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New Fishkeepers Blog - Plants
Category: Tropical

Author: Ants (11:24 pm)
Sorry for the lack of updates, been a bit busy the last couple of weeks!
Here is the tank 24 hours after setting up and the water's cleared up.
Original Image
I'll deal with the plants starting from the back, with updates on their progress since I started the tank up a couple of months ago: (If I've misidentified any plants etc. please feel free to post below)

Back left: Jungle Vallis
Supposedly an easy beginners plant, this should grow quickly and eventually hide the pump outlet from sight and spread by runners. This plant is sensitive to changes in water chemistry and the leaves will die over a few weeks, but new leaves tolerant of my water should grow through in that time.
Unfortunately this hasn't worked quite as planned! I belive I initially planted the roots too deep into the substrate and the crowns rotted. One of the plants was dead within a week before I discovered this, I pulled the remaining plants up a little in the hopes it wasn't too late.... Two of the remaining plants started to show signs of recovery with new leaves developing, but these to have now died. I pulled the final stump out of the substrate today.

Back right: Amazon Sword
Another "easy" plant. This tends to be grown with the roots in water and the leaves in air, and once immersed in a tank these air adapted leaves will die off, new water adapted leaves should develop in the meantime. Can grow quite big so suited as a background plant.
This plant has been difficult to say the least, all the old leaves have died off and new ones have developed, however it has a nasty tendency to float to the surface at the slightest touch! I've lost count of the number of times I've had to replant the thing, including today when it uprooted again whilst I was doing my weekly cleanup. A work in progress!

Middle (on the wood): Anubias Barteri
This plant grows from a rhizome and should not be planted directly into the substrate, which will cause the rhizome to rot. Luckily I knew this already from a couple of YouTube videos I'd watched. The plant should be attached to wood, it will eventually form roots into the substrate and firmly attach itself to the host wood. Many people suggest fastening it to the wood with cotton line, elastic bands or glue during the initial stages.
Luckily the wood I'm using had a few conveniently sized crevices which I lodged the two pieces of Anubias into. Much like the Amazon Sword they had a nasty habit of dislodging over the first few weeks but I persevered with my approach and they now seem firmly in place and have started to produce roots which are heading for the substrate and a few new leaves have developed as well. A great plant which really works well as a centre piece in my tank... The fish like it as well

Front Left: Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus)
Original Image
Another easy plant. Initially I planted this in the substrate, however like the Anubias this grows from a rhizome and should not be planted directly in the substrate but instead be attached to rocks/wood with fishing line or cotton.

Luckily I realised my mistake quickly enough and pulled the plants out and attached them to the wood fragments I'd smashed off the larger piece a few days earlier. These now appear to be doing well and have produced several new leaves along with beautiful brown feathery roots.

They have also started producing several daughter plantlets on the tips of some of the older leaves, these should eventually fall off and can be attached to more decor if required.

Front Middle/left: Baby tears (Soleirolia)
This plant has completely disappeared from my tank. It kept rotting near the base and floating to the top. Further research suggests it may need CO2 injection and high light, definitely not a beginners plant!

Front Middle/Right: Brazilian Penneywort (Hydrocotyle leucocephala)
Supposedly another easy plant which can either be planted into the substrate or left to float on the surface. I opted to plant mine, but all the leaves dropped off in a matter of days, and most of the stalks rotted! I suspect it may have been grown as floating plant in the dealers tank (see the Amazon sword entry) and there is now a single stalk left with one solitary leaf! Your mileage may vary if you try this one.

Front Right: Hygrophila? (Not too sure on this one any help in the comments below!)
An easy plant, however it can grow quite large so possibly not well suited to it's current placement!! I planted several stalks of this, most of these uprooted quickly and I kind of gave up. One plant has survived though and has more than doubled in size. Probably better suited as a background plant if you're going to use it, luckily this could also be considered "the back" from where I sit (the tank is in a corner) so I'll leave it be for now.

****** This post is not finished - more to follow---> 1 surface plant, and 2 replacement plants! ****
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