The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for something specific. Least demanding in terms of nutrients for no dosing set ups. IME, not all "easy low tech" plants fit into this category. The hygrophila plants would be an example. They're easy to grow, propagate, etc, but they don't do well and die off on me if I don't dose. This would apply to all stems as well.

I've had natural tanks in the past with plants doing great. If I add a single stem of hygro or rotala, within a few days all my other plants would start doing poorly and show deficiency symptoms within a week.

The plants I'm looking for are the ones that do well in low light tanks with inert gravel and no dosing. Plants I've had success with in this type of set up are are crypt spiralis, tiger lotus, java fern, and buce godzilla.

This past week, I had done a reset on 2 tanks because I want to go back to this method of growing plants. It's easy, no dosing, no algae, and all I have to do is feed the fish and do water changes.

Both tanks are pretty bare right now. In my 38 gal, I only have a few small leaves of java fern which are growing very slowly but looking nice.
In my 5 gal I planted some dwarf sag. This is new to me as I don't know if the sag will grow in this type of set up.
Light intensity is low on both tanks.

Are there any plants other than crypts, lotus, ferns, and buce that do well in this kind of set up?
Can dwarf sag survive on fish waste only?

Also, in my holding tank, I have amazon sword and parviflorus sword. I was thinking of planting them in pots using gravel and placing them in the 38 gal. I've never kept swords without ferts but curious if anyone have done it.

Any help greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
349 Posts
Anubias...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you. I have some anubias in a spare tank I can throw in. I had considered java moss, but at the moment can't figure out a way to use it. Maybe let it form a carpet. Will probably buy a cup of it next time I'm at the lfs.

Well, the dwarf sag I planted last night isn't looking good. It lost the deep green color and is pale now. I'll wait and see how the new growth come out. Hope things will improve as the roots develop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
349 Posts
Java moss
The beauty of plants like Anubias and Java moss, is you can attach them to rocks and move them wherever you want!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The beauty of plants like Anubias and Java moss, is you can attach them to rocks and move them wherever you want!
That's what I plan to do when I get the anubias in there after the next w/c. I have a bunch of river stones in the 38g holding down my java ferns. Will try a small portion of java moss as well to see if it can carpet.
 

·
Banned
A ton of guppies, mystery snails, japanese trapdoor snails, ghost shrimp, & tons of plants in a 10G.
Joined
·
178 Posts
Water wisteria is a good plant that is low-tech and low-light! It'll do better in sunlight, but will grow just fine without it (I keep it that way, and I propagate it once every 1-1.5 months). Dwarf sagittarius is best with light, but needs a nutrient-rich substrate or soil. I'd recommend getting moneywort or water wisteria, based on what you're looking for so far.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Water wisteria is a good plant that is low-tech and low-light! It'll do better in sunlight, but will grow just fine without it (I keep it that way, and I propagate it once every 1.5 months). Dwarf sagittarius is best with light, but needs a nutrient-rich substrate or soil. I'd recommend getting moneywort or water wisteria, based on what you're looking for so far.
I have wisteria but it's outside in a bucket. I really like the plant, but unfortunately it's a nutrient hog. I'm unable to grow it in a no dosing tank, along with pretty much any stem plant. I see posts and videos of people growing them successfully in low tech but I'm not sure if they're dosing. There's a possibility that I'm keeping my tanks too clean. Nitrates in both tanks are below 10ppm. I kept them around 20 when I was dosing and had stem plants.

Do you think I'll be able to grow wisteria in there if I do less water changes?

I was hoping the small amount of mulm in my substrate would help feed dwarf sag. If they don't work, I'm going to plant some crypt spiralis or green wendtii from my other tank. I don't have moneywort, but do have brazilian pennywort. I haven't tried it with no dosing, but would guess it's as hungry as the wisteria.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
575 Posts
I have to point out that the water you use is going to influence your success a lot. It's a tough environment, so any nutrients you import with each water change can give the plants a much needed hand. I have soft water and had a long term quarantine tank where I could do java fern, java moss, Christmas moss, and moss balls pretty well with dim light and no fertilization. Slow, slow growth, but very little algae. But I couldn't even support salvinia well in this set up and I'm pretty sure some of the plants you listed in the first post would not have worked for me. Just a thought.
 

·
Banned
A ton of guppies, mystery snails, japanese trapdoor snails, ghost shrimp, & tons of plants in a 10G.
Joined
·
178 Posts
I have wisteria but it's outside in a bucket. I really like the plant, but unfortunately it's a nutrient hog. I'm unable to grow it in a no dosing tank, along with pretty much any stem plant. I see posts and videos of people growing them successfully in low tech but I'm not sure if they're dosing. There's a possibility that I'm keeping my tanks too clean. Nitrates in both tanks are below 10ppm. I kept them around 20 when I was dosing and had stem plants.

Do you think I'll be able to grow wisteria in there if I do less water changes?

