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Bacopa australis

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by james_kye, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. james_kye

    james_kye Junior Poster

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    Hi everyone.

    I am after some advice on the above plant species.
    i was informed it is easy to grow and is suitable for my south American biotope system,

    i have tetra plant substrate. 72watts of T5 interpet daylight plus bulbs and the tank is 2 foot depth.
    all other plants are growing like nuts but the bacopa is yellowing and turning to mush. i was told its because bacopa needs intense lighting and is no good for south american set ups even though it comes from south america.
    any help would be fantastic.

    cheers
    James
     
  2. james_kye

    james_kye Junior Poster

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    i forgot to say that i use an ehiem hang on back filter for tanks rated to 200 L and my system is 183 L.
    also inject Co2 with a simple yeast reactor which is 45 / 50 bubbles per min and the PH sits at 6.8. also the tank temp is 75 F.
    i dont use blackwater extract just purely what came out of the mangrove root and mopani wood. but intended to use indian almond leaves to maintain the ph and tint to the water.
     
  3. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'm assuming your tank is 24 inches long, and using 3-24 watt T5 bulbs? In any case you have much more light than you need to grow anything. If you had 48 watts you would have enough light. But, you will need more CO2 for the plants under that much light. My tank is about the same size as yours, and I use at least 3 bbs of CO2, more than 3 times as much as you use. You also didn't mention fertilizing. With that much light you need to be dosing nitrates, potassium, phosphates, and trace elements in non-limiting amounts. See http://www.barrreport.com/estimative-index/62-estimative-index-dosing-no-need-test-kits.html for the best way to do that.
     
  4. james_kye

    james_kye Junior Poster

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    the tank is 2ft long x 1.5ft wide x 2ft depth of water.
    the lighting is supplied by 2 x 36watt inrterpet T5 powercompacts ( as they are called here in the UK ). which according to a well known online site and magazine is actually not enough and it tells me to increase by several more watts of light.

    the substrate has all the feed needed for the plants supposedly and i was informed if i add anything what so ever along with the substrate i have used then it will do nothing for the plants but encourage algae to grow.
    it seems no matter where i go a get no 2 answers the same what so ever which is extremely annoying as in the past listening to several ways has caused me to lose an entire tank of fish , plants hence why i left the hobby for several years.
     
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi James,


    There is a tremendous amount of misinformation and myths out there in the world and bad info has a way of staying around for a long time.

    As Vaughn states, you have plenty of light to grow many plants well. However plants need carbon and other nutrients to grow well and healthy.

    Also, these nutrients need to be made available sufficient to the lighting provided...Higher light causes a higher demand for these things and when they are not available, the plant health suffers, nh4 is released and the algae take advantage and grow.

    Plants take nutrients both from the substrate AND the water column so fertilizing from both areas will help ensure sufficient levels. I am not familiar with your substrate, but many planted tanks will benefit from water column dosing regardless of substrate.

    The key to all this however is providing stable and sufficient levels of c02 for the lighting provided. When you have less light, this demand is reduced and also the need for other nutrients.

    With your levels of light you need more c02. Insufficient c02 will cause the plant difficulties in assimilating other nutrients. DIY c02 is tough enough to ensure stable and sufficient c02 levels.

    Do not forget that as plants grow and reproduce, they need even more c02 and nutrients.

    A weekly 50% water change with EI dosing and decent c02 and you will see a big difference in plant health and growth.

    Nutrients in and of themselves do not 'cause' algae.

    I totally agree with Vaughn's advice. Or you can lower your light and still dose EI and see if that works even better. More light is not necessarily always better.

    Yes this is unfortunate. However you can give this a shot for 2-3 weeks, no and see if things are better?

    Tom Barr does a tremendous amount of testing to support his ideas. Many here have used EI and good c02 to have beautiful algae free tanks, while dosing very high levels of macro and micro nutrients.

    Give it a shot and see.

    Best of luck.
     
  6. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I agree with Gerry about the advice you can get on many other forums and, especially at aquarium product stores. This site is by far the most likely to give you solid advice, primarily because if one of us strays too far from good advice Tom always jumps in and "over rules" us!

