FAQ

  • Shipping
  • How are the plants packaged?

    The plants are placed in a water tight bag which is then put into a plastic container. The container is then then inserted into a courier satchel. With larger orders, the plants are put into a water tight bag which is then placed inside a cardboard box.

  • How long will the plants take to arrive?

    Once purchased, you will receive your plants the following week, although you may receive them earlier so please check your email for tracking. Plants are sent via courier. You need to allow up to two business days for the plants to arrive from the day of posting, although in most cases they arrive the next day. Our most common day of posting is on a Tuesday!

    Be aware that plants will not be posted on Thursdays or Fridays due to the possibility of them being caught in transit over the weekend because of courier operation hours.

    If you are someone who does not like to wait very long at all, be sure to order your plants just before Sunday midnight!

     

  • How long do plants last in transit?

    Generally speaking plants will survive anywhere between 4 to 7 days in transit. In saying this, your plants will not be in transit this long as we use a courier system to ensure fast delivery.

  • What courier company is used?

    Post Haste courier is the company of choice. When plants are sent make sure you check your email and click on the tracking link to monitor any potential delays such as couriers not meeting demands in busy seasons like Christmas time for example. It is during these timse when keeping an eye on tracking is crucial. If the courier deems it an insecure area to leave your parcel then the parcel will be taken back to the depot and a card will be left. This is not ideal as the plants must be collected from the depot or redelivered asap to prevent "die off". It is for this reason we do not 'Require a signature' and put "Permission to leave" on the parcel instead, however, there is no guarantee they will leave it if they deem it a risk, or place where thieves might be tempted. When you place your order, it is a good idea to write in the notes section a specific place for the courier to leave the parcel, preferably a shady sheltered area. Most parcels are too big to fit in your letterbox!

    Please understand that if the courier company accidentally damages your plants in transit they are not liable to cover the cost of replacement. Unfortunately live plants are on the list of items they will not compensate for if damage occurs for any reason whether it be a delay or rough handling. They will however endeavour to help you locate your parcel if by chance it has been delayed or was unable to be left at your location. So please, call them if need be and have your tracking number ready to quote over the phone as you don't want your plants in the courier depot over the weekend!!!!

  • How is shipping calculated?

    Shipping is calculated by size. Bigger items are more expensive to ship as they require a bigger box!

    Orders $70 dollars and over qualify for free shipping! 🙂

     

  • New Plants and Care
  • How to do a New Plant Dip

    NEW PLANT DIPS:

    It is always a good idea to dip your plants prior to adding them to your aquarium.

    This is done to prevent unwanted snails, or foreign strains of algae, and disease. Try one (or more if necessary) of the following:

    • Flourish Excel, which contains aldehydes, can be used in a 20 minute dip at 20 ml. per 40 L (10 gallons). This is effective for algae, many diseases, and will work somewhat for snails.
    • Bleach used in a 20 parts water to 1 part bleach for 2-3 minutes for delicate plants and 4-5 minutes for broad leaf plants. Follow this with a quick dip in sodium thiosulfate, or another de-chlorinator/water mixture.
    • Add enough potassium permanganate to water such that it turns your water pink. Dip your plants in this solution for 20 minutes. This is also effective for many algae, diseases, and usually snails.
    • Salt dip, dissolve 1/2 cup of aquarium salt into 2.4 litres of water. Rinse the plants in the salt water for 15 seconds. No longer or the plants will wither and eventually die from dehydration.
  • Substrate Section

    Substrate: Daltons Aquatic mix (from Bunnings) capped with fine aquarium stones works great and does not need root balls as it contains ferts in it already. Dalton's aquatic mix will cloud the water if not capped with something like pebbles or coarse sand. If you are using just normal aquarium pebbles or silica sand then buy some API root tabs or any brand of root tabs for your heavy root feeders. Plants like swords, crypts and even some stem plants are heavy root feeding plants as they really do need some root nutrients to thrive. If you just have plants like Hygrophila Polysperma, Indian Fern or Star Grass then no need for root tabs or a nutrient rich substrate as these plants absorb most of their nutrients from the water column and not so much through their root systems.

