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Hi tech, low maintenance

Discussion in 'Estimative Index' started by jonny_ftm, May 31, 2009.

  1. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Hi,

    For me, on the long run, maintenance is really the trimming of plants. The bigger the aquarium, the bigger is biomass to trim

    Do you think using echino/crypts as the majority of plants in a 40-60gal CO2 tank with my lighting (2x54W + 4x54W 3h burst, luminaire at 12in) could be a door for algae blooms?

    Definately, a majority of stem plants in a big tank yields to high maintenance. I'm finding that the only stem plants that need few maintenance are Hygrophila Corymbosa and I could keep them + eventually one group of a beautiful stem plant, just for the aestetics. As it would be a small localized group of 6-8 individuals, it should be easy to maintain with my actual lighting.

    many thanks for the help
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Do 2 x 54 W and leave it be.

    There's high tech, but with low work.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    Your growth rates will be driven primarily by the amount of light provided..

    I would eliminate the burst myself if you want slower growth rates.

    You should then need less co2/ferts.

    Or raise the fixture higher.........

    Edit: Tom I see you beat me to it :)
     
  4. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Thank you for the advice,

    Actually, I agree you're right 100%. SuperColey1 and VaughnH convinced me to put my luminaire higher and in a second time to shut down from 4 to 2x54W. I kept the burst period since I asked and wasn't sure if it was good or no. Now, my plant growth slowed drastically and I no longer need a 3 times/ week pruning, just really small pruning every week but daily removing of some decaying floating leaves.


    I'll try removing the burst period, but definately would like to know if I could keep my aquarium with no stem plants, except ONLY ONE group of a given stem plant. All the remaining would be mostly crypts and echino with some java fern and anubia... The stem plant group could be put as a spot for aestetics.

    The advantage of crypts/echino is pruning every 2-4 months maybe under low light, would never need those regular replacements of mother plant with cutting and replanting the top from time to time, no decaying dead leaves... Just removing from time to time the disseminated child plants that the crypts send everywhere

    Leaving for 1-3 weeks won't need some one to prune the plants. Automated dosing/levelling the water would be enough.

    So, will this kind of biotope an open door to algae and will the substrate be a limiting factor after some months, as crypts and echino have really a well developped root system?
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I have 2 tanks I might trim once every 3 months tops.
    Another, once every 2 months I'll mow the HC.

    Another, maybe every 2-3 weeks, the 180, maybe 2-3 weeks ranges.

    About it.

    Some stems, some foreground plants, etc

    But the tanks are taller, 24", the scape has a fair amount of rock or wood etc, that displaces more trimming.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Tom,

    Many thanks for continuing the discussion,

    By HC, you mean Hygrophyla Corymbosa? If yes, than, as I said above, I also found it the only stem plant I know (but my expierience is also limited) that needs very little trimming and retopping. The mother plants remain healthy for very long. Some of my plants are nearing one year without retopping.

    My crypts and echino, I have them for one year: aside from removing some leaves every few months, I never did any maintenance. No decaying leaves or retopping at all. Even under direct very high light, they never showed any algae trace or deficit signs.

    I also prefer highly dense planted aquarium styles. With stem plants, shading of the root becomes soon or late an issue and retopping is needed from time to time.

    Anyway, I insist maybe, but do you think it viable an aquarium with mostly Echino and crypts with some java fern and anubia, and with virtually no stem plants? Or it will be the guaranty of algae bloom, based on your expierience?
     
  7. captain_bu

    captain_bu Prolific Poster

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    I believe Tom is referring to Hemianthus callitrichoides. Carpet plant... hence the reference to "mow the HC".

    Hygrophila corymbosa is one of my favorite plants. If you are not familiar with the "compact" version check it out... same look to the leaves but it stays low to the substrate.

    SR
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Certainly, it is very viable and reasonable.

    I have a semi tank like this.........most Crypts, a couple of swords, and lots of wood and caves for plecos etc, with needle leaf Java fern and Anubias on them.

    I have some Myrios, and L aromatica, a little Blyxa, pennywort, that's it, maybe 20-30% of the tank?

    Really easy to care for those.
    No reason I could not remove the Blyxa, and use chain swords.
    Phase out the others etc.

    I like a little color and texture, so I keep a few.........

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    @captain_bu: thanks for the tip, I could try the compact indeed, looks interesting


    Many thanks Tom for your help,

    I'll definately switch progressively my stems to echino and crypts in the near future. I'll remove all Limnophila, Ludwigia Repens and probably Alternathera if it doesn't stop decaying its leaves.

    I should keep some H. Corymbosa and also some Egeria to cover the narrow places.

    I now have since 2 weeks some Pogostemon Stellatus and R. Wallichii that are growing very slowly but in a healty state. If they do continue a slow nice growth I'll keep them too. Otherwise, I could opt for one group of a slow growing stem, like Ludwigia glandulosa or maybe L. Aromatica

    Many thanks again for helping. At least I know I could once migrate to such a biotope. I'll give the stems a try with low light before removing the most part of them
     
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