I was hoping the small amount of mulm in my substrate would help feed dwarf sag. If they don't work, I'm going to plant some crypt spiralis or green wendtii from my other tank. I don't have moneywort, but do have brazilian pennywort. I haven't tried it with no dosing, but would guess it's as hungry as the wisteria.
I don't dose my tank at all. I grow my water wisteria in CaribSea Samurai Soil, which is nutrient-packed! I successfully grow my water wisteria alongside anacharis, dwarf sagittarius, vallisneria spiralis, moneywort, & pennywort inside my single 10G at the moment. They've been growing there for about 2 months, and I propagate it once a month or so. So if you don't want to dose your plants, I'd recommend getting Samurai Soil!
 

·
Banned
A ton of guppies, mystery snails, japanese trapdoor snails, ghost shrimp, & tons of plants in a 10G.
Joined
·
178 Posts
I have my water at a 6.8 pH, & only gets light from the aquarium lid LED (which is relatively weak). My dwarf sagittarius grows well in the Samurai Soil, but would benefit from being dosed some liquid plant fertilizer. I haven't tried it either, so I'm a bit hesitant to do so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Anything that grows on the surface is fair game as well e.g. frogbit.
I tried floating plants a few months ago but it didn't work out. The splashing on the surface from my sponge filter wouldn't let them settle, and the danios kept messing with them 🙁.

Valisnera. I have a 10g tank with some neons that I don't dose with anything. It has relatively high light and the val will overtake the tank after a few months. There isn't any algae.
Ah yes, this was one plant I wanted as I like vals more than sag for their softer leaves. I went with the sag instead because it's a 5 gal tank. I agree, I had vals in the past and they did fine with no dosing.

I have to point out that the water you use is going to influence your success a lot. It's a tough environment, so any nutrients you import with each water change can give the plants a much needed hand. I have soft water and had a long term quarantine tank where I could do java fern, java moss, Christmas moss, and moss balls pretty well with dim light and no fertilization. Slow, slow growth, but very little algae. But I couldn't even support salvinia well in this set up and I'm pretty sure some of the plants you listed in the first post would not have worked for me. Just a though
Definitely. I can only get away with ferns, some crypts and rhizome plants in my water, but lighting has to be dimmed down. In my 38 gal I have the Current Satellite+ dimmed to the equivalent of a stock lighting from a kit. It works out well because I like dim lighting, especially in my tetra tanks.
My water is relatively hard, ph7.5, kh3, gh7or8. I'm going mix a nutrient rich substrate in the 5 gal because no dosing with inert substrate really limits my plant choices.

I have my water at a 6.8 pH, & only gets light from the aquarium lid LED (which is relatively weak). My dwarf sagittarius grows well in the Samurai Soil, but would benefit from being dosed some liquid plant fertilizer. I haven't tried it either, so I'm a bit hesitant to do so.
Super! I like where this is going. I have flourite from previous set ups but would prefer a more full range substrate and the samurai soil sounds like what I need. This should allow me to grow a larger variety of plants. I've been reading articles and discussions on the type of soil substrate you use. I like how they're able to take things with a +ve charge from the water column and make them more available to the plants. Your post is the final thing to convince me to give this a try so I can increase the variety of plants. The fact that you can grow wisteria without dosing is something that would never happen in my current set up with inert substrate. Any stem added will cause deficiency.

I'm going to order some and redo the tank this weekend. I checked my lfs website and they're sold out of Samurai Soil. There are alternatives, they have 3 different types from Tropica (substrate, soil, soil powder), Aqueon Plant and Shrimp substrate, and Fluval Stratum. They also have the offerings from Seachem but they're trace elements like Flourite.

So far I'm looking at the soil powder from Tropica as this looks like they have the finest grains size. I like the substrate I have in there so I'm thinking about throwing a thin layer of soil powder over my gravel, then stir the substrate around to allow the soil powder to settle below my gravel. I have pea size gravel in there at the moment.

Do you think this will work or would it be better to take the gravel out first? I don't mind using the soil powder as my only substrate if it's going to give much better growth. I just don't know how much is optimal. Going to look up some videos and do a bit of reading on this stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
575 Posts
Yeah, having some active substrate is going to help a lot, but keep in mind that the nutrients are going to run out at some point. In traditional Walstad tanks nutrition then switches over to coming primarily from mulm/fish waste, but sometimes people have a tough time with this transition. Not everybody experiences that though, but it's good to be aware of in case you need to make adjustments.

I wrestled with this myself about what to do when this happened and I ended up just deciding to dose the tank. The way I keep my aquariums has evolved to be more elaborate as I have gained experience, so there was a whole philosophical shift that went along with this choice. I don't regret it at all, but I definitely understand people who want to keep things simple and low maintenance.
 

·
Banned
A ton of guppies, mystery snails, japanese trapdoor snails, ghost shrimp, & tons of plants in a 10G.
Joined
·
178 Posts
It's best to take the gravel out. I originally had sand substrate, and my wisteria was doing horribly. What substrate you have will ultimately dictate how well your wisteria grows. Maybe order the Samurai Soil off of Amazon?

