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Old 05-07-2008, 08:27 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Getting Frustrated...and Hello!

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Originally Posted by C.Anderson View Post

Sword looking things to the left, fern to the right.
This looks like a species of Dracaena. It's a houseplant. Most definitely not an aquarium plant. In fact, Dracaenas don't tend to like having their feet wet all the time, much less soaking, and they will rot pretty quickly as a result. I think that particular one may be Dracaena fragrans (corn plant) or something related to it....

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Forgot this cactus grass looking thing, and another of the odd sword looking plants.
This one looks familiar, too, but I can't quite place it..... I'm a houseplant nut, too, so I've had a lot of various species in this house over the years. Still do. This one reminds me of the narrow leaved varieties of Dracaena, but I'm not sure that's what it is.

Unfortunately, a lot of places are selling submerged houseplants as aquarium plants, and they are doomed. Houseplants don't generally survive submerged. Even bog plants can't generally survive long term totally submerged. I wish LFS would stop selling them, but too much money in it I suppose.
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Old 05-07-2008, 10:22 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting Frustrated...and Hello!

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Unfortunately, a lot of places are selling submerged houseplants as aquarium plants, and they are doomed. Houseplants don't generally survive submerged. Even bog plants can't generally survive long term totally submerged. I wish LFS would stop selling them, but too much money in it I suppose.
Yep...making money off the uninformed is really, really annoying. Thanks for the ID on the two plants though. Any idea what the other two are? I'd like to be able to match them as the selection at Petco etc is pretty limited and these actually seem to be growing well. The tuber one I need to trim some today, and the fern is growing new darker green growth at the top...even though the rest is slightly yellow.

Here's two more pictures:

Ignore the pleco dump...they just got fed lol.


[QUOTE=guaiac_boy;384480]Getting enough CO2 into a 300g tank to make a difference is difficult on a good day. A 20lb cylinder would last only 3 or 4 months. You could go bigger, but they're a real pain to manhandle and keep out of sight if you go too big. I really don't think you'd be able to use a bubble stream either. Too much gas would be wasted unless you stuck with something small.

Also, injecting CO2 into a canister filter at this scale won't work. You'd need a pretty rapid stream of CO2 and I think you'd find most of it coming out the filter undissolved. I'd recommend a series of diffusors or an in-line reactor of some sort.

Honestly, considering what you're trying to do, I'd avoid CO2 and stick with less demanding species. I kept a very nice tank without CO2 before upgrading.

Congratulations of finding the SMS. It's often hard to locate.

Avoiding high light and CO2 will probably allow you to keep fertilizing to a minimum. Root tablets would suffice just fine.[/QUOTE]

Thanks again...you guys have helped me a lot, and it's always nice to hear that what you're hoping will work...should. I'll do more research into direct fertilization...while still being open to learning with the rest. This should help me out tremendously!!

By the way, http://www.rexgrigg.com/index.html was a GREAT read. He has a sense of humor that's pretty abrupt and in your face (which I can appreciate...particularly 'Clown Puke' lol) but it's TOTALLY clear all he wants to do is help others. One of my best friends in the racing field is the same way and it's amazing how unappreciated he is.

Cris
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Old 05-07-2008, 02:44 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Ignore the pleco dump...they just got fed lol.
This looks like Onion Plant, Crinum thaianum. Maybe someone else can confirm since I'm still learning some of these aquarium plants.

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The image is kind of blurry, but this one resembles Milfoil, Myriophyllum sp. ?

Hopefully the links will give you photos you can compare to the plants you've got to solve the mystery.
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Old 05-07-2008, 03:48 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I think you got them both xandert! Thank a ton. I really like these two, and I think they'll fit well (along with a few others of course) with the theme I'm going to have to have with the tank splitting rooms.

Should be fun =).

Cris
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Old 05-07-2008, 03:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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which one of his plants aren't aquatic???? i think i purchased some of those at pet smart recently???? Would pet smart really sell plants that aren't going to survive in your fish tank?
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Old 05-07-2008, 08:11 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting Frustrated...and Hello!

