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Plants in 100% RO water.

Mert55y

New Member
Messages
8
Location
The Netherlands
Hello guys, I was wondering if there are any plants that can survive in 100% RO water? Due to no minerals in the water I thought all plants will die but im just asking to be sure. This is also my first 100% RO water tank, so any tips are welcome.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,902
Location
Germany
Minimal doses of fertilizer are necessary. No way around that.

I put about 5ml of a full spectrum fertilizer (macro and micro) in my tank per week. Nitrate is less than 5mg/l, KH/GH below detection, TDS rarely exceeds 40mg/l.
I have only one submerged plant, a quite big Nymphaea sp., otherwise only floating plants (Salvinia and Limnobium) and semi-emerse Hydrocotyle and Epipremnum.

The success is obvious.

20221012_203814.jpg
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,902
Location
Germany
You're welcome.

I put about 5ml of a full spectrum fertilizer (macro and micro) in my tank per week. Nitrate is less than 5mg/l, KH/GH below detection, TDS rarely exceeds 40mg/l.
I'm stupid. I should have given the net volume, too. 90 liters. The fertilizer raises the TDS by 6-10mg/l usually.
Stocking: 1 dwarf cichlid, 6 tetras, 9 pencilfish.
Here just to show the amount of plants I manage to keep in this water.
photo_2022-10-07_20-08-32.jpg photo_2022-10-07_20-08-31.jpg
 

Mert55y

New Member
Messages
8
Location
The Netherlands
You're welcome.


I'm stupid. I should have given the net volume, too. 90 liters. The fertilizer raises the TDS by 6-10mg/l usually.
Stocking: 1 dwarf cichlid, 6 tetras, 9 pencilfish.
Here just to show the amount of plants I manage to keep in this water.
View attachment 11998 View attachment 12000
Beautiful tank! Im planning to keep 2 Apistogramma kullanderi in a 110 liter tank . I definitely will look into a fertilizer since I cant really imagine having a tank with 0 plants.. thanks for the photos and your help!
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,902
Location
Germany
By the way, the reason I didnt think about using a fertilizer is cause I thought it would raise the tds by alot.
I thought so too in the beginning, I used the Duckweed-Index. When the floating plants show deficiencies, dose some fertilizer. I found the sweetspot for my tank over the course of 10 months now. I set up this tank as an upgrade in January. 2-3 pumps of the Tropica stuff with the weekly waterchange and that's it. Depending of the plants you choose this may vary.
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,339
I believe some anubia and sword plants (if you provide root tabs) might do ok - esp if the let the sword plants reach the surface and go emersed. I believe there are certain crypts that will do ok abit grow slower. My intention is to try to have some hard scape (wood) go above the water line and grow some additional plants ermersed (mostly crypts and anubia).
 

Mazan

Active Member
Messages
281
I think some sword plants would be Ok but have my doubts about Anubias, I don’t think they like really soft water. At least that is what someone told me, they need more minerals. I have to admit I only ever tried one as they are expensive, and it never did well and eventually died, but swords do fine in my soft water even in quite shaded places, with lightly tannin stained water and without root tabs, but with occasional liquid fertiliser.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,902
Location
Germany
I can't say much about Echinodorus, never been a big fan of these. Anubias survive everything it seems, easyest I've ever had and dirt cheap here. They do work in soft water but I personally don't like aquatic epiphytes so I only have two in a small planted cube on my desk which I run with mostly tapwater.
 

