Small Foreground Plant

Waterloo Kid

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I'm going to redo my tank soon as the current layout is looking very tired. I'm after a small foreground plant that will thrive in low light conditions. I need a lot of it too as I have a Rio 400 and intend to have about half of the groundspace covered in a single plant species.
Ideally I'm after something that will grow to about 75-100mm tall max and grow nice and tightly. My wpg is in the region of 1wpg (poxy Juwel lighting) and I intend it to run without CO2 and a plain gravel substrate. I could add laterite to the existing substrate if it would make a difference. I was thinking of some sort of crypt (nevilli?) or similar.

Any ideas?

WK
 

piatotsini

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There isn't a lot of carpeting plants that thrive in low light. You could make a moss carpet. Or, if it's cheap around where you live, you could get a LOT of anubias nana petite and use that as a foreground plant. But you'll need lots.
 
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Waterloo Kid

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I've tried E. tellenus and have had little success. the leaves are so fragile they quickly start looking tatty and fall off. Even though the plant propigates quickly (it's got to be a bit of a pain really) it doesn't thrive so I might give that one a miss. I'm guessing that I will have that problem with pretty much all of the Echinodorus species. My Amazon Swords are doing OK but could be so much better with a good substrate and some more light.
I have a number of Anubias ver. Nana and Barteri in my tank at the moment. All grow well although the ones in the open are completely covered in dark brown algae which I have to remove periodically with a soft toothbrush.
I think I'll give some crypts a go.

Another thing to ask. My tank has always suffered from a zero nitrate level. I'm guessing that this is due to the presence of a large amount of vallis which is probably sucking up all the nutrients at the expense of the slower growing plants in the tank. I have always suffered some bga and low growth rates. If I removed the faster growing plants would I be able to balance the nutrient uptake better? I'm trying to head towards slower growing low light plants. Hopefully this will increase the available nitrates and help combat the bga I have. Am I right?
 

Themuleous

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Yeh low NO3 can be a contributing factor to some algae, but think its more for BBA. That said you could try increasing NO3 and seeing what happens? You can get is quite cheaply from aquaessentials.

Sam
 
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Waterloo Kid

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I have started dosing NO3 at 6ml/l per day but my plants are gobbling all of it up by the end of the day. I'm going to increase it to 12 ml/l per day and then more and more until I get some sort of residual trace at the end of a 24 hr period just to see what level of uptake my plants are capable of. To be honest I've NEVER had anything other than a zero level of nitrates. I've used both API and Red Sea nitrate kits with the same outcome. Any idea if soft water can affect these tests?

I did think about a moss carpet. I have Java moss in the tank at the moment and it does OK. Not to fast growing due to the light levels but it grows. Java moss will probably be in the tank somewhere. I'm going to have to do some sketches and think it through more. I'm edging towards a mass of crypts although the exact species I have yet to decide on. Time will tell.

WK
 

zig

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There is something wrong with your measurements, even in a highlight tank it is very unlikely that you would have uptake rates as high as you have, @6ppm no3 per day thats 42ppm every 7 days that is not likely on a low light tank, dont keep adding no3 either, immeaditaly suspect the testkits.
 
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Waterloo Kid

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To be honest I think my KNO3 powder is duff. I should really have tested it as neat solution. I am using 55g of powder in 1 litre of water as my stock solution which should give me a 0.1ppm level of nitrate per ml dose of solution. I did suspect the test kit before so bought a Red Sea nitrate test kit. that also shows a zero level. I think I'll take a sample down to my lfs for them to check.

To re-ask a question, do you think very soft water could mess with test results?

WK
 

Themuleous

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Just out of interest why have to made up the stock solution to give just 0.1ppm NO3? You'll have to add 100lm to get just 10ppm increase? Why not make the solution more like 1ml = 1ppm? Or 5ppm even?

Sam
 
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Waterloo Kid

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I was under the impression that you could not dissolve much more KNO3 in a litre of water but having just checked out my assumption I appear to be wrong. Apparently the solubility of KNO3 at 25 centigrade is 357g.

OOPS!

P.S. Might have just got myself into trouble with the IT guys at work. One page I tried to access was blocked due to 'Illegal or questionable content'

See you in ten to twelve!

WK
 

Themuleous

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Haha :lol: doh! Is that the time inside for that sort of thing then? I wouldnt know... :shifty:

Sam

PS - you could dissolve 325g KNO3 into 500lm of water then each 1lm added to the tank adds 1ppm NO3 :)
 
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Waterloo Kid

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If you add more than 357g per litre of water (at 25 centigrade) it will not dissolve. The water becomes saturated and cannot accept any more solids.

I'm sure that I'd get more time if someone thought I was making a bomb! KNO3 is a primary ingredient in improvised bombs.

WK
 

NAL

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Hi

In answer to your question regarding lower light foreground plants, you could consider Marsilea hirsuta. It is like a aquatic four leaf clover, and should grow in lower light tanks quite well. It has a simiilar creeping habit to Glossostigma, but is a much slower growing plant and thus will not quite give you the thick, dense growth common in high light Glosso carpets. It should suit your needs though.

Regards,
Nick
 
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Waterloo Kid

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Them what I suggested should work then, no?
Yes, it should!


Harlequin,
I tried four leaf clover last year with spectacular failure. I started with a fairly dense clump and ended up after a couple of months with 4 tiny plantlets about the same size as the gravel i the tank.

I'll be posting a very unartistic sketch of my proposed layout for you to ponder over. It'll be a bit of time yet though.

WK
 
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