Aquatic Plant Forum banner
101 - 120 of 147 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,486 Posts
Throw in nerite snails or some algae eater. They’ll clean the brown algae. You can make floating ring to contain the floaters. I would let the floaters cover the anubias so less algae will grow on it.

i have fish that kills snails so I have to clean off the algae which is a pain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
I’m late to the game on this post, but wow! I’m loving the set up.

Concerning the diatoms and algae, wouldn’t more plants keep them at bay (as well as some shrimp/snails?

Or even growing a pothos plant in the water. Letting the roots grow in the water and the leaves hanging over the outside.

Dont quote me on it, but in my opinion adding another soil pot with more plants seems like it would be helpful? I always have a diatom and other algae outburst in newly set up tanks, but once plant growth takes off the algae begins to disappear.

I’ve not seen anyone else comment too much on that, so maybe I’m off in my thinking.

Edit: Also, if you’re concerned you overdid it with the root tabs, maybe it’s worth removing it and watering it in the sink multiple times (assuming you have a hole in the bottom. In house plants this is known as “flushing” the soil to rid it of any excess salts or fertilizers. If there is a hole in the pot, basically just run water over the plant until you see water escaping from the hole. (And repeat). Then you could return it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
Discussion Starter · #105 ·
I’m late to the game on this post, but wow! I’m loving the set up.

Concerning the diatoms and algae, wouldn’t more plants keep them at bay (as well as some shrimp/snails?

Or even growing a pothos plant in the water. Letting the roots grow in the water and the leaves hanging over the outside.

Dont quote me on it, but in my opinion adding another soil pot with more plants seems like it would be helpful? I always have a diatom and other algae outburst in newly set up tanks, but once plant growth takes off the algae begins to disappear.

I’ve not seen anyone else comment too much on that, so maybe I’m off in my thinking.

Edit: Also, if you’re concerned you overdid it with the root tabs, maybe it’s worth removing it and watering it in the sink multiple times (assuming you have a hole in the bottom. In house plants this is known as “flushing” the soil to rid it of any excess salts or fertilizers. If there is a hole in the pot, basically just run water over the plant until you see water escaping from the hole. (And repeat). Then you could return it.
Ronnie, I really appreciate your comments. Those are all good, practical, doable things to try my hand at. And, fun. I've been fascinated by pothos ever since I saw photos of them in an excerpt from EPA.

Right now, I'm really weighing starting another pot. I keep looking at that lily rhizome andn noticing it is full of tiny baby leaves along its visible length. I'm sorely tempted to slice it in half. The only thing holding me back is the possibility of traumatizing the rest of the plant. Am I projecting human feelings on a plant or is that a real risk? And, maybe I can do it in conjunction with flushing the pot?

Hmm. Shrimp. I'm not a big snail fan (sorry, if I'm offending anyone!), but I keep seeing snapshots of people's shrimp and I am a little bit jealous. If they can eat their weight in brown algae, I'll give them a try.

Again, thank you. Everyone's encouragement means so much to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
No worries on the snails. They have great benefits in their own way, but start a colony of of shrimps. They’re fun to watch dart around and they help process excess algae or fish waste.

Another thought is to add an emergent plant. I’ve always loved images of umbrella plants (or maybe it’s umbrella palm...) growing out of a tank.

And hell, if you have more bamboo stick them in there. You can always take them out if needed, but in my experience they grow wonderful root systems in a tank (especially submerged soil). I have 3 in my 12g.

I’m really excited about your approach. Sorry for all the ideas, I’m just currently living vicariously through your project, haha!

Oh! One last thought. What about some Java Ferns? You can attach them to anything, or let them float until they anchor on something. They should not be planted, can survive in lower light, but help with water quality.

And one more second last thought... have you seen “moss walls?” Essentially you take two mesh screens (such as the plastic flexible ones used in crafts), spread Java moss on one layer, then cover it with the other layer. Eventually it will grow out and cover the screen. And since it’s flexible, you could contour it to the shape of your pot along the side. Shrimp would love this too.

Edit: because this post isn’t long enough already... I don’t have tons of experience with lily’s, but in my opinion I wouldn’t split it until the plant has some good solid growth. That way it has some extra strength to help it recover after splitting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
Discussion Starter · #107 ·
Thanks, @ronnie .
I think I may settle for planting a "grove" of bamboo in one corner of the bowl and this time find some that are tall enough to qualify as emergent. I like the look of umbrella palms and porcelain vases (very Edith Wharton!), but, I worry that the canopy would get in the way of the lighting. Ironically, the only plant I have that actually needs a substrate is also the one that needs the most light - the lily.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
Discussion Starter · #108 ·
Hi, @ronnie I spent most of Friday trying to track down some cheap, inexpensive stalks of lucky bamboo in Brooklyn and you wouldn't believe how hard it is to find in a regular store these days. Is there a sudden run in popularity? The Ikea store in Red Hook advertised them online but when I got there (after a pleasant bus ride) I found they had lost track of their inventory and in fact had none. Not a good look for a store that does most of its business online.

In the meantime, I'm looking at my parameters and the latest development is that thanks to the new lighting arrangement and in particular its effect on all the floaters, my nitrate level has been cut in half. This morning's API liquid test was the palest shade of champagne it has ever been and was initially bright yellow right after the vigorous shake. I fully expect it to be 0ppm in another week.

I don't mean to understate this. This has been my Holy Grail since January. And it confirms @dwalstad 's longstanding belief that vigorous plant growth is the key to circumventing the nitrogen cycle.

