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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 1:30 pm 
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Fishkeeper

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 5:50 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Newton, MA
Hi friends:

If you were at last month's meeting, you may have met my 7 year old dynamo, Jason. For the holidays, I purchased him a 55 gallon, and we're picking it up today. It has a Penguin 330 biowheel. In his 20, he has a Pearl Leeri, Blue Gourami, a beautiful Bala Shark and Botia, and an ever-growing Gold Severum (hence the move to the larger tank).

Our family also has 2 other tanks, and I fear that going live with the plants in the 55 will just be too time consuming, given that the other 2 tanks are the "responsibility" of my 9 year old and 5 year old. Essentially, I am asking for advice, more than anything, and here goes:

1. Can I essentially "mix" live and plastic, just to see if Jason gets the hang of caring for both fish and plants.

2. Is dolomite an appropriate substrate to handle both live and/or plastic?

3. Should I completely ditch the plastic idea and shoot straight for live?

4. I'm going to Skipton's in the morning (if they're open tomorrow; I prssume so). Who is the freshwater point person there I should see is available?

Any advice with respect to lighting, substrate, water, etc..., is most appreciated, as I haven't had live plants in a tank personally in about 15 years.

Thanks, and hope to see you all tomorrow nite. With Jason and Rachel...

Alan Klevan


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 2:17 pm 
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Former BAS Board
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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 2:05 pm
Posts: 1062
Location: Boston
I think the easiest, most low maint live plants (low light, no special substrates needed, etc) are Java Fern, Java Moss, and various Anubias.

Some folks I know consider these "plastic plants that grow!" :D

I would stick with some of those, they're pretty easy to find at better LFS and often available at our auctions (sometimes they're the most popular items at the auction !)

As for the dolomite - I'd avoid it for the fishes you listed, it will raise the pH and hardness of the water too high for those fish in my opinion. It is great for cichlids from the African Rift Lakes but not for rain forest fishes.

You could always use a blend of real and artificial plants, but I would try the new "silk" plants rather than the plastic - I think they look better.
If you don't have any already, driftwood is great for attaching javafern, moss, and anubias to, and makes for great decor.

I don't know if he'll be working, but Aric (pronounced Eric) has some really nice planted tanks, as does Steve (although I think Steve is usually over in the saltwater section, he's also great in freshwater).

Every tank I own has some javamoss, javafern, or anubias in it, even if its not a "planted" tank per se - they're that easy.

_________________
Rich
_______
Part-time fishguy at Uncle Ned's Fish Factory (saturdays)
_______
Species I am currently keeping/breeding include :
Copadichromis borleyi "redfin"
Labidochromis caeruleus yellow labs
Aulonocara sp. "Lwanda"
Ancistrus cf. cirrhosus "Super Red Ancistris"
Xiphophorus montezumae Montezuma Swordtails
_______
(I'm in the middle of resetting and redesigning my fishroom - so things are kinda quiet)


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 Post subject: live plants
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 3:05 pm 
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Former BAS Board

Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 4:23 pm
Posts: 246
Location: Pembroke, Ma
Just want to point out that a lot of fish enjoy a good course of veggies with their flake food. Live plants = veggies. Severum = plant devourer (in my experience). So if the plants don't fair well make sure the caretaker knows he has fed his fish well and that it is a natural course of events.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 3:18 pm 
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Former BAS Board
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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 2:05 pm
Posts: 1062
Location: Boston
John's got a good point.

In my sevrum tank the anubias and java fern are pretty much untouched - they taste bad

_________________
Rich
_______
Part-time fishguy at Uncle Ned's Fish Factory (saturdays)
_______
Species I am currently keeping/breeding include :
Copadichromis borleyi "redfin"
Labidochromis caeruleus yellow labs
Aulonocara sp. "Lwanda"
Ancistrus cf. cirrhosus "Super Red Ancistris"
Xiphophorus montezumae Montezuma Swordtails
_______
(I'm in the middle of resetting and redesigning my fishroom - so things are kinda quiet)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 5:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 7:57 pm
Posts: 44
Location: Duxbury
Let me rummage through my 'container tank' (where I pop my container guppies to overwinter) and see what I have floating around. I should have at least some java fern to help get Jason going. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 7:49 pm 
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Fishkeeper

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 5:50 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Newton, MA
Thanks, guys/gals. You are all awesome!

See you tomorrow.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 1:43 pm 
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Former BAS Board

Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 2:09 pm
Posts: 135
Location: Medford, MA
I started straight with planted tanks when I got in the hobby a little over a year ago and have had good look with most species. Setups are very simple. I have 160W NO over my 75 (cost about $30 for the hoods and bulbs from HD), but my various 10's have used desk lamps with screw-in spiral fluors, an old 18W aquarium hood, a $10 "sunlight" desklamp with these little PC bulbs... and had good growth in all, so light is not a big deal. I've never had algae problems (except once early on with a tank with that black eco-something substrate). I've tried fluorite, the eco-gravel (can't remember what it's called), and just plain silica play sand, and I prefer the sand (plant growth as good or better, brighter, doesn't collect detritus much). I don't do CO2 or add fertilizer in any.

Plant-wise, Vallisneria grows like mad for me, as well as most floating stuff (water sprite, hornwort, najas, java moss). Stuff that I think needs richer substrate (lotus, crypts) have not done so well for me. The best thing about plants is I can get a pretty large amount of a species at the club for a few bucks, put it in a few tanks, and if it does well, great, if not, no big loss.

Ryan

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Ryan Keane
100g mbuna
75g SE asian community
20g nano-reef w/ ocellaris clown pair
10g mbuna fry


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