I didn't like the selection of plants @ the stores so I searched for more local natural sources.
If you recall the photos, most are low light plants, but the amount I've brought back & introduced to the tanks would have easily cost over a grand by now. (My fish like to rest on/swim through/eat/tear leaves off them.)
- To pre-treat the plants for unwanted pathogenic guests, I bring them all to the bathtub area and with a detachable showerhead rinse & soak in COLD tap. This is step 1.
Have you ever cleaned a Belgian endive, Romaine lettuce, Swiss chard or leeks? Rinsing does little or nothing to remove all the grit. You have to allow it to soak for at least 3-5 minutes before you swish the leaves around to free up any other debris/grit. If plants are really dirty/gritty, then leave them overnight & clean off the next day.
- The things that concern me the most are the predatory insect EGGS, or the leaf miners & leaf cutters. Those things are near impossible to spot & if you don't remove them off the plants, they can hatch in your tank & wreak havoc on everything.
Some of these insects will lay the eggs INSIDE the stems of the plants itself.
- Potassium P hypothetically should eliminate most of these pathogens.
- I've used silicone before & it's hard to dispense neatly without a lot of practice. Also the vinegar like fumes that it emits during curing, bleh... Even though that is one of the methods someone has recommended for anchoring, the other options seem easier.
- Oak leaves were added to create food & microbes for the 2 dozen snails in the tank. Snails doubled as a clean up crew for any weak fry & decaying leaves. The oak leaves stain the water/lower the PH as well, similar to ketapang aka IALs.
- Plants from the LBB's archive are from local sources. A lot of them came from privately owned ponds/lakes 15-30 minutes from where I live. After I brought the plants back I left them into a 20G ZooMed Critter Cage (Looks like a 20G long, but not designed to HOLD water.) in my garden. They would get some sunlight & the school of rosy barbs would clean up the plants for a couple weeks before they're rinsed again & placed into the indoor tanks.
- Don't worry about culling the first time, there's a good chance most won't survive. 90% of fry die from common very simple mistakes.
You have to try it yourself before you can understand all the pitfalls. Too many to name.
Everything I attempted in this FIRST spawn I need to replicate before I will suggest it to someone else.
The dragonfly larvae, was responsible for 100% of the culling from this initial spawn. I had less than 12 fry left after I spotted him & I had to IMMEDIATELY rearrange my evening schedule to round up the fry, remove the 5lb piece of driftwood, 100 plants & siphon out the tank in hopes of catching him before I lost any more. The ones that remain are all very healthy.
One last thing.... While I was at the petstore this weekend, I bumped into this one customer that wanted to breed her 1.2 year old veiltail, but couldn't find a appropriate sized female.
There was NO employee present for at least 30 minutes, so she talked to me instead while I was debating over this pretty fella....
Claimed she did research, but clearly not enough. Most of the basic things I mentioned were NEWS to her.
- The amount of fry from 1 spawn - easily 300.
- The risk of death to either fish - most likely her veiltail male if I lent her one of my self sufficient snail hunting females.
- Also I think she wanted to spawn them in the veiltail's current setup. 2.5G fish bowl.
- If successful, I would want a couple fry of my choice in exchange. Fair deal I think.