First live plant...

Essjay

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Two things occur to me from what you've said.

You mentioned API tests. Some people never see the yellow of zero with the ammonia tester, even with tanks which have been running successfully for years. The only explanation anyone can come up with is different people's eyes don't work exactly the same. There's also the room light. Daylight is fine, as are incandescent light bulbs. I think halogen and LED bulbs are okay as well. But fluorescent lighting - strips or compact fluorescent bulbs - make the liquid in the tube look greener than it really is.

Then there's the pH. As you've noticed, there is very little of that 0.25 reading which is free ammonia - 0.0004 ppm. The overwhelming majority is ammonium. With that pH, an ammonia tester reading of 0.25 is harmless to fish.
 
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jaylach

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Instead of doing a lot of quotes and answering each comment I'm just to say thanks to all.)

I use Prime to de-chlorinate which is labeled to also handle chloramine. The label also says that it 'kills' ammonia which makes me wonder why I still show ammonia in the tank even though it is very low. I say this sort of tongue in cheek but I sometimes wonder if just a little ammonia is a good thing as it gives the bacteria something to do... ;) Hate to have the little things become couch taters. ;)

I decided the heck with it and bought some more live plants today. I have no idea as to what they are as they all have the same label of 'Bolbitis/Microsorium Sp.' :dunno: I got three plants and two moss balls. I have no clue as to what any actually are or if I need to fertilize. I'm sure that someone can identify and advise as to fertilizer if needed. Sorry for the reflections but I can't seem to find my camera's filter pack which one of them would cut reflections. I have a nice camera it's being a Cannon EOS Rebel T3 but it is prone to reflections unless filtered. Anyway here they are... Click on the following image and it will expand to give a better view.

IMG_2303.JPG
 

Colin_T

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The plants on left and right with the big leaves look like Java Fern. These should have a black rhizome with a few roots coming out below it. The rhizome should be kept above the substrate. Most people tie Java Fern to rocks or wood and let them grow on that.

Bolbitis has much darker green leaves that are smaller and almost like like a maidenhair fern. They also cost a lot more than Java Fern so I hope you didn't pay too much for them.

Marimo Moss Balls are a type of algae. Good light will usually keep them going. If you want to add a little bit of aquarium plant fertiliser, that will help them grow faster.
 
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jaylach

jaylach

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Oh, I meant to ask... I got some rocks from out back of my apartments which I'm currently boiling to sterilize as I don't know what may be on them.

Should I tie the plants to the rocks sort of on the side so the roots can still be in the substrate or to the top of the rocks so that the roots grow around them? My guess would be to still let the roots be in the substrate.

What is the best thing to use to attach the plants to rocks? Also, could I just use a dab of aquatic silicone to attach as I already have the silicone?
 
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Colin_T

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I wouldn't use any rocks from a suburban neighbourhood or anywhere councils or people might spray herbicide. The herbicide leaves a residue behind that kills everything.

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You can use rubber bands or cotton sewing thread to tie plants onto rocks, wood or ornaments. Make sure fish can't get caught under the rubber bands or string/ thread.
 
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jaylach

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I wouldn't use any rocks from a suburban neighbourhood or anywhere councils or people might spray herbicide. The herbicide leaves a residue behind that kills everything.

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You can use rubber bands or cotton sewing thread to tie plants onto rocks, wood or ornaments. Make sure fish can't get caught under the rubber bands or string/ thread.
OK, I'll get different rocks but I thought that boiling would kill any bad stuff. My back yard is actually a nature reserve that does not allow anything so rocks from there should be safe but I'd still boil. Does that sound good? Another possibility would be to get more Anubias that are already on rocks and attach the new plants. Oh, the current rocks I grabbed were not from the reserve so I'll toss.

Would still like to know if the idea of using a dab of aquatic silicone to attach would be good or bad. What I would do would be to put a drop of silicone on a rock and, when tacky, just touch the plant stem to the silicone to hold. Seems like a good solution but I'm pretty ignorant as to live plants.

I also still need to know if I should attach the plants to rocks so the roots are still in the substrate or to just attach to the top of the rocks and let the roots reach the substrate on their own.

Sorry if some of my questions are dumb but I'm really not much familiar with live plants.

Off topic but being next to a nature reserve is pretty cool. :) Here is my back yard. It is a winter shot but, I think, pretty nice. ;) Everything, including the creek, is part of the reserve.
IMG_0215 -1.jpg
 

Essjay

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With plants like java fern, anubias, bolbitis etc, I just let the roots dangle from the wood mine are attached to. They can grow into the substrate if you want but it's not necessary. They thrive with their roots just in the water.
 

