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Old 02-19-2007, 03:28 PM   #1
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Foreground Plant help

My Problem:
I have been unable to grow foreground plants and I believe it is because my loaches do not give any of my options enough time to firmly establish a root structure. I have plenty of light (4+wpg), CO2 injection and do the whole dosing thing (non-EI)

Possible Solution:
I was thinking of creating some sort of cage around whatever I decide to try next (dwarf hairgrass, microsword, etc) untill it can firmly take off but I am not sure what I should use that will keep the loaches out, not hurt the fish, not affect the water and allow the most light possible to actually get to the plants? Touperware will probably reflect a lot of light and wire mesh will corrode? Is there any kind of fabric mesh out there that I should look for and I am not much of a shopper so store/section would be very helpful.

Any opinions whether this will be worthwhile and what I should use as the cage would be much appreciated.
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Old 02-19-2007, 03:44 PM   #2
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I have run in to this same exact problem. I want a totally different route. I got rid of the loaches!
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Old 02-19-2007, 03:50 PM   #3
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There are some tough choices when you decide to go full-out planted. You will find many fish to be incompatible with your plant aspirations. I also got rid of my loaches.

IME loaches can and will uproot just about anything in pursuit of a snail or just while playing around. The problem is more their size than their behavior. My clowns were around 7-inches long... Big and clumsy...
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Old 02-19-2007, 03:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dapellegrini
The problem is more their size than their behavior.
It depends on the loach. I had Dojo loaches in my 28 gallon tank and every morning, seriously every morning, I had to replant half of the foreground. They liked to swim under the sand and that would uproot anything. It didn't matter how well it was rooted.
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Old 02-19-2007, 03:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkilling1
It depends on the loach. I had Dojo loaches in my 28 gallon tank and every morning, seriously every morning, I had to replant half of the foreground. They liked to swim under the sand and that would uproot anything. It didn't matter how well it was rooted.
Good point. I was thinking clowns specifically. I think substrate is also part of it.
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Old 02-19-2007, 04:01 PM   #6
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I have clowns, yoyos, blue botias, weather, redtailed, striatia, burmese border, horseface, tiger & kuhlie loaches and they do not uproot anything but the fore ground plants. (Not all in same tank)

I will give up on foreground plantings before I get rid of my loaches and just want to try and get that good root structures before giving up. I am just trying to gain the time needed to let them do that and then see whether the hastle was worth it.

So is anything actually sold that would enable me to do this?
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Old 02-19-2007, 04:17 PM   #7
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I am not aware of any such thing, but let everyone know if you find one. The problem I would think is that your foreground wants strong light, good flow, etc, and I am not sure what you could put over/around it that will keep the fish out while still meeting all of its basic requirements.

If you have multiple tanks, perhaps you could move the offending fish to another tank while you grow it out?
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Old 02-19-2007, 04:32 PM   #8
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Moving them is not really an option.

I can only imagine the aggravation that will come about while trying to catch them in the 150 gallon fully planted breeder tank. Practically the only fish I have in the tank are loaches and I have no other tank that I could trust them in for I want to keep my snail populations and they would also be impossible to re-catch in my rock garden of a Malawi lake tank (not to mention the pH is well over 8 ).

I am either going to try this method or give up on foreground plants.......

I guess my other option would be to plant the whole front with crypts and as they create more plants to move/trade/sell them once the parents grow too large.
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Old 02-19-2007, 08:22 PM   #9
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i have seen half a clear plastic bottle used as a plant protector - as long as any holes are big enough for water flow but small enoguh so that the loaches don't get in, this could work well.
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Old 02-19-2007, 08:48 PM   #10
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You could try some Echinodorus parviflowus "tropica" as a foreground plant. They only get a few inches tall, and about 4-6 inches across. They should come with a sizable root structure, but sinking the roots several inches into the substrate you should avoid them being dug up.

You could also try any number of of other foreground plants by first growing them in a separate tank, then once the roots are larger, you can xfer them to the loach tank.

There are also several species of cryptocorynes that stay smaller, and could be used as a foreground. They too have larger roots.

Lastly, there are techniques for growing several types of foreground plants sandwiched between plastic or wire mesh, this may work in your situation as well.
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:19 AM   #11
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When I get this 2-liter of Pepsi down in the next day or two, I am going to cut it in half, drill tons of holes and attempt this foreground plant cage idea.

I will give an update on how this works once I make a conclusion.
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