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Water Sprite is a bit temperamental. I haven't grown Guppy Grass so I can't speak for it. Hornwort is typically pretty indestructible though it might shed like crazy for a bit and look like its dying only to bounce back. Patience is important with hornwort. It tends to rebound even if it goes down to bare stems. If you poke around online at sites like ebay, etsy, and aquabid, you can often find floating plant bundles that contain red root floaters, frogbit (my personal favorite floater), salvinia minima, dwarf water lettuce, duckweed, etc. and those bundles typically sell for under $20 often under $10, so it's a great way to test out various floating plant options. You might only get three to six of each plant, but if there's one that likes your water/lighting, you'll be weeding them out before long. 

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1 hour ago, gardenman said:

Water Sprite is a bit temperamental. I haven't grown Guppy Grass so I can't speak for it. Hornwort is typically pretty indestructible though it might shed like crazy for a bit and look like its dying only to bounce back. Patience is important with hornwort. It tends to rebound even if it goes down to bare stems. If you poke around online at sites like ebay, etsy, and aquabid, you can often find floating plant bundles that contain red root floaters, frogbit (my personal favorite floater), salvinia minima, dwarf water lettuce, duckweed, etc. and those bundles typically sell for under $20 often under $10, so it's a great way to test out various floating plant options. You might only get three to six of each plant, but if there's one that likes your water/lighting, you'll be weeding them out before long. 

Good idea. Thanks. I’ll look for a bundle today. 

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1 hour ago, Marnol D said:

Does your tank have a ton of flow to it? You may also want to test your waters TDS and you may need to add equilibrium to boost it for the plants.

I have a HOB that’s not at full speed and an air stone. Not a ton of flow, but I have good surface movement. TDS is a new one for me. I’m assuming that’s a test I can buy?

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5 minutes ago, Phillip said:

I have a HOB that’s not at full speed and an air stone. Not a ton of flow, but I have good surface movement. TDS is a new one for me. I’m assuming that’s a test I can buy?

TDS stands for "Total Dissolved Solids." To test it you buy a TDS meter. The meters range in price from around $15 to God knows how how much depending on how accurate you need to be. (Hint: for an aquarium, you don't need to be all that accurate.) They most often used on tanks holding delicate shrimp and fish that are very sensitive to water quality.

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1 minute ago, gardenman said:

TDS stands for "Total Dissolved Solids." To test it you buy a TDS meter. The meters range in price from around $15 to God knows how how much depending on how accurate you need to be. (Hint: for an aquarium, you don't need to be all that accurate.) They most often used on tanks holding delicate shrimp and fish that are very sensitive to water quality.

Cool. I’ll see if I can find one. 

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Seconding higher flow being a possible issue. You can make a circle out of airline tubing to corral floating plants if they're getting blown all over. I actually put my tubing around my outflow and where the airstone bubbles come up, and let floating plants hang out on the outside. Also, if you have a lid, some do not like the high humidity under there, and especially do not like being dripped on. I grow Salvinia and water lettuce, and the water lettuce is more tolerant of being under a lid for me.

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11 minutes ago, Zanara said:

Seconding higher flow being a possible issue. You can make a circle out of airline tubing to corral floating plants if they're getting blown all over. I actually put my tubing around my outflow and where the airstone bubbles come up, and let floating plants hang out on the outside. Also, if you have a lid, some do not like the high humidity under there, and especially do not like being dripped on. I grow Salvinia and water lettuce, and the water lettuce is more tolerant of being under a lid for me.

I actually have an air tubing corral set up. I like your idea of putting the corral around the outflow. If it is related to high flow I guess I just need different floating plants? I can’t really reduce my HOB flow much more and I have a sponge filter on the other side. 

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Flow is not likely an issue with hornworth - flow is a problem for stuff like frogbit, water lettuce and similar.

 

I've found hornworth to be rather picky - as a simple example I have two 29 side by side. They have different substrate and fish population but otherwise identical. In one tank hornworth grows without bound to the point of being annoying and throwing away yards of the stuff weekly - in the other tank - it refuses to grow and slowly melts into nothing....

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I will say that hornworth seems to do better in a mature tank and one with slightly elevated nitrate level.

Edited by anewbie
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I don’t have any official definitions, but I would describe hornwort and guppy grass as unrooted plants. I would consider duckweed, salvinia, and water lettuce to be floating plants. I think the survival conditions for each might be different, based on access to surface air during photosynthesis and respiration.

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2 hours ago, Streetwise said:

I don’t have any official definitions, but I would describe hornwort and guppy grass as unrooted plants. I would consider duckweed, salvinia, and water lettuce to be floating plants. I think the survival conditions for each might be different, based on access to surface air during photosynthesis and respiration.

Yeah I guess my thinking was wrong. I watched a bunch of videos and everyone was like just take water sprite plop it in and let it float around. That doesn’t seem to be working for me. If I plant water sprite it grows though 🤷🏻‍♂️

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I should rephrase: some plants like duckweed and water lettuce prefer to have the top of each leaf exposed to the atmosphere.

By unrooted, I was thinking of plants that can live immersed or emmersed, with or without taking root.

Hopefully someone can clarify the botanical terminology.

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I had a terrible time trying to grow floating plants and was finally successful in one tank by doing a number of things...sponges to lower water flow from HOB filter, good lights, and local plants that didn't have to survive shipping.  That said, I put the same plants in three tanks at the same time and had very mixed results.  They've gone nuts in my 95, and I think its because there was plenty of room away from the filters for them to get going.  The 5 gallon was a moderate success.  Not much growth but still alive.  The 20 gallon, which has the highest nitrates and has been established longest was a failure--AGAIN.  This was try number 5 for that tank, so beats me why they work in some and not others.  Maybe look for a local source for the plants and look at reducing surface agitation...and then cross your fingers!

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Hornwort and Elodea thrived in the currents from my HOB filter.  The Hornwort actually tumbled until it became entangled in one of the rooted plants.  The water sprite did not like its home, floating or rooted.  I suspect it did not like being disturbed.

I have one Java Fern.  It lives, but so far is not the "easy beginner" plant advertised.  I knowingly bought a sad plant because the price was right  Yesterday I moved it to the same side as my HOB Filter.  The working theory being that I've read that the JF prefers a little less light, and  a rhizome is a rhizome.  The Anubia planted under the HOB is the healthiest plant in the aquarium.

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9 hours ago, Tanked said:

Hornwort and Elodea thrived in the currents from my HOB filter.  The Hornwort actually tumbled until it became entangled in one of the rooted plants.  The water sprite did not like its home, floating or rooted.  I suspect it did not like being disturbed.

I have one Java Fern.  It lives, but so far is not the "easy beginner" plant advertised.  I knowingly bought a sad plant because the price was right  Yesterday I moved it to the same side as my HOB Filter.  The working theory being that I've read that the JF prefers a little less light, and  a rhizome is a rhizome.  The Anubia planted under the HOB is the healthiest plant in the aquarium.

My healthiest looking plant is one of my swords. It’s growing great and has a baby coming of the shoot. I want to plant the baby but I’m scared to kill it 🤣

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