Any tips for figuring out which fish is munching plants? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-18-2003, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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I am running into a little trouble with fish eating my Hygro poly, and the trouble is I can't really tell which fish or fish{es} are doing it. Besides the Hygrophila polysperma (green hygro, Indian hygro), I also have good quanties of L. sessiliflora (ambulia) and (anachris), both of which grow so extremely fast I can't tell if they are eating any of it.

The Hygro grows well but does not keep upper leaves long enough to grow fast (the fish doesn't eat the whole leaf, about 50 percent remains), mostly the top half of the plant is attacked and the lower leaves are doing great, and really is causing it to bush out rather then grow tall (but I have a 24" tall tank so tall growth isnt frowned on).

Right now my best guess is a very small angelfish, or the 2 dwarf gromnies. I have 2 other much larger angelfish and they almost never go near the plants, but the little one is always near or picking at them, but never seen em actually bite the plants. The gromnies I am pretty sure I seen them bite the plants but usually its the anachris.

It is a wide community tank, and the ones I am ruling out are the neons, bloodfin tetras, and corys. But besides the ones mentioned I also have 8 assorted swordtails, 3 mollys, 4 ottos 3 dwarf neon rainbows and 1 male betta other then the fish perviously mentioned.

I am just wondering if there is any tricks on figuring out who is the muncher, or is trail and error and just pull out fish till I find the culprit? Has anyone else had trouble with dwarf gromnies? If so will be the first to be evicted as they seem to be the meanest ones in a very peaceful tank.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-18-2003, 11:54 AM
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With a little time and patience you can sit there and watch the fish, the culprit will soon reveal itself.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-18-2003, 01:07 PM
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Mollies eat algae, maybe they need more veggies?

I added steamed lettuce to may tank for the Rosy Barbs, but it seemed to teach them to eat plants! Eventually they began eating the java fern andn anubias, if they eat any hygro I never noticed, but the new tender leaves on the fern and nana were gone.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-18-2003, 01:50 PM
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I had set up a tank with locally caught fish and plants. One of the plants was hygro. For a while, the hygro was growing gangbusters. Then I collected a handful of variatus platys which we have in a particular creek here (these are non-natives which have become established). Within a week, the hygros looked like crap. The vairatus kept eating the new growth of the hygro. I would look to your swordtails and mollies as likely candidates.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-18-2003, 01:53 PM
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sorry if i'm off topic but isn't it very odd for fish to eat java fern? or is this just a "rosy barb thing"? i've kept some in the past but never with plants.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-18-2003, 03:04 PM
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That's why I mentioned it, we always consider that java fern and anubias are the things that won't be eaten, but it was what this damn fish went after -- as well as Malaysian Trumpet Snails! This fish was an amazing bully, it bulied the cories out of all their food. Sometimes it would eat so much I though it might actually spilt open. I started feeding it steamed lettuce, often before I fed the others so they had a chance to eat. It would eat so much that the lettuce would be coming out of the other end as it was till eating.

I was amazed... and not too pleased, I sent it and all of it's offspring to a pet store.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-18-2003, 03:42 PM
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interesting story, anona. i for one have never seen such gluttony.

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Originally Posted by anonapersona
I added steamed lettuce to may tank for the Rosy Barbs, but it seemed to teach them to eat plants!
well i guess you could argue that at this point shakey has nothing to lose by adding some lettuce or zucchini or the like to see if that will curb the offender's appetite for his hygro. seems like his fish have already been "learned". :lol:
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-18-2003, 04:08 PM
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My molllies and platies also likes chewing plants a bit when algae levels are low, I don't mind, they are doing what they are supposed to afterall, and I decided to keep them.

I keep elodea (the one that grows fast) as this gets first preferance on the plant menu it seems, I have quite a few strands which are like a foot of stem with leaves left only on the last inch or so, yet it always seems to stay alive and stay ahead of the apetite. Also my fishes seems to preffer leaves in early stages of decay to fresh leaves. Natures little pruners taking off all the nasty bits of leaf.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-18-2003, 04:35 PM
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so nordic i take it you don't feed your fish any veggies?

by the way, shakey, in my experience if fish are doin' something they ain't supposed to be, they'll be doing it at night (with perhaps the exception of mating by zebra danios when you have visitors):lol:. so as marcel alluded to, why not try to observe your fish an hour or so after the lights go out.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-18-2003, 05:05 PM
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Man, I tried some lettuce but it didn't go too well, now I just give em what they want, i.e. the elodea, I grow some in the pond, just put it in salt water for a minute or 2 to get snails and nasties off and throw it in as food.

Erm, sorry for double post, if an admin would be so kind as to delete one...
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-18-2003, 06:09 PM
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i guess you'll just have to watch them...i still don't know who ate my java ferns...i don't tihnk the angel fish would do it. he might vandalize plants a little, but i've never heard of angels being into vegetables.

depending on how busy your tank is, you could theoretically make a cage around the plant (or just divide the entire tank) and try excluding fish instead of actually moving them out entirely. it wouldn't be pretty though.

by the way, shakey, "gromnie" makes me wonder if you're a veteran of AC :0
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-19-2003, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Well still no luck figuring out who the culprit is, I been watching closely and see an occasional picking, but nothing that would result in that kind of damage. Watching em when the lights are off is very hard, as the canapy blocks the only external list in the room. (yes I can get another light tho if needed)

The plant is growing well... the bites just make the leaves a bit unsightly. I will keep an eye on the mollys and swords, as I do have a VERY hard time growing algae *knocks on wood* that is stays that way !!!!! I just briefly looked over the replys so will look them over again, and see if I find something to pull off, but I need to exclude the partition idea cause the tank is the center piece of the living room !

Mori if you mean AC = Asheron's Call, then yes, I played that game for close to 4 years offically retiring from that game about 10 months ago. I spent 2 years on Harvestgain, and 2 years on Solclaim (Solclaim by fair the best server).
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-19-2003, 12:52 PM
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My angels love plants and algae, they sometimes tug on the leaves a bit hard to get the hair algae off... but I have never seen them hurt healthy leaves.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-19-2003, 01:06 PM
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i knew it! your post gave me flashbacks to the world of gromnies!
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