10 January 2016

new plants

Money came in from illustrations, so I splurged on some aquatic plants. I picked up some from the pet store (not a lot of selection), bought some from a fish forum member, and am also arranging a possible swap online.

Yesterday I added to the main tank: bacopa caroliniana, what I think are bacopa monieri and creeping jenny, an "asian" crypt, some ludwigia, elodea (anacharis) and unfortunately mondo grass. The plants were not well marked, and the employee admitted he didn't know much about them. However I saw most of these growing in a low light tank, so thought they would do well for me. Also I looked at the grass-like one and saw long, healthy white roots so assumed it was an okay plant. But when I got home and looked it up, found it's mondo grass- a terrestrial plant.
Might survive a few months, then slowly rot. Lots of people get duped on this. I did too. It's irritating that the shops sell as aquatic plants ones that really aren't. I'm aware of many and stay away from them- but didn't know of this one. It's here to the right of the unnamed cryptocoryne:
and to the left and rear of the mondo grass is I think creeping jenny:
Here's elodea in the background and ludwigia on left.
Adding the plants made my cherry barbs excited! They were dashing all over the place immediately engaged in flirtatious behavior.
I love the blue-green hue of the ludwigia,
it has the prettiest purple undersides:
Some of the plants I got in little packets. It looks odd, but the nice thing is guaranteed totally free of snails or disease.
The roots are growing in gel, just rinse it off. Easier than pulling all the material that plugged an aquatic plant pot!
This one looks like another ludwigia-
I was looking back through photos and dismayed how much nicer my old 20L was looking compared to what I've got going now. I must still not have the light/ferts balance right. Look how awful brown my crypt wendtii has become:
I think I tinkered with too many things recently- when I put in all the new plants realized with alarm how dull my older plants were- and the crypt wendtiis look awful. I think the light distance or doing half whites half full spectrum wasn't the right move. I look at my tenner and it's so much better. Maybe cutting out the micros was a bad idea, too. I took the blocks off that had raised the light source, and instead cut the intensity by taping a strip of plastic sheeting over the LEDs (as on the tenner with good results). Set the color and white channels to same timeframe. Dosed micros last night as soon as I realized. Already today the crypts seem a bit greener color:

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