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Water Lettuce and it's impact on my tank

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
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
12,501
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.
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.
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.
I have lost all of my moss and some of my other 'light demanding plants'
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


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.
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
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
12,501
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
What fish have you got in there Darrel? Looks like Danio sp. Tinwini from my iPhone on tapatalk anyway
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
 

leemonk

Member
Thread starter
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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