Here's a link to it for Amazon Canada: Carib Sea 00761 Samurai Soil, 3.5 lbs: Amazon.ca: Pet Supplies

One 9 lb. container gives you about a 2.5 in. sea bed in a 10 gallon tank. How much you need depends on how big your tank is.
 

·
Banned
A ton of guppies, mystery snails, japanese trapdoor snails, ghost shrimp, & tons of plants in a 10G.
Joined
·
178 Posts
Anything that grows on the surface is fair game as well e.g. frogbit.
Yeah, no. If you have a sponge filter or anything that disturbs the surface of the water, chances are your top-floating plants will not survive.
I tried floating plants a few months ago but it didn't work out. The splashing on the surface from my sponge filter wouldn't let them settle, and the danios kept messing with them 🙁.
#same :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Java fern, java moss, hornwort, moneywort, anubias. I know these are probably repeats, but they are my tried and true do nothing to keep them going plants. Java fern and moss especially.
Thanks. I'll look for those on my next lfs trip. The java fern I have in there are doing very good now, anubias are in a bucket outside. I'll plant some in a few days. A few hours ago I planted my sword plant and crypt spiralis in small pots and placed them in the 38gal.

Yeah, having some active substrate is going to help a lot, but keep in mind that the nutrients are going to run out at some point. In traditional Walstad tanks nutrition then switches over to coming primarily from mulm/fish waste, but sometimes people have a tough time with this transition. Not everybody experiences that though, but it's good to be aware of in case you need to make adjustments.

I wrestled with this myself about what to do when this happened and I ended up just deciding to dose the tank. The way I keep my aquariums has evolved to be more elaborate as I have gained experience, so there was a whole philosophical shift that went along with this choice. I don't regret it at all, but I definitely understand people who want to keep things simple and low maintenance.
Thanks for the info! I had thought about it and if I can get the substrate to last over 12 months, I wouldn't mind syphoning everything and re-doing the tank. Very easy to do because it's a 5 gal. I hope it lasts a while as the lighting is low. It's an led strip that's included with the kit.

Do you think root tabs would be enough to replenish nutrients in the substrate once they run out?

Something interesting, now on day 2, the dwarf sag are regaining some of their colors. I was expecting to see white leaves when I turned on the light and was surprised to see they've colored up a little. I wonder if it was the Flourish Iron I dosed. Because they were looking so pale yesterday, I dosed 2 drops of it. If I can get away with a dwarf sag jungle in this tank, I may keep it as is and use the active substrate on another tank. I'm planning to get another 5 gallon kit very soon.

Strange how it's the root feeding plants that do well for me with no dosing and inert substrate. I planted the amazon sword earlier in my 38gal hoping it grows because my crypts work out just fine with no ferts.

It's best to take the gravel out. I originally had sand substrate, and my wisteria was doing horribly. What substrate you have will ultimately dictate how well your wisteria grows. Maybe order the Samurai Soil off of Amazon?

Here's a link to it for Amazon Canada: Carib Sea 00761 Samurai Soil, 3.5 lbs: Amazon.ca: Pet Supplies

One 9 lb. container gives you about a 2.5 in. sea bed in a 10 gallon tank. How much you need depends on how big your tank is.
Thanks! I decided I'm going to take the gravel out and use just the new substrate, or set it up in a new tank I'm setting up real soon. I place my order from the lfs because I get points that can go towards discounts. I don't mind trying out the Tropica. The Fluval looks nice, but I hear it's very light and some people have problems keeping plants in place.
Funny you mentioned the sand substrate. That's where I was trying to grow the wisteria. Maybe I should try it in my gravel tank when I get a good amount of mulm build up.

Yeah, no. If you have a sponge filter or anything that disturbs the surface of the water, chances are your top-floating plants will not survive.

#same :(
Yup lol, a lot of them ended up underneath the sponge filter and started rotting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
575 Posts
Thanks for the info! I had thought about it and if I can get the substrate to last over 12 months, I wouldn't mind syphoning everything and re-doing the tank. Very easy to do because it's a 5 gal. I hope it lasts a while as the lighting is low. It's an led strip that's included with the kit.

Do you think root tabs would be enough to replenish nutrients in the substrate once they run out?

Something interesting, now on day 2, the dwarf sag are regaining some of their colors. I was expecting to see white leaves when I turned on the light and was surprised to see they've colored up a little. I wonder if it was the Flourish Iron I dosed. Because they were looking so pale yesterday, I dosed 2 drops of it. If I can get away with a dwarf sag jungle in this tank, I may keep it as is and use the active substrate on another tank. I'm planning to get another 5 gallon kit very soon.

Strange how it's the root feeding plants that do well for me with no dosing and inert substrate. I planted the amazon sword earlier in my 38gal hoping it grows because my crypts work out just fine with no ferts.
No, I wouldn't expect the soil to still be going more than a year in, but adding root tabs will probably be enough to last you until a rescape. I don't have experience with root tabs - I'm a little afraid of them after reading some stories about what happens when they aren't buried enough. I'm not sure how common that is though.

But at a certain point you have to ask yourself why not add just a little fertilization? If you can nearly get by without it, adding just a touch will cover your bases.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top