Water Lettuce and it's impact on my tank

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by leemonk, 2 Nov 2012.

  1. leemonk

    leemonk Member

    Joined:
    17 Apr 2009
    Messages:
    132
    Hey,

    I stared a low tech tank some months back and it's been doing fairly well until a little recently.

    I have lots of light in my tank and historically combating algae growth has been difficult, however it was suggested that I get some form of barrier to prevent to much light getting into the tank.

    I could have gone the material barrier, but instead choose the recommended 'Water Lettuce'. I am mightily impressed with it as it looks great on the top of the tank (when I open the lid) but also adds a whole other dimension to the tank when it's roots hang down.

    A few things I have noticed that are worrying me a little.

    1. Most of my snails seem to live up the top now, in the lettuce. I think this might be because of the food that sticks to them when I feed the fish.

    2. Where I have allowed it to 'overgrow' it has blocked out nearly all the light and I have lost all of my moss and some of my other 'light demanding plants'

    3. I was wondering what impact this 'water column' feeder have on the other non-rooted plants in the tank. Things like Mosses and Anubis in particular. I was told that they are a fantastic source of plants to keep algae down, due to their ability to restrict nutrients available to the algae. My concern is that they are so effective at using nutrients that they may impact on the growth of other plants that feed on off the water column.

    Regards
    Le
     
  2. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

    Joined:
    7 Apr 2008
    Messages:
    9,220
    Location:
    nr Bath
    Hi all,
    Lee, just thin it down so it only covers the amount of the tank surface that you want covered. I usually have about 2/3 cover of floaters in the summer, but in the winter I thin that down to 1/2 ~ 1/3 to take into account the lower levels of ambient light.
    I find the same with Red ramshorn snails, the smaller ones are always in the floating plants roots, possibly because these tend to support a biofilm of algal sporelings etc that the snails eat.
    Unless it really cut out all the light it shouldn't have killed your mosses, or plants like Anubias and Java fern. I don't grow any really "light demanding" plants* (like carpets), and all my tanks are very lightly fertilised <http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=22824&hilit= Duckweed index> and don't have added carbon, but I have Amazon Swords, Cryptocoryne spp., Aponogeton etc.
    *(Others will tell you that these are actually CO2 demanding plants)
    This is the top:
    top_view.jpg
    of this tank
    dicrossus_clup1_resize-1.jpg

    They are great nutrient sponges, and have access to aerial CO2, but I have floaters on all the tanks and it doesn't stop the slow growing plants growing entirely.

    I'd just give the Pistia a good thin (take out whole rosettes) and use plant health as an indicator of when you need to fertilise, and whether you have enough light reaching the submerged plants.

    cheers Darrel
     
  3. Nathaniel Whiteside

    Nathaniel Whiteside Member

    Joined:
    22 Mar 2012
    Messages:
    3,159
    Location:
    Richmond, North Yorkshire, UK
    What fish have you got in there Darrel? Looks like Danio sp. Tinwini from my iPhone on tapatalk anyway :lol:
     
  4. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

    Joined:
    7 Apr 2008
    Messages:
    9,220
    Location:
    nr Bath
    Hi all,
    The're Dicrossus maculatus in the photo, they've grown a bit since, I've just kept a pair and this is the male:
    dicrossus_clup_aug2012_flash_web.jpg
    Other than that there is a single sub-adult male Ancistrus L100, which is resisting attempts to remove it, 2 Marbled Hatchets (survivors of a failed breeding attempt), 2 female Splash Tetra (another female and 2 males managed to jump out, despite the lid), and a variable amount of Corydoras pygmaeus (no longer spawning successfully because of the other inhabitants) and possibly 3 Corydoras hastatus. I didn't realise I had any Corydoras hastatus in the tank, because I hadn't seen any for several years until I had to move the tank in summer 2011 when I found 3, with the C. pygmaeus present they now appear very occasionally at feeding time.

    Eventually I'm aiming to end up with just the Dicrossus pair and possibly dithers.

    cheers Darrel
     
  5. Matt Warner

    Matt Warner Member

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2011
    Messages:
    738
    Location:
    Worcester
    Nice tank Darrel :thumbup:
     
  6. Manrock

    Manrock Member

    Joined:
    15 Dec 2007
    Messages:
    206
    If you do thin it down...we'll have some for our school project please!! :D

    Check out this link if you can help, it would be very much appreciated.

    viewtopic.php?f=23&t=23623

    Steve
     
  7. leemonk

    leemonk Member

    Joined:
    17 Apr 2009
    Messages:
    132
    mail me your address.

    Last time I had a clear out it was unexpected, but I had a massive salad bowl of it spare, along with tons still in the tank.

    Sadly, I have just had a clear out. The Mrs thought I had prepared a salad and asked me if I had already put the Balsamic in ;)

    THanks for the replies!
     

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