NANFA-- Small Tanks- Fish Love Roots

Jeffrey Fullerton (
Sun, 05 Jan 2003 16:47:14 -0500

> Jeff, the sad truth is that these are often advertised as no-care-needed
> self-contained systems. The people selling these are misinformed and
> trained to tell you the fish poops and the plant gets nourishment, which
> stimulates root growth and the Betta nibbles on the roots for its own
> nourishment.

Most of the folks there seem to know well enough to feed the fish. There
was one in a back office of the lab that the fish either died or was
removed but at the front desk that one is doing great and up on 4
Surgical there is a little guy who has been going strong for a year or
more now!

I'm not into Betta but I would recommend these setups over Betta Bowls
anyday. The roots do make a big difference in the water quality and the
quality of life for the fish.

When stationed at Andrews in the early 90s I had a 30 gallon with
Philodendron rooted in the water and Ray Wolff uses Pothos vines in
similar fashion. Fishes really love roots. Many of our best collecting
sites involved coming up under mats of willow roots with a dipnet!

This I've carried over to my greenhouse pond with a 6 foot Fraxinus
carolina (Carolina Ash) that sits bare root in the small pond helping to
keep the water clean and providing shelter for fish while serving as a
perch for airplants and small orchids above the water.

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