Aquatic Plant Forum banner

Aloha from Hawaii

5752 Views 20 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  plantdude
Hi everyone!

I'm new here. I've just reccently started up this wonderful hobby again... Been busy the last three years!

Here is what I have can you suggest plants that will do well with my setup?

50gal tank 48" long
Aquaclear freshwater CF lights 260W total
Eco-complete substrate
CO2 20lb tank with regulator
Flourish & Iron Fert

In Hawaii it rains so often that we use rain water from a catchment tank.
I've tested this using a cheap tetra test kit and found the Ph to be around 6.0....

I have not tested the hardness yet, but I guess rain water is on the harder side?

I do not plan to use a heater in my tank.

Any input would help.


1 - 20 of 21 Posts
hey josh

where in hawaii are you? i live in the salt lake area, and been in this hobby for a little over a year now. if you want to share ideas, help out each other, let me know.

Howzit guys!!

I hope you folks got to the annual orchid show at the Blaisdell last weekend. The Honolulu Aquarium Society participated with over 50 aquariums, a good number of which were planted tanks. This was by far the best showing of planted community tanks I've seen since involved with the club. I have pictures and will upload them when I have time (and actually learn how to do so)

The planted tank hobby is growing here pretty fast, it seems like Gaspro cant keep their 5 lbs CO2 bottles in stock any more!

Yo 5-0, rainwater is super soft, similar to RO and distilled water. that is unless your catchment is made out of concrete or something and it stays in there for a while. you might eventually have to add Ca and Mg to your fert regimen. I'd not worry about that too much yet, see how the plants do first. If I had that kinda water, I'd go for all the Toninas, polygonums, and eriocaulons... all the cool soft water plants coming out of Brazil and argentina.

Welcome to APC! You should be able to grow just about anything with a setup like that. Visit our Aquascapeing forum for pics that might help you get an idea of what plants you like.
Hello! I really loved Hawaii when I got to visit several times -- what a nice place to live (and keep fish tanks!)
Hey Plantdude and Aaron, where do you guys get your plants from?

I live in the Big island and well we only have 2 pet stores... No one seems to care too much about plants. The plants they have are either dead or way too expensive...

I'll be on Oahu tomorrow and will be stopping at a few stores to get some supplies.

I'm wondering with the nice weather, might there be some aquatic plants in some ponds in the area?
There are 2 stores that are worth checking out while on Oahu. Pets Plus on Ward Ave and Pets Unlimited near King and middle st. Both have excellent and knowledgable staff and have a good variety of plants and supplies. These are also the only stores that carry CO2 equipment. Pets Plus is a bit umorganized, but be sure to look hard in their plant tanks as they always have something pretty rare hidden in the mess.

Piscesgirl, ponds are hard to come by here on Oahu, most of them are brackish. There are however a lot of streams and springs that support aquatic plant life. I have found Vallisneria, a couple sp. of sagitteria, anacharis, echinodorus, Ludwigia, Gymnocoronis in and near these bodies of water, not to mention your host of invasive floaters (Salvinia, Eichornia, duckweed, azolla, water lettuce etc). We also have native sps. of Pomatogeton and Marsilea. Most interesting is that one can find "aquatic plants" where the humidity is high and there is a lot of rain. We have a nice hydrocotyle very similar to sibthorpioides growing as a weed in wet areas (it is doing well on the grounds of the federal building in Downtown Honolulu thanks to drip irrigation!!) There are also an assortment of mosses and liverworts that live in the mountains that do well submerged in the aquarium.
See less See more
Three's a crowd. Maybe you guys should create the Hawaii Plant Club. :D


I never knew there were so many species of aquatic plants right here in Hawaii!! I thought we had none actually.

Where exactly did you find these? How about in the Big island, where im from?

go to pets unlimited and ask for jojo. he's good and hes the one who orders for all the plants. maybe he can send some to the big isle. alos petland in kahala is good too, but they just tok out their planted tank to the show so they are starting a new display tank. if robert is there, talk to him he's good too, but he doesnt want to share his secrets as much. to me, jojo is a lot nicer and shares more info.
oh yeah, aaron, i did go to the show the other week. the best in show tank was really nice. i think i could've placed high in the novice miniture planted tank class though :wink: if you got other places that you know of that we can collect plants let me know, im starting a 60 gallon tank soon, so im gonna need a lot of plants. by the way, i work at Honolulu Country Club and there is a lot of water ways here, im gonna look for some plants there.
Hey Aqua 5-0 I work at Pets Plus on Ward, if you are truly into a planted tank you should ask for my boss Stanley. He is the store manager and in charge of plants/ordering. There is my other boss who is into plants to and his name is Balbino. If you want to order plants, I don't know if they'll ship any to you on the outer islands. I hope this works and welcome back to the hobby.
Aqua5-0 said:
I have not tested the hardness yet, but I guess rain water is on the harder side?
Rain water is quite soft.

