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Old 07-10-2017, 05:00 PM   #1
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Floating plants

What are some good floating plants that will help with ammonia and excess nutrients? Do live plants also help with diatoms? Also, where can I find floating plants and how do I get rid of snails that come with them?
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:02 PM   #2
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Live plants are actually negatively affected by ammonia, at concentrations over 1ppm they can effectively melt creating higher levels of ammonia in your tank and further jeopardizing the health of your fish. You should not have any ammonia in your tank, and if you do your tank may be either cycling or overstocked/overfed. its also important to note that plants exposed to ammonia at higher pH levels (7+) will have a greater negative impact on the health of the plants. If your tank is not cycled you should see the many tips and articles about cycling your tank within the forums here.

That being said, most plants will take up some excess "nutrients" i.e. nitrate and ammonium (*not ammonia*) but they won't completely remove them. You will still have to do water changes.

I'm not sure about the diatoms I've never heard about plants helping to remove them. but someone might have more extensive knowledge about this.

I'd state the three floating easiest plants for you to grow would be water lettuce, duckweed, or amazon frogbit. As for places to purchase them if your local fish store (LFS) has a shrimp tank they will likely have at least some of one of these kinds of plants as shrimp love to clean their roots of biofilm and algae. You can also collect duckweed from a pond but be wary that it can contain things you don't want in your aquarium.

The easiest way to remove pests and snails is using a bleach water solution and you just dip the plants in for 5-10 seconds and it should remove any unwanted clingers.

Another thing to mention is that plants like duckweed are quite voracious in their growth rate and can quickly block out the entire surface of the water so it is important to either contain it or to remove it as necessary. If you have other plants they will require light too.

I would highly recommend waiting until you have 0 ammonia in your tank before adding plants. You don't want to end up spending money on plants only to have them killed by ammonia present in your water (been there, done that....)!!!
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:33 PM   #3
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I use lots of plants when I set up a new tank. Haven't noticed any issues with Ammonia, but mine probably stays fairly low ?

I love Frogbit and Duckweed is pretty, but does need to be kept under control.

If your filter moves the surface a lot, you may have to set up a plant corral to keep them from being beat up. A piece of airline tubing at one corner or in a circle will keep them safe.

I never worry about snails. My snails don't bother my tanks.
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:41 PM   #4
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I thought that if the pH was less than 8.0 (not 7.0) that a majority of the ammonia would be in the form of ammonium. Nonetheless, the lower the pH, the better in terms of less toxicity.
I suppose it depends on the plants as well regarding their tolerance to ammonia. I've cycled tanks with crypts and moss with no ill effects. But every tank is different.
I started with a single sprig of guppy grass (arrived with a rams horn snail shipment) and it grows like crazy in my shrimp tank with virtually no care. The tank is also plagued with duckweed. I remove it regularly (and the guppy grass as well). I'd like to say that it has a positive effect on managing waste levels in the tank but I don't test the water enough to make that claim. Plants are growing and the shrimp a reproducing though. Yes, I do water changes as plants are no substitute for this.
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Old 07-10-2017, 11:56 PM   #5
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If you want to remove waste from the water try pothos with only the roots submerged in the water or the filter. You can buy it at most places that sell house plants.
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:41 PM   #6
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I second Guppy Grass and Pothos. If you have an ammonia problem some extra filtration and more water changes should help. You could use one of those hang on breeder boxes and add media to let the Pothos grow in them.
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Old 07-13-2017, 01:26 PM   #7
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I have frogbit and water lettuce in my 20g to give hiding place to my guppy fry, and I love it.

I got my plants from a local gardening center... About $5 to cover the surface of my tank. The guppies and shrimp happily chow down on the plants, so I buy more every couple months.
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Old 07-13-2017, 01:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsOddi View Post
I have frogbit and water lettuce in my 20g to give hiding place to my guppy fry, and I love it.

I got my plants from a local gardening center... About $5 to cover the surface of my tank. The guppies and shrimp happily chow down on the plants, so I buy more every couple months.


Is your tank covered?
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:29 PM   #9
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Is your tank covered?
With the stock hood and LED lights, yes.
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Old 07-13-2017, 08:09 PM   #10
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I agree with adding pothos
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