Mazan

Active Member
Messages
281
Well maybe I was just unlucky with my Anubias, as they cost over $20 for a very small one I have not tried any more But epiphytes are good for fry tanks - easy to take out the branches complete with plants when it is time to catch them.
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,339
I can't say much about Echinodorus, never been a big fan of these. Anubias survive everything it seems, easyest I've ever had and dirt cheap here. They do work in soft water but I personally don't like aquatic epiphytes so I only have two in a small planted cube on my desk which I run with mostly tapwater.
Bit surprise you don't like echinodorus as a genus; there are a lot of smaller plants in the genus that i find quite charming. I have a special liking for Echinodorus opacus; parviflorus; cordifolius AND a german hybrid kleiner prinz (though i suspect that one would really struggle as it has higher requirements).
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,902
Location
Germany
Well maybe I was just unlucky with my Anubias, as they cost over $20 for a very small one I have not tried any more But epiphytes are good for fry tanks - easy to take out the branches complete with plants when it is time to catch them.
You get them for 2,50€ per pot here. That's really a difference.
Bit surprise you don't like echinodorus as a genus; there are a lot of smaller plants in the genus that i find quite charming. I have a special liking for Echinodorus opacus; parviflorus; cordifolius AND a german hybrid kleiner prinz (though i suspect that one would really struggle as it has higher requirements).
It never really clicked with them. For a long time they were known to be rather demanding here and that might have caused this. They also need a certain depth of substrate and that is probably the biggest problem for me. I do comparatively thin layers of sand and that's a problem in itself. Doesn't change the fact I have little experience with them.
I would be interested in doing semi-emersed Echinodorus growing two thirds outside of the water in a swamp tank though.
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,744
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
I don’t think they like really soft water. At least that is what someone told me, they need more minerals.
Anubias barteri will grow in soft, low nutrient water. I have some carbonate buffering (I use rainwater, and it has some carbonate buffering, because this is a limestone area) but often the tanks are at 100microS (~65 ppm TDS), and <"they have plenty of plants in them">.

I've found that Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus) isn't happy in really soft water and/or low nutrients.

<"Bolbitis heudelotii (African Fern)"> and <"moss are the plants"> that I have that really survive on petrol fumes. I've also found that Amazon Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum) is a flating plant that will survivr in soft, low nutrient water and I have it in all the tanks.

cheers Darrel
 
Last edited:

Mazan

Active Member
Messages
281
I have Pistia as a floating plant in all my tanks and it grows like a weed, with different length roots in different tanks (I think lower nutrients and low light = longer roots). I would quite like to try frogbit but have not seen it for sale.
You get them for 2,50€ per pot here.
If they were that price here I would probably try again. I have a few ferns and they do sort of OK but not brilliantly. But various Echinodorus seem to do well. Especially these:

IMG_8039.jpeg

I don't know what species they are, but they don't grow very big, I started with one and now have several in different tanks. I have a huge typical sword plant as well but that one has never produced offspring, neither has my Nymphaea, though it has grown big. And I have an Echinodorus ozelot that I was given as a tiny plantlet, it has grown much more slowly but steadily. Various stem plants and Vallisneria (which some people think needs hard water) do well for me.
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,744
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
I would quite like to try frogbit but have not seen it for sale.
That just highlights one of the problems with commercial aquarium plant production. Companies like <"Tropica">, Dennerle etc want to produce plants emersed, so basically they want to sell terrestrial plants that can survive immersion. It simplifies their life, it is cheaper, they don't need to worry about algae etc

This also means that plants that are obligate aquatic plants don't fit into their production method and they are becoming more difficult to source, even though they maybe much more suitable for aquarium life than <"Murdannia keisak"> etc.

Amazon Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum) is my preferred plant for the <"Duckweed Index">, (which @MacZ mentioned earlier), but in the UK, post-Covid, it has been difficult to obtain commercially and I have given away all the plants I can spare.

cheers Darrel
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,339
I raise frogbit in the usa; if you are in the usa i could send you a few plants. When i say 'raise' I mean i have some in a pail and i thin it out every few weeks; i just need to know so next time when i thin it out i put in a box and mail it.
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,744
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
Ceratopteris thalictroides and any of the Salvinia, but particularly S. natans
They are <"both good ones">, <"and South American"> (as Ceratopteris pterioides). @apistobob says, in <"Aquarium plants .....">,
Water Sprite Ceratopteris thalictroides
If I could only have one plant for my tanks it would be water sprite. This is an amazingly versatile plant that can be grown as a floating or rooted plant. It has a delightful light green color and thrives in soft acid water.

cheers Darrel
 

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