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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone i'm new to the forum and more or less new to aquatic plants.

Please pardon the length of this as i'll give a brief run down of my past luck (or lack of with plants) and this tank, crack a beer it might take awhile.

I've tried to keep them in the past but either lacked proper lighting (usually the case), used improper substrate, or something ate the plants.

On an impulsive whim about two weeks ago i snagged a couple bulbs from work, i think its tiger lotus but i'm not 100% sure though. The only tank i had available was sadly a five gallon mini bow that a customer left at the store with some fish. So i figured what the hell i'm not using it and my betta needs a home.

I was given a 18 watt PC light from another customer who got rid of her lizard (its a high UV output bulb set for desert reptiles, i havent changed them over to aquativ bulbs yet). One of the double PC fixtures made by Coralife i believe.

I initially expected my curse to follow suit and the plant would grow for a few weeks spindle out and not really thrive like i wish it would.

We were out of eco complete at work so i decided to go a bit bigger with the way i used to plant my temperate lillies during the summer months. I went with a 3:1 african violet soil to sand covered with a think layer of gravel. I know the lotus are supposed to be heavy root feeders and i wanted to make sure that they had something to work with.

Well today i look really close at the tank and holy crap i have leaves that are the size of my hand (covering most of the fingers)...as soon as i can get my little lady to get some pics (i'm not camera friendly when it involves water) i'll post some pics.

I dont heat the tank but the lights hold it around 77 during the day with a dip to 73 during the night they are on for about 12 hours a day (getting a timer soon).

I added some plants for color contrast about five days ago now and for once it looks nice to me, nice enough that i spend a lot of time thinking about doing a planted display tank once i sort out the basics of plant care. I still tremble at the idea of doing exactly the oppostite for a planted tank that i do for my fish only tanks...adding CO2, cutting current and areation, adding phosphate (shudder)...its like left handed scissors...it just dont feel natural (no offense ot the lefties out there :D )

In order to get more light to my little anubias nana and my tiny couple of crypts would it hurt for me to remove a few leaves from the lotus to allow better penetration. I'd estimate at the moment about 80% of the surface is blocked by the lotus and they are sending up many leaves that have more or less no place to go. Also should i let any of the surface leaves develop fully (the lilly pad style leaves, i'm not sure if they have a specific name the emergent ones). I've read in the past that its not in the best interest of appearances...personally if its natural i like look myself. I was really hopign to see a bloom :).

I am working on getting a larger tank for these since for once i seem to have something right for them (my betta has never been happier or looked better). But at the moment i have 20 pseudotropheus saulosi coming in that i need to finish their 55 gallon grow out tank first. So for the time being i'll either need to pot one of the two bulbs (they have leaves coming out of both ends so more or less i have four growing bunches of lotus leaves in that mud puddle of a tank.

I know putting them in this tank is much akin to puting a gold fish in a drum bowl but honestly i never get plants to like me (hence my screen name on here) I'm so excited to see them apparently thrive i could just dance (not a pretty site with an outa shape pale michigander).

I've spend the last few days looking over this wonderful site for information on anything that i might be able to use. Either at home, work or for a customer and i've not been dissappointed its also nice to see a calm supportive site, i spend a few hours each week on aquarium related boards and egos can make getting quality information a real PITA to be blunt, so far i've not sensed anything like that on here my hats off to the comunity and the mods :).

Anyhow i'll shut up now and post this so it doesnt become a cure for insomnia.

Thanks for any ideas and taking the time to read all this.

Sincerely Jason

PS holy cow i can be long winded at times
 

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Hello Jason...

Ive never owned a lotus myself, but I haear as soon as they find the surface they start really sending up shoots to break the surface. I couldnt imagine trimming some of the leaves hurting anything, as long as the bulb is in good growing shape. I believe that the bulb would continue to shoot new leaves, even if you trimmed all the leaves off, as long as it is in good shape with light etc.
 

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if you trim one leaf per trimming you will be fine. I only trim a leaf when I see a new one is coming in.
 

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I trimmed my lotus alot in the beginning to train it to keep the leaves low. Once they start heading to the top of the water they all want to go there.

Every once in a while I get the wayward leaf heading that way but I just cut it near the base.

Don't cut all the leaves off at once. If you have 5 leaves cut 2 and when you see 2 new leaves then cut 2 of the taller leaves. Just keep doing this and the plant will learn to keep the leaves low.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good to hear, i was worried that it might shorten its potential lifespan by trimming. I think i'll start a trimming today and just remove one leaf about every two days (they are producing leaves like mad) and try to keep one short and maybe let the larger stay at the surface.

Thanks for all the information i really appreciate it.

jason
 

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Your soil is likely why it's growing so well. Sounds like a nice little tank. The crypts and anubias both have low light requirements so your not hurting them being shaded a bit. Just limiting growth a bit. Are you adding any additional fertilizer? At some point you may not need much with a soil substrate. Just be cautious when up rooting you my have an algae bloom allowing the soil nutrients escape the gravel cap...

Tiger Lotus is a fun plant but takes some time to tame. Follow the advice given so you don't kill off the unit. It too will send off runners soon so you'll have some additional smaller plants pop up too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
yeah i've been keeping an eye on the algae and so far just a bit of brownish diatoms popping up i think i'll snag a couple otos from work next week if we can get any that ship in alive and healthy. Right now i'm moving two tanks over three inches so i can get two more tank next to them. Hopefully one will be available for moving one of these lotus into.

Yeah i was hoping most of the nutrients the plants were going to need would be available in the soil, i am worried about gas bubbles forming but so far i've only see a few and they lacked the god awful smell. The betta is still thriving and tomorrow i'll do another water test to see if the Ph is moving at all with the soil in there.

Jason
 
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