Tag Archives: Aquatic plants

Used flowerpot WARNING

25 Jan

A Spring ritual is putting aquatic plants in clay flowerpots and placing them in my small outdoor pond.

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A few years ago this killed some of my fish.

I start with flowerpots plus some clean sand and gravel.

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Gravel goes on the bottom.

Then the plant, maybe a little soil, then sand on top.

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As I mentioned,  a few years ago there was a problem. I had fancy goldfish, platies and swordtails in the pond. Everything seemed fine but after a week the goldfish were dying and the small fish had quit eating and were sitting at the bottom.

I captured the remaining fish, then completely cleaned the pond. I still had no idea what had happened.

It was a year later that the president of the local fish club (Mr. LVH) said something about pesticides in used flowerpots. It became clear as a bell.

I had bought some used flowerpots at a garage sale. My first use of them was in the pond. Things were fine for a week but then the poison began leaching out.

Another week went by and I had dead fish. The ones that were brought inside were thin and disfigured but, if they could be induced to eat, recovered quickly.

So if you buy used clay flowerpots soak them for several days in a bucket of water. Pour out the water and do it at least 3 times over a week.

Also in Springtime I put Water Lettuce outdoors that has been growing in an aquarium.

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First, I put the plants in a plastic container and tuck it in a shady spot to avoid sunburn.

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If I move it into sunshine too soon it looks like this.

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Water Lettuce can recover and eventually gets accustomed to bright sun, but I think it does best in partial shade.

Partway through summer I have to remove handfuls of Water Lettuce from the pond.

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I also have flowerpots in several of my aquariums.

Amazon Swords do best growing in soil.

The only problem growing aquatic plants in pots is that the plants grow too fast.  The tank becomes a jungle. Not a bad problem  to have.

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How to spawn Gold Barbs

30 Apr

How to spawn Gold barbs.

Do nothing.

That’s it, thanks for viewing my blog!

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I put a pair of Gold barbs into a 10 gallon tank thinking that I would separate them at some point, feed them some good foods like bloodworms and brine shrimp, then put them back together, hope they spawn, then deal with raising microscopic fish fry.

I have about 10 Gold barbs. I picked out the biggest, roundest female. A male is usually thinner but also, when healthy and in breeding condition, gets orange-colored along his belly. Note the orange-bellied male in the picture above. (the fish on the left)

In the 10 gallon tank I put handfuls of plants. An Amazon Sword just floating around. Some Hornwort. Some Red Ludwegia. Some hair algae also developed.

I made a water change one day and spotted a baby Gold Barb! I soon had caught seven babies. Last week I did this again and caught 6 or 7 more! I placed them in a 10 gallon tank with some Platy babies.

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What’s nice about this is that I didn’t do a darn thing. No raising infusoria or brine shrimp. I do have several cultures of microworms going and I feed that to the barbs a few times a week. I’m sure the babies benefited from that.

I really like the Gold Barbs. Peaceful, always active, always hungry.

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FEED ME!

 

Water Lettuce and Water Hyacinth in the Turtle Pond

4 Dec

The first 3 years that I had my turtle pond I couldn’t keep any live plants in the water. The turtles (Red-eared Sliders) annihilate everything.
This year, I came up with a strategy that seems to work:
I start by having Water Lettuce growing in my aquariums during the Winter.

Indoors, the Water Lettuce plant stays small under average lighting.

Indoors, the Water Lettuce plant stays small under average lighting.

I have not had any luck growing Water Hyacinth indoors. It must require much stronger light than I have.

Once Spring comes, I put a bunch of little Water Lettuce plants outside in the shade to acclimate it to the Sun.

Once Spring comes, I put a bunch of little Water Lettuce plants outside in the shade to acclimate it to the Sun. I leave them in the shade for at least a week and bring them indoors if it gets very cold.

Little Water Lettuce in the small pond. SEE THE FROG!

Then, into the small pond. SEE THE FROG!

It grows like mad and covers the little pond.

It grows like mad and covers the little pond.

The Water Lettuce gets bigger. See the frog again?

The Water Lettuce gets bigger. See the frog again?

I start putting Water Lettuce into the turtle pond. I also acquired some Water Hyacinth from a pond keeper nearby.

I start putting Water Lettuce into the turtle pond. I also acquired some Water Hyacinth from a pond keeper nearby.

The turtles proceed to eat the plants, mostly the Water Hyacinth.

The turtles proceed to eat the plants, mostly the Water Hyacinth.

But the 30 gallon pond keeps supplying me with Lettuce and Hyacinths and I begin to win the war.

But the 30 gallon pond keeps supplying me with Lettuce and Hyacinths and I begin to win the war.

The Water Lettuce gets gigantic outdoors. The turtles start to get sick of eating it!

The Water Lettuce gets gigantic outdoors. The turtles start to get sick of eating it!

But they LOVE the Water Hyacinth.

