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Frogbit

Jaseon

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10 Jan 2021
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Wales
I added some Frogbit to my farther in laws tank a month ago, and its been dying back. I did read somewhere that it dont like getting its tops wet. I noticed it moves around the tank a lot, and sometimes gets caught, and tossed around in the outflow. Could that be the issue?
 

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Jaseon

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Hi all,

It probably doesn't help, but that net like (reticulated) pattern is a <"nutrient deficiency">.

cheers Darrel
Ah right ok. Well he wants to try floating plants again as the gourami seemed to like it under there. Ive never added ferts into a tank before. What do you recommend for an all rounder?
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
TNC Complete is probably your best bang for buck.
That should do.
Ive never added ferts into a tank before.
You need to add some nutrients occasionally, even if you have slow growing plants grown low-tech. Have a look at <"Frogbit taken a turn">, it has plants that look very similar to yours (below) and a happy ending.

2db6c7b9ec68cf0278465d5132675d9f-jpg.jpg


You can either add nutrients regularly, and use a <"fraction of EI dosing"> or you can use a method like the <"Duckweed Index">, where you use the <"leaf colour and growth of a floating plant"> as an indication of when nutrients are required.

The real advantage of both fertilisation approaches is that they do away with the need for regular water testing. I'm not <"anti-testing as such">, (quite the <"opposite in fact">) but there are a number of issues with the tests and techniques available to us.

cheers Darrel
 

Jaseon

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Ive always been a bit sceptical of adding nutrients as ive heard they can cause problems? Ill pass the info on to him, and look into that fert.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Ive always been a bit sceptical of adding nutrients as ive heard they can cause problems?
No, honestly, it is not adding nutrients that causes problems. The reason is that <"active plant growth"> is the best thing you can have in an aquarium.

Plants <"improve water quality"> and <"make biological filtration much more efficient">. The issue is that plants need all <"fourteen of the essential nutrients to grow"> and if some are missing (like in your photo) plant growth is compromised and may even stop. Plant growth is like a car assembly line, no "gearbox" and you don't get a car.

<"Plant/Microbe biofiltration"> (there isn't any <"plant only" biofiltration">) is much more efficient than "microbe only" biofiltration.

You don't have to add a <"lot of nutrients">, personally I don't. I'm not after <"optimal plant growth">, or an all singing and dancing aquarium, I just want <"some active plant growth">.

cheers Darrel
 
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MichaelJ

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9 Feb 2021
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Minnesota, USA
@Jaceree my frog bit (snap below from the other day when I was cleaning up) actually get quite wet/moist on the surface of the leaves. Both my tanks are covered with glass and the clearance between the glass and surface of the frog bit are are probably 2-3 cm. , and some of them also do get tossed around a bit from the outlet of my HOBs. I add a lot of fertilizer to my low tech tanks every week - much, much more than my plants will ever need - and I have zero algae to speak of (I mix the Macro nutrients myself, so cost is not a factor.). All my plants are in good to excellent health with slow but steady growth. The beauty of the Duckweed Index (famed by Darrel / @dw1305 ) is that it gives you a direct indication of the nutrient state of your tank (excluding CO2 from the consideration as floating plants have access to unlimited amounts of CO2). Now, wouldn't it be great if we could be able to say: that frog bit leaf look like that, because of this or that nutrient is in short supply...

Cheers,
Michael


frogbit.jpg
 
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dw1305

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Hi all,
I add a lot of fertilizer to my low tech tanks every week - much, much more than my plants will ever need -
My Frogbit never looks that healthy, and any Duckweed is always yellow and struggling.

cheers Darrel
 

MichaelJ

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Minnesota, USA
Hi all,

My Frogbit never looks that healthy, and any Duckweed is always yellow and struggling.
Hi @dw1305, I am basically mostly following yours and others expert advice on this :) ... perhaps there are some merit to the over the top fertilization approach. One thing I've noticed when comparing my frogbit to others is that the roots on mine always stays pretty short. I don't know the significance of this, but one thought I had was that the plants don't really have much reason to grow long/large roots because of the abundance of nutrients in the water column.
The growth of both Frog bit and duckweed are rampant (the duckweed btw. was introduced by "accident" long time ago), and the Brazilian pennywort is not far behind.. The more somewhat surprising thing is how well the submerged plants are doing under the heavy canopy of floating plants and very low light intensity (12 hours though...). I do feel the tetras and shrimps find the whole environment very cozy...

