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Re: Anubias species, was Re:Putting fishroom back together was Re: Problem with Aggie (ridiculously long!)

On Mon, 9 Sep 2002, David Soares wrote:

> Eric where are the Nubias

OK, it's bordering on "you hadta be there", so I'll push it back to
something helpful to the group.  Or maybe not...

David sent us a huge box of Anubias sp. a number of years back (early
'99?).  He'd used them (I seem to recall) as extra filtration, growing on
lava rock in rain gutters off the back of some of his tanks.  Some folks
already know this, but semi-aquatic plants make EXCELLENT nutrient removal
systems for tanks when grown emersed (feet-in-water, but not submerged).  
If you've got a way of circulating the water through a small trough (i.e.
rain gutter) and back into the tank, the plants grow hydroponically & suck
the nutrients right out of the water.  The more polluted the tank, in
fact, the more the plants thrive.

So anyway, Dave redid his fishroom & sent us a bunch of his extra plants.  
Actually, when they arrived, they had a lot of brush algae encrusted on
them, so I'm guessing they'd been out of the gutters and underwater for a
while.  I remember hearing something also about "no mixed biotope
african/south american fish and plants", but I could be wrong.  These
species of Anubias are the large-growing types that are very touchy
underwater (azfelli, lanceolata types); one of the popular rumors you hear
is that they don't really spend much time underwater when in the wild.  A
lot of our Anubias plants get brush algae on them from time to time too.  
My favorite answer is, PLANT HOSPITAL TANK.

The plant hospital tank is a tank with about 3" of water or less, and a
tiny pump to circulate the water.  The tank is closed, to keep the
humidity high, but the leaves are out of the water, so the algae cannot
survive.  After a few months in the hospital, the dried algae can be
gently rubbed off & the plants returned to submersed existence for a
while.  After a year in the hospital, the plants are often thriving and
out-competing each other (if we've remembered to change the water and
occasionally fertilize it).  Back in '99 or whenever it was that Dave sent
the Anubias, our plant hospital tank was this giant 2x2 foot
cylindrical-shaped tank with a 175 watt metal halide bulb over it, that
had failed as a good old fish tank because the 175 watt bulb was too darn
bright for the tank.  So in they went, and out came most of the water.

We kept a couple of killies in there, but generally underutilized the tank
for fish.  Which kinda sucked, because it was the one tank we actually had
upstairs for people to see when they came into our house.  After maybe a
year or so, we added water and fish, turning it back into a fish tank
again, and went off dealing with what to do with our 2-foot tall Anubias
species.  Some of the plants we traded or donated, others we kept.  I
beleive that one of the smaller specimens may be in my high tech tank, and
it's about due for rehab in the hospital tank.  Except that the new,
smaller, hospital tank,


seems to be rather crowded at the moment.  I'm going to go out on a limb 
and say that some of those are descendents of the specimens we got from 

And now you have...the rest of the story.  Hey, I'll be in San Jose at the
PCCA this Saturday, trying to madly entertain cichlid people with more
stuff like this about keeping plants and cichlids together!

  - Eriko

Erik Olson
erik at thekrib dot com

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