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Matt
Regular Member
Username: squirrel_guy

Post Number: 108
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 09:12 am:       

I've had success growing a wide range of plants: ambulias, foxtail, swords, anubias, java moss.

However, any time I get "leaved" bunched plants (Ludwidgia, Rotala) it seems to die off. The lower leaves die; not just the typical near the sediment but really far up the stem. The stems grow really fast, but only a few leaves near the top remain. Even when I cut the stems back, the plants grow the same way. I end up throwing them out because they are just a few leaves on the end of a long stem. Oddly enough, "fluffy" plants like foxtail don't have this problem in the same aquarium.

Anyone else have this problem? Ideas on fixing it?
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sully
Ancient Plus
Username: sully

Post Number: 8433
Registered: 01-2003


Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 09:19 am:       

matt, you have probably shared it countless times. one more would help. tank size, substrate composition, watts per, is it a co2 tank, ferts used, how you transplant the stem feeders into the tank....you know all the bs that helps us figure out your tank. oh, and what type of and how many fish.
"I usually read the obituaries first. There is always the happy chance that one of them will make my day." -- Richard Ames
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cindy
Ancient Plus
Username: cindy

Post Number: 9676
Registered: 05-2003


Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 09:24 am:       

It's probably lack of light. Even if those leaves aren't "producing", i.e. photosynthesizing, they still need nutrients form the other leaves to stay alive. The plant views them as parasites and drops them off.

Instead of planting them in a bunch, separate them and plant them an inch or so apart, so the lower leaves will get enough light to stay on.

Some plants, like Najas, never do that. NO matter how dense it gets, the bottom doesn't even turn yellow. Here is an example of a badly overgrown 10 gallon tank:
overgrown ten

"The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve." --- Albert Schweitzer

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Brad
Advanced Member
Username: brad

Post Number: 1750
Registered: 03-2005


Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 09:27 am:       

I agree. probably lighting. There are a few nurtients that plants can move from it`s old leaves to the new ones, and if your fert schedule isn`t up to par, they won`t be replaced, and those leaves will die. I really think it`s your lighting though. Especially since the other plants are doing well.

To a certain point, it`s normal. It`s good practice to remove the bottoms of stem plants and keep the tops. However, if you`re only getting growth on the top 2 inches of your plant, it`s hard to replant that.
Ever feel like you`re flying and drowning at the same time?
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Matt
Regular Member
Username: squirrel_guy

Post Number: 112
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 09:18 am:       

I'll test the chemical parameters again tonight, but typically:

nitrites 0
ammonia 0
kH 4.5
nitrates 20
phosphate 1.3
iron 0.4
temp 75F
pH 7.1

37-gallon "tall" with a Coralife plant-gro 75-watt, 12 hours of light a day.
Usually an iron/trace supplement (Flourish right now) twice a week, I've started using Flourish Excel every other day for the past few weeks. (Did I get the names right? Flourish as the metals and Excel is the carbon?)
Also one small fermentation CO2 (I know, I need more but that will wait till I move this summer and set up my other aquarium.)

It just strikes me as strange because the Ranger sword runners grow well, and I can take a tiny branch of Ambulias or foxtail and it will grow if only sprouting a few inches out of the gravel.

-note on phosphate: my tap water starts out at over 1ppm so not much chance of lowering that much!

Substrate: gravel with some laterite

Fish: Australian rainbows (7), 6 cory cats, 1 false SAE and 2 ottos.
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Brad
Advanced Member
Username: brad

Post Number: 1756
Registered: 03-2005


Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 09:42 am:       

My vote is lighting. I have over 3 watts per gallon on a tank that`s only 18 inches high and I trim off the bottom 6 inches every second week too.

Floursh provides micro nutrients. The elements plants need in small amounts. Excel is indeed carbon.

As long as you`re changing out your frementing co2 bottles regularly, you can get good results from that.

That phosphate is in your tap is probably a good thing. 1ppm is a nice number. If it were 5ppm, you may have a problem. If you had none, you may have to add some so.......I say lucky you.
Ever feel like you`re flying and drowning at the same time?
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Matt
Regular Member
Username: squirrel_guy

Post Number: 115
Registered: 12-2005


Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 09:56 am:       

I've been thinking of doing a comparison of lighting after I move the other 37-gallon. Switching one of the aquariums to a double strip with something in addition to the Plant-Gro. I might not wait that long now with the lousy GSA!
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Matt
Regular Member
Username: squirrel_guy

Post Number: 116
Registered: 12-2005


Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 10:01 am:       

The aquarium in question:


I'm trying to grow the foxtail out, but its only been there a week so far.
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Matt
Regular Member
Username: squirrel_guy

Post Number: 118
Registered: 12-2005


Posted on Saturday, March 25, 2006 - 08:53 pm:       

Nitrates were only about 15ppm, kH was about 3 and pH 7.2.

The brush algae has completely died off; its just faded-out skeletons on the objects it was growing on. The GSA is still making itself a problem.
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sully
Ancient Plus
Username: sully

Post Number: 8454
Registered: 01-2003


Posted on Saturday, March 25, 2006 - 10:06 pm:       

That is a good level for nitrates--might even try to get it down to 10 and the phosphates down to 1. I pop in and out of another site where Tom Barr goes by the alias Plantbrain (don't know if he uses that everywhere) and he was talking about 10:1 ratio being a target zone to promote the best level of growth.

Flourish does provide some micros. I found that the addition of Flourish Trace makes a profound difference in growth of foliage. And, stems from the lower levels of the plant. Basically helped mine "bush out" a little better.

I have had foxtail and rotala do very well at less than 2 watts per gallon in terms of lower leaf growth. did not experience much of the "drop off" you referenced. what are those fish in there? are they nibblers?

Plants will help that phosphate level drop. so will algae--lol. I have taken to periodically playing around with a phosphate removal media and adding Phosphorus back in. (i do not want to micro manage--lol) The results have been interesting. Can't say definitively that things were better growth wise--but the algae had to fight harder to grow and lost the battle. I was testing levels very closely and very carefully measuring what went back in.
"I usually read the obituaries first. There is always the happy chance that one of them will make my day." -- Richard Ames
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Matt
Regular Member
Username: squirrel_guy

Post Number: 120
Registered: 12-2005


Posted on Sunday, March 26, 2006 - 02:59 pm:       

The fish you can see are Bosemoni and Western Splendid Rainbows. I've never seen them bother the plants. A couple of ottos are on the center bottom if you expand the picture. I just got a couple of flying foxes (actual Kaleopterus). None of them seem to do more than nibble on the algae.

The Echinodarus major and Anubias are growing a lot faster since I started to use Flourish Excel as well. The Anubias are actually putting up new leaves for the first time in quite a while
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