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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi, simple question
would it be possible to have a lotus in a 20galon aquarium?
If posible, what extra cares would I need to have, would I have to trim most of its leaves when grown?

Here's my setup:
the tank is next to my window where it gets sunlight
its got no heater but im from a tropical country so i guess its not really a problem
its got a small 10gal filter which i use mainly to have a small current and help introduce oxygen to the water
the bottom is filled with a mixture I got from the guy who sells me the plants, its worked pretty well with the ones I have, its been planted for around a year already

its got
3 siamese algae eater
1 rainbowfish
3 neon fish
1 zebrafish
a grown ramhorn snail and 3 or 4 small ones
and about 10 medium size shrimps which i think are cherry shrimp

here are some pics of my current plants, i dont really know the name for most of them, i know ive got an anubia and some java moss







 

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Certainly - a lotus could do just fine in there. I keep a few of those plants. One is in a darker corner for three or four years now. The entire plant is about fist sized. With your sunlit tank it/yours may become much larger. If you worried about it taking over, I think the plant in the first photo will secure that position. Looks like a Radican or melon sword - could get very large.

also looks like Crypt crispu. Balansae in there. ( fourth photo)

I really like the overall colour of the tank. Photographs do not do sunlit tanks justice. Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks, its actually my first planted aquarium so im still learning

and yeah, of that first one, ive seen quite large ones, but its among the first ones i got and besides growing 2-3 new leafs, it hasnt really grown much, ive heard that it depends on its root size and the amount of nutrients on the soil

and thanks for the info and plant's names
 

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I personally would not keep any lotus in a 20 gallon tank as I am concern about it blocking the light since there are so many plants at the bottom of the tank, unless you have sunlight coming from the side way. Even if you have sunlight coming from the side, as your plants grow, some of them will be blocked by the light too eventually.

Since you have Anubias, I am concern about the anubias based on my bad experience. I have an outdoor tank in the balcony that is slightly exposed to sunlight. Just like yourself I am from a tropical region. I have some water lettuce in the tank. Eventually water lettuce outgrows most of the plants except Java fern. In the process after several months, my anubias is lost. I assume it died and rot away.
 

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I, too, would be concerned about the size of the plants, especially given the nutrients they're going to get in such a small tank with such big fish. When those siamese algae eaters grow up (and stop eating algae and start eating your fish) they are going to be big in size, and large waste producers. Lots of food for your plants, but it could make them grow faster and larger than you expect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
yeah, it gets sunlight from the side way, the way i tried to arrange my plants was thinking of their size, trying to keep the smaller ones closer to the window side area, but as i said, its my first planted aquarium so im still learning, i appreciate the experiences

as for the algae eaters, i may be able to change them to my other tank once theyve grow but i dont know if i should, its a 90gal that i tried to plant a couple of times but they didnt last long thanks to my turtle



going back to the lotus, knowing that its side-way light, would it still be a problem given its grown size?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
if i wanted to let it flower, would i need to let it reach a certain size or give it some special cares?
 

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To flower lotuses they need to be mature. This means they need to get to a certain size and age before flowering.

I flowered one in my 55g tank. It took over the entire surface of the tank and was 3 leaves deep when it flowered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
if i were to trim it, would it be able to go on fine with just a couple of leaves once its mature?
 

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I have seen some beautiful Locus plants in Pounds. These plants grew to the size that I would not even consider them for 120 gallon tank. There root structure was closer to the size of ten gallon pail in itself.

Now I realize that there are various varieties of Lotus and some do not grow this big. However I do not believe that even the smaller varieties will be happy long term in a tank that small.
 

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I obviously cannot lend advice on flowering these.
I bought this as a dry bulb in 2005. Had a couple dozen babies since. Never seen a flower.
The plant in this photo is about fist sized. The photo is a couple years old - the plant is smaller now.
That being said this same plant has hit four feet away and like Zapins said covered the entire surface.
I think a small child could have walked across the surface of that tank without snowshoes.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
i hadnt thought about the roots.. seeing some videos and photos, they do grow quite large

looking for an alternative, what would you say if instead i were to plant a water lily?
from what i know, water lilies have bulbs instead of the large, more complex root system lotus have, could it become a more viable option?
 

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You can easily keep a lotus or lily in a 20g tank, you'll have to prune it constantly so it doesn't grow large, but I doubt it will ever flower. They need to get to a certain size/age before they do that.

As TropTrea said, it isn't recommended but you can keep one if it is heavily trimmed.

Lilies will also grow large root systems, the bulb hangs off to the side of the roots which get huge.
 

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Just to clarify, the plants in our aquariums we call "lotus" ARE water lilies, genus Nymphaea. Two species are commonly grown, N. lotus the "red tiger lotus" and N. micrantha which has several common names. True lotus are in the genus Nelumbo.

In the juvenile stage or when dormant, both species have a bulb-like structure. But when they are mature, they have a huge root system that will fill all the substrate in a 20 gallon tank and look for more. I grow both species in my aquaria and in ponds outside during the summer. In a tank, I can keep them under control by regular pruning, especially cutting off the floating leaves and only allowing the submersed ones to grow. In a pond, they will easily grow to 6 feet in diameter and flower.

So the answer is yes, you can grow one in a 20 gallon. But it will take constant pruning if you don't want it to take over the entire tank. Letting it take over the tank could make an interesting display, with leaves floating on the surface and a betta making bubble nests under them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
thanks everyone for the information
ive come to like this forum, always end up learning new things here haha

i think im going to try it out, even if it doesnt flower, its a really nice plant
 
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