Which floating plants to get? (filtering, shelter & color)

Lightaddict08

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Apr 20, 2018
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Hello,
I've got a stingray tank that I'm looking to add floating plants to for three purposes (in order)
1) nutrient (ammonia/nitrite/nitrate) removal
2) roots to hang down for other smaller fish to take some refuge in. I might add floating branched driftwood to further this cause.
3) some extra color at the top of the tank
The water level and lids only allow for about half an inch or so of above water growth.
What kind of plants would be suggested?
Thanks in advance!
 

BullyBee

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
I can’t remember the ones I have but they are gorgeous. This pic I took was after a cleaning and I removed them all so the stems/roots are a bit curvey. Once settled they hang straight down. This fish also love them.

this particular plant has really helped with preventing algae and nutrient removal C17010FD-6E96-4AEA-B97C-8E97C7EBBE9D.jpegC8CE8CD6-E007-4103-BDC4-50E6A153AE0D.jpeg
 

BIG-G

Goliath Tigerfish
MFK Member
Dec 12, 2005
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water hyacinth , water lettuce both develop long roots but generally in slower moving or still water.
I like salvinia it’s small and grows fast but doesn’t cause the same problems as duckweed can.
 

twentyleagues

Bronze Tier VIP
MFK Member
Apr 5, 2017
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Flint town!
Most floating plants don't do well in covered aquariums, the air is to moist. I'd try some guppy grass, hornwort or elodia. I have Amazon frog bit in most of my tanks, it works well with more then an inch in covered aquariums.
 

Lightaddict08

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Apr 20, 2018
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The frog bit does have a nice look to it and would offer a lot of cover for other fish. I'm not sure I'd have the clearance for water lettuce/ water hyacinth.

The tank is actually only halfway covered along the edges, i just don't want to have to deal with them getting stuck along the lids to kind of move freely. About to look up the other three you mentioned.
 
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Lightaddict08

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Apr 20, 2018
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I've heard of all of these but never dove in before on the differences so i appreciate all the help!
I'll add in guppy grass to the running as a free floating possibility. I'd imagine the other two would be uprooted and demolished fairly quickly by the stingray.
 

jjohnwm

Dovii
MFK Member
Mar 29, 2019
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Plants that actually float on the surface, with their leaves exposed to the air, supposedly are much more effective at nitrate removal than sub-surface floaters like Hornwort or Guppy Grass. I've never had occasion to test this, but most floaters grow so fast that they must be having at least some positive influence on nitrate levels.

I like Guppy Grass for use with smaller fish or shrimp; with bigger fish (like rays) it tends to get torn up into smaller and smaller pieces and looks pretty messy. The small chunks can also more easily accumulate on and clog filter intakes, etc. Hornwort seems much beefier and tougher and holds up well.

I love Giant Duckweed. Much nicer to my eye than the smaller standard variety, grows like wildfire, is a useful food for many fish, turtles, etc. and gives a nice greenish cast to the tank lighting. The one thing it won't do is provide nice subsurface roots. Controlling it isn't the horror show that so many people seem to imply; a quick swipe of a net and you can remove as much or as little as you wish. Yeah, you'll need to do it again next week, and the week after that...so what? It's really a problem only when you decide that you want to completely eradicate it...good luck with that...:)

Floating/suspended driftwood is a terrific idea, gives a unique and natural look to any tank. For rays in particular, it provides shade, cover, structure, a nice look...and doesn't intrude on the clean substrate layer that they use, giving them the maximum amount of useable space.

I hope you post some pics when you make your decision. Good luck! And remember: re-scaping your tank is child's play when everything is just floating around rather than rooted in place. :)
 
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