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Old 01-29-2017, 12:32 PM   #1
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Why do stores sell household plants as aquatic plants?

I bought a combo pack of plants from my LFS the other day because a worker told me they'd get fairly tall--I wanted to fill up space in my 19-inch tall 15-gallon column tank--only to find out later that Dracaena and bamboo, the two plants I could identify out of the four plants in the pack, were in fact household plants and will eventually die. My question is, why do stores sell household plants as aquatic plants, knowing they'll die? Is it just because they know previously uninformed customers such as myself will pay for them?
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Old 01-29-2017, 01:57 PM   #2
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Rey...

Actually, there are several house plants that grow well in an aquarium environment and do a better job of filtering the tank water than aquarium plants. If the local fish store knows what they're doing this is a good practice.

You have to know which house plants will work and how to prepare them for water instead of soil. Basically you have to remove all the potting mixture from the roots and provide a constant source of oxygen to the roots. Another requirement is the plant must be emersed in the tank with the roots below the water surface and the leaves above.

Your local fish store just made the mistake of not explaining how to acclimate the plants for water.

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Old 01-29-2017, 01:58 PM   #3
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I assume it's for terrariums and such. Divided tanks and what not. They often use whats called transition zone plants.
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Old 01-29-2017, 02:22 PM   #4
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They are also known as margin or emmersed plants. Bamboo does great in water as long as the leaves are above the surface.

Honestly, I love how plants look growing up out of the water. I tried lotuses a few times, but my rabbit snails thought they were delicious.
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Old 01-29-2017, 03:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by nirbhao View Post
They are also known as margin or emmersed plants. Bamboo does great in water as long as the leaves are above the surface.

Honestly, I love how plants look growing up out of the water. I tried lotuses a few times, but my rabbit snails thought they were delicious.
My tank has a lid on it, so if the plants grew that high I'd have to take it off... What can I do about lighting if I take the lid off that has the light built into it? I've seen clip-on lights that attach to the side of the tank, but I have no idea what kind or size to get and I'm on a pretty low budget (like anything over $20 or $30 at most would have to wait a while).
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Old 01-29-2017, 03:53 PM   #6
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You'd need really tall (read: expensive) plants to reach out of your tank. Right now I would say return those plants for something else.
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Old 01-29-2017, 07:26 PM   #7
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Rey...

Low budget doesn't mean you can't have lush plant growth from your tank. Check into shop lighting from your local hardware store. Lowe's has shop lights that you can hang from the ceiling or you can make your own stand. I prefer hanging a four bulb fixture from the ceiling to just above the plants. Smaller fixtures are available depending the size tank you have and the plants you want to grow.

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Old 01-29-2017, 07:43 PM   #8
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Why do stores sell household plants as aquatic plants?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BBradbury View Post
Rey...

Actually, there are several house plants that grow well in an aquarium environment and do a better job of filtering the tank water than aquarium plants.

B

What are the species you suggest?

I'd like to review them for one of my set ups.
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Old 01-29-2017, 08:18 PM   #9
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Tall right now is what would be expensive.
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Old 01-30-2017, 10:55 AM   #10
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What are the species you suggest?

I'd like to review them for one of my set ups.
dog...

By far the best I've used and still use is the Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema). There are different varieties and all work well. Cutlass and Gemini are the easiest to get. Most chain stores like King Soopers and Safeway will carry them. Lowe's and Home Depot carry them too. Some others are Onion plant, Prayer plant, Nephthytis, Philodendron and Impatiens.

Attached are a couple of photos of fish tanks with the "Ag" plants. I have several tanks that use these plants for filtration in place of the mechanical versions.

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Old 01-30-2017, 10:35 PM   #11
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Thanks BBradbury
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