house plants in water with fish at the bottom.. help

sharon620February 16, 2009

I saw this on televison and also I was talking about it with a gentlmen at Lowe's.

They were tying to explain to me how to put a plant such as an african (spelling) or peace lily right in water with this fish on the bottom and the fish will feed off the roots.

This is all confusing to me. this would take place in a glass vase or bowl so you can see the fish.

Could anyone point me in the direction I should go with this? Or no direction at all?? lol



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Hi Sharon, I have never seen this done with an african violet. I did it once with a spathiphyllum (peace liliy) with a beta fish. I had to feed the fish Beta food and clean the clear glass vase once a week.I put pretty marbles in vase bottom. You also need to get all soil off roots before putting in water. I think an african violet would be inclined to root rot in this enviroment because the crown would get wet. I kept this fish alive for almost 2 years. Good luck with your project.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 11:21AM
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I've seen this many, many times. They don't feed off the roots, you have to feed them . And you can't use any fish. You have to use Beta because they are air breathers! That's why they can live so long w/o a change of water in those small spaces. I've only ever seen them with pease lilies.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 3:50PM
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daw_etc(8 Cen CA)

Just like with many plants that say "can tolerate" such conditions, it still might not be what's best for a beta fish. I did a lot of research since I recently got a beta fish and generally people agree that yes, a beta can live in bad water in a small area...Is this best for the fish? I doubt it. They can also live in larger tanks. And bad water hurts their skin and fins. They can get diseases and pests just like plants. Also, I've read this set-up of a plant above a beta be referred to as a "beta death-trap." So I HIGHLY suggest you do beta research before subjecting it to what may be poor conditions.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 4:52PM
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Below is a link that you might like to look at. She talks about the plant/betta thing.


Here is a link that might be useful: Betta Talk

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 1:11AM
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Thank you for link on betta care. Wished I had a computer as a resource 6-7 years ago. I did have fish for almost two years but was careful with cleaning,feeding and trimming plant roots. I don't think an african violet would be good in this set up even without the fish because of the chance of root rot. Has anyone here had luck growing one in a vase of water ( other than rooting a leaf)?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 6:48AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

T -

the wild AVs live in a very loose soil, leaf debris in the cracks of rocks. They are used to have plenty of air for their roots to breath. You can root a leaf and get AV plantlets in water - but to grow nicely and bloom they need soil. There is a semi-hydroponic way of growing them - you can search on S/H in our previous posts - so you can fill your vase with hydroton clay balls and add water and fertilizer to the bottom of the vase - but again - this method gives the roots plenty of air.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 1:28PM
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Thank You Irina. There sure is alot to read in previous posts on S/H. I'll have to read all the posts and maybe give it a try .

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 1:54PM
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