AmyKieran

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OK, I'll get different rocks but I thought that boiling would kill any bad stuff. My back yard is actually a nature reserve that does not allow anything so rocks from there should be safe but I'd still boil. Does that sound good? Another possibility would be to get more Anubias that are already on rocks and attach the new plants. Oh, the current rocks I grabbed were not from the reserve so I'll toss.

Would still like to know if the idea of using a dab of aquatic silicone to attach would be good or bad. What I would do would be to put a drop of silicone on a rock and, when tacky, just touch the plant stem to the silicone to hold. Seems like a good solution but I'm pretty ignorant as to live plants.

I also still need to know if I should attach the plants to rocks so the roots are still in the substrate or to just attach to the top of the rocks and let the roots reach the substrate on their own.

Sorry if some of my questions are dumb but I'm really not much familiar with live plants.

Off topic but being next to a nature reserve is pretty cool. :) Here is my back yard. It is a winter shot but, I think, pretty nice. ;) Everything, including the creek, is part of the reserve.
View attachment 162359
I once bought some rocks from a guy on Facebook that had them in his reef tank. I boiled them over and over again. The day after I put them in my tank, 17 fish died
 

Colin_T

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Boiling rocks kills bacteria and other things living on the rock but does not get rid of poisons or chemicals on the rock. That needs to be washed off and it can be hard to get rid of all traces of chemicals. So avoid rocks from public place.

The nature reserve is probably a safer option for rocks. Don't get caught taking them because some government authorities consider it mining in a national park. But if you find a few nice rocks there, rinse well and add to the tank.

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With plants attached to rocks or driftwood, the roots don't have to be in the substrate. Most aquatic plants can get nutrients through their leaves and their roots will eventually grow into the substrate given enough time.

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Don't use silicon to glue plants to rocks or wood. It takes too long to dry and the plants dry out and die while the silicon is drying. If you want to glue plants to rocks or wood, use Super glue (cyanoacrylate). It sets quickly and is non toxic when dry.

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I used to live up the road from a nature reserve and took the dogs walking in there most days. It was nice and peaceful and gave me a chance to forget about things for a while. Nothing like spending a bit of time in a clean piece of nature.

Are there any fish in the creek?
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Make sure to lift the plants you buried in the substrate so the thicker, stick like bit that the roots grow from (the rhizome) will rot if buried in the substrate and kill the plant. They can just sit on top of the substrate or float for now until you've decided what and where to stick/tie them to :)


I second @Wills recommendation for limnophilia sessiliflora as a great, fast growing and pretty beginners plant! The plants you've got are great for beginners, no problems there! But a fast growing stem plant like the limnophilia can help more with water quality since it grows fast and sucks up ammonia - and helps people get addicted to adding live plants... ;)


Photographing tanks - to avoid reflections in the tank when taking pics, turn off every other light source in the room/close curtains etc. Only have the tank light on, and you won't have reflections in the glass. :) For extra ease, wipe down the inside of the front glass with whatever you normally use to clean it, and polish the outside with plain water and paper towels to remove any water marks, since those spots inside or outside the glass can make it harder to get the camera to focus where you want, plus the tank will look nicer. :)
 
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jaylach

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I already pulled out the plants and they are happily floating around. ;)

The limnophilia sessiliflora look interesting. Do they grow tall? I want to end up with tall plants behind the tree trunk to hide the air risers for the under gravel filtration and lower plants in front... Actually just looked up the size and 15.75 nches, 40 CM, is listed. Since I have 15 inches from the substrate to the top of the water that would be pretty ideal for the back. Is this a plant that would be planted or is it like the others.

The tree trunk has two openings at the top pointing up with one looking to be just about the right size to hold one of the moss balls. That could be interesting. I think I'm going to get more moss balls as I sort of like the weird looking things. Probably also get more Anubias.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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I already pulled out the plants and they are happily floating around. ;)

The limnophilia sessiliflora look interesting. Do they grow tall? I want to end up with tall plants behind the tree trunk to hide the air risers for the under gravel filtration and lower plants in front...

Yep, limnophilia sessilflora will grow right to the surface, and looks really pretty when it does. The very tops getting more light turn a whitish/purple colour that I really like, and it's great for hiding equipment. I planted it around a sponge filter to hide it. You just plant the stems and let them grow, when they get tall, cut the stems and replant the top part and it'll grow, so eventually you can have a fluffy thicket of them. :)


Check out this Tropica video about this plant, and what sold me on them is the bit where they reach the surface, looks gorgeous! It's not a demanding or difficult plant, easy and fast growing, so doesn't take long to grow enough to hide the equipment you want to hide. It, and the others, will appreciate a liquid fertiliser added now and then.

 

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