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This page will tell more on how to upkeep a small tank with healthy water plants. I am no expert and still learning but I do have the do's and don'ts about upkeeping plants with small fishes. I have decided to make this a community tank so that I can have a variety of fishes in it. Characins, which I rear before my grandfather passed away, are not so colourful.

I have been trying to grow plants in small tank since 2006. However, almost all of them always die. That was because I changed all the water which was quite matured, about 2 months once. I tried putting water plant fertiliser, some fish vitamin and some water conditioner which were all in liquid form after changing tank water but failed to maintain the plant. It seemed that the fertilisers and the other chemical were not enough. The conditions or chemistry of the new water were far from the chemistry of the old water. Actually, this method is bad because the change in the biogeochemical will be too great and the plant will get environmental shock.

However, since 6 months ago, the plants began to have new 'shoots' which could grow a little bigger than before. So, what did I do ?
1) I did not change all the water. The most was about 2 inches of water left in the tank. I suck out about at least 25% of the water at least once a month.
2) I put at least one bottle cover of plant fertiliser into each tall plant container for those bigger plants immediately after changing about 50% to 75% the water. If the date between changing of water was longer, more fertiliser would have to be added. If the water was sucked out, more fertiliser would have to be added. This is for my Cryptocoryne sp. plant.
REMEMBER, not all plants will live well in this environment. Some might need more and some less.
3) I put half a 'bacter ball' (as it is called by the seller) into the water every 3 months once or when I changed at least about 60% of the water. The 1st and 2nd time I used bacter ball, I put one bacter ball, half each on opposite corners (2 corners only).
4) Then for about 1 week, the plant condition will have to be monitored. A little bit of fertiliser can be added 2 or 3 days after day of water change and when necessary.
5) I am using real black garden soil for all my tall container plants because I find blank soil can support the plant better and provide a more natural environment for it. However, this is not encouraged because harmful chemical like hydrogen sulphide, H2S that is released when sulphate-reducing bacteria oxidise hydrogen with sulphate (decaying process). This chemical can build up in the soil. So, the the plants will have to be uprooted once in awhile and soil be 'cleaned' (stir the soil, that's what I do).

There are 3 types of plants that I managed to maintain in my tank. It is difficult to get the name of plants because many of them look almost alike. I will write about them in water plant page. I want to put more variety of plants in this tank and so the method of maintaining the plants may change.
Small Tank for Water Plants and community fishes
Photo taken on 25-Sep-2008
Photo taken on 18-Oct-2008
Photo taken on 25-Nov-2008

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