Thanks for your question and
kind remarks. A soft-bristled
toothbrush and a little warm
running water is often all that
to keep plastic aquarium plants
free of algae. However, if they’ve become too
encrusted for this method, there are solutions
you can use to spruce them up.
For example, there are various commercial
products formulated specifically for cleaning
plastic aquarium plants (by soaking them
in a container separate from the aquarium).
You can also soak the plants in a mixture of
bleach and warm water at a concentration of
a half cup of bleach per gallon of water. After
soaking has killed the algae (usually within
about 20 minutes), drain the bleach-and-water mixture and flush the plants repeatedly
with fresh water to rinse off all the bleach.
I enjoyed your February 2008
article on the use of plastic
hile I love live plants, I will
resort to the plastic kind when they go
through cycles of poor growth and leave
too much blank space. One subject I
haven’t seen covered is how to keep plastic
plants clean. Is there some solution you
can put them in to rid them of the green
algae growth that builds up, so you don’t
end up having to throw them away and
buy replacements? Any secrets to cleaning
them up once they get like that? I try
to keep the light moderate, but I need
enough to satisfy the remaining live plants
mixed in with the plastics. Keep up the
good work. Love your magazine!
If the eel in question is indeed G. tile, then
you can expect it to reach a length of around
2 feet. E. rhodochilus grows to right around a
foot in adult length. However, since you can’t
be certain of the species’ scientific name, it
would not be wise to purchase a specimen, as
you can’t be certain of its care requirements
and ultimate growth potential.
The bottom line is that “freshwater moray”
is a misnomer, because, even though they
may have been collected in fresh water, these
species aren’t truly adapted to survive in a
freshwater environment—which means they
won’t do well for the long term in a freshwater
aquarium, either. That being said, many of
them will do just fine in a brackish aquarium,
so you might want to explore that option.
Juvenile oscars Astronotus ocellatus can be fed for growth, but no matter how much they beg,
adult oscars should be fed moderate amounts at most once a day.
Though often sold as a freshwater species, the “freshwater” moray eel Gymnothorax tile should be
provided a brackish environment in order to thrive in the aquarium.
I have three sunburst platies
(one male, two females)
Be sure to treat your last batch of rinse water
with a dechlorinating product to neutralize
any lingering chlorine before returning the
plants to your aquarium. If calcium deposits
(lime) are part of the problem, a soak in
vinegar before scrubbing will help a great
deal as well.
in a 10-gallon tank. The male and one
female are 1½ inches long, and the other
is 3 inches long. My small female is
excessively aggressive toward my male and
larger female. I moved the male to my
20-gallon tank, but now my other female is
at risk. She’s always being attacked by the
smaller one. I can’t move her because my
male topped off the stock in the 20-gallon.
What should I do? Help!