But they LOVE the Water Hyacinth.

The pond stays so much clearer with lots of plants to shade the water and filter it.

The pond stays so much clearer with lots of plants to shade the water and filter it.

It was so hot and dry we even had a toad living in the pond.

It was so hot and dry we even had a toad living in the pond.

I take some medium sized plants indoors and , before you know it, I am giving them away for aquarium use or even throwing them away.

Before Winter I take some medium sized plants indoors. They soon spread over the surface of the aquarium.

Before you know it, I am giving them away for aquarium use or even throwing them away.

Before you know it, I am giving them away for aquarium use or even throwing them away.

Water Sprite takes over the world!

17 Oct

A few months ago I found a thumbnail-sized plant floating in one of my aquariums. I still don’t know where it came from, I hadn’t bought any plants for a long time.

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It was a little Water Sprite plant. I hoped it would grow, expecting it to get maybe 3 or 4 inches across.

It grew…

CAM01438…and grew…

CAM01419…and grew.

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Eventually, it started reaching out of the aquarium. It’s leaves take a different fern-like form when they are above water.

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This thing is crawling out to get me! Help!!!!

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The main plant covers half of a 55 gallon tank. It’s 24 inches across!!

Also, the plant forms baby plants along the big stems and I have many Water Sprite plants now and have given some away.

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The Water Sprite can float or be be planted in the gravel. It’s leaves are soft and the snails will eat some of it. I crush the snails and that makes my Angelfish and Swordtails very happy.

CAM01596If you look up Water Sprite on the Internet you will mainly see reference to a fine-leaved variety of plant called Ceratopteris thalictroides. I believe my plant, I mean PLANTS, are Ceratopteris cornuta, which is the broad-leafed Water Sprite, even though it sounds like a dinosaur.  I think both varieties of Water Sprite take the same care: Water, light, fish poop.

Water Lettuce in the aquarium

7 Mar

Water Lettuce is a plant normally grown in outdoor ponds. I brought some indoors 2 years ago. At first the plants exploded in growth, multiplying like a weed.  But, over time, these plants got smaller and their reproduction slowed.

Eventually I was left with thumbnail-size Water Lettuce plants. Outdoors they can be 4 or 5 inches across.

A few months ago I moved some of these weakling plants into a half-filled 55 gallon tank. I keep this tank half-filled because I don’t totally trust the stand that the tank is on.

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At first there were about 20 little plants.

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In a few weeks I had 40 plants.

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A few weeks later I had 80 plants. I gave my brother 20 of them. Now there are way over 100 plants, probably close to 150.

I have a 48″ fluorescent light fixture over this tank with 2 forty watt bulbs. These bulbs are new and bright but are just cheap bulbs like you would have in a basement or garage.

I have read that Water lettuce does not like too much humidity but this tank is sealed tight and it is very humid above the water line. Below the water line it is even more humid.

Spring is coming and I have a head start on my pond plants. I’ll be able to put 100 of these outdoors as soon as it is warm enough.

A much cleaner pond! (I’m learning)

26 Jul

I am too cheap to buy a big fancy filtration system for the turtle pond and it has always gotten green in the summer. A few weeks ago I did two things:
I dropped a standard aquarium box filter to the bottom of the pond. Of course, I added filter wool and have the air pumping pretty strong.

The small airline is attached to a plastic box filter on the pond bottom. The bigger line is taking water from the water pump to the big filter box that flows into the stream at the other end of the pond.


The second thing is that I brought my 500 Gallon-per-hour water pump to the upper shelf of the pond and I clean the intake sponge daily. It only takes 3 or 4 minutes.
I clean the box filter wool every 2 or 3 days. I don’t replace it, just rinse it out.
The pond cleared up in about a week and is looking better all of the time!

This pump used to sit on the bottom. The water goes to a plastic tub filled with quilt batting. I used to leave the sponge pre-filter off the pump so the junk would go to the big filter BUT mostly the pump would just get plugged up with leaves and sticks. Now I can lift out the pump and clean the sponge in minutes.


Here is why I can’t have live aquatic plants in my turtle pond. These plants are FAKE FAKE FAKE and they still snip them apart.

On Greenish Pond is not a good movie title

29 Jun

I have mentioned this before but as the year goes by it seems even more evident. Having plants in an outdoor pond keeps the water much clearer and healthier.
In my big pond the turtles would eat any aquatic vegetation so the water becomes green with algae. I have a 500 gallon-per-hour (GPH) pump running on the pond but the filter won’t take out such small particles of algae.

In the little 30-gallon pond, all I have for filtration is a sponge filter connected to a small air pump. There are about 40 little Zebra Danios in there.

I imagine the big pond filled with Water Lilies and Water Hyacinth, Parrot’s Feather, and Water Lettuce, but it just won’t work with turtles, and that is the case if you are thinking about a Koi pond. They eat almost all vegetation, they get huge, and take massive filtering systems.