grab your plant to help it sink...because yes, there are many plecos (veiled bushy nose, royal tiger, gold nugget, zebra...) in there and plenty of loaches and I'm sure they have a lot to do with it. Will most of the problem go away as the tank matures and the roots grow?

It just took me about 8 hours the other day to replant the tank and it would make my life so much easier if there were some other tricks!

Thanks!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 03:05 AM
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I occasionally have added some extra Ecocomplete with a standard coffee mug to certain areas, though my 90G is tiny compared to your huge tank. How deep is the tank, over 30"? Maybe if you do it in small steps over a few weeks, it will seem like a manageable task... I would still think 3 inches in the fourground should be a target minimum. At least overtime my gravel usually moves from the back of the tank to the front, IME.

Lowcoaster on Aquabid sells some "lead thick wire" which is 10' for $5.00. I bought some, but it doesn't seem that heavy and now I'm having second thoughts of adding something with lead to my tank. But it seems like it will be really easy to use, if I end up using it... I'm going to post a question on the eco aspects of lead weights myself.





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