    One of those 36 watt bulbs would let you grow low light plants, forget about the CO2, maybe use Excel of Easy Carb, and dose fertilizers once a week or so. Two of them makes CO2 essential, and for that size tank, that means pressurized CO2. Plus, you would need to dose fertilizers more often, and more carefully to be sure you keep each of the fertilizers non-limiting. You need to decide which approach you prefer.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Speaking of annoying, I ended up doing research and testing myself because of different observations I knew had to be false based on their claims and theories.
    This is a long process and a lot of work to take on. Then these folks never did the work to begin with, they just assumed dogma and myth was fact.

    Then it turned out I knew more, had mastery of the system and had actually tested it far more critically than the folks that post such garbage. Then get personal jibs, semantical BS from then when I point out issues with their claims because they cannot argue their points on the merit of the topic.

    Pretty annoying.

    Then they keep making the claims even after having it spoon fed why there was an issue, like simply claiming what they say will make it true to some "me too" group of folks who are just as misguided and ego driven as they are.

    Very annoying.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. james_kye

    james_kye Junior Poster

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    for low light plants , that is simply not an option as plant choice in the UK is some what lacking and there are more " high to very high light level plants " than there are low level lighting.
    the lighting i have dose not allow the use of a single bulb , its both bulbs or nothing with the starter it uses and the way it is made.

    and your suggestion of preasureised Co2 is completely out of the question my budget dose not allow that what so ever nor is my bedroom suitable to run this kind of set up.
    and its not a case of i cant be bothered spending large amounts of money on a Co2 system it is purely because it is impossible nor have the space for such set ups.

    if you are saying i cant keep what i have and need a preasureised O2 set up then it looks like i have wasted money yet again ( just lost my previously set up full reef aquarium and lost £6000 worth of coral and £200 worth of fish )
    so is this already the shortest time i have spent as a member on any given forum ?.
    seems so as the impression i am getting is spend money or forget it , money which i simply dont have.
     
  9. james_kye

    james_kye Junior Poster

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    what i am going to try ,

    i plan in adding a 2nd Co2 chamber and have 2 running , feeding into the same defuser or to its own defuser which would be best ? ,
    will be buying easy carb and easy profit , plan id dosing the easy carb every 2nd day to start and dose profito once a week and increaseing the carb to every day also if needed.

    and we will give this a try
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You have plenty of light.
    Stick with it.

    CO2, CO2 and CO2.
    Easy Carb is simple and will help until you better tweak and adjust the CO2 gas.

    Use that for now.

    Next, work on dosing consistently.
    Rather than running 2 diffusers for a rather small aquarium(30-40 gal), I'd suggest running a disc or running higher flow through the one reactor you have.

    You are in the UK, Aquaessentials.com sells the ferts dry, and also the Rhinox diffusers, which might be cheaper and less issue over time.

    Then there's UKAPS.
    Join, it's free.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. james_kye

    james_kye Junior Poster

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    hi tom it is aquaessentials i use for all my tropical needs. all the others are pretty poor in price and very poor in after sales advice.
    where as aquaessentials helped me sort out the CO2 and as i found out its a lot cheaper to DIY the mix as i was able to buy 30 weeks worth of yeast for under $4

    which rhinox diffuser do you recommend ? as i just had a quick look and there are 3 to pick from.
    also how deep down do i place the diffuser ? is it just placed under the surface or placed middle / bottom of the tank.
    i know it seems a silly question to ask , just i know some of them say they need to be a set levels to work fully.
     
  12. james_kye

    james_kye Junior Poster

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    well the easy carb and pro-fito arrived today from aquaessentials.

    and i done a 15 L water change , dosed 15ml of ProFito and 3ml of carb.
    it says i should dose the carb every day but in the booklet that came with the easy life it said should start with half the dose to start with , so would it be ok to dose 3ml every 2nd day for a couple of weeks.

    as for the Co2 i am working out a plan to get more, though i have to stick with the yeast form of injection purely due to not having the money for an expensive set nor the space to keep a larger system.
     
