Am I taking care of my plants right?
I have a newly setup 10 gallon tall tank - 38 inches wide X 25 inches deep X 39 inches high. In it I have 10 red cherry shrimp. Over the tank I have a 10 watt 10000K PL bulb switched on 11 to 12 hours daily. Weekly, I dose JBL Ferropol plant fertilizer (mainly consists of micro-nutrients). I have the following plants;
1. Valliseneria (one 'JBL 7 Balls' root tab under them)
2. Dwarf saggiteria (one root tab under them)
3. Ludwigia like plant (one root tab under them)
4. One amazon sword (one root tab under it)
Substrate - 5mm black rounded gravel.
No CO2 input.
My question is - am I taking care of my plants properly? Should I expect nice growth from the plants? Is there anything I can do for better plant growth (that is not too expensive) besides adding CO2?
Thanks in Advance.
- Dan MLv 77 years agoFavorite Answer
Val and sag do not usually do well together. Vallisneria likes a high pH and hard water, with more current flow than most plants tolerate. Sagittaria prefer soft water and a low pH down to five. There is a narrow range, around 7.0 to 7.5 that both plants will tolerate.
Sword plants are big root feeders so you may need more than one root tab by it. I place them a few inches away from the base, and a large sword may need five or six tabs circling it.
Without CO2 you would benefit by having an alternative carbon source for the plants. Flourish Excel by SeaChem is one such product. Shortly after adding it to tanks, plants begin to "pearl". They become covered with tiny bubbles of oxygen they produce. Like using CO2 high tech, the chemical carbon source in this product also reduces the algae in the tank. Vallisneria, hornwort, and Chara, because they are "primitive" plants, react badly to a full dose of Excel.
I would put the light on a timer. I have propagated and sold aquatic plants since 1969 and one thing has recently changed. For many years it was assumed that tropical plants need 12 hours a day of light. At the equator there is 12 hours of light every day. but it turns out that is not true underwater. In the morning and evening, light is at a sharp angle and refracts, bounces, right off the surface of the water instead of penetrating. So the underwater plants only get about 9 hours a day of light and are in darkness the rest of the day. You can get a timer and set it to 9 hours a day to save your bulb life and reduce the power bill without affecting the plant growth rate. Amphibious plants like sword plants with leaves both above and under water, still do well under a 12 hour photoperiod.
- 3 years ago
right this is a catalogue of flora i've got for my section chanced directly to be hardy and elementary: Java fern Java moss Willow moss Anubias Anacharis Watersprite Crypts Vals Hygro Rotala indica Cabomba Banana lily plant