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which one of his plants aren't aquatic???? i think i purchased some of those at pet smart recently???? Would pet smart really sell plants that aren't going to survive in your fish tank?
My local Petsmart sells non aquatic plants almost exclusively. Only the bottom two plants are aquatics, the "onion" and the milfoil(?). Generally, any plant that has leaves that stand up by themselves, no water needed, are not aquatic. And, I don't recall any aquatic plant that has white stripes on green leaves. Those are two rules I try to keep in mind.
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Old 05-08-2008, 12:29 AM   #17 (permalink)
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So, I found out from Lesco today that they're totally phasing out the charcoal soil select. Get it while you can. I'm picking up the three bags at my local supplier tomorrow, and going to try to order three or four bags from a texas supplier that has 15 bags showing in stock tomorrow. When I pick up the soil select tomorrow I'm going to grab a couple more bags of colorquartz as well. Maybe in the T type. Basically the idea is to build the substrate up from the soil select to a slightly finer T grade colorquartz to the topping of S color quartz. To be honest also, I think even if the stuff ends up all mixed over time...it will still be attractive. Particularly with the black sand that was in the original tank being mixed with the soil select as the carrier for 'mulm'.

On a brighter note (literally), I picked up the new lighting setup I'm going to use for now on the 300gal tank. On the 130gal I was using a setup that had 4 40w 'Plant and Aquarium' T12's that I found out were only putting out light in the 1200k spectrum. I was also using 4 40w actinics. These were in a standard house/shop style housing that put a LOT of light all over the place...some of which even made it into the tank. While at Home Depot today filling my shopping list for this tank I found some nice 'work bench' lights with a very nice mirror/chrome reflector that points the light straight down. These lights are designed to light a specific work bench area from a relatively high mounting point, so there isn't a lot of spread. The housings take a 48" 36w T8 bulb, which is somewhat of an improvement on the others I had. The bulbs I picked up are in the 5000k range (all they had). The housings on them are also finished in a nice powder coated black...meaning there is no need for a canopy if you don't mind the 'deco' look (see the second picture below).

Here's pictures of the same ones I got that I found on the net:


Here's a picture of a tank thats sort of setup like mine may be (lighting decor wise)...dual purpose fish tank/area lamp =p:


The only difference with my lighting is that I'll be mounting them two each to a clear plexi top (for a total of four, or 8 bulbs), with a double strip of blue actinics between for fish color, and hinging it on the back so I can raise either side like a canopy with a prop rod support. Every part other than the lamps themselves will be acrylic if I can design it right, including the hinges etc. Should look REALLY nice if it works out. I can tell you right now that ONE 48" strip housing TWO of these bulbs seems to put out more light than my other 8 bulbs together...and all of it goes STRAIGHT down too. For now I have it stood off the tank with clear shot glasses lol.



Ignore the cheesy aquascape deco, I've removed all the mopani and am re-soaking it in hopes of making it stop leaching so I don't tan the 300gal this weekend. Also without all the 'houseplants' those roman ruins sure do stand out lol.

Anyhow, total wattage now should be at 288w (of course not counting the useless actinics that I need for fish color =/) of decent quality lights with GOOD, mirror quality reflectors. I'll work on ordering some bulbs with a better kelvin range as well which should help. I know it's still low compared to what I probably need, but it's a definite start.

I'll try to take some pictures as I get this monster setup this weekend and share them if you guys like. I'm trying to get things ready to setup the substrate Friday night, fill the tank Saturday day, and hopefully, since the filters are all already fully seeded biologically and have been running for awhile...possibly add my fish this next week.

Can't wait!

Cris
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Old 05-08-2008, 06:09 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting Frustrated...and Hello!

Cris, I don't want to sound doubtful here, but these fixtures and reflectors might not be as good as you'd like to think. They're certainly better than what you had, but most T8 fixtures are pretty limitted compared to what most of us are using in CF, MH, or T5 designs. That's OK, but you might need to compensate with a bit more light. Might I kindly suggest that you ditch the actinics? Replace them with something useful and it will go a long ways to helping. Create a nice environment for the fish (plants) and they'll take care of coloring up and displaying beautifully.
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:50 AM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Getting Frustrated...and Hello!