  13. james_kye

    james_kye Junior Poster

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    right this is really annoying me now,,,,,, first i get told on this forum i have far to much light and should have less than what i have.
    then i read the care on tropica for bacopa and it states low light to high light levels....
    so i asked someone who i know who has kept tropical planted systems for years and they have kept bocapa with less light and in deeper systems.

    i asked aquaessentials for advice and richard replied back saying bacopa will need more light to grow , and recommended plants which are of no use to me what so ever as i am after a ground covering plant....
    he recommended any microsorums will be fine , but none of these are ground covering.
    so what is is , i either have to much or not enough light .......................................
     
  14. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    James,

    I understand you frustration but you need to chill:cool:

    If you have someone with real experience with these plants using less light, and folks here also advise that you need less than most folks have, why would you then go to a web site for even more advice?

    I think your issue is too many opinions from sources that you cannot confirm.

    Why don't you try the lower light for a couple/few weeks and see? The person you asked for advice re the bacopa says he/she used less light and we advocate the same. We have nothing to gain by misdirection or lying.

    Keep in mind that you can use higher light, but the c02 and nutrient requirements will also be higher.

    Since c02 is difficult to supply in sufficient quantities, using less light lowers this demand, so it is somewhat easier to meet the demand for c02 with lowe lighting levels.

    That is just basic logic that Tom has been telling us for years :)

    I don't know aqauessentials or their personnel but how do you know their info is current and relevant?

    You can see Tom's methods work for many folk.

    Hope this helps.
     
  15. james_kye

    james_kye Junior Poster

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    gerry i am calm just i am not one for beating about the bush so to speak i will and do talk straight and dont care if it offends lol ( not meaning anything i have said here to offend anyone ) just something i do.

    right time to sort this out for once n all lol.

    firstly the bacopa turned out not to be bacopa ( my bad ) as it was a plant on my list but aquaessentials had none in stock so i ordered cuba instead which is basically same in regards of light from what i head read on.
    secondly less light is impossible as the lighting i have dose not allow to use less light or even 1 bulb it has to be both or none at all. nor do i have the cash to buy a brand new starter and less wattage.
    third , tom said i should join UKaps along with some others ( not from here ) but these guys have just added yet more cooks to the broth by saying more ideas and nothing about lighting.
    basically saying i need to increase the flow to get the Co2 to the bottom of the tank , and increasing the Co2 and also feeding nitrate and phosphates.
    i understand that adding these is best done in dry powder but i had a look at this option and i will not attempt it as it is way over my head. so instead i will be buying more easy - life products yes i know people will say its a waste and not as good but its best for my budget and knowledge of plants for now.
    forth , i will be getting rid of the yeast injection as it simply dose not produce any where near the amount of bps that i believe was mentioned on here 3bps. plus i have a friend who is searching his box of bits from his tropical keeping days as he thinks he still have a valve and flow meter and if he dose there mine fore free. so i will be able to upgrade Co2 cylinders which will be able to cope with the higher demand.

    now a quick Q when i am injecting Co2 via the cylinder do i still add easy life carb ??? as it says you can use it along with Co2. as i had thought maybe i could use it as a "" boost "" now and then say every 2nd day / once a week kind of thing.
    i will be sticking with the lighting i have and playing with the hydor powerhead to get better flow and get more of the Co2 down the bottom , waiting a while for organics to build up a bit then attempting cuba again and if fails then trying an other plant . the fact of lower or higher light is ( i have been told ) that due to the tannins and depth of tank there is less light reaching the bottom anyway so either way it should be happy.

    fingers and toes and legs and arms crossed i get it this time pmsl.
    thanks for the help folks and gerry especially offering to help via email.
    some day soon i may be able to stick a link up to a pic of my tank looking half as good as all the tanks on here.
     
  16. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Well, to my surprise, I have two cents to add to the pot!

    I think you may believe that the basics for a planted tank are now pretty well known and agreed to, but that isn't the case at all. Until just late last year most of us firmly believed that we needed much more light than we really do in order to grow "high light" plants. Tom took his light meter to the Aquaforest ADA tanks and did some measuring that totally upset that kind of thinking. Now we know that CO2 is more important for growing "high light" plants than "high light" is. With good CO2 concentration in the tank, and relatively low light, we now know we can grow many, if not most, of the high light plants very well, just more slowly than with higher light.

    We are also learning that the efficiency of good T5 lights is much better than we thought, so our old "watts per gallon" standards are shattered by a good T5 fixture.