    We find substrates like Seachem flourite and Caribsea Eco-Complete benefit from root balls because even though they are considered plant substrates they don't seem to be as nutrient rich as daltons aquatic mix when first purchased. All three substrates have the ability to store nutrients, especially Fluorite and Eco-complete. These substrates slowly release the nutrients for the plants, which is why they are so good.  Over time these substrates need to be recharged by adding nutrients via the water column or by adding root tabs or both! Because aquatic mix is so cheap, some people just replace it after a year or so. One benefit with Eco-complete and Flourite is they do not need to be capped with stones as they are coarse enough to not float and cloud the water. But remember, don't forget to rinse your flourite well before putting in the tank as that will cloud your water severely. No need to wash aquatic mix however. Root tabs are not essential when using flourite or eco-complete but if you want a sword for example to really take off, give it a root tab. In fact, give all your prize plants a root tab.  Note: Some plants will tolerate not having any ferts added and will merely rely on fish waste for macro nutrients and tap water via water changes as their source of micro nutrients. Some of these include: cardamina lyrata, hygrophila polysperma, star grass, indian fern, rotala roduntifolia, anubias, java fern and ambulia. There are others.....:) However..If you are running on rain water you may want to supplement with micro/trace minerals and also some calcium and magnesium. Email us if you need help.

    How to lay your substrate: If you are using Dalton's Aquatic mix, put a thin 1cm layer of washed Dalton's Propagation Sand on the bottom of your tank and push it higher up the sides of your tank where the stones meet the glass in order to make a "well". Basically make a crater/puddle shape with the propagation sand and bring the sides up to approximately 7-10cm. (this will be how deep your substrate will be as we like to aim for between 7-10cm for overall substrate depth. Fill the "crater" with Dalton's Aquatic Mix to almost the top of the edges of the crater then cap with about 1-2cm of propagation sand. Essentially you have sandwiched the aquatic mix in the propagation sand in order to not be able to see the aquatic mix in the tank so if you look at the tank from side-on you can only see propagation sand and not aquatic mix. If you have just put aquatic mix on the bottom and capped it with propagation sand then no worries, that is also another way of doing it. We just like to hide the aquatic mix because it looks like mud and we like to hide it.

    When filling your tank be sure to lay a clean unused rubbish bag down flat on your substrate and fill it very slowly with the garden hose on "shower mode" so it doesn't dig a hole into your substrate. You should not have any dust clouds doing it this way.

    Note that Daltons propagation sand is more like a fine rounded pebble as opposed to a sand, we recommend to not use a fine silica sand. But, any pebble or shingle will do for capping purposes. If you are on a budget however then the propagation sand is a winner. Just be sure to wash it thoroughly as it is very dusty.

    Check out the photos

     

     

     

  • What fertilisers should I add?

    In water ferts: Our 'Fert for the Non Co2 injected aquarium' is very good. However, like all fertilisers, it does not contain carbon dioxide which plants need to be able to have the energy to grow and absorb the fertilisers provided. So in conjunctions with using fertiliser  you should also use 'Seachem Flourish Excel'. Excel is made up of compounds that the plants are able to convert into carbon, amino acids, starches and sugars that plants love! You use this product if you are not running a Co2 system on your aquarium. Excel is going to speed up plant growth and keeping algae away also, as a known perk of using excel is that it is an algaecide! We don't recommend using just Fertiliser or just Flourish Excel on their own because if you use excel on its own you are going to get nutrient deficiencies and if you use fertiliser on its own you are risking a nutrient overload. Therefore they work best used in conjunction with each other. In short: Buy 'Seachem Flourish Excel' and our 'Dry Fert for Low tech' and follow the directions of each. Do not overdose on either. Too much of a good thing is never good 🙂 

    Note: Of course there are other brands, methods and ideas out there, but these are what we found worked in our Non-Co2 injected aquariums. API makes a great product called Co2 booster which you can use instead of Flourish Excel if you prefer.

    A great place to shop for ferts (Seachem and API included) is aquariumsuppliesnz.co.nz. Their prices cannot be beaten!

    If you are considering running Co2 in your aquarium via DIY or injection, check out our 'Dry Fert for Co2 Aquarium'

  • Lighting - which ones?