Cheers,
Michael
 
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dw1305

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Hi all,
my frogbit to others is that the roots on mine always stays pretty short. I don't know the significance of this, but one thought I had was that the plants don't really have much reason to grow long/large roots because of the abundance of nutrients in the water column.
I'm pretty sure <"that is the reason">, plenty of nutrients available so the plant only needs a small volume of root hair and can put the <"extra resources into more leaf cover">.

cheers Darrel
 

Jack B

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3 Jan 2020
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Location
London
I was about to update my 'Yellowing Frogbit" thread, but maybe I should just post here.

I tried full EI with no joy, but reducing the movement of Frogbit around the tank (with some plastic tubing) made a big difference. I now get very little yellowing and much longer roots. Have stuck with the EI - why not - but in my case the key issue seems to have been too much water movement giving the Frogbit a hard time. Have added some water lettuce and that seems happy too
 

Jaseon

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10 Jan 2021
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I was about to update my 'Yellowing Frogbit" thread, but maybe I should just post here.

I tried full EI with no joy, but reducing the movement of Frogbit around the tank (with some plastic tubing) made a big difference. I now get very little yellowing and much longer roots. Have stuck with the EI - why not - but in my case the key issue seems to have been too much water movement giving the Frogbit a hard time. Have added some water lettuce and that seems happy too

Right. I was looking into setting up a plastic divider to keep the frogbit at one end of the tank away from being bashed about in the flow, but never got around to it. Im going to order more with some ferts, and try again.
 

Jack B

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Right. I was looking into setting up a plastic divider to keep the frogbit at one end of the tank away from being bashed about in the flow, but never got around to it. Im going to order more with some ferts, and try again.
Sounds good to me. I let the stem plants grow higher too: that way the Frogbit roots could get properly anchored. Took the divider out a while ago.
 

Wolf6

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18 Dec 2014
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955
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Netherlands
In my previous tank my frogbit grew into epic proportions, huge leaves and roots and even flowers. In my current setups the frogbit looks healthy but is staying much smaller. Its spreading fast though and colour seems good, very few leaves that go bad. I suspect the light in this tank is currently set lower but cant really compare the 2. Could this be the factor keeping the leaf size smaller? If it was ferts I would expect more signs of deficiency.
 

Jack B

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3 Jan 2020
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I couldn't detect any effect of light levels on my frogbit, despite playing around for quite a while with my Fluval Plant 3.0 light.

Interestingly the water lettuce has thrived in comparison - to the point that my semi-happy Frogbit has been overwhelmed and has almost disappeared now
 

Wolf6

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18 Dec 2014
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955
Location
Netherlands
I dont have a proper pic of the size my frogbit had in the other tank, but in this one it gets to about the size on this pic. In the old tank leaves were sometimes two/three times as big. I dosed tropica specialised there, switched to plantedbox in this tank. But that cant be it either because I dosed tropica in my nano too, where it also stayed small.
20211128_164223.jpg
 

Karmicnull

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6 Sep 2020
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Location
Cambridge
For the past six months or so I have had two tanks in the same room, with the same temperature and same water. Ok, strictly speaking one of them isn't actually a tank, it's a plastic storage crate that got co-opted into the aquascaping hobby. The room is bright and over the summer both tanks flourished. This is the storage crate back in July (both tanks have a mix of frogbit and water lettuce):
21-07-03-Water Lettuce and Frogbit.jpg


The storage crate had only natural lighting, and the tank has an actual light (Lominie LED Asta 120, 12 hours a day). Over the summer I was taking handfuls of floaters out of both tanks weekly. Then as the days shortened and the light got less intense, the storage crate has slowed down, and I last took frogbit from it in November. The frogbit itself looks a lot less happy. Meanwhile the tank continues to need thinning out weekly. Here they are in December:


PXL_20211231_142835901_storagecrate.jpg
PXL_20211228_095655713_cubeFrogbit.jpg


I talked to my partner, who is a gardener and she reckoned that the frogbit was properly dying off due to lack of light. I've bunged a cheap light I had in the doodads drawer onto the crate and the frogbit immediately looked happier


QT_dying_floaters.jpg


Meanwhile upstairs I have a completely neglected 12L Marina which I threw some plants and shrimp in a year ago. It gets a WC about once a month, tap water only, and every now and then I remember to feed the shrimp in it. The frogbit in that makes all other frogbit look like fake feeble wannabe tadpolebit....

PXL_20211228_103417081_marina.jpg

And yes the emersed plant you see there is Alternanthera Reineckii 'Mini', which according to Aquarium Gardens "... displays compact and low growth, making it perfect for small aquariums". Ho ho ho. All I can say is I'm glad I didn't get the non-mini variant!

Talking of Aquarium Gardens, I was in there the other day being inspired and buying another tank (MTS - Aaaaargh) - the same day in fact that @mangeltrueman was there - and their frogbit is tiny - they reckoned it was because they let it get buffeted a bit by the flow.

Cheers,
Simon
 
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