    And, again largely due to Tom's efforts with his $$$$CO2 meter, we have learned, about 6 months ago, that the CO2 concentration in a tank of growing plants varies all over the tank, and without very good internal circulation of the water, many plants will be starved of CO2 even when the tank "has 30 ppm of CO2".

    So, of course the advice you get will vary widely from month to month, and from the more recently well informed to the well informed in the past. The fascinating part of this is that 6 months from now much of what we now believe could be found in need of corrections too. That helps make this a very interesting hobby. Just hang in there and enjoy the fun!
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Tropica long ago showed that even at a low light, the CO2 was very important in a few small scale studies that they did with a few species.

    Plants can make more efficient use of available light at lower levels if ample CO2 is available. This is because the plants does not need so many resources trying to sequester and acquire CO2, instead, it can focus more on gathering light.

    So it's more efficient at using lower light intensity with good CO2.

    This is common sense and what one might expect, but many folks tell/say you do not need as much CO2 at lower light (PPS comes to mind, or anything that lowers/semi limits PO4), and if you limit one, say PO4, then you will not need as much CO2, but that does not mean that is better, it means you will have lower/less growth and the plants will require more energy and light to do well.

    So if you want to really "limit" something and use less, cost less etc, electrical cost are the most $$ and wasting light energy is not "good". So getting the most out of a light intensity and limiting light is a better option, it reduced CO2 demand and makes getting non limiting nutrients/CO2 much easier.

    Then you have more flexibility with water changes, any dosing routine, CO2 issues etc.

    Light is fairly stable compared to those.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  18. james_kye

    james_kye Junior Poster

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    if tropica has done this then they need to change there info on plants as the cuba states low light = high light and easy care ,,, so my light should have been fine for it.

    i am not reducing the light as this would cost more to reduce due to how prices work for equipment , and i never buy 2nd hand electrical items as if it fails you have no come back what so ever.

    i have joined UKaps and decided to follow the advice there rather than several forums as if i were to do this i would be going round n round n round all day long and chucking cash at diff items.

    the light is staying at 72 watts , Co2 is being upgraded to cylinder and i wont be using carb any longer , i have bought 720 g worth of dry ferts , po4 , nitrate , and GH, and will be dosing this along with profit and we will see what happens this way.
     
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I think you will do well to follow the local UK advice, they know the systems you have available there, how much light they put out relative to growing this plant.

    T5 lighting vs say normal FL's, are perhaps 2x the typical FL lamp.

    So 4 watt/gal, is now only 2 W/gal for "high light", so growing things at say 1.5 W/gal of T5 lighting is pretty much a good range for most systems.

    Here's one with 1.5 W/gal of T5's:

    [​IMG]

    Bacopa australis is pretty easy to grow.

    Tropica advice assumes things like you are not using CO2, it's more conservative versus suggesting adding more etc. It's hard to say what is and is not high or med and low light without really measuring it.

    Claus and Troels are aware of it, I know they know, but I think they leave it up there because some folks think low light, easy plants! They will buy it and then it'll die in their semi planted tank without CO2 etc.

    High light rules out many novices.
    But it will grow at say 40-50mic mol of light, which is hardly high light.
    TMG suggestions are also correspondingly low and for semi planted tanks etc, a dense thick tank will use more.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  20. james_kye

    james_kye Junior Poster

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    so in effect tropica are doing it more for the money ?.
    the lighting i believe is completely different across the pond , i have in the past on the marine forums along with other had several americans get rather abusive towards us brittish because of this confusion.

    in the UK we have normal T5 tubes ( as the kind in the pic you added ) and we also have compact T5 which all sites say produce 3 x more light than a normal T5 bulb.
    the ones i use are the later ( 3 x brighter supposedly anyway ) and are 2 tubes joined just down from the top and are called PC ( power compacts ) and this is where the arguments started by some americans say there not power compacts at all etc , but thats marines so should not really be mentioning it here lol.

    but it just seems there called diff things here and there.
    i really want to try cuba again at some point and the UK lads are basically saying everything is fine ( light wise ) other than i really need to improve Co2 and get feed into the water. so fingers crossed i have success this time ,, problem is i have seen a couple of plants i want to try BUT there not from south america so bang goes my south american biotope lol.
     
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