    Lights: Either T8 bulbs, T5 bulbs or LED's are the most common. CFL bulbs are occasionally used as well. Run your lights between 6 to 12 hours a day. We think 8 is a great number because lights on for too long can lead to algae. Although it's all about experimenting at the end of the day, so find the limits and stick with them. A good idea is to go bunnings or mitre 10 and buy some light timers that go into the power socket and turn your lights on and off automatically. Also if you run T8's or T5's it is recommended to change the bulbs once a year as they do get weaker over time and promote algae and slow plant growth with "dead bulbs". Whole sale lighting stores do have a large range of T8's and T5's if you are wanting to save a few dollars. If they fit your aquarium sockets then use them. In regards to colour spectrum, cool daylight 6500K is a winner as the white light contains all spectrums. If you are wanting top of the line plant bulbs from the pet shops, aim for bulbs that are specific to plant growth. Like the 'power glo' bulb or the 'arcadia plant pro' bulb. Before we upgraded to LED, our display aquarium contained 4 x T5's, therefore, we bought 2 x arcadia plant pro bulbs from animates and 2 x cool day light bulbs from a wholesale lighting store.

    If you think your lighting is weak then stick to plants like java fern, Java moss, peacock moss, christmas moss, crypts and anubias. Also some floating plants would be okay in a lowish lit tank as they will be close enough to your weak lights to grow nicely. Our favourite floating plants are Ludwigia repens and Cardamine Lyrata. They look nice and grow well floating around.

    If you're after a superb quality, long-lasting, full spectrum LED light fixture at an unbeatable price contact Stealth Aquatic for a quote. They also have a huge range of pre-made fixtures to suit a variety of tank sizes or can custom make to your specifications.

     

  • Why are my new plants experiencing "die off"?

    New plants: New plants go through a settle in faze shortly after planting them. Often they will look sad for a while until they establish themselves to the new parameters. Parameters include: light level and spectrum, fertilisation regime/method, carbon level, GH, KH and PH. All of those new parameters the plants will need to adjust to as they are different in every tank and rely heavily on those parameters to grow and sustain their current growth as well. This is why you will see some of the leaves start to look sad or melt away. It is also the old current growth that is more likely to attract algae over new growth, this is essentially because it is semi-decomposing. When this happens do not be alarmed as the plant will start to produce new leaves as it begins to adapt to its new home. This new growth will last a lot longer than the previous growth because it has been grown in the environment it is already living in.  To help the plants settle in, when you see old leaves looking unhealthy and starting to die, peal them off as this will make room for new growth.  Also with stem plants you can wait for the new growth that appears 'out the top of the plant', cut it off and replant that bit of new growth as those cuttings will grow roots as well. Eventually the plant will replace itself entirely and from then on grow amazingly well. It is in this stage of acclimating new plants that we must be patient. If you find some plants do not do well in your aquarium, either look at your lighting or ferts or change to a different species and find a plant that does do well for you. All our tanks are different, and what grows well for one person may not grow well for another 🙂

    Difficult plants: Know that red plants are extremely light demanding and will no doubt die in a medium to low lit tank. These plants require extremely high light, fertilisers and supplemented carbon. Plants such as Red Tiger Lotus, Ludwigia Glandulosa and Alternanthera Reinekii can do well in a medium lit tank providing proper nutrients, liquid carbon or Co2 are given, and they are not shaded.

  • How do I prune?

    Pruning plants: Always get rid of old leaves to allow for new growth. When your stem plants start getting tall, cut the top of the stem off (say around 5cm or more) or even cut the plant in half, then plant that stem in the substrate. A good point to cut the stem is right above a set of leaves. You can then carry on propagating stem plants this way and make more plants. Also, If you do this they will always remain bushy and compact. When planting stem plants, remove the bottom leaves as you don't want the leaves going into the substrate and rotting around the plant due to lack of light reaching the half buried leaves.

    Try to prune your plants before a water change, not after because you're bound to make a mess and cloud up the water a bit, especially if you are moving plants around. Disrupted substrate "dust and muck" can cause algae so best do a water change after major plant renovations.

    Regarding swords and other rosette plants: As the outer leaves start to look old carefully peal them off without moving the plant around. This takes a bit of practice but you will figure it out as you do it more often. You don't want the roots to feel as though they are being jolted. You can simply cut the leaves off but I like to remove the remaining stalk also as it looks messy if you leave it behind. Note: When planting swords, crypts and lotus (and all other rosette plants) be sure to not plant the crown (centre of the plant) in the substrate as this is where the new growth comes from.

    For an excellent explanation on pruning stem plants see this youtube vid