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Old 07-16-2005, 09:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Famine-tolerant plants?

Heyas.

I have a 2.5-gallon tank with natural gravel and 8W fluorescent lighting. There's a heater in it, but I can just as easily go without. Anyway, until now, the only "real" plant I've had in there has been some petit Anubias attached to a small piece of driftwood. So today, I finally took some clippings from my various other planted tanks and put 'em in there.

The deal with this tank is that I don't want to fertilize much at all, and even my substrate is just plain gravel, so I need to limit myself to small plants that can tolerate very low nutrient levels. The plants that I added today were some dwarf lobelia, Lagarosiphon madagascariensis, Lysimachia nummularia 'aurea', what I *believe* to be Bacopa monnieri (was sold as something else), a piece of Limnophila sessiflora, and Monosolenium tenerum. Frankly, I doubt that the Lag. could survive, especially without CO2 injection. I'm sure some of these species will have to be replaced.

I plan to dose daily with Excel and add no more than a few drops of ferts. I know for a fact that this is enough light to grow many light-demanding plants, so I'm not too limited in that regard. Aside from mosses, are there any other plants that might work in this set-up? I take it that Ammannia sp. 'bonsai' and Downoi are not going to do well under these conditions...?

If anybody can give me some ideas for other plants I could use, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

-Naomi
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Old 07-17-2005, 08:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I find that baby tears and Taiwan moss grow the best for me in my nano tanks. I don't fertilize at all, just a little shrimp food once a week.
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Old 07-17-2005, 08:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urkevitz
I find that baby tears and Taiwan moss grow the best for me in my nano tanks. I don't fertilize at all, just a little shrimp food once a week.
By "baby tears" do you mean H. micranthemoides or M. umbrosum? I did consider umbrosum to put in this tank, but I've found that it does not tolerate low nutrients well at all. As for H. micranthemoides, last time I kept it under similar conditions, it grew puny, dark-green leaves and the stem part would get brittle. It almost looked like it was burned with a flame. Or could this be caused by overly hard or soft water? I may be willing to give it another try.

Is it just me, or does Taiwan moss have an incredible ability to stick to *everything*??? I was already thinking of putting some erect moss in the tank, but I just need to decide how I'm going to use it.

Thanks for the suggestions!

-Naomi
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Old 07-18-2005, 04:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnome
Frankly, I doubt that the Lag. could survive, especially without CO2 injection. I'm sure some of these species will have to be replaced.
Naomi, Lag. m is the easiest weed of all for me, without CO2, and requires weekly pruning in my 10 gallon shrimp tank. If you have more than one piece of downoi, you might want to try one in it. I have seen reports of it doing very well without CO2.

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Old 07-18-2005, 05:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Hi, Sha!

I planted three pieces of Lag in this tank. One was a good 2" or so, and it's doing fine. The other two pieces were much shorter, and they are already decaying at the tips. Maybe the trick is to start off with robust stems. I have some Lag in my 20 that need to be trimmed. I think I'll replace those two decaying stems in the nano with these cuttings. I'm glad to hear that it can be done. I may even need to let them float a bit before planting them - I've noticed that this plant does very well floating.

Actually, I do have some Downoi slowly rotting away in my pea-soup 10-gallon tank. I've been meaning to move them, but I didn't know where. I guess I'll try a piece of it in this 2.5-gallon, then. It's either that, or let them die an excruciating death in the pea soup. Nothing to lose by trying...

Thanks, Sha! Oh, BTW, you have Ammannia sp. 'bonsai,' right? Do you have it in a nutrient-rich tank, or is this also in your shrimp tank?

-Naomi
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Old 07-18-2005, 05:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnome
you have Ammannia sp. 'bonsai,' right? Do you have it in a nutrient-rich tank, or is this also in your shrimp tank?

-Naomi
That one is in the 'high-tech' tank. I have Ludwigia arcuata doing very well in the shrimp tank if you want some color:


Stargrass is also quite easy without CO2. Also try any potamogeton weeds(gayi, etc).

H. micranthemoides is weedy, but stunts often if you don't keep up with NO3 and let it bottom out. I now dose tiny amount of NO3 daily. It is an even better NO3 indicator for me than umbrosum.

Lysimachia nummularia 'aurea' did fine, just grew slowly. Limnophila sessiflora will do fine but can stunt due to low NO3. Monosolenium tenerum will survive, but look leggy and ugly without CO2.

