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Reasons why rotala plants get stunted

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by marian4232, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. marian4232

    marian4232 New Member

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    I have been dealing with different types of Rotala plants and i cannot understand why, sometimes, some of them get stunted.
    I am talking about Macrandra, Macrandra green, Macrandra Narrow Leaf, Rotundifolia and maybe others as well.
    Macrandra types do this more often.

    My current aquarium specs:

    200x60x60 cm (720 liters)
    DIY lamp with 14x39W T5 (Osram 865 and 830 very popular and very good results in Romania) 20 cm from water surface 8 hours per day
    Daily dosing of PPS PRO and Trace Mix Plus (double dose)
    Pressurized CO2 (25 ppm)

    NO3 - 25 ppm
    PO4 - 1 ppm
    Fe - 0.2 ppm
    pH - 6.8
    KH - 5
    GH - 12

    So far, i know that low levels of NO3 (< 5 ppm) is a killer for Rotala and other plants. I have tested this in the past (NO3 was close 0-1 ppm) and many stem plants stopped growing (the tips became very small).
    I also know that the lack of currents can have a similar result.
    Plants seem to get more stunting after i replant the tops.
    Tonina Belem, Manaus and Fluviatilis, Downoi, Didiplis Diandra, Ludwigia Brevipes and Glandulosa, Eriocaulon Cinereum and many others are fine and do not seem to be affected.
    After the mother plant gets stunted, side shoots appear. Some of these also get stunted and so on.

    I would like to hear other people's experience.

    The aquarium looked like this:

    [​IMG]

    and this is the last picture, taken yesterday (sorry for the bad quality of the image, the water was cloudy):

    [​IMG]


    Thank you.
     
  2. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    I had a similar experience with Rotala Nanjenshan, used to grow very well, and after a couple of years begun to get stunted. I tried everything but without success. It is weird because all other plants in my tank were doing great.

    At the end I replaced it with Rotala Rotoundifolia and so far so good. But I Ioved my Rotala Nanjenshan!
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    If you watch closely, which plants grow the fastest, and are also closest to the lights, this is often the key.

    Those plants will get all the CO2 and all the nutrients 1st.

    Low NO3 has not shown much in the way to stunted tips in my tanks. Plants will become yellow and some species will melt back.
    Mic. umbrosum I could not grow well unless I had about 10 ppm or more of NO3.

    I suppose a few of the Rotala species might fall into that group, but I've seen them grown will less NO3.
    But....those aquariums had soil or ADa aqua soil etc.

    Still, most all plants do excellent(I have never found any yet) at higher levels of fertilizers, just like weeds and agricultural crops like Corn, Wheat etc.
    Aquatic plants are mostly aquatic weeds.
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    If you watch closely, which plants grow the fastest, and are also closest to the lights, this is often the key.

    Those plants will get all the CO2 and all the nutrients 1st.

    Low NO3 has not shown much in the way to stunted tips in my tanks. Plants will become yellow and some species will melt back.
    Mic. umbrosum I could not grow well unless I had about 10 ppm or more of NO3.

    I suppose a few of the Rotala species might fall into that group, but I've seen them grown will less NO3.
    But....those aquariums had soil or ADa aqua soil etc.

    Still, most all plants do excellent(I have never found any yet) at higher levels of fertilizers, just like weeds and agricultural crops like Corn, Wheat etc.
    Aquatic plants are mostly aquatic weeds.
     
  5. marian4232

    marian4232 New Member

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    This is strange because Macrandra Green is the fastest in growth and almost every day i trim 5-10 stunted tips. The growth is very bushy. It has alot of stems.

    I didn't mention that i'm using simple gravel.
    There have been times when i didn't had this problem and there are times when i have it.
     
  6. reef12

    reef12 Member

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    Nice setup either way though.

    I like the gravel and light.

    Can't see the stunning you are talking about though.:confused:

    But nice setup, keep at up.

    Jeff
     
  7. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Thank you Jeff and sorry for my very late reply! They used to be much better, but now I will try the EI method, so we'll see how they'll go.

    Thanks!
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Decades ago I had some issues similar, but adding more CO2 and ferts seemed to help.
    You have the same light pretty much as I do on my 180 Gallon tank.

    This is VERY HIGH light.

    I saw what you described mostly on R macrandra.
    I also had similar KH and GH back then.

    Now I have low KH, about 1-2, GH about 2-3.
    I cannot kill or stunt Rotala macrandra green, mini butterfly, you name the plant species.

    I can trim them every week and they grow back.
    I might get say 1-2 stunted tips, but I get 5-6 nice new tips that grow rapidly from the stunted tip region.

    Before, maybe 12 years ago or so now, I use to get the same as yourself with R macrandra.
    But, not so much when I used lower light. Our other club members did exceptionally well with the same plants but had low KH's due to different tap water sources.

    I would add more CO2, 25 ppm is not much for all that light. I would add about 40-45ppm personally. This is the limit for Discus.
    They will turn dark and not come out as much if you have added too much. I would adjust it slowly and watch. I'd also add more current, they will be fine and more active with more current.
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Decades ago I had some issues similar, but adding more CO2 and ferts seemed to help.
    You have the same light pretty much as I do on my 180 Gallon tank.

    This is VERY HIGH light.

    I saw what you described mostly on R macrandra.
    I also had similar KH and GH back then.

    Now I have low KH, about 1-2, GH about 2-3.
    I cannot kill or stunt Rotala macrandra green, mini butterfly, you name the plant species.

    I can trim them every week and they grow back.
    I might get say 1-2 stunted tips, but I get 5-6 nice new tips that grow rapidly from the stunted tip region.

    Before, maybe 12 years ago or so now, I use to get the same as yourself with R macrandra.
    But, not so much when I used lower light. Our other club members did exceptionally well with the same plants but had low KH's due to different tap water sources.

    I would add more CO2, 25 ppm is not much for all that light. I would add about 40-45ppm personally. This is the limit for Discus.
    They will turn dark and not come out as much if you have added too much. I would adjust it slowly and watch. I'd also add more current, they will be fine and more active with more current.
     
  10. Yo-han

    Yo-han Guru Class Expert

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    14x39W, KH=5, pH=6.8 If those are measured accurately, your CO2 will be around 23.5 ppm at max! In reality probably less and with that amount of light this seems like a more than plausible cause to me!
     
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