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flowerslegacy

Potted Plants & Water Chemistry

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Hi Guys,

 

Sorry if this topic has already been discussed.  I combed through the threads and couldn't find anything specific.  Here's my question:  I have a 70 gal long tank with one large black moor and a small white panda moor.  I have a canister filter and it's bare bottom.  When I say bare, I mean bare.  I want to liven it up, put in some plants and maybe a few large rocks.  My issue is the black moor because of his obvious issues: doesn't see well, always hurts himself on decorations, curious, etc. hence the bare bottom.  I was wanting to try some potted plants, but I know that clay pots will effect my water chemistry.  My tap water is already 7.5 ph and my GH appears to be really high as well.  I'm off to the store to buy new testing bottles as my GH kit is expired, but I was already at 14 drops when I stopped. In the meantime, I'm wondering if any of you can help me out.  I'd LOVE to try a dirt tank with a sand cap, but that's dreamland right now.  I've also read that's not the best set up for goldies since they're diggers and rooters.  I want something nice and pleasant to the eye, but something my fish will enjoy and won't get hurt.  I've read about tieing off plants to rocks, but what would work with my chemistry and also won't hurt my big guy?  Thanks in advance for any help.

 

 

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How do you know clay pots change water chemistry?   I've seen people say they raise pH, lower pH, or have no effect.  If they aren't glazed, soaking them in water for a week should leach out anything that affects pH.  Glass and plastic containers will not change water chemistry.  You can pot plants individually or plant many in a large shallow container.  Put large flat stones on top of the soil to keep the fish from redecorating.

 

You can find some nice planted tanks here.

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I've never had pH problems with terracotta pots in my tanks.

Edited by Jared

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Great! That's the best news yet! I read it in an aquarium article somewhere. It was a couple of years ago when I first removed my substrate. I was very disappointed and that's why my tank has remained so bare. I was making an assumption the info was correct. Thanks you guys!

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Great! That's the best news yet! I read it in an aquarium article somewhere. It was a couple of years ago when I first removed my substrate. I was very disappointed and that's why my tank has remained so bare. I was making an assumption the info was correct. Thanks you guys!

You can always test them in an empty tank.

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I know of a lot of people that use small terracotta pots as hides for their fish, no mention of water chemistry being effected by them.

I don't like dirted tanks personally because if you want to rescape (move plants) it makes a HUGE mess (same deal with diggers). 

I'm a fan of using osmocote + root tabs (eBay-super cheap)instead of soil, just stuff 1 in per a pot (unless its a HUGE 6"+ diameter in t elower portion of the pot) down deep in substrate (gravel or sand), add a new root tab every 6-9 months.  If you wanted to do soil with sand cap you can get some smooth decorative rocks to place on top after the plants are in to decor sifting sand.

I have ones like these (were left at my home by previous owner) I use them to support driftwood or weight down plants

stoneDeco-signature-black-rocks.jpg

 

this one is blurry but the person used clear glass decor rocks/pebbles in their pots as the top layer to keep plants/smaller substrate put

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/L5w3vPe6xQ8/maxresdefault.jpg

Edited by AquaAurora

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Jared is helping bring my panda moor back from disease. Once I'm past this hurdle, and my main tank stabilizes, I'm diving into plants and some decorations. I agree Aqua, I think the capped dirt sounds like a nightmare. Thanks for all the pre-info. Once I start my project, I'll start a new thread. This forum is great. I really appreciate everyone's quick responses and kindness.

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I have used clay pots with no ill effects :) also if your potting plants just remember to rinse and drain regularly to avoid gas build up,or plants like anubias attached to rocks with glue or rubber bands are fun and simple too :)

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So Shellbell, if I have a potted plant, I should remove it from the tank and regularly rinse and drain the soil? Correct? Just want to make sure I understand!

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Technically you'd do that if you have compacted substrate to avoid aerobic buildup, but if you have a root heavy plant (val, swords, lily plants for example) the roots will grow throughout the substrate and release oxygen through their roots, so it won't be a problem.  Another option is to prod the substrate periodically with a chip stick/fork to release trapped gasses.

That what' I've read at least.

When I kept a soil with sand cap tank I had MTS (sand sifting snails) and chain swords with massive root systems.  It didn't have issues with aerobic build up.

Edited by AquaAurora

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I just lifted the potted plant and tipped sideways to drain a few times with every water change :)

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Great! Thanks so much everyone. I've been looking around for some ideas and I appreciate all the help! I've only done plants in my tropical tanks. I have to admit it was a sad, poisonous adventure that ended with the loss of many fish over the years.  Goldies are so different with their rooting and curiosity.  I like the idea of potted plants and attaching some to items.  Now I just have to find some large rocks and pot some plants.  That will be my next adventure.  I'll start a new thread when I begin!

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It sounds like you've got everything planned! Can't wait to see your new thread. :)

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