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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I found a supplier!! I only knew them from a picture on Mercado Libre, a sort of Argentine Ebay, but they've been out of stock for ages. I found a 2019 post from a local fish store and messaged them to see if they still had some. They did! Let me upload some pictures.
Reptile Iguania Lizard Organism Scaled reptile
Botany Organism Terrestrial plant Fish Grass
Water Iguania Reptile Organism Liquid


Beautiful, beautiful cats, and absolutely tiny. Apparently, they've got a symbiotic relationship (according the fish store) with Echinodorus Uruguaiensis, and there's one behind the wood in this setup.

More info here. I'm only worried about their oxygen requirements. I have no surface movement. Perhaps on the big tank, once I've polished it somewhat...
 

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Ah yeah, that y instead of i helps 馃槃

They are indeed really really cool with that green color. Not available here unfortunately (and I already have oto's which I should add some more of since they are gregarious 馃槉)
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
The green otos look great. They should breed these guys to sell internationally.
Don't get me started on this. It's nigh on impossible to sell native animals legally here, even if you bred them yourself. I'm convinced that has a directly detrimental effect on conservation efforts, too. I do hope to be able to do that on the side one day, though.

On another subject, I found a new plant species in a park lagoon today. I might go out and collect more at a more leisurely pace someday, but I was hanging out with the missus and she's already threatened me with never approaching another body of water. Do you want me to leave you alone by the water? It was clearly a rhetorical question, I think... Anyways, here's the picture of the sprig I got. It might be Potamogeton Gayi, but I'm unsure. The leaves look gorgeous IMO.




Light Plant Terrestrial plant Organism Grass
 

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First off, I am writing from Houston area in Texas, where I have been collecting local plants the last few years. You got my attention. Some are truly aquatic, some only temporarily. Before I forget, it is approaching the end of summer now for you, right? Is there more rain? Asking, because the wet season makes a very big difference in my area. Im lucky to have many types of standing water all around me.
While nothing looks familiar to me, the second one, small one on your hand, looks like it is from the watercress family. Ihave seen them fully submersed here too. They can stay in water quite a while, but eventually disintegrate, if
It is too long. I tried them in tanks with same results each time. Many plants, which live by the water have this ability to survive floods, but they do not convert fully.
It is however fun to experiment. Why not?
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
This one?

I hope not. It might be the nicest one I've got. Yes, many do well for some time, until they don't. The Hydrocotyles had to go for that same reason.

As for the rain, the answer is somewhat lengthier. This is the wet season, actually. Rain is highest in February. But the heat dries everything up. All the inland temporary pools (the ones with killifish, for instance) generally reappear at the very end of the summer, and either partially or completely dry up during the winter. Then the beginning of spring fills them up again until the summer restarts.

However, the rain is only a factor in plant harvesting when the Paran谩 river is ridiculously low, as right now, or if you're collecting in a concrete-lined wharf, as I do. Usually, when the wind blows southeast it clogs up the mouth of the R铆o de la Plata and the waters in the whole basin rise. Therefore, aquatic and semiaquatic plants sort of thrive year-round in the Delta islands.

Edit: went to the river today. A choking wasteland. We've had a straight week of F 100+ temperatures. Forget the darned weeds, I'm on the brink of death.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
Bit of an update. This looks fine, I guess, and it should still be getting stabilized. But I get a distinct unhealthy vibe about it. I don't know. Might be overfeeding that causes the algae, might be low light, might be high light. But I get those brown diatom-like gunkish growths that I find decidedly annoying. Any tips?

Plant Plant community Water Light Green

Plant Botany Leaf Gesture Terrestrial plant


Edit: as a first forceful intervention, I'm going to drop this tiny pump and stick in an extra powerhead + mechanical filtration I've got back at my parent's place. I'll have my water crystal clear and then we can continue this conversation wit good ole Sister Nature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I'm a bit wary of sticking Otos on account of the tank size. I might release the Jenynsias and then get them. But RN there's a bladder snail that should start breeding and two shrimp. I'm already eyeing the Otos from a LFS though... I'll be patient for another couple of weeks.
 

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Bit of an update. This looks fine, I guess, and it should still be getting stabilized. But I get a distinct unhealthy vibe about it. I don't know. Might be overfeeding that causes the algae, might be low light, might be high light. But I get those brown diatom-like gunkish growths that I find decidedly annoying. Any tips?
I agree with you that tank has an unhealthy overtones. You have the plants, the soil, the lighting. Plants should be doing much better than this.
After seeing several tanks now with houseplant roots and poor submerged plant growth, I'm getting really suspicious.
I have had tanks with the emergent growth of aquatic plants and the rest of tank did not suffer. But I have never included houseplants with my tanks.
It is possible that your houseplants are inhibiting the aquatic plants in some manner--faster nutrient uptake, root release of nutrients that are overwhelming the system, or allelopathy. If it's allelopathy, it will be houseplant species-specific, so I would not generalize. Some tanks with houseplants might do okay, but this one is not. If the houseplants were added to remove nutrients, they have definitely not fulfilled that function.

