It is great to be part of the group. I am a pre-newbie (if that exists) in the aquatic plant arena.
I have had a 20 gallon tank running for little over 6 months where I keep mostly guppies. I have succesfully (not that it is difficult at all) bread them and have 3rd generation fishes now, but have had no luck whatsoverer growing plants.
I have consistently found two types of plants on the lake/pond of my apartment complex (I live in Pembroke Pines, by the way), I have no clue what they are, I will take some pictures and post them so you guys can tell me.
I do not have a lot of money to spare, but would like to setup something that is sustainable, meaning that I won't have to keep putting in new plants every month or two.
Anyway, it is great to be part of this club, and to :lol: :lol: :lol: know people locally, who share the same interests. I know I will learn (by means of bugging) a lot here.
From what you talk about on the main forum, it sounds like one of your main problems is simply a lack of light. The standard strip of light that comes with a tank is hardly enough to grow anything. If you could place two striplights on that 20g, than you could start growing hardy plants that you won't have to replace --you could always do a non-CO2 method.
Anyways, I'm a college student who goes to the University of Chicago, but I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. I've been keeping fish for a very long time (~13-14 years) from everything to gouramis to tetras to discus to apistos. Inspired by the Dutch, I started making plans to go with planted tanks and initially went with 2 wpg PC lighting and DIY CO2 (those were the days...about 3-4 years ago). Then, I found Amano's beautiful work. I have been in two international aquascaping competitions so far, but I plan to enter a slew of 3 tanks this year. I almost went back to discus fish today at the LFS after swooning over a beautiful pair.
Oh, I have a disease called plant collectoritis... now I'm concentrating on Brazilian plants that haven't ever been tested for aquaria. I also like to grow a lot of my aquarium plants emersed in a miniature (relatively cheap) plastic greenhouse. That's pretty much me, at least as far as the aquarium world is concerned.
I collected some plants this weekend... I am not sure what they are, I was planning on posting pictures here, but... believe it or not, my camcorder/digital camera was stolen from me at Miami Seaquarium...
One of the plants is dark/bright red on top of the leaf, and red on the bottom; the other one is light green all over, I am not sure this are even aquatic plants, I collected them from the pond in my appartment complex, but the at least the second one seems to be growing way outside the water, does this mean it cannot be planted in an aquarium?
Been away for a while due to house guests, but I'm back now.
I absolutley think this Club is a great idea.
While one can spend a lot of money on fancy equipment for planted tanks, and Lord knows I have, it doesn't have to be so.
Tanks can be purchased used, plants are almost free here in South Florida, which just leaves lighting and CO2 as the biggest issues cost wise.
Flourescent fixtures in NO T-12 at 48inch lengths are as low as $7.00 at the Depot or Lowe's for a double tube rig with the econo bulbs priced in the $2.00 range. Buy just the endcaps and with only some basic wiring skills one can rig up a T-12 or better yet T-10 light canopy which will provide decent illumination for several tanks in the 20gal sizes.
In spite of all the warnings about letting natural sunlight hit your tanks, I've got several going outside which apparently haven't read those articles. They are doing fine with amazing plant (and fish) growth. Ditto my ponds. After all, we're often the envy of the nation climate wise - why not take full advantage of what Mother Nature freely offers us? I can see light tubes directed into large aquariums as being a totally viable, economically worthwhile, distinct possibility down here
Long term, there's a lot to be said for lower light tanks anyway -- less maintenance, less algae issues, happier fish, lower electric bills. In spite of my facination with stem plant stars like Lud. inclinata and Eusteralis, some of my favorite set-ups rely heavily on Crypts, Java Ferns and Anubias; all of which need no more light than 2 watts per gal - max. Maybe even less.
CO2 can be had cheaply with the DIY sugar and yeast generators.
At our first open house meeting at my crib - I'll demonstrate. Plant trade to follow!
I'm actually coming back really soon. Wednesday, March 17th I'll be coming back south to Miami for a week and a half vacation. I leave Sunday, March 21st or so. I volunteer to hold an open house during the summer --I'm unsure of what I will see next week. It can be gorgeous, or it can be horrible. Both have happened.
I've looked up some pictures of Ludwigia Repens on the net, that is definitely the plant I have. Now the next question, I usually get the plants from the root, but in reading a bit I found L. Repens propagates via cuttings and seeds... Is it better to just cut the tops of the plants and plant them on my aquarium? Could the fact that I temove them with the root and replant them in my aquarium be detrimental to the plant growing in my aquarium?
I am getting my new camera today, I will post some picts this weekend to see if someone can help me identify the other plant.