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Old 07-18-2005, 06:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Wow, Sha! That arcuata is *gorgeous*!!! I'd love to try it, but I don't know if it's small enough for a 2.5-gallon. I thought that ambulia, of all things, could tolerate low NO3 without any problem. Good to know I might have problems with it and the M. tenerum.

In the second photo, toward the front right corner, is that E. parviflorus 'Tropica'? I have a small piece of that in my shrimp tank, which has been hidden under a huge section of erect moss forever. I fear uprooting it because I'm sure that the roots extend from one side of the 5.5-gallon tank to the other. Maybe I'll try to find a small piece floating around at Albany. That plant came to mind when I was planning this tank, but I need to find one that's already small and... well... stunted.

How are you getting the stargrass to stay healthy in a low-nutrient tank? Every time I've had that plant, the leaves would get black and disintegrate, except for the very-very tips. I found it quite infuriating. But back then, I *was* running everything at very low levels.

Thanks for all of these wonderful ideas! I'm now really hoping for a plant swap soon. Maybe I'll try glosso, too! It's terribly invasive in my other tanks but maybe it won't be so bad in a "depleted" environment. Or I might even try a bit of HC in the meantime.

-Naomi
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Old 07-19-2005, 09:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnome
Wow, Sha! That arcuata is *gorgeous*!!! I'd love to try it, but I don't know if it's small enough for a 2.5-gallon.
Naomi, L. arcuata is about the same size as lag. m., maybe a little bit longer leaved in my tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gnome
In the second photo, toward the front right corner, is that E. parviflorus 'Tropica'? I have a small piece of that in my shrimp tank, which has been hidden under a huge section of erect moss forever. I fear uprooting it because I'm sure that the roots extend from one side of the 5.5-gallon tank to the other. Maybe I'll try to find a small piece floating around at Albany. That plant came to mind when I was planning this tank, but I need to find one that's already small and... well... stunted.
Good eye, Naomi, that's the plant. I had the mother plant in the high light tank, it is MUCH bigger, BUT, the leaves come out all warped and twisted. Could not figure out if due to any deficiency. I noticed a plantlet getting NO light is growing normal leaves, although much smaller. So I moved it into the shrimp tank and put it in a position where it almost gets NO direct light. It stays cute(stunted) but with perfect leaves. Perfect. I say don't be afraid to uproot this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gnome
How are you getting the stargrass to stay healthy in a low-nutrient tank? Every time I've had that plant, the leaves would get black and disintegrate, except for the very-very tips. I found it quite infuriating. But back then, I *was* running everything at very low levels.
I read many people saying it is a nitrate hog. But it gave me no problem even when NO3 bottomed out. And it does not demand ANY direct light. No black leaves for me, maybe it just loves me On second thought, maybe the key is: don't give it lots of light if your NO3 is low

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Originally Posted by gnome
Or I might even try a bit of HC in the meantime.
HC grew fine for me, but just like other baby tears, stunts/grows tiny(yes, it can get much tinnier although the normal size is already tiny) leaves when NO3 bottoms out.

Good luck with your tank, Naomi. You deserve a nice tank with healthy plants, with all the trouble you had with plants and shrimps in the past.

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Old 07-19-2005, 10:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Sha,

Right after my last post yesterday, I took my Downoi out of the pea soup, broke off some of the little plantlets, and planted two pieces in the 2.5-gallon. I do hope it can survive and grow in there because I think it would make a very cute occupant. However, it was in such poor health, I don't know if they'll recover at all.

I agree that the Tropica sword looks nicer under low-light conditions. Unfortunately, they don't propagate that way... I've had mine for about four years, now, and it's never sent out a runner or anything. For a while, I had them under strong enough light that they got bigger, but never enough to flower. Ended up giving most of them away.

I have another 2.5-gallon tank that's being cleared of algae by Amano shrimp, right now. The only things I've left rooted are a tiny piece of Downoi that's done much of nothing for the 2+ months it's been in there, and a small patch of HC that grew from a single stem I planted back in February. Anyway, I was running this tank with ample nutrients and CO2 and once the Amano shrimp are done eating all of the algae, I'll move them out and maybe think about trying some stargrass and move a piece of Ammannia sp. 'bonsai' in there. If anybody brings some arcuata to the next scheduled plant swap, I'll try that, too. Hope it's soon (and in SF so we can check out the new shop) .

Thanks again, Sha!

-Naomi
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have some E parviflorus that is not the Tropica variety. The Tropica variety is a dwarf mutant of some kind. That is why it looks sort of stunted or unhealthy. The normal variety gets a lot larger but not nearly as large as the big amazons. See picture
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