My First Foray into Live Plants

blueberlin

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I finally got to the point where I am ready to learn about aquatic plants. I chose everything by temperature requirements, figuring that the plants could be arranged according to their light requirements as needed. I have live plants in two aquaria because I have lights for two aquaria. :rolleyes:

Also thought I'd toss in a pic of Lotte because she's just so darned cute.

-Eva
 

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Kerry1968

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Looking good Eva! I think live plants make such a difference, I'm just hopeless at keeping them! Could you post a list of what plants you used please? Perhaps there's something there that even I can't kill off!
One happy Lotte!
 

Andrew51

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Wow that looks absolutely incredible! How big is that tank you are using? And what would the set of pictures be without Lotte, she is adorable
 

Darkmaverick

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Hi Eva,

Cute axolotl, nice live plants. Good pictures. Great owner. :D

Hugs
 

blueberlin

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Hi all,

Thanks for yor comments! There are actually 2 tanks in the photos above, but they are both 120x40x50 cm (about 47x15x19 inches). I will list the plants ASAP, have to go back to the store to get all of their names. I can only remember Valesnaria and Valesnaria spiralis, those are the tall grass-like plants.

Kerry you are right about live plants. I had lots of plastic plants in the tank and have always said that plastic plants offer more variety in color and form because the axolotl tanks are of necessity cold and dark, and most aquatic plants are (like the fish) tropical. I have lights, now, though, and let them burn for a good 7-8 hours each day and am hoping that will be enough to grow the plants (anybody want to take a bet on whether I get the enw experience of algae, too?). Thomas never really went to look at the tanks, though, until I got the live plants. Now he actually goes and stands in front of them, just looking. An added bonus - keeping husband busy! :rofl:

-Eva
 

Gregh

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is that a refrigeration system in there?
 

blueberlin

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is that a refrigeration system in there?

Hi Greg (my mother's maiden name is MacLean :happy: ),

No, it's just an external filter with a series of spray bars (and some pieces of foam on the intake).

-Eva
 

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Nicely done, Eva! I would recommend that you post at least one of these photos (I'm partial to the 3rd one) in the Gallery section of the forum. While this thread will rarely be seen in future years, the Gallery is categorized, and people often browse there for setup ideas.
 

blueberlin

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:confused: But... um ... I am in the gallery here...? (Thanks for the compliment, too.)

-Eva
 

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Nice looking tank and axolotl! I'm jealous :p I especially love the leaves at the bottom, reminds me of the bottom of a pond. Do you have any problems with Lotte ripping up the plants? I only ask because if you find it's not a problem then I'm keen to try live plants too as they make the tank so pretty.
 

blueberlin

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Hi Tran,

Thanks - the leaves are tropical almond leaves and are astringent; I have them in there as a preventative measure against fungus, as the tanks are still cycling.

The young boys in the one tank leave the plants alone. The adult female in the other tank, though, enjoys climbing through the plants, which uproots some of them (mainly the Valesneria) becaue they have not rooted yet. I will put some weights (old clay caves left over from the young ones' "kindergarten days") around them to see if that helps; I am also trying different placement to see if that helps, too.

-Eva
 

kira

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I am curious as to where one would acquire these almond leaves and how many to use?
 

blueberlin

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I order them here in Germany, of course. Surely you can find them online? They are also called Indian almond tree leaves, etc. (I linked Wikipedia above; they have more names, too.)

You use 1-3 leaves per 100 liters of water. They "work" for 1-2 weeks, at which point they can be removed and replaced. (My snails have usually reduced them to a leaf skeleton by then anyway.)

You can use other leaves, too, from broadleaf trees (no pine needles). They have the same effect (they release tannins into the water), just maybe not as strong as the tropical almond. Walnut and hazelnut leaves also have a pretty high level of tannins.

The main thing is that the leaves should not be green; they should be wilted. When fall comes around and you are raking up the leaves, save some to use in the tank. It would probably be a good idea to pour boiling water over the leaves before putting them into the tank, though, just in case there are any little secret nasties on the leaves.

-Eva
 

ferret_corner

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What are the red plants? I love the platies in there!! LOL I'll have to get some ASAP for the tropical tank so I can put the babies in the axolotls tanks!

Sharon
 

blueberlin

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:eek: The red things are leftover plastic plants.

Yes I like the platys, too. I just discovred that the store where I usually buy live foods has a wide variety of color types. My current favorite they call "flamingo platys". I think I put about 20 between the two tanks. I just noticed today, though, that there are only 5 or maybe less in the boys' tank. So it looks like I will need a breeder tank for the fish if I don't want to keep buying new ones. Oh Thooooooomas, I need another aquaaaaaaaaarium!!! :p

-Eva
 

ferret_corner

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Ok I'm REALLY cheap. I used to go to the fish stores and buy all the hugely pregnant females and one or two males. In a week or two I'd quadruple my numbers of fish. I wish it it were that easy with neons!!

LOL I also used to talk the sales people to catching any babies that might be in a tank - pointing out they'll just be eaten by the others if they don't give them to me to live in my tanks where they have ample hiding spaces.

LOL one owner pointed out it was free food for the fish he had so why should he "give" them to me? He had a good point. I offered to compensate with $1 a baby, with the number he had he could pay retail and have 3 containers of premium fish food. He agreed that was a good idea and sold me the babies. Still that was less than the $4 for the adults.

Man I really gotta hit my friend up to scavenge her shops tanks for me.....

Sharon
 

blueberlin

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haha yep Sharon I just bought two pregnant female (guppies) today. My first time, actually, because usually they are kept separated by sex. I snapped 'em up!

Kerry, if you're still reading here, I finally gathered the names of (most) of the plants:

Ceratophyllum demersum
Lilaeopsis brasiliensis
Anubias
Cryptocoryne (two types but they all seem to be ok for a low-light, coldwater tank)
Hydrocotyle verticillata (this one is listed as light-loving and difficult but so far so good)
Vallisneria (two types, the spiralis is quite lovely and makes little flowers)

Then there are some mosses, just pretty much whatever they had.

Not pictured but today I bought some Shinnersia rivularis. Looks like something that will take over my tank, but we'll see.

-Eva
 
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Kerry1968

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Thanks Eva, I'll look into them further. (But I might wait to see how they survive in your tank first!) Cheeky me! ;)
 

blueberlin

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No worries there, dear. I would do the same. I will let you know how it goes.

So far the Valissneria have put out strechters and started now wee little plants. (That was fast!). Everything else is still looking quite fine, too, which is ok so far at about two weeks in the tank. I think the lights are too strong for the axolotls and want more floating plants, but it seems I must wait for spring to get any - folks keep telling me that this is "not the time of year" for floating plants. The ones I do have are doing ok so far, though.

Will keep you posted.

-Eva
 
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