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Ground cover question

Discussion in 'Aquascaping' started by Scaretsky999, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. Scaretsky999

    Scaretsky999 New Member

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    OK so I need advice from you lovely people!! Is there a ground cover/crawling plant that doesn't require co2 addition?

    My tank is a 29g and I want something that will crawl on a piece of drift wood. Fully excited about trimming and shaping so that's not an issue! But every plant I've researched needs additional co2 :(

    Aquascaping is new for me so I'm just sticking to the more resilient species for now. I already have some taller plants like Amazon sword and such.
    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. hobby5

    hobby5 Member

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    Java moos, Java fern or any anubia should do the trick.
     
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  3. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Agree. Java Moss is especially lovely once it takes hold and spreads. Java Fern and Anubias are nice if you want more substantial (taller) plants.

    Pygmy chain sword does extremely well as a substrate cover. Planted in the sand, it will send out runners absolutely everywhere over the substrate. It may spread over wood too, I think I had one or two, but it was more a case of a runner going under the wood and a couple plants arose in crevices.

    Byron.
     
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  4. Scaretsky999

    Scaretsky999 New Member

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    I have Anubia Nana I believe it's called on order at my fish store, super excited to add it to my tank!! Once I'm comfortable I'll get the co2 and I desperately want dwarf baby tears!! I've herd they are hard to care for but by then I'll welcome the challenge!!
     
  5. Scaretsky999

    Scaretsky999 New Member

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    With the java moss... Would I trim it like wacking weeds?
     
    #5 Scaretsky999, Mar 8, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
  6. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Mine grows fairly slowly, until I suddenly see it is getting out of control--much like my hair actually.:lol: At that point I just pull bits off (the moss, that is--not my hair, I leave that for the barber to pull out). I've never bothered trimming it, primarily because I don't want it to looked trimmed like a lawn, but natural (again referring to the moss, though my hair isn't much different).
     
    #6 Byron, Mar 8, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
  7. Scaretsky999

    Scaretsky999 New Member

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    Lol hilarious!!!! OK good advice, so basically just get the pieces getting long and straggly! Got it! Thanks! :)
    P.s. the co2 is.......?
     
  8. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Ignore that...I had started a thought on CO2 then decided to forget it. When I did respond, I didn't notice the system had saved my earlier "draft." What I was going to say, was, that adding CO2 is only one part of the balance, and the light will have to be increased to balance the CO2, and other nutrients increased accordingly. In a 29g tank, if the existing plants are doing fine, this might be more trouble than its worth. The Anubias for example does not like bright lighting. My Java Moss is better in less direct lighting too, I have sword plants, chain swords, JF, JM, Anubias, some crypts, and floaters. These are all moderate light. I don't add CO2 as there is evidence this may harm fish, and I have fish tanks that happen to have plants so the plants have to be satisfied with the fish's priority.
     
  9. Scaretsky999

    Scaretsky999 New Member

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    Hmmmm interesting....I think I'm probably getting excited about it all, especially since I just started it and the plants are still quite small and haven't had to do any care on them yet. I think once I get my anuibas and the drift wood the tank will look more finished. A 29g with 4 small to medium sized plants looks so bare. I gotta be patient and let stuff grow! I'm gonna look into the java moss for sure tho, think it will make a nice addition to the different textures if plants I have. :) also..... With plants in the tank do I still need bubbles for oxygen?
     
  10. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Yes and no. This takes some explanation, so here comes another lengthy post but I hope it will help.

    Plants like fish respire continually, taking in oxygen and giving off CO2. Some (but not all) bacteria do the same. During the daylight (which for our purposes here means the period when the tank light is on) plants continue to respire but also take in CO2 for photosynthesis, and a "waste" product of photosynthesis is oxygen. The rate of this exchange will be greater than the respiration rate, so much more CO2 is taken in than what is given off. [I should point out that the tank lighting must be of sufficient intensity to drive photosynthesis, and this level differs from plant species to species; fast growing plants need stronger light than slow growing plants because the rate of photosynthesis is proportionally faster or slower.]

    At the surface of the water--and "surface" can include any point at which water and air meet--there is a gas exchange. Generally speaking, oxygen is brought in and CO2 and nitrogen gas is driven out. Creating more surface disturbance, including down below the surface by bubbling devices, will speed this up so to speak. But this can work at a disadvantage too. Too much oxygen entering and CO2 exiting the water during daylight will be detrimental to plants. During darkness, when fish and plants are taking in oxygen and giving off CO2, this may help provide more oxygen. Generally this is not necessary, but in heavily planted tanks it may become necessary (at night), depending upon the plant load and fish load and normal surface disturbance (which is primarily the job of the filter).

