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Plants with plant-picking fish


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#1 loopsnj64

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 06:27 PM

I have a 30 gallon tank with a pumpkinseed sunfish, I've read that sunfish in the aquarium are not unlike cichlids, plucking plants from the substrate for the purpose of clearing their territory so that they can make nests (and show their colors), so what would i do to keep my 5inch pumpkinseed from uprooting plants, would i use plants with well developed roots (water lilies, java sword etc.), use baffles (plant pots, mesh etc.) or simply use plastic/algae only (i have an algae covered rock which was collected with the sunfish, he  has ignored for half a month)


"All good things must come to an end, but bad things think thats rather dull, so they stick around long after their natural end has come"

-From an art book I read


#2 Mrfipp

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 06:46 PM

You have more options than that. If you want to go strictly native, you can plant pockets of bacopa, vallisneria, et cetera behind rock structures that prevent the fish from getting to the base of the plant or really desiring the real estate in the first place. You can also grow elodea, coontail, and similar as a floating plant. Then there's duckweed and azolla... The next option would be to use exotics. You can grow java fern, mosses, and anubias directly on wood or rock structure. There's also Amazonian floating plants you can grow that they'd have little interest in. Often these are sold as giant frogbit. There's also the option to restructure your tank by adding elevated planting beds along the back or sides. You would do this by adding acrylic sheet cut to size and siliconed in place to create planting boxes basically and growing emergent plants from about 1/4-1/2 depth of your tank. There's quite a few interesting resources for these online. I'd start with googling images. You could also grow lilies from a box like that. The fish shouldn't show much interest in an elevated space on the edge of the tank. You'd have to get creative with wood or rock to make it look natural. There's quite a few work-arounds for fish that like to dig out of boredom or territory concerns but you'll have to be creative based on how your individual fish persists to uproot plants.

There's something fishy about this place...


#3 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 07:41 PM

I like some of those ideas MrFipp.  I was going to suggest either plants in pots or go with size... Sandwich hasn't tore up his amazon sword (which was well established before he moved in) since it is huge.  He did dig under it, but did not tear it up... yet.


Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#4 Betta132

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  • San Gabriel drainage area

Posted 14 June 2015 - 11:33 PM

One other thing you can do is plant, wait for the sunny to finish his nest, and then later re-plant whatever he's dug up. Just plant it somewhere else and let him have his nest. That's what I did with my big longear, I let him establish a nest and then planted around it. 



#5 loopsnj64

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Posted 22 June 2015 - 04:07 PM

You have more options than that. If you want to go strictly native, you can plant pockets of bacopa, vallisneria, et cetera behind rock structures that prevent the fish from getting to the base of the plant or really desiring the real estate in the first place. You can also grow elodea, coontail, and similar as a floating plant. Then there's duckweed and azolla... The next option would be to use exotics. You can grow java fern, mosses, and anubias directly on wood or rock structure. There's also Amazonian floating plants you can grow that they'd have little interest in. Often these are sold as giant frogbit. There's also the option to restructure your tank by adding elevated planting beds along the back or sides. You would do this by adding acrylic sheet cut to size and siliconed in place to create planting boxes basically and growing emergent plants from about 1/4-1/2 depth of your tank. There's quite a few interesting resources for these online. I'd start with googling images. You could also grow lilies from a box like that. The fish shouldn't show much interest in an elevated space on the edge of the tank. You'd have to get creative with wood or rock to make it look natural. There's quite a few work-arounds for fish that like to dig out of boredom or territory concerns but you'll have to be creative based on how your individual fish persists to uproot plants.

 

 

Update: surrounded plants with small rocks, sunfish let them stay


"All good things must come to an end, but bad things think thats rather dull, so they stick around long after their natural end has come"

-From an art book I read


#6 Mrfipp

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  • Runaway Bay, Texas

Posted 23 June 2015 - 08:06 AM

That's awesome. Glad you found an option that's working out for you.

There's something fishy about this place...





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