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Downoi: How to Grow Successfully

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Crispino Ramos, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. Crispino Ramos

    Crispino Ramos Guru Class Expert

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    How do you grow a healthy Pogostemon helferi? Do snails and otocinclus like to eat this plant? When I had this plant I noticed that it melted from the root upwards to the stem until the leaves seperated off the main stem.
     
    #1 Crispino Ramos, Apr 17, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2011
  2. pepetj

    pepetj Lifetime Members
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    I'm on my second trial with P helferi. Previous time I had DIY CO2 so this time I expect to do better.

    First time I got my hand on six specimens only to find out some fish actually ate them. Mine didn't melt but couldn't overcome being preid upon.

    I just received a few specimens that were grown emersed and am now adapting underwater. I intend to grow them in a planted only tank. In nature this plant stands some strong water flow so I figure it should develop a strong root system.

    Check this informative article on this species published in aquascapingworld:
    http://www.aquascapingworld.com/plantpedia/full_view_plant.php?item_id=67

    Pepetj
    Santo Domingo
     
    #2 pepetj, Apr 17, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2011
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I've rarely had issues with it, it does well with ADA As and EI, moderate light.
    CO2 is important.

    [​IMG]

    Otto cats never eat any healthy plant, nor do the common nuisance snails, the Apple snails and some of the larger more common ones do but not the smaller species.
     
  4. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    It grows very well also in low light, about 0.9 wpg in this 12 gal tank, with a 11W PCL

    [​IMG]

    As you see, many Ramshorn snails in the tank, also you can spot some physa. Plants don't exhibit any damage despite the tons of snails. Like Tom said, only apple snails cause damage to plants. Also, the Lymnaea snails, that are similar to physa (so often confused with them), but a bit bigger and their shell having an opposite orientation
     
  5. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    I have been able to grow it, and I by no means the greatest aquatic gardner yet. I did find it does not like to be shaded by other plants. It just doesn't grow. Currently I have a few stems in a 20 gallon with one 24W T5HO and CO2, it is growing well. No special care from what I have seen.
     
  6. Crispino Ramos

    Crispino Ramos Guru Class Expert

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    I envy you guys - I dream of growing this plant soon. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures of your downoi.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    VERY VERY FEW plants have special requirements. Some might need more CO2 than another, but if the wimpy plant does well, then anything else should as a rule.
    So if you can focus on good conditions in general for all plants, then there's no issues.

    Do not assume because X and Y plants are doing well, that Z plant should be also. Z might have a higher CO2 demand, not like being shaded, or perhaps it likes shade....etc etc.......
    Many seem to assume it's some special need rather than the demand for something like CO2 might be much higher than another species. Some species are very competitive, and able to suck up most of the CO2 and then grow much faster, particularly in the beginning of the day.

    These weeds tend to out compete even semi aggressive growers, and end up getting more light and CO2.

    Downoi does not have to compete much for light or CO2 where it evolved.
    Same for a number of plants.

    Milfoils and Elodea/Egeria, they are really aggressive.
     
  8. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    thanks Tom, I have to say in my own experience I have seen just what you are talking about. generally if my plants start to do poorly, most of them are not doing as well as they could. Some seem a little more tolerant, but you can still tell that something is off and it is impacting all of them. Likewise when one plant is doing very well, all are doing well.
     
  9. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    I also agree to what Tom and ShadowMac said. When you got the point with a given tank, all plants do thrive in luxurious way. When a plant does bad, often even other plants won't be doing optimally.

    But, I also noted that the Downoi stems will stunt when shaded by other plants and slowly degrade from the roots. In very low light, they also tended to grow in the best exposed parts while other dark parts didn't grow. I got rid of it because I find it tricky for my very low light setup. Anubia, weeping moss, eleocharis, java ferns, mini pellia, riccia, glosso, c parvula and even fissidens fontanus all grow well in extremely dark and shaded areas of tank, but with good CO2 (misting)
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Some wimpy plants are good as "canaries in the mines", fragile wimpy plants that have higher demands.............these are good indicators of a well run tank when they are growing well. Generally these species are poor CO2 competitors.

    So they will respond poorly 1st.

    Some plants respond to low NO3, others......more to traces, some to Mg.
     
  11. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Probably like most organisms, include algae. Something related to their metabolism, like BGA thriving in low NO3 as it can fix even atmospheric N, where other plants/algae can't. When a nutrient is missing, this will promote the growth of organisms that rely the less on that scarce substance where as other organisms will die or go dormant
     
  12. aquascapebob

    aquascapebob Junior Poster

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    CO2 is always important, but nitrogen also plays an important role to grow bigger and wider downois. It's mandatory for photosynthesis after all.


    And increase the lighting intensity might also promote growth.


    Got the info from http://www.aquascape.guru/pogostemon-helferi/
     
  13. CHANDWE2

    CHANDWE2 Junior Poster

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    In my experience they need lot of traces including iron to be more vibrant and bushy.
     
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