Plants when your fish likes to dig and redecorate


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I have a 36G tank with a single koi and a tiny little oto.

Live plants have always been a bit of a challenge, because the koi likes to dig them up! I recently took several sprigs of creeping jenny and tied them to rocks I found outside (cleaned well, of course), then buried the rocks in his substrate; 15 minutes later, they were dug up and moved around :-/

So now my plan is to use some faux wood decoration pieces (attached), then drop the rocks in the holes so that the bottom of the plants will be somewhat protected and it will still grow out of the hole.

I won't be able to bury the roots in the substrate, but I'm not sure if that matters.

If that works well then I would buy some alternanthera lilacina (no clue what the common name is, but pic is attached) and do the same thing, to have a little color.

What do you guys and gals think?
 

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I'm not trying to scare you away. This is a great forum.

But...
You're probably going to hear this and you may not like it. Not trying to rain on your parade, but a koi in only 36 gallons of water is beyond inadequate. One koi is said to need 1,000 gallons to live comfortably.

I'm thinking it's very young and maybe it's just a temporary home until it outgrows the tank?

Koi get real big, real fast. I have one guy that was about 3-4 inches long at the start of last Spring. By the time Fall came he was 12-14 inches long.

Maybe it's time to start digging a pond in the yard!

Or, maybe it isn't actually a koi?

Not trying to insult you or scare you away from this forum, just the facts....

Waiting for your reply. We're here to help.
 

brokensword

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ditto on that too small thang...
 
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No worries, @poconojoe , we've actually had that conversation before :)

What I have now is a 1,000G goldfish pond in the back yard, but I really want to change up the waterfall and border to implement a water bog this year, and then I HOPE to add 2 new ponds to the front yard with a separate bog (thinking, one pond that's 2000G, then let it stream to a second one that's 5,000G+).

In the meanwhile, I plan to load up my koi with protein over the Summer, then move him to one of those ponds in the Fall. But for now the one in the back yard really isn't healthy enough for me to risk moving my buddy!

I'm actually worried about the transition anyway... my koi is very intelligent, he recognizes me out of a group of people and will eat out of my fingers! If I had my way, I'd build a 200G tank and keep him inside with me, but I'm afraid that's not really practical :-( Outside he's going to have to deal with potential water runoff, birds, skunks, snakes, and freezing weather! So it's a conundrum, really.

But I'll address that once I get the bogs and new ponds built, so for now I'm just focusing on how to get some good plants in my aquarium :)
 
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No worries, @poconojoe , we've actually had that conversation before :)

What I have now is a 1,000G goldfish pond in the back yard, but I really want to change up the waterfall and border to implement a water bog this year, and then I HOPE to add 2 new ponds to the front yard with a separate bog (thinking, one pond that's 2000G, then let it stream to a second one that's 5,000G+).

In the meanwhile, I plan to load up my koi with protein over the Summer, then move him to one of those ponds in the Fall. But for now the one in the back yard really isn't healthy enough for me to risk moving my buddy!

I'm actually worried about the transition anyway... my koi is very intelligent, he recognizes me out of a group of people and will eat out of my fingers! If I had my way, I'd build a 200G tank and keep him inside with me, but I'm afraid that's not really practical :-( Outside he's going to have to deal with potential water runoff, birds, skunks, snakes, and freezing weather! So it's a conundrum, really.

But I'll address that once I get the bogs and new ponds built, so for now I'm just focusing on how to get some good plants in my aquarium :)
That's great!
You have some great plans and ideas. Your hard work will pay off.
Take lots of pictures throughout your endeavor. We like pictures!
 
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I don't think that'll be a problem... he's in the neighborhood of 12 years old, and around 8" long. He's possibly a Diatsu (someone suggested that before), but until then I always assumed he was a goldfish hybrid because his whiskers are pretty short.

Here are a few pics, taken a little over a year ago. The plants you see in the background are fake, though, and that's what I'm hoping to replace with live plants. I'd added some floating plants before that never did well and were really kinda ugly, which is why I'm trying to figure out a way to plant something that s/he can't dig up :-O
 

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That's great!
You have some great plans and ideas. Your hard work will pay off.
Take lots of pictures throughout your endeavor. We like pictures!
The more I start on it, the harder it gets!! I'm going to need to remove 6 trees from my front yard, at least 2 of which are close enough to the house that I'm probably going to hire someone with insurance instead of doing it myself. Then I'll need to bulldoze off the stumps and roots, level out the yard, then hire someone with an excavator to dig the holes.

