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Growing Limnophila sp. 'Guinea Broad-Leaf'

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Russ, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. Russ

    Russ Guest

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    9:27 AM
    A couple of weeks ago, I received a few stems of Limnophila sp. 'Guinea Broad-Leaf' from a seller on APC trade or buy forum.

    It has stayed extremely small and is slowly withering away. I have it in a 75g, 3 wpg, high CO2, and use the Estimative Index for dosing. 80% water change every two weeks. Water measures 10GH, 4.5KH, water is lowered from 7.4 to 6.7 with CO2.

    I love the look of this stuff and want to grow it. Advice would be welcome.

    Thanks,

    -Russ
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Russ,

    If you could give more detail on the c02 diffusion method and how you determine you have good c02?

    I would say off the top that you have too much light and not enough c02 and/or nutrients for the LIGHT level you have.

    What type of lighting fixture/bulb config do you have? Can you remove a bulb for a bit and see if that helps? Can you raise the fixture at all?

    Lighting is what drives c02 and other nutrient demand. Some plants are better than others at making do with smaller amounts, or can use it faster than other plants, and so do better. The higher the light, the more c02 and other nutrients are required. It is easier to supply a constant/smaller amount of c02 than a larger one (in general), so the thought is to lessen the light and so easier to meet the demand.

    L. Aromatica in general likes c02 like most plants....

    I would suggest the following:

    Reduce your light. You can always increase later.
    SLOWLY over several weeks, increase your c02 and watch the fish and plants. If the fish hide, or are darkened, dis-colored, gasping at surface, turn the c02 down immediately and agitate the surface.
    Add some surface ripple so the surface has movement, but not breaking the surface. This will help offset c02 issues.
    Increase your EI dosing (please tell us what it is?) by 50%.
    Do a WEEKLY 70% water change. This will offset the increase in ferts.

    When ALL the plants in the tank are doing well is when you are close :) If one or more species has growth issues, or there are algae issues, then something is still not quite right.

    Don't forget general filter maintenance and cleaning as these also have an affect.

    What sort of flow/current are you providing for the plants?

    Hope some of this helps.
     
  3. Soggy

    Soggy Junior Poster

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    I got that plant from HK. A very brittle plant. Once a stem is bent, the section dies and leaves you with two plants. :eek:

    It took a while (about 3 weeks) for it to start growing but i noticed that it only took off when it was directly below the lights (halide) and with gentle current directly from the co2 enriched water. I have kH 13 and dosing EI.
     
  4. Russ

    Russ Guest

    Local Time:
    9:27 AM
    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for the posts. I was traveling for a day and when I looked at the tank/plants today there was a glimmer of hope. Each small stem (.5" wide) had a new tip of green on it. It is, however, extremely tiny and the rest of the plant looks pretty pitiful. After reading Soggy's post I moved the plants so they are in the flow of my CO2 return (detailed below). I'm hoping the stuff just takes a while to acclimate.

    Gerry, here is my set up and dosing:

    - I use a Kent Marine Venturi on an external loop, powered by a Rio 1000 powerhead to return 4-5 inches from the substrate and I agitate the surface with the output of my canister filter. I don't even try to measure CO2 levels anymore. Tom was here in Cincinnati 5-6 years ago and he prodded me into not being afraid of CO2. I basically set up a good flow of bubbles/sec in my counter (too many to count) and use my PH controller to establish a PH reference. Then I slowly increase the level (decrease the PH) and back off a little when the fish start to act like barflies. The turquoise rainbows are always the first to darken and swim upside down.
    - I have 2 x 96w, 48" VHO AquaSun lamps (10,000K) and one additional 23w, standard output AquaSun lamp. Oops, thats 2.86w/g. Anyway, I don't think I have too much light (feel free to tell me different). Every other species I have is doing well and I have very little algae growth, save for spot algae on the tank glass that I scrape with a credit card once a month.
    - I dose 3/4 tsp KNO3 and 3/16 tsp KH2PO4 every other day alternating with 15ml Flourish on off days.
    - Flow is provided by the output of the Fluval 404 just below the surface and the output of the Rio 1000 (rated 271pgh, but blowing a Kent venturi).


    Let me know what you think. I'm wondering if my water (10GH/4.5KH) isn't soft enough, in which case, I don't have the time or inclination to use RO water. I've never been successful at growing R. wallichii or others that do well in soft H2O. Or maybe I need to add some baking soda to up the KH.

    Thanks again,

    -Russ
     
  5. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    My $US .02

    Hi Russ,

    Are you doing weekly water changes? :rolleyes:

    If you are doing weekly water changes, I really do not see any reason that you should be having a major problem.

    My two cents though::eek:

    First I do not think your water hardness should be much of a problem, it would not hurt to raise the GH a degree or two (120-240 ppm), I think your alkalinity is fine.

    As to the lighting you seem to have plenty, I have never run 10,000 k lighting, so I really do not know, I guess if you are having problems and can do it, I would be inclined to replace a 96 watt bulb with a 6,700 k (90 + CRI).

    I would double the amount of Flourish you are adding. :eek:

    I think you can reduce the KH2PO4 to a light 1/8 teaspoon three days a week.

    I would add ½ teaspoon MgSO4.7H2O, three days a week.

