Brine shrimp (Artemia) nauplii, a few hours post-hatch.
a Planted Tank
First, let me say, I love the
magazine. I’ve been reading it
for one year now and have learned a great
deal from each issue. I have a 55-gallon
community tank with mostly plastic plants
and some floating live water sprite that
has been set up for 10 months. I’d like to
convert the aquarium to a planted tank,
however I do not have anywhere to place
the fish while I do this.
I was thinking of converting the tank
in stages—let’s say a third at a time over
a three-month period. I would remove
a third of the substrate, replace it with
planted tank substrate and live plants, and
wait a month to do the next third. I thought
that in this way I could leave the fish in
the tank and not stress them too much by
removing all the substrate at once. Do you
think this is feasible?
Setting up a planted tank in
stages can greatly increase
your algae problems, as there
will not be enough plants to out
compete the algae for the light and nutrients.
Your greatest concern should be in providing
proper lighting. A 55 is a deep tank, and you
will need powerful lights, and of course you
must make sure you do not have herbivorous
fish or ones that will dig up plants.
An undergravel filter is not usually
recommended for a planted tank, so I’m
assuming you have some other biofilter; in
that case you do not have to worry about
replacing the substrate all at once, though
you will undoubtedly want to remove your
fish during the process. Not only will
the water become quite turbid, the gravel
change and the planting will stress out
One or more water-change buckets should
work to hold your fish, or else you can get
bags and a foam box from your local dealer.
Just make sure you have everything ready so
the job can be accomplished as quickly as
possible. Once you have the tank planted, you
can put the fish back in.
One of the questions that
always seems to come up in
our club, The New Hampshire Aquarium
Society, is: “How much nutrition is there in
newly hatched brine shrimp?” Some of our
members claim that they are totally without
value and others are at the opposite end
of the spectrum. As an example, I keep
threadfin rainbows Iriatherina werneri, and
even as adults their main diet is day-old
brine shrimp, and they have done fine for
years. Is there any research on the subject
that points one way or the other?
Don Van Pelt
What’s the key to a healthy
Aqueon Water Care products.
They make aquarium setup and
Solutions to condition and
maintain aquarium water.
Convenient measuring cap to
ensure proper dosage.
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