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How much is too much?

1704 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Melody
I have a 5G kinda-sorta El Natural tank that more or less ended up that way on it's own. It doesn't follow all of the the 'rules', but it is packed with floating stem plants and other floated plants that should be planted and aren't. I threw extra bits and pieces of plants in there along the way, including some fast growers. It has a regular fluorescent hood and gets some sun. There's also Red Cherry Shrimp, Red Ram Snails & a couple of small male Guppies. It's a tank I meant to take down actually, so I didn't replace the filter. It all balanced out and everyone seems fine.

My question is, can too many plants result in the oxygen levels falling too far at night? I know this can be an issue in CO2 tanks but is there a concern without it? When I say this thing is packed, it's really packed, and there's no water movement.


Pic warning - guaranteed to make aquascapers cringe in pain.


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I can't answer your question. I just wanted to say Welcome! and :faint2:
Can't wait to see the thread if you sell off all that stuff. I wonder how many shrimp you really have? :D
Thanks :) . I'm not exactly into plants and usually kill them on a regular basis, so I do a lot more buying than selling. Lighting has been a factor in that though and 5G tanks are easy to light. I have a 90G with decent lighting now so I've been planting that up, but I'm content with the jungle look. The Applesnails keep the dead plant tissue & algae cleaned up and that's the sum of my maintenance. I would love to have a beautifully aquascaped tank, but I'm admittedly not dedicated enough. The jungle suits another purpose in that it hides fry for me, so I can even justify my lazy ways. ;) .

My Son is the one who is into Shrimp and a friend surprised him with the Cherries. He shares with friends after I speak to the parents. I send plants with with those too.

Looking around here sure is inspiring though - y'all may make me an aquascaper yet. You got your work cut out for you
If your guppies are gasping at the surface in the morning then you have a problem with low oxygen at night. If the fish are fine and showing no signs of distress then I'd say you don't have a low oxygen problem.

Your tank really is packed. I wonder if having everything floating is the reason it's achieved balance. I'd think that some of the plants would be dieing off from a lack of light and growing space. Personally, I'd thin a bit out just because I can't help fussing with my tanks, but if everything is growing well, the fish and inverts aren't showing signs of stress, and you like it how it is - don't mess with a good thing! :)
I took out some of the plants that are more intended for planting as I figured it was only a matter of time before they started to die off, crashing the system. They never seemed to, but the Ramshorns probably kept that cleaned up. Since the light doesn't have a significant depth to penetrate, they must have got enough light through the stems. I can grow even high light plants floating - lotsa light up there. People are forever giving me cuttings so I don't even know the names of most of them, let alone their light requirements. Ignorance is bliss I guess.

Everyone seems fine but the tank is on a lower wrack that I'm admittedly not inclined to look at much. I'll keep an eye on the fish in the AM when I think of it. They were born there so I'm sure part of the success is their tolerance for the conditions. It's also to the side of a patio door which is open to some degree year-round, helping to oxygenate the water.

If nothing else, it's a great little place to grow leftover bits and pieces into plants. I'll never have too many with a couple of tanks of plant-eating snails. :)

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Interesting, I had not given much thought to the O2 consumption of plants during the night cycle. My 20 gal. is more of jungle than yours and everything seems to be good in my tank and I've got just about the same creatures in there.

Thanks for the post and welcome!
Thanks :) . I suppose since the inhabitants are small, their oxygen requirements aren't big anyway. I've remembered to check in the AM a couple of times and the fish appear alert, active and begging for food, so I guess they're fine. Decay could quickly change that I'm sure so I'll watch for it but as mentioned, snails keep that cleaned up for me most of the time. Passing through their digestive system turns it into a more easily utilized form for plants, as opposed to it sitting in the tank until it decomposes enough.

This method appeals to aquascape-challenged people like me so I think I'll play with it some more. It would make for a fantastic brooding tank for starters, although I think I'd add an airstone for that.
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