E.Tenellus benefit from root tabs?

scottward

Guru Class Expert
Oct 26, 2007
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Brisbane, Australia
Boring very un-guru-ish type question...

Lots of E.Tenellus in my tank.

I'm doing full E.I. (and for those following my recent threads yes I am about to start rolling my own trace mix and additional DIY iron).

Substrate is 100% Seachem Flourite. Nothing else added to it.

E.Tenellus is doing ok, but not really "taking off". I'm increasing CO2 slowly etc etc.

Will adding anything around the roots of the E.Tenellus give them a boost in any way, or is this totally unecessary with full EI?

Would there be any benifit in me taking some of the 13% EDTA iron and mixing it with some clay or making iron concentrate ice cubes and shoving it deeply into the flourite here and there?

I'm trying to refresh my memory on this.

I'm pretty sure Tom has grown good carpetting plants using nothing but plain sand? Correct?

I'm also pretty sure that Tom said he only bothers with substrate enrichment as a "backup plan" should he miss an EI dose or something like that (although I'm not sure how fast plants can switch between root/follar feeding - i.e. do they need to adapt to it?).

I'm sure if Tom doesn't chime in, Bio, Nipat, Gerry et al (i.e. the "real gurus" unlike me) will............:)

Scott.
 

Biollante

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Jun 21, 2009
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Babble-City...

Hi Scott,

I am convinced Echinodorus tenellus cannot be killed!
:eek:

However as with all Echinodorus spp., iron, iron and more iron. Yes the Pygmy chain sword will benefit from iron in the substrate.
:rolleyes:

I grow them in sand, the older the sand the better, newer sand added iron helps, or a layer of laterite.

The only real problem I see is in my outdoor tanks when the water temperature goes north of 29C (85F) it starts getting a little weak as the temperatures go past 33C or so it can get a bit messy but comes back well as the temperature declines.
;)

Added CO2 is nice, but frankly not necessary.
:)

E. tenellus will take over if you are not careful. They can be kind of fun if in a group or small tank you pinch off the runners you can get a mini-sword plant, this happens occasionally when “trapped” in a corner.
:)

I grow mini-swords in 2-liter bottles; I do use highly enriched substrate so as not
to have feed them. Also in 2.5, 5 and 10-gallon tanks with just a small pump to move the water around, it is funny how expansive these tanks can appear. Again in these small tanks a highly enriched substrate can make for a very low maintenance tank for someone ill or infirm or just not into caring for plants, around here many times we can get away with ambient light. Though added light is helpful.

It is also incredibly easy to grow emersed and can make a nice addition to a bog or vegetative filter, nice flower stalks, quite nice.
:gw

Well I will stop babbling now.
:eek:
Biollante
 

scottward

Guru Class Expert
Oct 26, 2007
958
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Brisbane, Australia
Thanks Bio, your babble is much appreciated, as always. ;)

However as with all Echinodorus spp., iron, iron and more iron. Yes the Pygmy chain sword will benefit from iron in the substrate.

But if I'm dosing very high iron in the water column, then any benefits that might be obtained through the substrate would be redundant? As per my "Make my own trace mix" thread, I'm thinking of dosing at 0.5ppm iron 3x per week.

Would the chain swords obtain so much iron from this level of water column dosing that they wouldn't be able to take on any more iron? I know there is luxury consumption, but if the water column levels are so high anyway....

I pretty much only have E.Tenellus in my tank now. I decided to toss out all the stem plants and buy some more eventually.

For the moment it's pretty much Iwugami - tenellus and some large rocks. I think it will look cool once the tenellus carpets properly, I want it to take over!

Scott.
 

Biollante

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Jun 21, 2009
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Roots & Shoots

Hi Scott,

Echinodorus spp. are root feeders, they also foliar feed, but many of them come from rather nutrient poor water.
:)

I will let others speak to the science of it, my observations are that they do well with both root and water column feeding, but as I mentioned in my last post they do very well with rich substrate and no water column dosing.

I understand that rich substrates contribute to the water column, yet plants that are principally foliar feeders do not do as well with rich substrate only tanks.

Just for what it is worth…
:eek:

Biollante
 

Hallen

Guru Class Expert
Oct 8, 2010
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I agree with the old evil plant monster :) Yes water dosed fertz help quite a bit, especially Co2. But with some nutrients in the subtrates they really take off.

For those interesseted, this plant has had a name change. It's now called: Helanthium tenellum
 

nipat

Guru Class Expert
May 23, 2009
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I don't see difference. Before (new pool filter sand) vs after adding root ferts. They're always weeds.
Very versatile, can be placed in hight and low light, as Bio said, they can't be killed.

But adding ferts to improve substrate doesn't hurt.
 

scottward

Guru Class Expert
Oct 26, 2007
958
10
18
Brisbane, Australia
Hi guys,

Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it.

Given that I already have my tank set up and I don't want to mess too much with the substrate, can I DIY something to stick in the gravel around the E.Te.....ah wait.......H. tenellum? What exactly should they be given at the roots - same as what you would dose in the water column I suppose?

Or will just some plain old house plant spikes do the trick?

I believe some of these can be quite high in ammonia though, I want something high in iron though, correct?

Scott.
 

aquabillpers

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Jan 24, 2005
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My E. tenellus grows like a weed with 2 WPG of T12 light in a 3 year old topsoil substrate. It is very invasive and need trimming at least every 3 weeks.

Be sure it gets enough light.

Bill