Glosso growing upward.. never had this problem before?

s0ulcommited

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Jul 1, 2009
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So my glosso is growing upward, which has never happened to me before. it won't seem to spread horizontally like it has in the past. I have 2 54w t5s on a 55g, injecting 4/5 bbs running into a powerhead and dose EI. I used to have 2 60w cf running but then switched to T5, which i would assume is just as much if not more par? Any ideas?
 

dutchy

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Hi,

Are you maybe using grolux-like tubes, the purple coloured ones? They give only half the PAR of a "normal" tube. Or maybe you were using reflectors before?

regards,
dutchy
 
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s0ulcommited

Junior Poster
Jul 1, 2009
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you know I am using one of those, i forgot where I got it but i'll switch over to the daylights to see if it changes. But in conjunction with this some of my rotalas look like they are suffering from some c02 problems and a bit of BBA is still in the tank, im thinking the glosso might also have to do with c02. I'll mess around with my c02 setup and get back to you.
 

Gbark

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Jun 15, 2009
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s0ulcommited;52888 said:
you know I am using one of those, i forgot where I got it but i'll switch over to the daylights to see if it changes. But in conjunction with this some of my rotalas look like they are suffering from some c02 problems and a bit of BBA is still in the tank, im thinking the glosso might also have to do with c02. I'll mess around with my c02 setup and get back to you.

I think when plants bolt upwards and start to get thin around the bottom, it is more to do with flow around the leaves and good CO2 circulation than light. ;)
 

Gbark

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Jun 15, 2009
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It may take a while to see a change, we could do with some imput from a plant guru. I'm only still learning, but it is something to do with gas exchange across the leaves.

I found a quote from ceg4048 over on UKAPS

"There are lots of environmental conditions under which the plant needs to change it's growth rate. This normally happens under environmental stress. When the plant is under these stress the concentration of ethylene rises and various mechanisms respond to the concentration rise. One of the most extreme environmental stresses a plant can face is that of being flooded. Flooding the plant traps gasses, prevents their movement and causes buildup. In general, gasses are about 10,000X less soluble in water than in air. That's why CO2 uptake is such an acute a problem for aquatic plants. When the plant is flooded ethylene is trapped and it's concentration build. The reaction of the plant is to immediately grow upwards to reach the surface where there is air and where access to atmospheric gasses are in greater abundance. In effect, the plant is building a snorkel by having straggly growth.

There are a couple of ways that we fight the straggly growth. One way is to simply cut the growth. The new leaves that grow are submerged leaves and they are better adapted to a flooded environment, so they tend to grow less straggly. The penalty though is that cut leaves do not produce food, so recovery is slow. Another way is to have better flow. More flow across the leaf means better diffusion of gasses so ethylene can be removed more quickly and CO2 and O2 also have better movement.

Carpet plants such as HC, grasses, P. helferi, Glosso and so forth are real victims of this optical illusion. "I need more light" is a famous battle cry when most see upwards growth. This is exactly the wrong thing to do. Better that you have more flow, more CO2 which then produces more O2. This improves the gas exchange, lowers the ethylene concentration buildup and relaxes the plant to grow more horizontal instead of desperately grasping for air.

People are so hypnotized by light it's incredible. Every problem that occurs must be because they need more light..."
 

Gerryd

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Sep 23, 2007
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Hi all,

No expert here but this is my 2 cents...

I note that the growth differential started AFTER the switch to the T5 and a different type of bulb. If this did in fact increase the PAR (which seems likely) than I would most likely look to c02 and flow. Please note that light is what drives plant growth. It is simply possible that your new light has caused MORE demand than the system is providing at the current time..

New bulbs and T5 do provide very strong light. Much more than folks think.

I cannot comment on Clive's (ceg4048) response as his response is WAY over my level, but he IS a smart guy and has helped myself and many others on this forum as well. However his response sounds more reasonable than there is not enough light that causes the glosso to reach up...

As an FYI, I have stauro 049 growing in shade (at PAR of 3-5) which I think is pretty dark. It grows FINE just like those in PAR of 75 and up. Areas are adjacent so flow/current/etc may be equitable. So if it is not light, then what?

However I can state the following:

1. I have read at least 25 threads asking this same question and never has anyone reported back that adding MORE light did the trick.

2. Until PAR meters become as inexpensive as fish flakes, this myth that we need more light will live on.

3. Out of the THOUSANDS of threads I have read re growth issues, 95% are due to either flow or c02 or a combination of both.

I would also look to flow and c02...Adjust the c02 SLOWLY and take several days for each adjustment....
 
C

CL_

Guest
Gbark;52892 said:
It may take a while to see a change, we could do with some imput from a plant guru. I'm only still learning, but it is something to do with gas exchange across the leaves.

