Dieffenbachia (Dumb cane) with endlers

toffee

Candiru
MFK Member
Aug 21, 2006
151
3
48
Texas
Just sharing an experience, and open to ideas and critiques.

I started a bowl about three months ago, I think it's 18" in diameter with 3-4" of gravel. A dumb cane, guppy grass and couple of rocks decorated the bowl. Dumb cane was planted with roots in gravel, stem in water and leaves above. No filter, and heater, lighted by a LED desk lamp. 5 or 6 endler's guppies of both sex were added to the bowl a couple of months ago. OK, the dumb cane was converted to water culture before adding to this bowl, gravel and water from an established tank.

In these two months, the guppy grass grew like weeds and most fill the whole bowl, couple of new leaves sprouted out of dumb cane, and I think there're tiny baby endlers but hard to tell with dense guppy grass. No water changes in these three months, only top up. Feeding with fakes 3 to 4 times a week. I used to do daily water test, now reduced to weekly. So far nothing to worry about with almost no nitrate reading. The bowl is not heated, average room temp about 70F.

Questions:

should I trim the guppy grass? endlers seems to do fine but they don't swim laps around the tank like they used to anymore. Water is 68-69, should I add a heater? Dieffenbachia are poisonous to cats and dogs, do I need to worry that the endlers may get hurt when they tried to chew on the plant or roots?
 

duanes

MFK Moderators
Staff member
Moderator
MFK Member
Jun 7, 2007
18,047
20,032
2,910
Isla Taboga Panama via Milwaukee
C0BB4CCA-39F2-4CD2-8071-6BD741C3A194_1_201_a.jpeg
As you can see, I have deafenbachia growing in my 180 gal (among others) covering about 1//3 the tank.
It has so far, not harmed the fish.
The tank is only about half full, because our water treatment plant, is not functioning, so no water changes in almost 2 months, and because of evaporation, the sump filtration had to be shut down.(power head still provide circulation)
I believe the terrestrial (and aquatic) plants are keeping nitrate and other problematic nutrients at bay.
88FDBBFB-D4E7-46B4-87EF-AA67794C66FB_1_201_a.jpeg
 
  • Like
Reactions: toffee

duanes

MFK Moderators
Staff member
Moderator
MFK Member
Jun 7, 2007
18,047
20,032
2,910
Isla Taboga Panama via Milwaukee
Are you dumb canes planted with roots in the substrate?
The roots just dangle in the water, they are not planted in the substrate, the tank is @ 2 ft tall (as is the root system).
Below, a shot from 2020 when I pulled one of the dieffenbachia out of the tank, just see the extent of the root system
49E01DD0-BD1D-413B-87C6-0D757BE5AD28_1_201_a.jpeg
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: CrazyPhishMan

toffee

Candiru
MFK Member
Aug 21, 2006
151
3
48
Texas
In Oct and now, i did plant the dumb cane in substrate, it was a converted from soil. It has gotten a bit bigger with couple new leaves, but not the huge leaves that I hoped for. Endler's seems to be happy, I found babies sometimes. Guppy grass grew like weed. I suspect the endler's aren't producing enough nutrients for all the plants. May be I should feed them more.

247940911_10159703921914188_4848433291828377517_n.jpg

248344779_10159703549024188_644893482447893971_n.jpg

269933032_10159850985904188_764434423850188118_n.jpg

270014948_10159850985649188_3699369522415877669_n.jpg

271010823_10159850985159188_2691953952006326409_n.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: Magnus_Bane

jjohnwm

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Mar 29, 2019
1,325
3,185
154
Manitoba, Canada
Your little microcosm of fish and plants is doing well; I personally wouldn't start increasing the food you supply. They wouldn't be breeding if they were malnourished. The plants wouldn't be growing if they were short of nutrients. Things are going well, so why rock the boat? If this were mine, the only thing I would change...would be some water on a regular basis. Nitrates aren't necessarily the only reason for changing water; they are simply an easily-measured yardstick for determining how old and "liveable" our water is becoming. Many trace elements, minerals and chemical compounds are being added by fresh water top-ups, and/or used up by plants and animals, and regular water changes will help keep these at reasonable levels.

You might be approaching the correct ratio of plant/animal whereby the plants use up all the nitrates/ammonia produced by the animals. That ratio is very high (lots of plants biomass versus very little animal biomass) and almost nobody is willing to keep tanks like that. It's much more common to see tanks jammed with fish, and then the owner drops in a sprig of pothos and expects nitrates to magically vanish. Doesn't work that way.

Who is more successful: the aquarist with a tank of fish and plants which grow and reproduce at moderate speed, living long lives in a stable environment...or the guy who powerfeeds his fish and fertilizes the bejeesus out of his plants in the name of "maximum" growth, but whose tank is on the knife-edge of collapse because of all the organic matter that is constantly being added, added, added and must rely upon the maintenance of perfect conditions to keep things humming?

Hint: there's no "correct" answer. It's whatever makes you happy. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: toffee

toffee

Candiru
MFK Member
Aug 21, 2006
151
3
48
Texas
Your little microcosm of fish and plants is doing well; I personally wouldn't start increasing the food you supply. They wouldn't be breeding if they were malnourished. The plants wouldn't be growing if they were short of nutrients. Things are going well, so why rock the boat? If this were mine, the only thing I would change...would be some water on a regular basis. Nitrates aren't necessarily the only reason for changing water; they are simply an easily-measured yardstick for determining how old and "liveable" our water is becoming. Many trace elements, minerals and chemical compounds are being added by fresh water top-ups, and/or used up by plants and animals, and regular water changes will help keep these at reasonable levels.

You might be approaching the correct ratio of plant/animal whereby the plants use up all the nitrates/ammonia produced by the animals. That ratio is very high (lots of plants biomass versus very little animal biomass) and almost nobody is willing to keep tanks like that. It's much more common to see tanks jammed with fish, and then the owner drops in a sprig of pothos and expects nitrates to magically vanish. Doesn't work that way.

Who is more successful: the aquarist with a tank of fish and plants which grow and reproduce at moderate speed, living long lives in a stable environment...or the guy who powerfeeds his fish and fertilizes the bejeesus out of his plants in the name of "maximum" growth, but whose tank is on the knife-edge of collapse because of all the organic matter that is constantly being added, added, added and must rely upon the maintenance of perfect conditions to keep things humming?

Hint: there's no "correct" answer. It's whatever makes you happy. :)
You are right, this is the lowest of low tech planted tank lol. may be I could add one or two shrimps that could handle colder water? But the water volume is so small, it's a bowl after all, I am quite afraid to mess with the balance. I started this bowl in October, it has been doing well I would say, but I live in the desert with summer temp often above 110F or 45C+, if we run into problem with AC, the room could easily be 90+ if not 100F+, let's see how it can handle the summer.

The good thing is that it's super easy in maintenance, when I travel away from home in the summer, I could always leave it with a friend for a few months. lol, wouldn't take much to bring it to a friend.
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store