THEN I can start on the part that I can handle, the design and construction of the ponds :cool:

I figure that I need to come up with about $3,000 for the heavy equipment work, then maybe $1,000 more for all of the pond materials and river rock. I hope that's a little high, though, and I'll have enough left over to buy some plants that I don't already have.
 
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I don't think that'll be a problem... he's in the neighborhood of 12 years old, and around 8" long. He's possibly a Diatsu (someone suggested that before), but until then I always assumed he was a goldfish hybrid because his whiskers are pretty short.
Wow! That koi is 12 years old and only 8" long! That's surprising.
 
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Look on Dustin’s fish tanks for that plant. I’ve purchased from them before and was very happy. I’ve seen a plant like that there, not sure if it’s what you are looking for.
 
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Wow! That koi is 12 years old and only 8" long! That's surprising.
I actually double checked last night... he's probably closer to 10". When I stretch out my hand, the tip of my pinky to the tip of my thumb is 10", and he's about that length.

I've often worried that the small tank could be stunting his growth, though... :-/


Look on Dustin’s fish tanks for that plant. I’ve purchased from them before and was very happy. I’ve seen a plant like that there, not sure if it’s what you are looking for.
I saw your thread on them from October, I'll definitely give them a look!

What do you think about the concept of burying the roots inside of the decoration, though? That's the dilemma; if the roots and lower part of the plant don't get light, but the ends do, will the plant be OK or will it die from not enough light?
 

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Too small an area can definitely stunt the growth of koi! This can lead to other issues including bent spines.
 

cas

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Wow! That koi is 12 years old and only 8" long! That's surprising.
I thought I was the only one that had small koi. I have a 15 and 12 year old koi that are only a foot long. I have another 12 year old koi that is only 10". I'm thankful they aren't getting any bigger because my pond couldn't support anything larger.
 
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brokensword

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I know it's bandied about re 'fish grow to the size of their containment' and I've always just held my tongue but I've had many fish grow to less than their full stature over all my years of fish keeping. And I've never had negative effects. The fish look and act normal, they just don't grow to full. I'm not talking about putting a goldfish in a 1 gallon bowl, though, I'm talking 4' aquariums. I have right now 3 salt water fish; 2 clowns and a blue tang, all of which I know are half size at best, in a 90 gallon. They're just fine. So I'm not surprised your koi is small. But you also probably don't do as most koi owners do and feed until they bust! I think small size is a byproduct of that behavior as much as space. YMMV

And I've recently gotten into koi (for my pond) and I figure with my similar habits of not overfeeding, these new inhabitants won't approach the worrisome size of 30+ inches. Which is just fine with me as it allows me more fish per gallon! 3 of these were bought as 5" tosai 4 years ago and they're now about 14", which supposedly is what they grow in year 2 of their life!
 
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Sorry for the late reply, I didn't get emails when you all replied :-(

But just for the sake of posterity... I ordered the decor and alternanthera lilacina, then used wire to attach the plants to gravel pieces and tucked them in to the decor.

It took about 10 minutes for the fish to knock them over, and about 15 more for him to eat all of the plants :-/

So far, the creeping jenny is the only thing that works... he eats it, but it grows back as fast as he can eat it so it's not tragic.
 
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I know it's bandied about re 'fish grow to the size of their containment' and I've always just held my tongue but I've had many fish grow to less than their full stature over all my years of fish keeping. And I've never had negative effects. The fish look and act normal, they just don't grow to full. I'm not talking about putting a goldfish in a 1 gallon bowl, though, I'm talking 4' aquariums. I have right now 3 salt water fish; 2 clowns and a blue tang, all of which I know are half size at best, in a 90 gallon. They're just fine. So I'm not surprised your koi is small. But you also probably don't do as most koi owners do and feed until they bust! I think small size is a byproduct of that behavior as much as space. YMMV

And I've recently gotten into koi (for my pond) and I figure with my similar habits of not overfeeding, these new inhabitants won't approach the worrisome size of 30+ inches. Which is just fine with me as it allows me more fish per gallon! 3 of these were bought as 5" tosai 4 years ago and they're now about 14", which supposedly is what they grow in year 2 of their life!
I think the size of a mature koi also has something to do with it's breed.
I have a couple that are huge, while others that have stopped growing at half the size.
I know the males tend to be smaller, while the females can get quite large.
 
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