I would get some strong algae-eating fish and remove one (or both) of those houseplants and hope for the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Thank you very much! My sister killed all our houseplants, so we have free pots in the flat. I bought four Otos today, I'll remove the Spathiphyllums and add floaters as soon as I can get some, probably next week. I added a substantial amount of java moss today as well, so the plant mass won't be lessened by that much...
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I should have added the otos later, or waited a while before removing the lilies, because overnight I swear everything has gotten noticeably better. I'm not sure it would show in pictures, but one of the plants broke the surface and the rest are looking healthier. Warrants an experiment... The little suckers are a machine though. They're about to explode with algae and plant matter.
 

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I agree with you that tank has an unhealthy overtones. You have the plants, the soil, the lighting. Plants should be doing much better than this.
After seeing several tanks now with houseplant roots and poor submerged plant growth, I'm getting really suspicious.
I have had tanks with the emergent growth of aquatic plants and the rest of tank did not suffer. But I have never included houseplants with my tanks.
It is possible that your houseplants are inhibiting the aquatic plants in some manner--faster nutrient uptake, root release of nutrients that are overwhelming the system, or allelopathy. If it's allelopathy, it will be houseplant species-specific, so I would not generalize. Some tanks with houseplants might do okay, but this one is not. If the houseplants were added to remove nutrients, they have definitely not fulfilled that function.

I would get some strong algae-eating fish and remove one (or both) of those houseplants and hope for the best.
Interesting, makes me want to experiment to understand better why this could happen and what is behind it. But no room for that. Instead to be sure I removed my houseplants and now I'll just wait and hope for my aquatic plants to pop out.
 

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I should have added the otos later, or waited a while before removing the lilies, because overnight I swear everything has gotten noticeably better. I'm not sure it would show in pictures, but one of the plants broke the surface and the rest are looking healthier. Warrants an experiment... The little suckers are a machine though. They're about to explode with algae and plant matter.
Or maybe the oto's were very quick in cleaning the tank? They truly are funny little machines, busy cleaning, big bellies, and what is it about them that other fish don't care at all about their presence. My whitecloud male with a territory chased away ferociously every fish coming too close but totally ignored the oto's.

How's your tank now after a couple of days with oto's?
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 · (Edited)
Either one, yes. I don't know, frankly. I'm at my parent's house for the weekend. Will update on Monday. I went out kayaking to the Delta today, found a couple of interesting things. I'll most likely post them on monday as well.

Edit: I'd stuck a sprig of rigid hornwort last Thursday before leaving (Ceratophyllum demersum). That thing more than tripled in size since... Aesthetically horrible, but as a water cleaner, it must be excellent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I'll update this post later. I haven't got around to taking pictures of the new stuff yet, but I thought some shots of the places I got these from were warranted.

Google Maps photo of the general area. You can see the major rivers, all the green lines crisscrossing it are small streams and tributaries.

Map Screenshot Landscape Urban design

Water Plant Natural landscape Branch Sunlight


Water Plant Natural environment Natural landscape Fluvial landforms of streams

Plant Natural landscape Wood Trunk Shade

Plant Water Natural landscape Organism Terrestrial plant

Plant Window People in nature Sunlight Grass


And some random pictures. In the last picture you can appreciate both the silty water, really brown and full of sediment, and a beautiful clump of the moss I found. It grows exclusively beneath the surface, with no offshoots (just one direction, no branching) and with a feathered pattern (pairs of opposite "leaves" on each "node"). Incredibly tough, too. Really hard to break.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Eh. Not really. I find them either right at the waterline or in the general wet-but-emersed zone. There's a much richer variety in the temporary pools that form within the islands, and those are crystal clear. The only one that you see regularly underwater in the river is the Echinodorus I have in the tank, and it gets pretty much zero light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·

Update on the general look

  • Post-massive trim.
  • All looking good. The Alternantheras keep giving me some grief, with a couple of small pinholes and some crumply leaves. I will add zucchini to the Otocinclus diet, that should add potassium, and then some iron somehow.
  • Hornwort needing trims every two days.
  • Most unknown plant species seem to be doing fine. A couple haven't got around to spreading though, just growth in existing shoots.
  • Added some Lemna sp. from the river.

And that odd looking contraption to filter without taking up aquarium space and to oxygenate the water. It'll improve aesthetically over time, as I tinker with it. It's a couple of days old. I felt the need for it as the water is slightly cloudy and it annoys me to no end. Some bacteria ought to cover that.

Edit: the piece of tubing you can see is just me filling it up after I hoovered away the small moss-and-leaf trimmings.
 
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