do i need any special stuff for live plants in my aquarium?
i want some live plants to hide my guppy fry and was wondering do "have" to have special plant food?
got 10 filthy guppies 1 dirty plec and a catfish.
- golden lyretailLv 69 years agoFavorite Answer
There are a lot of "guppy plants" such as the fairly inexpensive and fast-growing hornwort and several species of Vallisneria, a pretty combination all by themselves.
You do need at least 1.5 watts of light per gallon of water in a 10. 2 watts/gallon would be better. Duration of light is about as important as wattage, so try 10 hours/day. If the plants aren't growing, increase your weekly partial 50% water changes by throwing another one in sometime in the month. And try leaving the light(s) on for 12 hours a day.
Oh, and fluorescent bulbs should be replaced every 6 months to a year. They gradually lose some of their intensity. Sometimes we notice this because some plants may actually get smaller!
(Recycle the bulbs rather than let them get broken and stream a little mercury over your street and yard.)
Najas (guppy grass), several stems of one or two of the Hygro species and bunch plants for a grove (if you can find a bundle of them that has started rooting) will also beautify the tank and purify the water. Most aquatic plants "eat" the same ammonia that the guppies are constantly releasing in their urine and feces. The fish, while digesting food, also pass phosphates, CO2 and a lot of trace elements that the plants might need. Plants provide hiding places for harassed females and fry, as you noted.
A guppy food mix has veggie (green) flakes in their diet. They are even moving some specific plant nutrients to their plants.
Once in a while you will see fry nibbling at the plant leaves. Without a hand lens or microscope at 30x & knowing what to look for, we can't see what rotifers, protists or other microscopic critters they are feeding on, but it is beneficial. And they don't get bored and start scrawling graffiti on the tank sides. ;)
Diana L. Walstad in the Ecology of the Planted Aquarium: A Practical Manual and Scientific Treatise for the Home Aquarist notes that a few aquatic plants actually feed more efficiently off of nitrites and even very rarely off of nitrates. This eases the shock of spikes in these substances. While that slows down the nitrogen cycle a little, it smooths the fish over rough areas.
Over a darker gravel, among plants, your guppies may also show even richer colors. They respond to the comfort, security and less illuminated atmosphere of a planted aquarium, as opposed to an empty, bright tank.
Plants like Java ferns, Java moss, Aponogetons and (after 6 months) Cryptocorynes are famous as beautiful low-light plants. Do keep an eye out for them if tank space and budget allow. They aren't the ammonia sponges the faster growing plants are though. There is a dazzling variety of Aponogetons (bulbs are cheaper, plant them point up) and Crypts. Their beauty also adds another neat aspect to the hobby.
None of the plants mentioned above really need any fertilization beyond what the fish, water changes and a really tiny amount of leaching from gravel will provide. If you wanted to set up a larger tank as an "aquatic garden," with more exotic and exacting plants, then you can get into special gravels, fertilizers and CO2 injection.
Those plants mentioned have served my fish well for a few decades. Never had to add ferts. (Do need to do more partial water changes though!)
Good luck and keep enjoying your guppy tank(s).
- ErikaLv 44 years ago
HI, Like eight In The Corner stated-many so known as aquarium crops are simply natural crops that seem excellent underwater however they do not most commonly final lengthy sufficient to set up themselves. Before I knew approximately this I was once conned into purchasing a few adding a Peace Lilly & a Variegated Dracaena (Dragon Plant). Actually, the Dragon Plant has performed very good in a pot on my windowsill for over a 12 months now! However, in case your aquarium crops are real aquatic reminiscent of Vallis or Elodea I'm afraid they are going to die out of water for any duration of time.
- SkyLv 59 years ago
Fish are not filthy. they just make waste.
Guppies are not too filthy of fish anyways. The pleco and catfish, do make waste. I have never had a problem with my live plants... whether with a betta, or platys, or balloon mollies, or anything. if they seem to start to die for no reason you can get some foods for them - used in moderation.
- Anonymous9 years ago
Plants get their nutrition from the bacteria that the fish produce.
It's always recommended to feed the plants their special food unless you have a tank full of goldfish or koi. (those produce the most bacteria)
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- Anonymous9 years ago
1. you don't want live plants, they will only rot. planted tanks that aren't set up right don't last long.
2. get a plastic plant called - baby hide out
3. stop overfeeding,
yes you are,
by a lot,
like 5 times too much, just stop it.
- Anonymous9 years ago
I use API Leaf Zone, it has worked wonders for my plants. I highly recommend it.