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questions about floaters (mostly about frogbit)

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
172
Location
San Francisco
Hello plant people,

I’m in the middle of clearing out the duckweed from my tank, and am intending to go with a floater that’s larger, has longer roots and is easier to trim away dead leaves. Considering both Amazon frogbit and salvinia minima, with a slight preference for the longer roots of the frogbit.

I have some pretty basic questions:

1. My lighting is a Finnex Stingray 30”, with 16 total output watts for a 20 long. Is this sufficient for frogbit? Plants below are all low light.

2. I’m reading that you can’t get frogbit wet. I can’t tell if this simply means not to submerge the plant, or whether I literally should never allow water to splash on it. Can I rinse it after getting it in the mail? When I do a water change, is it ok to pour water near/on it? If I pump water through a directional return to refill my tank, would I need to worry about the plants getting wet?

3. Do both plants provide sufficient roots for my pencil fish (nannostomus marginatus) to spawn in, or just the frogbit?

Thanks,
Ben
 

ButtNekkid

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
283
Location
Finland
Hi,

I only managed to breed N. Marginatus when my Pistia grew really bushy roots. Never with Salvinia or Frogbit.

My experience is that floaters don´t like water on top of their leaves, or high current.
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,433
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
The lighting will be fine. Amazon Frogbit is robust, getting some water on the leaves isn't a problem, when they are happy the leaves are pretty buoyant.

Pistia (Nile Cabbage) definitely has the best roots.

cheers Darrel
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
172
Location
San Francisco
Thanks for the input. Looks like I can order a set of 3 (frogbit, salvinia, pistia) or 4 (those 3 + red root floaters) for just a few dollars more than a single plant. In which case I can bring them in and see what will work. Are there any that you wouldn't combine? I'm guessing the salvinia and frogbit might outcompete the RRF.

It's for my 20 long, so it's not a ton of surface area. I have a glass canopy, but can leave the hinged part open for the pistia.

Cheers
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,433
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
Looks like I can order a set of 3 (frogbit, salvinia, pistia) or 4 (those 3 + red root floaters) for just a few dollars more than a single plant. In which case I can bring them in and see what will work. Are there any that you wouldn't combine? I'm guessing the salvinia and frogbit might outcompete the RRF.

It's for my 20 long, so it's not a ton of surface area. I have a glass canopy, but can leave the hinged part open for the pistia.
I have a mix of all three, I prefer the Frogbit because I can use it for the <"Duckweed Index">, but they all perform the same role.

I've tried Phyllanthus (RRF) it kept on going under and eventually I gave up on it. You can see it in the mix below just before I finally turned its toes up.

top_view-jpg-41358-jpg.92639


cheers Darrel
 

Jon Webb

New Member
Messages
21
I have had great luck with RRF after a slow start. Improved lighting made all the difference, adding OFN to my nano and a Finnex to my 20L. Stocking fish and nerites on the heavy side, and using organic potting soil in the younger 20L no doubt increased the fertilization. Now I have to thin the RRF once or twice a week to allow enough light for the submersed plants. Excess goes to the outdoor compost.
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
172
Location
San Francisco
Sounds like it's a choice between prioritizing plants or apistos. I am using the duckweed index, so the plants will always be on the verge of being underfed (probably Darrel's choice as well). I have some of all 4 plants on the way, will see how they do!
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,433
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
Sounds like it's a choice between prioritizing plants or apistos. I am using the duckweed index, so the plants will always be on the verge of being underfed (probably Darrel's choice as well). I have some of all 4 plants on the way, will see how they do!
A lot of plants I've tried really haven't enjoyed life with me. Usually they've staggered on for a while, looking more and more unhealthy, before finally turning up their toes.

As floaters both Phyllanthus fluitans and Hygrorhyza aristata never flourished, and I assume it is a nutrient issue.

cheers Darrel
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
172
Location
San Francisco
Hi all,

Update: I still have my new floaters in a bucket (Amazon frogbit, dwarf pistia, red root floaters, salvinia minima) because after 3.5 weeks, I'm still finding stray leaves of duckweed at the surface of my tank, between 1 and 5 individual leaves per day, some dead, some alive. I assume some of these leaves are getting dislodged from elsewhere in the tank, and perhaps some are growing from seed.

Why get rid of the duckweed? Mostly, I don't like that it's difficult to cull the dead ones, so it creates a littered surface of leaf fragments.

My new plants get fed regularly and are doing well in the bucket, particularly the RRF, which enjoy window light that they won't get when I eventually add them to the tank. What would you recommend I do?

A. Just add the new plants to your tank now. They will outcompete the duckweed, or at least keep it under control.

B. Don't add them yet. The duckweed will die out eventually, and it will be impossible to separate the duckweed unless you get rid of it first.

C. Doesn't matter. You'll never get rid of the duckweed.

Cheers,
Ben
 

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