How to keep floating plants in aquarium

Floating plants are a great addition to the home aquarium. The first few times we tried to keep floating plants, it all failed. Water lettuce, frogbit, and red root floater all melted away and died within days.

After multiple tries, we think that we have figured out the tricks to keep floating plants in the aquarium! The YouTube video below summarizes 8 essential tips for keeping floating plants alive and thriving in the home aquarium.

For beginners we recommend Salvinia, or water spangles, as the first starting floating plant. It is also easy to remove, as a great contrast to duckweed.


NA2 Live Water Spangles, Salvinia Minima, Water Velvet, Free Feeding Ring Aquatic Plant Aquarium Fish Tank, Top Water Plant, Floating Pond Plant, Pond, Goldfish, koi (24+ Spangles)

There are many advantages of Salvinia, including it being one of the easiest floating plants to keep alive.

Rasbora pregnant? (Pregnant chili rasbora)

Recently, one of our phoenix rasboras (cousin of chili rasbora) is getting a little round in the belly. Is it pregnant (or the more technical term is gravid)?

We are not very sure, will ask in a forum soon afterwards. Possible alternative reasons is that it is bloated, overfed or even dropsy!

From our experience, it is better that the phoenix rasbora is fat rather than thin. A thin rasbora signals a possible internal parasite problem, which proves to be fatal for this small rasbora species in our experience.

Pregnant Phoenix Rasbora?

For more footage of the pregnant rasbora, do check out the YouTube video below.

Fish that won’t eat shrimp

We showcase 3 fish that won’t eat shrimp, tried and tested in our very own 5 gallon nano planted tank.

1) Phoenix Rasbora

2) Neon Tetra

3) Lambchop Rasbora

These 3 fish are shrimp safe, in our experience.

There are many baby shrimp, juvenile shrimp, as well as adult blue shrimp (blue version of cherry shrimp) living happily alongside those fish. As well as 1 Amano shrimp.

From what we observe, the fish don’t disturb or bother the shrimp as well. Music is “Foo the Flowerhorn” style peaceful music, aka the Gymnopedie No. 3.

Usually, aggressive or predatory fish like the betta tend to eat or hunt shrimp.

It is relatively easy to breed shrimp, especially cherry shrimp and its color variants. There need to be enough calcium source in the tank, what we did is put some coral chips (crushed corals) which has calcium carbonate. The most common way for shrimp to die is due to unsuccessful molting.

Monte Carlo Low Tech (No CO2 Carpet Plant)

Monte Carlo plant from Argentina is often said to be the easiest carpeting plant and does not require CO2.

We try it in our low tech tank beside our Ludwigia Sp. Red (2 months old and still alive).

We also cover Monte Carlo plant care tips, guide, and how to plant Monte Carlo.

Basic care tips:

– Moderate or high light recommended
– Nutritious substrate needed
– Fertilization recommended (For example Tropica Fertilizer)
– Trimming required (ideal thickness of Monte Carlo carpet is 1 to 1.5 inches)


Micranthemum Monte Carlo New Large Pearl Grass Live Aquatic Plant in Tissue Culture Cup for Aquarium Freshwater Fish Tank by Greenpro


The above video is Day 1 (21 July 2020) of planting Monte Carlo. Hopefully it will survive and carpet in the low tech tank, without CO2!

Monte Carlo (Day 2) in low tech tank. I pushed some of the Monte Carlo plants deeper into the soil using tweezers. The bright green color of MC (Monte Carlo) is really striking.

Monte Carlo Carpet Without CO2 (Day 7 Update)

Day 7: Noticeable improvement in the Monte Carlo carpet in my low tech, no CO2 tank! I do have a mini “time lapse” photo of the Monte Carlo before and after, the difference is quite noticeable. The Monte Carlo has “rooted” itself deeper into the substrate. Hopefully it continues to improve and spread out even more.

Monte Carlo Low Tech No CO2 (Day 7 Update). Compared with Day 1 or 2, it has rooted itself deeper into the substrate!

Day 13: Monte carlo time lapse (Day 13 Photo Time Lapse), Turning a little brown!

Monte Carlo low tech time lapse (photo montage), up till day 13. Growth is noticeable, but yet there is some yellowing and browning. I think the Monte Carlo is still adapting, and possibly transitioning from emersed to submersed. I just heard that another plant, Marsilea hirsuta, may be even easier than Monte Carlo to grow. Tropica rates the Marsilea hirsuta as easy, while Monte Carlo is rated medium. Maybe will try it if the Monte Carlo melts and dies.

