ADMINISTRATIVE QUESTIONS

Q. Do you sell to retail stores?

A. Unfortunately, we only sell our aquarium plants to distributors.  Please contact us for a list of distributors in your area from whom you can purchase our plants.

Q.  I am a new customer.  How quickly will my order arrive?

A. If you place your order by 2:00pm EST, it will be processed and shipped the following day. For example, an airline order placed by 2:00pm on Tuesday will be packed and shipped on Wednesday.  Depending on your location, it can sometimes be picked up on Wednesday evening or Thursday morning at the latest. If you are located in California, we need 2 days for special inspections on all California orders (required by your state government) so your order would need to be in our office 2 days before you want to ship.

PLANT QUESTIONS 

Q. When will plants that are not available on your availability list become available? 

A. Please keep an eye on our availability list from week to week. Our availability list is updated every week and if a plant is not available, the estimated availability date will be listed beside it. Some plants are also seasonal and are not available during certain times of the year.

Q. I have just planted my plants and some of the leaves are turning yellow and falling off.  What do I do?

A. Don't worry.  Many of the plants, especially potted plants, are grown out of the water. This creates a hardier plant that is easier to ship and store.  Once it is planted underwater its leaves quickly begin transforming into their natural underwater growth.  This is an exciting process to watch as leaf colors will intensify and can dramatically change at times.  One of the most interesting examples of leaves changing shape is Hygrophila difformis (Wisteria) shown below.

Q.  The lower leaves of my stem plants are disappearing as they mature.  What can I do?

A. Typically, as a stem plant grows, it becomes denser and taller which blocks the light to the lower leaves. When light is not available to the lower leaves of stem plants, the leaves will start dying and falling off.  Thinning the stems can be helpful, or trimming the stems back to allow the light to penetrate will help the plants to re-grow.  Remember, you can normally plant the tops of the stem plants after trimming and they will re-grow.  If your stem plant area has been there for some time, it might be a good idea to pull out some old ones and replant some new ones.

Q. I have just planted my Cryptocoryne and it seems to have melted away or rotted.  What can I do?

A. Cryptocoryne sp. can be temperamental at times when transplanting and often times will suffer through Cryptocoryne "melt".  Be patient though because most times the plant will re-grow.  Please follow the link below for more information on this topic.  Cryptocoryne Leaf Rot (Melt):  What is it and can I prevent it?

Q. Can the size of sword plants differ throughout the year? 

A. We do our best to maintain a standard size of plants all year around so that you and your customers can count on the size. However, the fact that these are living organisms means that they respond to their environmental conditions. Even though we heat our greenhouse in the winter time and supply additional lighting, the plants do not grow as fast or as lush as they do in the summer months. Therefore the plants may be a little thinner during the months of January and February and if the specification for a small sword is 6 to 8 inches they will probably be closer to 6 inches than 8 inches in size. 

Q. I just purchased a potted plant.  How do I plant it in the tank?

A. When you arrive home with your potted plant, rinse it lightly in tap water.  The next step is to pull off or cut away the plastic portion of the pot depending on how entwined the roots are.  Lastly, you can try and remove the rock wool substrate if desired. This is purely an aesthetic decision. Remember, it is best not to disturb the root system as much as possible. Plant the plant into the substrate stopping at the crown of the plant and cover all roots.

Q. What is the planting material in the potted plants? 

A. Commonly called rock wool – this material is made by mining rocks, then heating them up to a molten stage and then spun into fibers similar to cotton candy. The same material is used for insulation.

AQUARIUM ENVIRONMENT QUESTIONS

Q. Will the rock wool in the potted plants alter the water chemistry?

A.  No. Since the rock wool is produced from rock it is inert and it should not alter the water chemistry.

Q. How much light do I need for my aquarium? (re-write)

A. This is a complex question as it all depends on the type of plants and the depth of water.  The easiest solution is to pick your lighting first.  Then try an assortment of plants to find what works best in your lighting range. Some good low light plants are Anubias, Java Fern (Microsorium spp.) and Cryptocorynes.  Typically, the more red color a plant displays, the higher light needs are required.  In many cases, higher lights are better at keeping the low foreground plants attached to the bottom. In addition, the deeper your tank, the more light intensity you will need.

