There's A Sucker Born Every Minute

breezyb(z6/7VA)March 22, 2005

So - was perusing the brand-new PetCo that just opened up nearby, & after getting over my disappointment with their fish (& they'd only been installed a few days before), I came across something that picqued my interest.

Dumb me. For $6+ apiece they were selling these cardboard cards with plastic tubes mounted on them containing what were touted as "Aqua Plants". The plants were totally enclosed in the plastic tube with their roots inserted into some sort of "gel".

They looked bright & healthy, so I bought 2. (Yup - I'm a sucker.)

Took them out of their containers, rinsed off the gel (which is touted as being completely fish safe), & planted them.

Of course I then & only then took the intelligent route. One plant is "Trichomanes Javanicum - Aqua Fern", the other "Aglaonema Simples - Borneo Sword". After some internet investigation I find that neither one of these plants is an aquarium plant at all!!! The "sword" is apparently the common terrarium/houseplant Chinese Evergreen, & the fern is also some sort of terrarium plant & expected to die within weeks of aquarium planting.

Needless to say, I searched for a website for the company: Complete Aquatic Systems, P.O. Box 7809, Torrance, CA 90504; but came up with nothing except some vague Yahoo site asking for a rating, which I gave.

Sorry for the rant - but does anyone here know anything about these people? (Oh, & if any of you have a bridge to sell, I'm apparently the right person to contact - lol!!!)

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Yep! there are a lot of plants being sold out there as aquatics but not truly being so. Dracenas, aluminum plant, and arrowheads come to mind right away..find a good plant site and learn to recognize the true aquatics and pass on the sure to die cuttings of house plants. We have people at the store I work at that buy the non hardy ones tho, on a regular basis, just because the plant is pretty and they dont mind the constant die off and expense of replacing them. I havent dealt with the company you mention, we buy ours from a wholesaler in Florida but, will the store take them back??

    Bookmark   March 22, 2005 at 4:37PM
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They sell them at my local petco for about $3!! I bought some dwarf papyrus (for a dish water garden, not for the aquarium)!!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2005 at 5:46PM
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absolutely wonderful plant website. That's all i have to say.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 3:39AM
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any suggestions about what i can do with the afore mentioned fern? thanks

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 8:26PM
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Pssst! Wanna buy a causeway?
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 10:45AM
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I bought some giant papyrus plants in a plastic tube from a petco. They turned brown and died soon after planting in a water tank and I know that papyrus grows in rivers. I have seen crotons being sold in the reptile section for the terrariums. I told the lady at the register that if crotons are put in tanks with reptiles and the crickets small reptiles like lizards eat munch on them, the crickets will become poisonous to the lizards. Luckily, my petco took the advice to heart and I haven't seen a croton in the reptile section since. Maybe you should talk to one of the managers and explain that they are not aquatic plants. Some stores do listen to their customers and they may have not known the truth, instead relying on the company that sells the plants to the store.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 9:19PM
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return the plants, they will take them back, or lower the level of the water and use a container with gravel and float it in the aquarium as a makeshift terrarium.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 3:22PM
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Yes, some of these plants are actually bog plants. They grow in water, but only a couple of inches deep. I have seen the sword plants advertised as aquarium plants but have never tried them.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 5:16PM
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bambi_too(5 Ohio)

Problem #1 You purchased "aquarium plants" from a Petco. I did see some of those plants at a Petsmart, and they did have some truly aquatic varieties, that really did look good. Most decent books on Aquariums have a section on aquarium plants, and there have been a number of good books on the subject published. If you feel the need for live plants I would suggest you find one so you can tell the real thing from the wannabes. Unfortunately I spent years trying NOT to sell plants that were noy true Aquatic plants to pet shops, and unfortunately their customers demanded them, and we were forced to carry them. If anyone would like to know where to get good plants e-mail me. I am in no way affiliated, and will not make one red cent by passing the information on.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 2:52PM
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There is nothing wrong with some of the plants at Petco, you just have to know what you're looking at/for. I have java ferns (they call them "Tropical ferns" instead) that are doing just great for me. I do wish they get better plants like anacharis and horwort though. These can easily be found on ebay (I only do "buy it nows" from ebay) or Aquabid. Mikeswetpets and Bonnies plants on ebay are good sellers that I have dealt with. Fast shipping too.


    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 10:42AM
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bambi_too(5 Ohio)

more than 75% of what I have seen at the Petco here are not Aquatic plants. Aquabid is the best place to buy plants that I know of right now, but stay away from the foreign sellers.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 1:19PM
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I got some aquatic plant "bulbs" at walmart. they were $1.99 for 6 of them. and the company who makes them guarantees them to grow as long as you leave the aquarium light on at least 8hrs/day. 5 of my 6 bulbs were 3" tall within 15 days. the 6th one never sprouted and after 30 days i fished out what was left of it, put it in a plastic bag and mailed it with a copy of my receipt to the company. 8days later i recieved a replacement in the mail and all plants are doing wonderful now. and it cost me.....$1.99

    Bookmark   January 23, 2007 at 11:29PM
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milwdave(Zone5 Milwaukee)

Chandoah, those bulbs were Aponogetons.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 10:32AM
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sometimes nonaquatic plants can be cool.(not in the water i guess though) but i have a 55G planted aquaium open top and i used wire and built these little hangers for some ferns and peace lillies and other weird plants. so i put these plants in the hangers just so that the rootball is hanging down in the water and the actual plant pholiage just makes like a green canopy around the back and sides of the tank. i really like it.:)
but i guess it only works for open tops.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 5:52PM
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I have the "Aqua Fern" crap... back to Petco. Oh well. haha I just finished setting up my aquarium with plants and I was completely satisfied then... I started to clean up and found "The plant in the tube". I bought it cause as I was going to get some cat food and saw the intriguing tubes. The fern was so much darker than the plants I initially got at the fish shop nearby and though it would add a nice touch.

Just checked my water, all levels are good so I'm not introducing a plant that will melt in near a week.


wanna see my tank :) I'm hoping it will fill in soon! Lemme know if you see any plants that would be better suited in a different position, I know nothing about these plants.

got 1.75 watts per gallon
co2 at low setting cause it's only a 16gallon tank.
heater :)

10 rasboras
3 corys
1 betta
some ghost shrimps

the betta does great with the razzies. I guess I lucked out with him, his name is Crispy :P

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 5:53PM
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Well you have to know what you want and what you are looking for. Go look at any of your local pet/fish stores and you will no doubt see non-aquatic plants in their tanks. I know this because I owned my own store for over 10 years, and I always had customers asking for plants like purple waffle and aluminum plant even after I told them "THEY ARE NOT TRUE AQUATICS AND WILL EVENTUALLY DIE" to which they would respond "I redecorate my tank every -- months, and I like changing the plants, rocks etc. anyway." I have seen and even bought some of those tube plants, and from what I know it looks like about half are true aquatics. In fact I have bought 3 ANUBIAS (one of the best true aquatic plants in the world) for only $5.99 and I tell you what, try to go into your local pet store and find that plant for that price. It wont be easy, just one of the reasons I no longer own my own store (too many hours and too small profit) Buying on line can get you some cool stuff but Im touchy and feely, I like to pick out my own stuff, not just some guy grabing one and mailing it to me.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 6:22PM
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