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A Very Stupid Problem

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Philosophos, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    I have an admission to make. I can't grow bacopa :confused:

    All kinds of other challenging plants aren't a problem, but I've successfully managed to kill B. caroliniana, B. australis and B. monnieri on separate occasions over the past 7-8 years. This means all kinds of ranges of experience and conditions; it was one of the first plants that I've ever killed, and I just did in another bunch of australis a couple weeks ago.

    Is there something obvious I'm missing that's unique to Bacopa?

    -Philosophos
     
  2. Detritus Mulm

    Detritus Mulm Guru Class Expert

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    What were the symptoms for the patients? I don't know Bacopa, but it looks like a bog plant from the pictures. Personally, I've successfully killed Cabomba (melted) a few times. Although I'm going to try it again when I can find it.
     
  3. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Usually leaf/stem melt, sometimes one node at a time. Sometimes it's fast, sometimes it's a slow wasting that lasts months. My latest attempt saw a few stems turn to liquid within a month or two.

    Some of my earlier failures were more obvious; lack of CO2, lack of nutrients. The last couple of times have been unforgivable though.

    -Philosophos
     
  4. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Not Stupid At All

    Hi Philosophos,

    Nothing stupid at all, just a set of facts, we will figure it out and you will fix it or go on to something else.

    You know the drill; tell us about your tank(s).;)

    Off-hand I will say Bacopa spp. tend to be rather low maintenance, tend toward lower light. The problems I have seen with the Bacopa spp. Seem to revolve around high tech, high light.

    I find the thing in common with the Bacopa’s you mention that they are all plants I have used and recommended for low-tech tanks. They also do reasonable well in brackish water, the lower end anyway, which leads me to wonder about your pH and buffering.

    I seem to recall an article somewhere regarding one of the Bacopa’s and light, may not apply here, might have been UV B, but … Well I will see if I can locate the article.

    As my long lost nephew Detritus Mulm, so keenly observed Bacopa spp., are bog plants, most will grow right on up out of the aquarium if soil is provided and flower very nicely.

    The other thing that occurs to me is that these plants are generally grown emerged, really as terrestrial plants, I wonder if what you are seeing is really failure to acclimate as much as anything else.

    I’ll look around a bit…

    I hope this helps.

    If not, more information, and we will give it another try.:)
    Biollante
     
  5. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    I've had the same problem, I don't use that plant anymore. Although I don't know the exact reason either, I suspect high water temperatures or using excel.
     
  6. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    pH range has been from 6.5 to 8.2, KH from around 3-7.

    Acclamation is something I highly doubt; emersed bacopa creeps and hangs. Everything I've bought has been straight stocks, outside of the first one I ever bought. That plant had been pruned to near perfection; it was almost like a shrub. It's death was one of the slow ones.

    You know, I've kept various bacopas under high light and ideal nutrient conditions, but never low light with good balance. All of my attempts with this plant since nailing my nutrients down have been in the upper mid to high light range.

    I happen to have a hole that opened up in a nice little apisto grow out tank with an ADA AS bottom, pH around neutral, no CO2, no excel, low light, etc. I'll give it a try next time I'm by the LFS.

    -Philosophos
     
  7. Brian20

    Brian20 Guest

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    Wow, I have bacopa Caroliana and is a very easy plant for me. I grow it emersed, inmersed and never have problem with it.

    Some tips and specs:

    1. The plant if is emersed it will melt in the aquarium. Only good growing can ensure plant live. It grow inmersed stems and the principal emersed stem will melt. THe inmersed stem will continue growing and voila you have inmersed bacopa.

    2. I grow this plants in a lot of diferent pH and light/Co2 system. Like all other plant, high light and CO2 is the best. no matter pH it will grow from 6.0 to 7.8.

    3. My water is hard, kH 8 and dont know the total hardness but is visible in calcium spots in the top of the acuarium. Maybe that is your problem, low total hardness.

    Brian
     
  8. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    It may be hardness as well. If it fails in my low tech tanks, I'll save it for the day I start a tank without aquasoil, though that may be quite a while.

    -Philosophos
     
  9. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Please keep us posted. It's not doing much of anything in my growout tanks either and there's not much for hardness there. I don't add any ferts though since the water change regimen is fairly excessive for those. I suppose the CO2 they get is pretty high comparatively because of that though...

    -
    S
     
  10. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi,
    Add more CO2 and/or flow.

    Cheers,
     
  11. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    15gph/gal from an XP1 and 2 powerheads with CO2 injected through a needle wheel, 1/10th of a bps faster and the fish gasp for 15 minutes in the morning when CO2 is established but the light isn't on, with heavy breathing for the rest of the day. 4dkh drop checker is limey in a part of the tank that doesn't get a lot of CO2.