Hawaii is so incredibly beautiful. I got a chance to visit a few months ago and WOW oh WOW. I've never eaten so much SPAM, snowcones, and Macadamian nuts before. Hehehe. :biggrin: The true highlights for me were the lushness of it all, the incredible sunsets, the numerous un-crowded beaches, and the scenic windy roads one only finds in car commercials. Most memorable have to be (1) eating fresh coconut while watching the sun descends on Sunset Beach and (2) eating freshly-picked guava while trekking through the tropical rainforest. Hawaiians must find mainland USA repugnant. I feel like Homer after house-sitting for Mr. Burns. Eating blackberries while avoiding cottonmouths just no longer hold the same appeal after that trip. :lol:

The caves and streams are haven to so many varieties of moss and liverworts. I brought back many samples but got caught by the Department of Agriculture at the airport. DOH! #-o
Hawaii is indeed special, but it is an island and it is the most isolated land mass on the planet so it does get old(to me). I used to live in Washington state while in college and one of the coolest things to do was to jump in the car and drive for hours. I loved to do that! I can do that in Hawaii but its not the same when you're driving in circles. On top of it, nobody carries Eco-Complete here and freight costs are ridiculous!!!!

The North Shore is breathtaking, but I'd bet if you saw it in the winter, you wouldn't believe it was the same beach. Its like a pond in the summer and a violent force of nature in the winter, some of the biggest wave on the planet? By the way, how did they find the mosses on you?

5-0 and plantdude,
Any stream, spring in the pearl city area are good candidates for aquatic plants. the outflow of Ho'omaluhia reservoir in Kaneohe is also a good place to look. I don't know about Hilo, but with all the rain there, theres bound to be something. Hey if it looks promising, take a cutting home and submerese it. Just be careful out there, LEPTOSPIROSIS!!!
See less See more
Ha ha ha. That is so true. :biggrin: It took us less than 2 days to leisurely drive all along the coastlines of the big island before trekking to the pristine outer islands. We made special plans to visit the North Shore in the hope of catching some surfing action and perhaps getting to meet Danny Fuller. He was unfortunately nowhere to be found. Needless to say, I watched every single episodes of the WB's Boarding House: North Shore reality TV series. :oops:

Concerning the Eco-Complete, Aaron, have you considered using crushed lava rocks? I was visiting the volcanic eruption sites and there were tons of black lava rocks strewn about. I bet there's Fe in those rocks as well as the macroporosity to boot. Perhaps too jagged? Or maybe when you get to visit mainland US, you can carry Eco-Complete back. It's not that heavy once the liquid has been drained. Between luggage and carry-ons, I bet you can easily bring 5 bags per person back. :mrgreen:

I got caught with the moss at the airport. I didn't want to put the ziplock bag full of moss/liverworts/ferns in with my luggage because they would have to go through custom, so I brought it along with me. At the security checkpoint where you put personal belongings through the X-ray machine, I hid the cargo in my jacket. Well, they pulled me aside as soon as I went through, apparently because of a suspicious bag. So when I can't produce a Phytosanitary certificate, they confiscated it despite my pleadings. #-o I should have just buried it in with the suitcase full of dirty clothes. At least I came back with a killer tan. Hehehe.
See less See more
Who's Danny Fuller? Is he a surfer? I stay away from any show on TV that is supposed to be about Hawaii. It makes me mad as they usually portray a false depiction of what it is really like living here and how what we locals are really about. As for that surfer reality show, surfers don't live in the real world to begin with so what you saw on TV was probably "real". Next time you are in Hawaii during the summer, the surfing action is on the South shores like Sandy Beach and Makapuu and Diamond head. You won't see any pros though, they are all in Tavarua and Australia chasing the the winter swells.

Crushed lava rock has one fault, it is really light. In some cases, it even floats! I actually use it as a base, then cap it with Flourite. It seems to work well. What I really want to try is black sand from the Big Island. Basically crush lava rock, but tumbled nice and smooth by the ocean. I bet that would look nice. Hey Aqua 5-0, what do ya say? wanna send some black sand to Oahu? Just kidding, Pele would get mad!
See less See more
Danny is a surfer. He remains in Hawaii, waiting for the competition to come to the island, instead of following the others to compete abroad. Oh, I completely forgot about the black sand. Isn't it illegal to remove it from the premise? I recall seeing signs all over warning tourists not to take any sand as souvenirs. 8-[

See less See more

i used some black cinder in a small tank once. just used a nice full anubus and tried to use the 'golden ratio' (3 to 1) and set it a little off center. it looked nice to raise young fry in it. very simple set up.
Plantdude where are you getting your plants from? Is there a particular store here in Hawaii or do you mail order???

I talked to JoJo at pets unlimited he seems to know his stuff, anyway he said he orders from AZGARDENS.COM (arizona aquatic gardens) or someting like that. I have never tried them but they look good.

1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.