Monte Carlo low tech no CO2 Day 13 update. Some browning and yellowing is observed!

Monte Carlo Low Tech Day 25: Growing Upwards!

This is Day 25 of growing Monte Carlo in low tech, no CO2 tank. The Monte Carlo is growing and surviving, however the growth is vertically upwards instead of carpeting horizontally. In other words, the Monte Carlo plant is not carpeting.

How do we ensure that the Monte Carlo carpets and grow horizontally? Please comment below if you have any suggestions!

Monte Carlo growing upwards instead of carpeting.

Rasbora88 Pet Supplies Store

Do check out this online pet supplies store Rasbora88, currently with fish aquarium supplies in stock!

URL: https://rasbora88.com/

Currently there is a Free Shipping promotion to all international locations.

Recommended product: Sponge filter with suction cup

The benefit of this kind of sponge filter:

  • Creates horizontal water movement for better water circulation (avoid dead spots).
  • Attaches to glass via suction cup, so it takes up less valuable ground space which can be used to grow plants.
  • Shrimp and fry safe, it is impossible for shrimp or fry to get sucked into the filter.

An example of this type of sponge filter:

Eheim Air Pump 200 Review

Recently upgraded my air pump to the Eheim Air Pump 200, with dual output. My previous air pump was not strong enough to power 2 sponge filters simultaneously.

This Eheim Air Pump is very strong. In fact, it is almost too strong, I had to lower to the lowest setting for my 2 gallon nano tank. For the 5 gallon tank, I select the medium setting, and angle the output towards the wall. The sponge filter output was made to be above the water level (there is less turbulence this way).

Overall, this air pump is very good and quiet. Do expect some noise though, it is not totally silent. I would say it has the same noise level as a fan, which is totally acceptable. Also, I find that the 2 adjustable valves are not totally independent, when I adjust one valve it will affect the other output as well.

Review: The Eheim Air Pump is a highly recommended air pump for fish keepers with 2 aquariums.

The Eheim 200 Air Pump is also labelled as Eheim PHL207184. There is a more powerful Eheim 400 (twice the output), but based on my review most aquariums under 50 gallons should not require such a powerful pump (maybe 50 gallons and above may need it).

Eheim PHL207184, 4.00 x 6.00 x 4.00 inches, Black

Hikari Shrimp Cuisine Review

I find this Hikari Shrimp Cuisine quite good. The pellets are quite small sized so you can control exactly how much you want to feed (down to each individual pellet).


Hikari Inc AHK19404 Shrimp Cuisine 0.35 -Ounce

How to feed Hikari Shrimp Cuisine Pellet (without fish snatching it away)

This was something that perplexed me for a long time. My fish would grab any food meant for the shrimp, leaving close to nothing left for the slower moving shrimp.

The solution I found was to:

  1. Put the Hikari Shrimp Cuisine pellets in a small container with tank water.
  2. Crush the pellets (I just use my finger).
  3. Stir to “dissolve” the pellets a little. Stirring also helps the pellets to sink.
  4. Pour the water with “dissolved” pellets back into the tank.

You may switch the order of steps 1 & 2 if you like (I find it easier to crush the pellets when wet).

The main reason why this works is because:

  • Hikari Shrimp pellets are sinking (this is very important since shrimp can only eat sinking pellets that reach the floor).
  • By crushing the pellets into powder, it is virtually impossible for the fish to snatch all the shrimp’s food.
  • Some, if not most, of the powder will reach the tank floor, where the shrimp can find and eat it.

Another way to feed shrimp exclusively is the usage of a shrimp feeding tube and feeding dish.


JZMYXA Shrimp Feeding Tube and Feeding Dish, Fit for Shrimp Fish, Mini Size, High Transparent Acrylic Material

How much Hikari Shrimp Cuisine Pellets to feed

This depends on how many shrimp you have, and also your tank setup. Ideally, shrimp such as cherry shrimp or Amano shrimp can survive on algae and biofilm. Hence, if your tank is well planted, you only need to feed lightly. Personally, I only feed the shrimps once a week, at around 2 Hikari Shrimp pellets per shrimp.

If your tank is bare (no plants), you need to feed more, maybe once every day or once every two days.

Supplementing with Hikari Shrimp food is good because it contains essential minerals like copper (shrimp need small amounts of copper) and other minerals that can help shrimp molt.