But, LOL, I think I'm going to need a bigger feeding ring:
73512
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,863 Posts
I'm surprised your lily hasn't grown some floating leaves yet. Am I missing something in the photo?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
Discussion Starter · #111 · (Edited)
I'm surprised your lily hasn't grown some floating leaves yet. Am I missing something in the photo?
Thank you for asking. I was hoping the lily would be one of those fast-growing plants Ms. Walstad talks about. That was my original inspiration for planting it - along with the challenge of trying something completely different in my hobby experience - growing an aquatic plant completely from the germination stage.

But, I was slow in getting the lighting right. It's really only been the last two weeks that its had anything more than an hour or two of sunlight a day. And, the "hardy" domestic version I have consists of a tuber-like rhizome; a lot of its recent growth seems to be along its length rather than through its putative top:
73513


EDIT: In many ways, it seems to be behaving more like my anubias barteri than what I was expecting it to be.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,863 Posts
It can take a while for newly planted water lilies to send leaves to the surface. Until it does, keep the water surface above it clear of floating plants so that the lily gets plenty of light as mistergreen suggests. Once those leaves hit the surface they will push the floaters out of the way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
Discussion Starter · #113 · (Edited)
The thing I love about this hobby is that every problem demands some improvisation. In this case, I really was able to get a bigger feeding ring (it arrived a short time ago.) I was surprised that it doesn't actually float which would have been nice. But, with the help of some strategically placed chopsticks, it acts as a kind of "roof" for the lily which is the only plant I have that requires a lot of light. The floodlight is like a laser beam right above it:
73515
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Things are looking good! And I’m glad the extra plants are doing their job. I find that I’m throwing out floaters on a weekly to bi-weekly basis to allow the submerged plants more light.

Lucky bamboo... I had the same trouble. I ended up having to get some from Amazon. I found the size I needed and it came in a 10 pack. More than I needed, but all I could find.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,792 Posts
Light spectra can influence the production of aerial leaves in aquatic plants. Dr. Wetzel (p. 526) and other aquatic botanists say that a low R/FR, meaning a low ratio of 660 nm (Red) light to 730 nm (Far Red) light, will induce emergent growth such as occurs in shallow water. That's because water preferentially absorbs 730 nm (Far Red light), thereby increasing red light (660 nm). This is a hormonal trigger thingy.

Also, low CO2 will also induce aerial leaves.

My water lily of 3 weeks age has already sent up an aerial leaf and threatens to send up a couple more. I think it's because of the lighting I have been using, which is outdoor evening light plus LED lamp where half of the LEDs are red. John's lighting setup probably has a totally different spectra.

That said, many hobbyists prefer that their tank Nymphaea don't send up floating leaves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
Discussion Starter · #117 · (Edited)
Well, it's been an intriguing week in porcelain land. The place has been a red light district since I saw Ms. Walstad's post. I had a funny little bulb on hand that was one of my first purchases maybe two weeks ago when I was auditioning new lighting systems: a 8.5 watt (65 watt replacement) G.E. LED bulb that had 10 different colors all operational via remote control. To my human eye, however, it just never seemed to pack much of a punch in terms of brightness, especially when switched to any of its color modes.

And, since low CO2 levels seemed to be a co-factor, I decided to throw caution to the winds and left the red bulb on 24 hours a day, (i.e., with no respiration period for any of my plants.)

Here's what happened: over the space of the first 48-72 hours the salvinia minima seemed to stop propagating. For the first time in weeks, I did not have to remove half of them in order to see the bottom of my bowl. And, as if I needed any further proof that they were performing the lion's share of the ammonia removal, I had my first real spike in NH3/NH4 since the tannin experience six weeks ago.

But, I had to balance that against the fact that there was a tiny new leaf at the center of where all the major growth began six weeks ago, that seemed to be growing exponentially, just as its siblings did before reaching about two inches in diameter. What made this particular leaf so interesting is that by the end of about 12 hours every day it would be pointing determinedly upward.

This went on for a few more days until it became obvious that for all of its girth, its length was not going to go anywhere.

Meanwhile, the water spangles recovered. And, this morning when I went searching for the anubias barteri I discovered this:
73549


A leaf that clearly wants to be emergent! It's as if my lily and my ancient anubias want to swap personalities. :alien:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
Discussion Starter · #119 · (Edited)
Not much to report. I was gone for a week and was hoping to see some emergent growth from the lily while I was away. But, it continues to swap identities with its next door neighbor, the anubias: the lily grows bushier while the anubias leaves seem to want to take off in all directions since I started giving them a continuous exposure to red light. Meanwhile, I love the fact that there hasn't been a hint of diatom or algae activity in two weeks! And the floaters have no problem maintaining an almost complete cover over the bowl:
73579
73580


EDIT: I thought it might be time for another plant tablet(TM) so I just finished poking one into the bottom o the lily's pot. I could feel the soft potting mix with my finger and couldn't help but notice a couple of bubbles escaping. Not sure what to make o it. Same thing happened two weeks ago when I gave it a plant tab.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Bubbles in the soil substrate can be normal. Did the bubbles smell in any way?

My Anubias also has these wild moments of growth. I kinda like it as I wasn’t expecting it.

Also, not entirely the same, but the only lily pad type plant I keep is the banana plant. Mine got bushy before it sent a stem and pad to the surface. I’m not sure if it relates or not.

Food for thought: I wonder if you create a “protection ring” from the floaters directly above the lily, it would allow better light to it and grow differently?

By the ring I mean some airline tube cut to a certain length and connected. Place this above to lily and the floaters won’t be able to cover it.
 
101 - 120 of 147 Posts
Top