    Finally, I would do as Gerry recommended and double your dosing and do a minimum 70% water change each week. :)

    When in doubt, change water, my inclination is to o a major water change now and another one in two days, then again on your regular water change day.

    Other than what I have mentioned I really do not see anything that jumps out at me as wrong.

    I hope this helps.

    From deep in my bunker in an undisclosed location,:cool:
    Biollante
     
  6. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Russ,

    Well since you offered lol

    I DO think you have too much light:) At least too much for your c02 levels...

    I would advise removing a bulb or so, but keep a good spread over the tank.

    I think you will find that less light works well as the plants will require less c02 and other nutrient.

    I recently reduced my lighting levels and am very happy with the slower (but just as nice) growth.

    I think you could go with 1-1.5 wpg easy, since they are VHO with no issues.

    Just reduce gradually in case of crypt melt.

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. Russ

    Russ Guest

    Local Time:
    9:27 AM
    Well I'll try it, but what I am trying to achieve with this? I have good growth with other species and little algae. You think this plant isn't growing because there is too much light and too little CO2? If I up the CO2, I have dead fish. Or is it that you are saying the plant I'm having trouble with isn't able to compete with the other species because the light level is overdriving their uptake of the CO2? Just help me understand the why of this.

    Thanks,

    Russ
     
  8. Russ

    Russ Guest

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    9:27 AM
    Hi Biollante,

    You're right, I'm not doing weekly, but bi-weekly changes. I've been bad and I'll try and do more.

    What is behind your idea of uping the GH with epsom salts since I'm trying to get a plant to grow that supposedly does better in soft water? Just wondering. My water does seem to be weird. The traditional relationship between PH and KH doesn't work out as a true indicator of CO2 levels. The local aquatic plant club acknowledges this and we have to find other means of setting levels (like killing fish). Maybe using epsom salts is what it needs. I've tried just about everything else.

    -Russ


     
  9. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Mg Good

    Hi Russ,

    I have found that for whatever reason small increases in GH, even if it is already somewhat elevated as in your case, often stimulates growth. I have heard a number of explanations; many include trying to sell something, so I guess I don’t really know. (Under my off-limits stuff, I can also ‘see’ a difference with my ORP meter in addition to observation. :eek: )

    My experience has been that soft water plants are far more affected by the alkalinity (KH) than by the general hardness (GH). Once alkalinity gets beyond 500 ppm (4+ dKH) or so, I start having problems with some of my more sensitive soft water plants.

    Now that I think about it, it might be a good idea to add half a teaspoon of a quality GH booster at each water change, in addition to the Epsom salts three times a week.;)

    That Magnesium is, according to Tom Barr, to chlorophyll, the "blood" pigment of plants, what iron is to hemoglobin in mammalian blood. http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php?t=1384 is a good read on the subject.;)

    I would not dare to think I could speak for Gerry, but I must admit your situation does sound like CO2 and/or circulation, the things I am suggesting are at the margins. :)

    Obviously if your CO2 is on the verge of killing your critters, you have plenty. Reducing light is a good general rule at least until things are under control. Light really does drive the process and backing off the lights can really slow things down a enough to get things under control.

    In addition, patience, I know it is frustrating, but as my Dear Ol’ Dad used to tell me “in the world of plants, most anything that happens quickly is likely bad.”

    Biollante
     
  10. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Russ,

    It is a bit of both actually.

    Light is what drives plant growth and the subsequent nutrient demand.

    I PERSONALLY think the aromatica is lacking c02. Since upping your c02 is impossible as you feel you are at the max (is that correct?), then the only other option is to lower the light and thus lessen the demand.

    How DO you measure c02 by the way?

    Keep in mind that not all plants use/assimilate/require the same amount of c02 in the same time frame. Note too that c02 does not stay in solution that long. Since some plants can fix c02 more rapidly/readily, they will do better in a limited environment.

    It is a good indicator actually of something amiss when a specific plant does NOT do well, but many others do in the same tank. Why is that? Aromatica is not a difficult plant by any means provided it has the means to do well. This leads me to think c02, since macro and micros are easy to rule out.

    To do so, I would increase my EI as stated (more plant = more nutes) and do a WEEKLY water change and an extra thrown in mid-week if possible. This will address any possible macro/micro deficiencies. Since we both think you have enough light, what is left?????? c02

    TRY the lower light for a couple/few weeks and see how it works. You can always go back to where you are now.

    Not sure if you have many varieties of plants or what????

    Don;t forget that good flow and circulation is also key. A dirty filter could be affecting more than you know... are you keeping up with general maintenace?

    Sorry for all the questions, but I cannot see your tank or know your schedule, and diagnosing from afar, doesn't always work well :)

    This is good advice. It may take several weeks for the plant to come around once conditions are optimal.

    Also check your plants themselves, they may need a trim and flow is blocked, shading occurs, etc. Less mass to use the available nute pool.

    Bio,

    Trust me when I say that I wish folks HAD dared in my checkered past LOL

    Hope this helps.
     
  11. Russ

    Russ Guest

    Local Time:
    9:27 AM
    I set levels by watching the fish and using a drop checker with 5dKH Standard solution in it. The level is very high and distributed well. The L. sp. "Guinea" is actually starting to look better and starting to see some new sprouts - probably just needed to acclimate.
     
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