Having problems with floaters… thinking too much water movement

Magnum Man

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Jun 21, 2023
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Southern MN
So most of my tanks are river based fish, and I have a lot of water movement…
I’ve made plant dams of foam to contain them. But that leaves dead water areas some plants are thriving but I’m concerned about what is collecting in those dead flow areas… right now I’m looking at the water lettuce in my African tank, and it’s all surrounded by bubbles like a betta bubble nest ( no bettas in the tank ) I’m thinking that is an accumulation of proteins or ???

These fish all want highly oxygenated pristine water, with exception to the African glass cats that seem to like to hang out under the water lettuce
Been having trouble with all the types of floaters , that I’ve tried in the high flow tanks… I think I’m going to have to rely on terrestrial plants, grown in the tanks for shade… my South American tank has a Calathea Orbifola with football sized leaves, that has been doing really well, and has started shading that tank… thinking that is a good idea on these river tanks

I have some giant Duckweed that I have in 2 lake tanks, that I’m trying to over winter, in the house, to have stock to move back outside to raise ( I use that to supplement feed my Tilapia) those seem to be doing better one is between foam dams in the center with 2 hang on tank filters, one on each end, and while not perfect, is going to give me so stock for the spring… the other is in my Tilapia breeding tank, and that just has foam filters, and it seems to be thriving in that tank, besides getting some eaten now and then…

The water lettuce 🥬 n my African tank
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You could do some little channels in the upper part of your foam dam to let a little circulation "skim the surface"

Start with very small channels and adjust them until the layer stars moving a little. Then remove the max of it that you can with paper towels.

After that observe how fast and where it start to build up... Re address situation until satisfaction.
That’s a good idea… I could cut up the foam, and slide the chunks on then stainless rod, to hold the shape… got everything here, I could try it
A lot of floating plants don't do well in aquariums, especially if they have covers. Water lettuce, Water hyacinth, Salvinnia and a few others will rot under coverglass. They also don't like water splashing on their leaves. They can take it once in a while but if there is constantly bubbles popping on the surface, or splashing from a power filter, the leaves rot and the plants die.

The above mentioned floating plants do best outdoors in the sun or in aquariums with very bright light and no cover.
I only have one covered tank, ( out of many, most of mine have terrestrial plants growing out of the aquariums ) & that one I've never tried floaters in, but that one has terrestrial plants growing out of the hang on back filters...
In my experience there is only one reason for problems growing floaters. Lack of nutrients. Floaters can geta all the CO2 they need from the air and they are typically found in very humid climates and get full sunlight which is a lot stronger than any aquarium light. water current and splashing water does not harm them. Other than water and CO2 need 14 nutrients dissolved in the water to grow . If the floater leaves are yellow with holes in the leaves you are definitely low on nutrients. you need to fertilize your water for them to grow.


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