I found a quote from ceg4048 over on UKAPS

"There are lots of environmental conditions under which the plant needs to change it's growth rate. This normally happens under environmental stress. When the plant is under these stress the concentration of ethylene rises and various mechanisms respond to the concentration rise. One of the most extreme environmental stresses a plant can face is that of being flooded. Flooding the plant traps gasses, prevents their movement and causes buildup. In general, gasses are about 10,000X less soluble in water than in air. That's why CO2 uptake is such an acute a problem for aquatic plants. When the plant is flooded ethylene is trapped and it's concentration build. The reaction of the plant is to immediately grow upwards to reach the surface where there is air and where access to atmospheric gasses are in greater abundance. In effect, the plant is building a snorkel by having straggly growth.

There are a couple of ways that we fight the straggly growth. One way is to simply cut the growth. The new leaves that grow are submerged leaves and they are better adapted to a flooded environment, so they tend to grow less straggly. The penalty though is that cut leaves do not produce food, so recovery is slow. Another way is to have better flow. More flow across the leaf means better diffusion of gasses so ethylene can be removed more quickly and CO2 and O2 also have better movement.

Carpet plants such as HC, grasses, P. helferi, Glosso and so forth are real victims of this optical illusion. "I need more light" is a famous battle cry when most see upwards growth. This is exactly the wrong thing to do. Better that you have more flow, more CO2 which then produces more O2. This improves the gas exchange, lowers the ethylene concentration buildup and relaxes the plant to grow more horizontal instead of desperately grasping for air.

People are so hypnotized by light it's incredible. Every problem that occurs must be because they need more light..."

Great quote here! I know I learned something. It never really occurred to me that the plants could be "reaching" for the surface. It all makes sense now :)
 

shoggoth43

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I can add some annecdotal evidence as well. Since my bubble counter shattered and I'm not currently running CO2 on my tank until the replacement arrives, I have noticed the Staurogyne either melts off the leaves or shoots for the surface. It simply cannot compete effectively with the Blyxa. The Lymno is already headed for the surface anyway and several shoots are right at the top so the competition for CO2 for them is likely much less. The Blyxa is a pretty impressive weed once it's established but it's pretty obvious that "something" is off. The Staurogyne just doesn't normally get spindly and tall like this. The only direct measurable change in my tank is the CO2.

In the OP's case it's likely the light change pushed his PAR much higher and threw things off.

-
S
 

fishsticks

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May 23, 2010
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More anecdotal evidence... I have had my planted tank for 3 months so still learning. My glosso started racing for the surface after my Rotala wallichii and sword got bigger and blocking some of the light. So for me the ever present claim about light was at least co-incident.

Fishsticks
 
C

CL_

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fishsticks;52929 said:
More anecdotal evidence... I have had my planted tank for 3 months so still learning. My glosso started racing for the surface after my Rotala wallichii and sword got bigger and blocking some of the light. So for me the ever present claim about light was at least co-incident.

Fishsticks
How do you know that they weren't just out-competing the glosso for CO2?
 

fishsticks

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May 23, 2010
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I don't know that the other plants were out-competing for the CO2 I simply had co-incident change in glosso growing with more and more covering with the taller plants as they filled in. Another factor was that the glosso in the front of the tank with better light exposure did not get leggy and tall - it was spreading. The glosso closer to the plants and more shaded was the part that got tall. For my situation it appears to be access to light.

The interesting test is Saturday I moved the glosso and large plants to different locations and the glosso has excellent light exposure now. It will be interesting to see if it starts back to being it's original compact form.
 

dutchy

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Although I agree that CO2 could be the cause, I don't think it's right to dismiss light totally as a cause. At a certain low PAR value the glosso will get leggy, as every other plant will. As I stated in my first post in this topic, the change to T5, partly with low PAR grolux-like tubes, could very well mean that the total PAR is less than before. Of course this is only an assumption, but it's also an assumption to say that the change gave more PAR and caused a CO2 deficiency. Only a PAR measurement with both setups could lead to the right conclusion.

Anyway I think it's a good approach to cover both subjects, first CO2 and then light, and see what happens.
 

hbosman

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Oct 22, 2008
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In Fishsticks case, it could have been a flow issue as well. If the Glosso was being shaded, yeah it could be a PAR issue but, flow was probably reduced as well.
 

shoggoth43

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Or just the sword. The will consume nutrients on a massive scale. Once it hits a certain size it will certainly shade, block flow to a very large degree, and absorb nutrients and CO2 like mad. The combination of the lighting change and flow and CO2 issues will wreak all sorts of competition for the other plants. As an unrelated aside, I finally got my bubble counter replaced. Now if only I had remembered to plug the solenoid back into the timer and NOT the regular outlet. Good thing I turned the CO2 back down since I knew I wouldn't be able to pay attention to it for a few days...

-
S
 

s0ulcommited

Junior Poster
Jul 1, 2009
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So i've super cleaned my ADA diffuser, upped the bps and im blasting it at the glosso, but I think i might have stumbled upon something. I currently have discus in the tank and the temp is about 28c, do you think the higher water temperature has something to do with it? not with the glosso going upward but maybe in terms of c02 being dissolved into the water?

On a side note if you guys need discus please order from Cliff's young's discus SF!! haha he's my uncle.
 

shoggoth43

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Less gas is available in higher temp water. It's possible that's part of it. Some plants get really cranky when they're too warm. I don't know that glosso really cares about discus temps though.

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S