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which one of his plants aren't aquatic???? i think i purchased some of those at pet smart recently???? Would pet smart really sell plants that aren't going to survive in your fish tank?
Unfortunately, Matt, Petsmart, Petco and many LFS commonly sell plants as aquatic that aren't in the least. Cheap and dirty way to make money. The biggest problem is that store employees tend to be clueless so they have no idea what they are selling or that it's not appropriate for aquariums and will die as a result. So customers can't rely on or trust staff to educate them about this stuff. They can't even get information correct about the fish they sell, much less the plants.

I used to be horrified on a regular basis by the ignorant junk that came out of the mouths of LFS staff when someone in the general public asked them a question. When I go into a store for the first time and don't know anything about it or its staff, I will often ask some of those "newbie" questions just to test the staff. Let's me know what I'm dealing with. Every great once in a while, you can actually find someone working in these places who is educated about aquariums. Sadly, that's less than 5% in my experience.

I've seen a whole host of houseplants sold in stores as aquarium plants in LFS, including Petsmart and Petco. Thankfully, with my houseplant knowledge and experience, they can't get away with pawning that stuff off on me. And, if I'm in the store and see someone looking at something I KNOW is a houseplant the store is selling submerged, I warn them not to buy it and explain why, then I try to direct them to plants that are truly aquarium plants (IF the store even sells any - I've seen some that didn't have a single aquarium plant in their tanks). If they buy the houseplant anyway, it's on their own heads as far as I'm concerned.

I feel bad for all the people who aren't warned, though. But there's not much I can do about it.

I've often wondered if filing written complaints with the head offices of these stores about them selling houseplants as aquarium plants would do any good. I mean, it IS a form of false advertising and unethical business practice, imo. Definitely fraud in my book. Anyone know if letter writing and such would do any good in this case?
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Old 05-08-2008, 10:20 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting Frustrated...and Hello!

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I've often wondered if filing written complaints with the head offices of these stores about them selling houseplants as aquarium plants would do any good. I mean, it IS a form of false advertising and unethical business practice, imo. Definitely fraud in my book. Anyone know if letter writing and such would do any good in this case?

Unfortunately I bet it would cause them to stop selling aquatic plants in general. I've found in business that often not doing it all makes more financial sense for big companies than doing it right =/. Rather than put the administrative money into cleaning up their act and doing things in a matter which promotes honest business, they would rather just shut that aspect down. You see that with the fish themselves. Hell this last weekend I made a call to the corporate center for my local Petco because for the last month their tanks have been completely, and I mean completely covered in a slimy sludge layer of clear/blue/green muck, almost half an inch thick. Fish dead all over the place, the whole 9yds. Unfortunately right (and I mean the day) before that mess we'd bought a few guppies and danio's from that store. Two ended up dying, and upon returning them they tried to say it was MY water quality that killed them (none of my other guppies, danio's, tetras, etc seem affected). Meanwhile the manager is standing in front of a swamp full of dead fish. Since then all but 2 of the fish bought from that Petco have died...all within the 15 days. They wouldn't give me the refund...but offered to replace the fish. As if I'd take another fish out of those tanks right?

Bleh!

Also, guaiac...I'll see what I can do about the actinics. The wife likes how the bright fish look in those lights, but it's entirely possible that by replacing them (they're only 40w T12 fixtures anyhow) with a nicer, more blue (am I right in that the higher kelvin range lights are more blue than the lower?) daylight spectrum it'll brighten things up enough where she still likes the look. These plants I have now seem to be growing without any fertilizer and with the crappy light I've had. It's sort of crazy...and I know it probably won't last lol. I spent $330 on nothing but the fish tank list at Home Depot yesterday (also got some nice marked buckets and an adjustable platform for working on the new tank), and haven't finished yet!

Cris
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