    There is some current thought that the surface disturbance should be greater than we used to hold, and that doing this will increase the CO2 entering the tank water rather than leaving it. I dug into this concept a few years back when I first came across it but was unable to find any evidence anywhere as to the exact numbers. So to my mind, the concept is unproven, and therefore doubtful. However, I am convinced that some surface disturbance is not as "negative" for plants as perhaps we once thought. I would provide decent surface disturbance day and night, but not go to excess. This seems to work for me. In one of my tanks, which happens to be the heaviest planted and with the most fish, I was seeing evidence of an oxygen shortage (not critical, but it was evident) in the early morning; I increased the surface disturbance created by the spray bar of the canister filter, and the evidence disappeared. The "evidence" was slightly increased respiration by fish, especially the cories, including more frequent surfacing. Now that the surface disturbance is increased just a bit, this "evidence" disappeared and in the morning the fish are respirating as I would expect. So clearly there was a difference. For illustration, I'll attach a photo of this tank (it's a 4-foot 70 gallon). The light is on for 7 hours daily, on a timer, which is the max or algae begins to increase (due primarily to the reduction of natural CO2).

    Byron.
     

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  11. Scaretsky999

    Scaretsky999 New Member

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    that's a lot of information lol but useful!! Wow!! That tank is beautiful!! Looking forward to when my tank is grown!! Great job!!!
     
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  12. StevenF

    StevenF Member

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    All river water around the planet has the roughly the same amount of CO2 dissolved in it That is because all of the CO2 in it came from the air and the amount in the air is stable. Only in unusual cercomstances will you find water unusually high CO2 levels. All the plants used in aquariums are from rivers. Furthermore the amount of CO2 in an aquarium with a CO2 system is generally higher than what you will see in rivers.

    Since all plants used in aquariums come from rivers. Once can conclude that High aquarium levels of CO2 are not needed to grow plants. In fact I have read of people growing plants in aquarium without CO2 and medium light levels successfully when the generally consensus is that these same plants need CO2 injection and high light levels.

    in my opinion the use of CO2 in aquariums is more of a fad right now. People know plants need CO2 so if they see problems they jump to the conclusion they need to add CO2 to the tank. Other than CO2 there are 15 nutrients plants needs. And from what I have seen in forums and in my own tank is that poor plant growth is frequently caused by a shortage of macro or trace nutrients. Not CO2 or light levels.

    In my opinion if you find a plant you would like in your aquarium that doesn't cost a lot of money to acquire. Try it without CO2 in your tank. One good beginners fertilizer for aquariums is Sachem Flourish Comprehensive. It is one of the few aquarium fertilizers that that contains all of the needed nutrients plants need.
     
  13. carlobellina

    carlobellina New Member

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    I too have started a planted tank and have been doing tons of research. I'm trying this method with natural co2 lights on 6am-12pm. A rest period from 12pm- 4pm and then back on from 4pm- 7-8 pm. I've read over and over that this method promotes rapid healthy growth. Good luck

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  14. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I don't know if you have a tank with plants and no fish, or a fish tank with plants. If the latter, I would recommend you change your lighting schedule. This "siesta" approach as it is usually termed is not beneficial for fish, and is in fact detrimental. I've posted on this previously, so I will just copy that to explain.

    Most animals have an internal body clock, called a circadian rhythm, which is modified by the light/dark cycle every 24 hours. This is the explanation for jet-lag in humans when time zones are crossed—our circadian rhythm is unbalanced and has to reset itself, which it does according to periods of light and dark. Our eyes play a primary role in this, but many of our body cells have some reaction to light levels. In fish this light sensitivity in their cells is very high.

    The rods and cones in the eye shift according to the changes in light. This process is also anticipated according to the time of day; the fish “expects” dawn and dusk, and the eyes will automatically begin to adjust accordingly. This is due to the circadian rhythm.

    This is one reason why during each 24 hours a regular period of light/dark—ensuring there are several hours of complete darkness—is essential for the fish. In the tropics, day and night is equal for all 365 days a year, with approximately ten to twelve hours each of daylight and complete darkness, separated by fairly brief periods of dawn or dusk. The period of daylight produced by direct tank lighting can be shorter; and the period of total darkness can be somewhat shorter or longer—but there must be several hours of complete darkness in the aquarium. The dusk and dawn periods will appear to be stretched out, but that causes no problems for the fish. It is the bright overhead light that is the concern, along with having a suitable period of total darkness. And the "day" period when the tank lights are on should be one continuous period, not sporadic, and it should be the same every 24 hours or it will impact the circadian rhythm causing more stress.

    Byron.
     
  15. carlobellina

    carlobellina New Member

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    I'm glad I commented here Byron!!! You know your stuff and have never steered me wrong or given me half ass info!!!! I do have fish and I want them as healthy and happy as possible! !! I will no longer use the siesta approach!!! Thanks for your feedback!!!

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