Re: NANFA-- Aquatic Plants for Native fish

Shireen Gonzaga (
Fri, 17 Dec 1999 23:44:29 -0500

Chris Darrow wrote:
> What about plants useful for keeping fish, raising fry or for habitat
> setups?

Chris, all my freshwater tanks are planted. It's an
excellent and natural cover for my fish--I guess that
explains their self-confident and bratty behavior. :-)
But it also keeps the tank healthier by absorbing
excessive nutrients from uneaten food and fish waste
and providing extra oxygen during the daylight hours.

The plant growth varies with the amount of light. A
couple of my tanks that get 2-3 watts/gallon of lighting
(daylight spectrum using Powerglo flourescent bulbs) have
several different light-loving plants like hygro spp,
Rotala indica, large Amazon swords, pearlweed, a huge
Aubias barteri, Cape Fear Spatterdock, ludwigia spp.
and some crypts. It's not difficult. I don't do anything
fancy like C02 injection. The tank is lit for 14 hrs/day.
The plants get a liquid fertilizer during water changes
(Ferrovit), and a trimming. Lights are changed once a
year. Lately, I've been ignoring the plants and they
still look decent. (They're way overdue for a makeover.)

You can even get away with good plant growth and little
light if your tank is shallow. My 10g and 20g tanks with
12" height just get 1 watt/gallon but I have wonderful
growth from vallisneria, hygros, water pennywort, bacopa,
as well as the old faithful grow-in-any-condition plants,
Java Fern and Java Moss.

One tank, an experiment, is a 20g high with just crypts
and Java Fern. It's seems to be doing ok, but I am still
in negotiations with the algae. :-)

For a real treat, check out Rhonda Wilson's webpage at
She's absolutely fantastic with aquatic plants!


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