Q. How do I rid my tank of duckweed? (re-write)

A. To eliminate duckweed in ponds we use gold fish which is one of their preferred foods. Turtles also love to eat it. Another way is spraying agriculture oil on the duckweed.  Neither of these methods are particularly useful in a planted aquarium.   You can also remove it manually, but even one piece left behind will quickly reproduce.  Fortunately, small surface skimmers for aquariums, either self-powered or as canister filter intakes are common and affordable these days. A surface skimmer will quickly rid your tank of duckweed.

After ridding your tank of duckweed, if you want to use floating plants in your tank, choose a larger species that is easier to remove as it reproduces.  Some good options are frog bit (Limnobium laevigatum), Salvinia sp., or water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes).

Q. Does fungus affect aquarium plants?

A. Fungus can affect aquatic plants, especially those that are grown in a greenhouse environment. The mycelium, which is the vegetative part of the fungus, may appear to be spider web like. As you probably know, fungus is a wide spread common organism (bread mold for example) which thrives in warm, humid environments and that affects most plants and animals. Fungus is spread by airborne spores or by contact. Fungus can be prevented by the use of fungicides; however, we do not recommend this. By simply submerging your plants in a tank, most fungus varieties will die. We recommend the later and believe this will solve your problems since most fungus does not survive under water.

Mycelium occasionally show up in an aquarium, but tend to be self-limiting, and disappear as fast as they appear.  So they re not something to worry about.

Mycelium occasionally show up in an aquarium, but tend to be self-limiting, and disappear as fast as they appear.  So they re not something to worry about.

PEST CONTROL QUESTIONS

Q. How do I control Snails?

A. Snails can be quite a nuisance to the aquarist. They can also be a very decorative and interesting part of your aquarium. Most snails do not harm healthy plant tissue.  People think they are destroying plants, when they are actually eating plant tissue that is already dead or damaged.  Most snail problems are caused by overfeeding.  Cut down the amount you feed your fish, and you will have less snails.

Two specific types of snails should be avoided in the planted tank, Ampularia sp "Apple snails" and "Columbian rams horns" Marisa cornuarietis, which, in spite of their ramshorn shaped shells are in the Ampularia family, and are ravenous plant eaters.  But neither of these types of snails are likely to arrive as "hitch hikers".  They are, instead, introduced by the aquarist.

If you have snails that you wish to eradicate there are several ways to do so. You can manually remove them; however, this is very time consuming. Snails can be controlled with copper sulfate at a rate of 3 ppm. This is not practical for most aquariums and keep in mind that this concentration of copper will also harm many aquatic plants as well as most invertebrates like crayfish and ornamental shrimp. Other possible control methods are baiting with wilted lettuce or using predators. "Assassin snails", Clea helena are available at many aquarium stores. Assassin snails actively seek out and eat other snails. Certain fish feed on snails such as loaches and freshwater puffers will also eat snails.  Just do your research and make sure the fish you choose are appropriate for your size tank and the fish community living there..

MISCELLANEOUS 

Q. Will FAN grow a new plant variety that I am interested in?

A. We are always happy to have requests to grow new varieties of plants and we try to bring new varieties to the market each year. We would be happy to add a new plant species to our list of plants.  In order for us to add a plant to our line, we must first obtain some from a clean source and experiment with it to determine its growing requirements.

Q. Why do the plants I received look different than the photos on your website?

A. This is very confusing for most people and we do sympathize with them! Most aquatic plants thrive both in the submersed form and in the emersed form. We produce some plants in both forms; however, we often can only show one form on our website. But on occasion we send the form grown above water from our greenhouses. As you have noticed, the plants can look very different! It is not unusual for the submersed form and emersed form to be that different in appearance. Adding to this problem is the fact that the aquatic form can vary greatly depending on fertilizer and light and other factors!