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Minnesota aquatic plants


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#1 9darlingcalvi

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Posted 02 April 2016 - 06:53 PM

I am back and wanting to know what are some common Minnesota plants and if there is a way to have a native tank with no filter

#2 gzeiger

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Posted 02 April 2016 - 08:30 PM

You can certainly have a tank with no filter. Lots of plants relative to volume is the key, as well as adequate light for plant growth. This works best in shallow tanks, 20 gallons and less, where any regular light fixture will do, but it can be done in larger tanks with the right equipment.

 

I'm not familiar with your local plants, but you're likely to find something if you go and look. Watch for grass growing at the same level as an indication of temporarily submerged areas - plants growing there are not truly aquatic and will die in an aquarium.



#3 9darlingcalvi

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Posted 02 April 2016 - 08:36 PM

Yeah, I have a ten gallon

#4 steve

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Posted 02 April 2016 - 11:30 PM

I currently have six tanks without filters.  Four of them are planted tanks; two are 55 gal. one is a 45 gal. and the other is a 75 gal., all standard sized.  I keep a fairly low stocking density in these tanks.  I also add some kind of pump for circulation or just take the stuff out of a HOB filter.  I have the best success of nutrient uptake by the plants if I just let them grow right up out of the water and go kind of wild.  The plants can use CO2 from the air more readily than they can the water so the growth rate is much faster once they get their tops in the air.  As far as I know, faster growth means more nutrient use.  I keep the lights about 8 inches above the water to give the plants room to get wild and crazy.  Eventually it ends up with a massive floating root ball and with a jungle coming out of the tops of the tanks.  This may not be the look that a lot of people want but I've come to kind of like it.  I think It looks interesting, my fish seem to always be healthy, it protects them from the harsh lighting, and it affords me a lot of laziness.  The only maintenance I do is adding water for evaporation and trimming the plants back once or twice per year.  I've had some of them going for over 5 years now.  There's certainly other to operate and enjoy planted tanks without filters, this is just an example of what has been working for me.



#5 9darlingcalvi

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 06:56 AM

Okay, my stocking I was thinking was like 3-4 johnny darters and ghost shrimp or tons of ghost shrimp

#6 gzeiger

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 07:55 AM

Tons of ghost shrimp make for a really neat tank. They are enthusiastic jumpers if startled though.



#7 9darlingcalvi

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 09:25 AM

I'm thinking just 30-40 ghosts

#8 9darlingcalvi

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 12:53 PM

If that's possible, I might have to buy them as I don't know where to find them in western Minnesota

#9 9darlingcalvi

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 06:01 PM

Could a dotted tank work or get sand from where the plants where

#10 gzeiger

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 07:55 PM

What do you mean by dotted?

 

Sand is generally an inferior substrate for plants. Although it is the right consistency for the roots, it has very few accessible nutrients. This is sometimes handled by putting sand over topsoil, or by using sand mixed with organic material such as might be collected from a lake. Having tried several methods, I can tell you it takes a long long time to condition play sand from Lowes into something plants will grow in. My preference now is Walmart's house brand Special Kitty cat litter, which is baked clay in granules of appropriate size for roots, yet doesn't stir up into the water too much after the first week or so.

 

You can look for plants locally, or find certain commonly traded species cheap on Ebay or Aquabid. For purchase I'd recommend water lettuce and Java moss for a shrimp tank.



#11 9darlingcalvi

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 08:16 PM

It's all native no foreign plants, I think I will do the natural materials and sand

#12 steve

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 10:08 PM

You can add the play sand as a cap to keep the cloudiness down.  I like to dig up some top soil from the back yard and put a couple inches or so in the bottom of the tank then cover it with a layer of play sand.  The cap of sand allows me to move decorations around without causing cloudiness in the water.



#13 9darlingcalvi

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 06:33 AM

I was thinking just getting the sand that is deep down and almost brown and putting the lighter sand on top of that

#14 loopsnj64

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 01:57 PM

Since you want to do a no-filter tank that is heavily dependent on thick plant growth, I would suggest using plants that  you have had no trouble growing previously as the vast majority, even if this means using some of the more cold-tolerant tropical species.


"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


#15 9darlingcalvi

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 03:34 PM

Okay... What are some easy fast growing native plants?

#16 steve

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 06:54 PM

I've had good luck with moneywort (Bacopa monnieri).  It is a North American native but I don't know if it grows as far north as Minnesota.



#17 9darlingcalvi

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 08:22 PM

I was thinking elodea or hornwort, Nadia's, chara and other plants I can find

#18 asukawashere

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 02:35 PM

Elodea is great if you're working with an unheated tank, but it favors cleaner water with at least some current. Hornwort (Ceratophyllum) is an easy, widely-occurring plant. It and the Najas you mentioned mostly grow as floating plants, though. If you want something rooted, consider Vallisneria americana.

 

I tend to steer people away from Chara because it's a macro-alga, not a vascular plant. Broadly speaking, if you have conditions suitable for one algae to grow, you also have good conditions to make other algae grow. Not a universal rule, but seeing as Chara doesn't contribute anything particularly unique-looking to an aquascape, you might as well stick to similar-looking vascular plants like Najas.

Depending on how much light you're planning on using, Ludwigia palustris is an option. In well-lit, CO2-supplemented tanks most populations of it will turn bright red. Persicaria hydropiperoides is another higher-light plant. You have one native milfoil, Myriophyllum exalbescens, but I have no experience keeping that particular species. Also, if you seek it out, make sure you have a field guide so you don't mistakenly collect the invasive Eurasian milfoil (M. spicatum). The latter is a federally-banned noxious weed.

Some of your Potamogeton species (pondweeds) might be suitable for culture, again depending on your parameters. Most of the appropriately-sized species favor some current, but unlike Elodea they can be light-needy. Their needs also seem to vary a great deal between populations and collecting localities. Also, watch out for invasive P. crispus.

There are a couple of small Sagittaria species in that neck of the woods that are suited to aquarium culture (i.e. S. graminea). You'd want to look for a specimen that's growing fully submerged, once they catch wind of the, well, wind they tend to be reluctant to stay submersed.

If you feel like growing a lawn underwater, Eleocharis acicularis (dwarf hairgrass) is found pretty much everywhere in North America (and then some more continents, to boot!) so that'll be easy enough to find. Again, a higher-light option, and it's growth is generally snail-paced unless you add carbon one way or another.

 

I've had good luck with moneywort (Bacopa monnieri).  It is a North American native but I don't know if it grows as far north as Minnesota.

B. monnieri isn't particularly winter hardy…it only occurs below the Mason-Dixon line. It is a good aquarium plant though, in that it's not picky about nutrient balances as long as it gets enough light.



#19 9darlingcalvi

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 02:56 PM

Okay, I won't have Co2 and my light options that I own are these two

http://www.amazon.co...h/dp/B000YJ45XU

http://m.drsfostersm...fm?pcatid=12850

#20 asukawashere

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 05:26 PM

Those are the same bulb sold on two different sites.

That said, target color temperature for plant growing is 6700K. The closer you get to that, the better. Above 5,000K and below ~9,000K is fair game, though.






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