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Wood and plant choice


garrett
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I've got a couple of 2.5 foot x 18" x 18" tanks in my garage that have mostly been used as grow out tanks (guppies, bn cats, and now angels).

I got 2 small peppermint bristlenose last weekend, from su888 care of Paul Mac, so I'm thinking of making a tank just for them, plus some of the nicer male guppies.

I've been looking at Mopani wood, as it's cheaper than mangrove root and looks really interesting with the two tones, but have read about lots and lots of tannin leach, so I'd sit it in a bucket for a good while, to solve it, but does anyone know of any other issues with Mopani? Has anyone got Mopani?

I'd also like to attach some plants to the Mopani, but don't know which ones (really need help here). I've got some anubias barteri, on driftwood already (inside), but something different would be nice. I don't want to have a CO2 kit, and only have a 12" T5 powerglow (11W) at the moment, and don't really want to upgrade it, it's not a display tank, just a nice grow out, breeding tank.

Any plant suggestions? they need to be somewhat robust, with modest light requirements. (and did I say not too expensive)

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I've got some mangrove that looks like it might be mopani, came out of a drum of water in a backyard in Springvale, wasn't that expensive, and it still leaches tannins, but the fish and I don't mind.

Java fern is cheap and does better on wood than in gravel, java moss also likes low light and the worse you treat it with regards to ferts etc, the better it likes it. Mini anubia, look nice too, and make a change from the full sized versions.

I like val as a backdrop and crypts growing up between the mangrove roots, two other very tolerant low light plants. Hygrophila also is a very easy plant to grow.

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Mopani seems to be the one of the more common driftwoods available in the US and other than the standard tannin issues I haven't heard anything bad about it. IMO you should be fine treating it like any other driftwood. I tend to boil my driftwood a bit to get it sinking and kill any surface nasties but this does hasten the breakdown of fibres and I'm not certain how mopani would react. From memory it is one of the very dense woods that sinks without too much encouragement so I think you are on the right track with just some soaking.

I'd try java fern, possibly even some crested java fern, for your plants. I think Bren has already said it but the little anubias, Anubias barteri var. nana, would be great with your barteri.

For a breeding tank, I'd probably avoid having too many plants that couldn't be shifted easily in case you need to sneak babies out or something similar. The more things tied to wood and rocks, the better. :D

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Thanks for the ideas, Bren, I should have said that I want plants that will affix to the wood, as the tank won't have gravel (so val isn't an option, can crypts attach?), and I want to be able to move the plants to the second tank easily, when I'm using it for breeding.

With the mini anubias you talk of, what is the mini part? Does it just mean a small version, or just the leaves are smaller?

Thanks Callatya, I'll see if I can find the crested java fern (sounds nice, but the people I'm getting the wood from don't have it), and I might even try to get a whole garden on wood thing happening. I assume that all I would need to do is tie them on to the wood with either fishing line or cotton. As I'll have some pep bristlenose cats in the tank do you think they will chew through the cotton before the plants attach.

Has anyone got anubias nana or paco? Also has anyone got experience with Microsorium pteropus.

Roughly how long do plants take to attach anyway?

and one final question, the wood will be 40-60cm, so how many plants should I am to attach to it?

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how hardy is java fern, do fish eat it, or is it robust like anubias.

I had a look at what was labeled anubias nana at a LFS, and it didn't seem to look a great deal like my barteri at all. So does anyone, have photos.

Also my Mum, said why don't I just put a cutting of my barteri, in the other tank. Has anyone just cut their anubias on the main root, and put it in another tank, any experience tips warnings?

Also does any one have answers to the questions in my last post

Edited by garrett
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With the mini anubias you talk of, what is the mini part? Does it just mean a small version, or just the leaves are smaller?

The entire plant is smaller. The leaves are a lot smaller, a different shape and usually slightly darker in colour. But you can tell they're related from the way they grow.

do you think they will chew through the cotton before the plants attach.

Should be ok. But if they do you just tie them back on again.

Roughly how long do plants take to attach anyway?

Don't really know the answer to this one. Never really checked to see how long. Depends on the plant and how well it's growing. I would expect java moss to attach within a few weeks. Java fern a bit longer. Anubias could take a month or more.

and one final question, the wood will be 40-60cm, so how many plants should I am to attach to it?

Your wallet will empty out long before you have too many plants! :book: The more plants you put on, the more instant the effect. Bear in mind that plants vary in size from supplier to supplier. If you're buying plants online, it's hard to know how big they'll be and how many you'll need. You might find that they're a lot larger or a lot smaller than you'd envisaged. But these are slow growing plants that we're talking about. So you're not going to have too much anytime soon.

how hardy is java fern, do fish eat it, or is it robust like anubias.

Extremely hardy. But there are fish that will destroy anything and everything. The fish you've mentioned so far shouldn't eat it.

Also my Mum, said why don't I just put a cutting of my barteri, in the other tank.

Oh nice.... hide behind Mummy! You're a grown man with children of your own for heaven's sake. :P Well, young Cameron, it turns out she's right. Anubias are propogated through divisions of the rhizome and side shoot cuttings. Get your mum to do it for you. :P Sounds like she knows her plants.

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