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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Beginner tips.

I just bought one potted rotala and some java moss to add to my cabomba, but I have virtually no experience when it comes to aquatic plants so I have a few questions that hopefully some one would be kind enough to answer.

I wanted to attach the java moss to a piece of drift wood in my tank so I took the log out and spread the moss all along the drift wood and then tied it down by coiling the hemp thread around the wood. Is there anything wrong with what I did? How long before the moss will take hold and does it spread very fast?

The rotala came in a pot, so I took it out and carefully removed most of the foam it had rooted to, taking care not to damage any roots. I am not sure this was the right thing to do, but I don't have sufficient substrate to bury the entire pot without making a little hill.

Any tips or pointers anyone could give me would be greatly appreciated, I hardly know anything so any advice is more than welcome.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 09:54 PM
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Most people just use sewing thread to attach the moss, by the time the thread rots away the moss has attached itself to the wood. What type of lighting do you have? Substrate?
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 11:33 PM
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One of the main rules about growing aquatic plants is that it is easier to combat algae and makes for a more stable aquarium if you have a lot of plants. I don't know how big your tank is but you want more than just a few plants.

The way you handled the Rotala is just right, however, you generally want 2-4 inches of substrate.

Are you fertilizing?

A good primer can be found at: http://rexgrigg.com/index.html

Kathy

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 11:41 PM
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Greenleaf888 congratulations! You are right on route to become a successfull planted aquarist. Keep it up and your confidence will grow.

Mosses don't actually attach themselves till quite some time. They get entangled in about a month if it can go round the wood, but you have quite a wait for them to attach.

If you have a choice, you have a problem, till you elect your choice. No choice, no problem, only consequences, learn to live with them.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-19-2007, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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"Most people just use sewing thread to attach the moss, by the time the thread rots away the moss has attached itself to the wood. What type of lighting do you have? Substrate?"

I have read the same thing, but I didn't have sewing thread so I used hemp. It is organic so it should rot as well. It is a lot courser than sewing thread though, so it will probably take longer to rot away.

I have two HO T5 bulbs over a twenty gallon tank for a total of 55 watts, witch isn't a great deal of light, but I think it is good enough for me at this stage and I can always add more later on. I have about two inches of Flourite for substrate, Unfortunately I didn't realize that two inches really isn't enough and now I have to add more without harming the fish or plants.

"One of the main rules about growing aquatic plants is that it is easier to combat algae and makes for a more stable aquarium if you have a lot of plants. I don't know how big your tank is but you want more than just a few plants."


I plan on adding more, but I am trying to learn to manage what I have first. And algae really isn't a problem because I have six Chinese algae eaters and they basically keep the algae at bay. I wish I had gotten shrimp or ottos though, I didn't realize at the time what monsters Chinese algae eaters become and now I am fearful for the safety of my German rams.

And yes I am fertilizing. I wanted to use the Seachem products, but my LFS doesn't carry them anymore so I am using two bottles of "Plant GRO". One is an iron enriched solution with iron, magnesium, zinc, boron, copper and molybdate and the other is an advanced solution with nitrate potassium and phosphate.

I am setting up my DIY CO2 but I am not sure I got the right yeast. It is "active dry yeast" it looks like a bunch of little balls and kinda smells like beer.
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm Beer
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-19-2007, 12:41 AM
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Six chinese algae eaters in a 20 gallon aquarium? Are you REALLY attached to them? Not only do they get big but as they get older they can get aggressive to other fish. Not good for your german rams. Plus, 6 CAEs puts a heavy bioload on your aquarium; rams are fairly nitrate-sensitive. Are you testing your nitrate levels?

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-19-2007, 12:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenleaf888 View Post
[I]
I am setting up my DIY CO2 but I am not sure I got the right yeast. It is "active dry yeast" it looks like a bunch of little balls and kinda smells like beer.
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm Beer
THAT'S the stuff!

Kathy

"We are living on this planet as if we have another one to go to". T. Swearingen
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-19-2007, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
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"Greenleaf888 congratulations! You are right on route to become a successful planted aquarist. Keep it up and your confidence will grow.

Mosses don't actually attach themselves till quite some time. They get entangled in about a month if it can go round the wood, but you have quite a wait for them to attach."


Thanks for the advice essabee and I hope your right about being on the right track. I know I have already made a few bad errors in judgment, like buying "mondo grass" and a "Brazilian sword" or thinking an inch and a half would be sufficient substrate for an aquarium.

"Six Chinese algae eaters in a 20 gallon aquarium? Are you REALLY attached to them? Not only do they get big but as they get older they can get aggressive to other fish. Not good for your german rams. Plus, 6 CAEs puts a heavy bioload on your aquarium; rams are fairly nitrate-sensitive. Are you testing your nitrate levels?"

I thought the CAE looked harmless enough, it was only after I bought them and did some research that I came to the painful realization that they will become unholy terrors upon my rams. Now I am thinking of exchanging them for some zebra otos, or some ghost shrimp... Anyone have anything terrible they want to reveal about these that I should know before buying? As for the bio-load issue, I don't have a problem with nitrate and ammonia at all, at least according to my test kit which reads both at 0.

You bring up a good question though, how much is too much for a twenty gallon tank? I have two pairs of rams and one large feeder fish that survived my tank cycling and I have grown attached to him. I am thinking of finding him a knew home though and I may reduce my rams to one pair. But I would like to replace the CAE with otos or shrimp, not sure how many, maybe two otos or ten shrimp? And I would also like to have a small school of cardinal tetras, or black phantom tetras. Maybe someone with a similar setup could help me out here.

As for the CO2, I set it up before I left an hour ago and it is now spitting out a fairly consistent stream of bubbles. I read that it is supposed to take a day or two for the chemical reaction to take place, so what the heck is coming out of the air stone?

Thanks for the advice so far everyone, keep it coming! God knows I desperately need it!
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