    -Philosophos
     
  12. hydrophyte

    hydrophyte Prolific Poster

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    I don't have any good suggestions. I would second what other respondents and say that I have understood the common the common Bacopas, such as monnieri and caroliniana to be trouble-free plants. I have seen monnieri growing in a number of different situations in Florida and Mexico and it seemed that it preferred to grow with at least some of the foliage up in the air. Most of the locations where I saw it had rich sediments. Some of these patches of plants were in full sun, while others were in shady conditions. Most of my aquarium experiences with Bacopa have been with emersed plants. B. monnieri and another similar one that I'm unsure of--I think it might be madagascariensis(?)--grow really well in riparium planters and make a nice floating carpet. Here is a picture of some newly planted stems of that latter species...

    [​IMG]

    I acquired some B caroliniana a while back and I was puzzled to see that it was a much less vigorous grower than those other two species. However, I finally got some pieces of it to start growing (also as emersed plants) and now they are doing well. I think that the trick might have been the addition of some mineralized topsoil to their planter cup...

    [​IMG]
     
  13. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    That's interesting. I have mine in pool filter sand with a couple of root tabs in their little "pot". I wonder if it's just a case of having better substrate or if the emmersed part of this is really the missing piece.

    -
    S
     
  14. essabee

    essabee Prolific Poster

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    Next time you bring home some bacopa - just clean it and throw it into the tank where you intend to plant it. Let it float on the surface till it starts sending out roots. Then plant it and it will survive without fail.

    Aquatic stem plants have this routine built into them by evolution. Once they float on the surface they get ready for changed conditions and fresh rooting. The stem will adapt to its new location much quicker if you follow this routine and you will never lose any plant.

    If you observe well you will also find that aquatic stem plants that were grown emersed float higher than those grown submerged. This helps the emersed plant to survive its changed circumstances and makes it ready for submerged life.
     
  15. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    The bacopa I've been getting honestly has never been emersed. The leaves have always been too delicate, and there's obviously no cuticle on them.

    I don't have any trouble with other stems either; the same tank has star grass, sunset hygro and L aromatica doing just fine in it.

    -Philosophos
     
  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, then it's not light or nutrients, more like CO2.

    If the light/water does the job, then all that is left is CO2.
    See if you can grow it floating/emergent in that tank.

    If so, there is your answer.........

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  17. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'll buy a few stems then and stick it in a few tanks; one tank is no CO2/low light, one is compressed CO2/high light, and one is an emersed growth setup.

    -Philosophos
     
  18. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Not really familiar with the flow measurement gph/g but I assume that's high. Still, melting/disintegration/browning/holes normally only ever happens due to poor CO2 uptake, so it's worthwhile working one's way down the CO2 checklist as absurd as it may seem.

    It doesn't matter how the other plants are doing because all that means is those plants aren't having any difficulty uptaking CO2 at their location. Have you got massive lighting? Is the checker limey green at or even before lights on? Not sure how Bacopa responds to Excel or whether you have Excel sensitive plants in the tank but it's certainly worth a try supplementing Excel to test.

    I always question CO2 and always assume it's sub-par, regardless of what the dropchecker or the fish say. Just because a given set of fish are gasping it doesn't automatically mean you have enough CO2 for a given plant specimen under a given set of environmental conditions.

    Cheers,
     
  19. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    I put the plant in a position where it had CO2 washing over it from the powerhead, the other plants I'm speaking of are in higher competition/lower CO2 and flow areas.

    I'm sensible about my lighting. This tank has 2.4wpg of CF over it, and the bulb is/was over 6 months old. I was dosing excel at the time.

    I tend to challenge the CO2 as well, and all the other plants are behaving as if there's plenty of it. The fish gasping are apistos, otos and pencil fish; I've done them under higher lighting with the same CO2 stress levels and had beautiful growth. Pushing them this far under a bulb that should be at fairly low efficiency, and even new shouldn't be excessive, using a needle wheel and about 500gph on a 28 gal tank with plenty of consideration for flow is why I find it so frustrating.

    Anyhow, I've just reasoned out that the bacopa began to die off a while before some other plants ran into some melt issues due to tainted fertilizer. I re-mixed the fertilizer but changed nothing else (including CO2) and all of the other plants have recovered, where the bacopa died off before the other plants caused me any concern. Perhaps the bacopa had some sort of sensitivity.

    -Philosophos
     
  20. Brian20

    Brian20 Guest

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    Phi, if you want a bunch of bacopa only pay the shipping and I send a bunch to you. Iaways grow it very easy. I grow it in El Natural style so you know is easy.
     
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