Stan Gets His Holy Grail Aquarium Plant...bolbitis Heudelotii.

Stan510

Member
Nov 28, 2019
188
12
18
Hayward ca.
Ok.second time with it. My first try well over a year ago was when I made mistakes I should have seen coming. Mystery snails that had bred wildly...ate the roots. I sold the snails. I also about then had not dosed a thing and when hair algae got bad.. I tried for my first time Hydrogen Peroxide...it killed the algae for a little while...but then my plants had a week later a slow agonizing melt down.
Today,for the first time ever the LFS store had a big healthy piece with large fronds. My previous had been a hard ,hard,look online of months..it's never been sold here in the 35 years I've gone to that store.
Ok,I'm dosing Iron like there is no tomorrow..some manganese.
Who with no Co2 knows of it doing well?
If it fails ...

ps my talks with LFS owner has changed his mind. He's getting things I only saw for sale online and not locally. The 21st century aquarium. I guess.

I didn't take a photo yet..later.
ah.jeez.Sorry about the typo on the name. First time I've done that so bad.
 
Last edited:
Jul 17, 2017
95
125
33
Ontario
Hi have some that's doing well in a somewhat shaded spot in my low tech tank. I started with a small stray fragment from my LFS about a year ago and I recently divided it. It doesn't have any BBA these days (after I increased K) Everything I've read suggests that it does much better in soft water and low pH but my water is pretty hard with high pH (over 8) so it doesn't need those conditions. My per-week dosing is 10ppm NO3, 1 ppm PO4, 24 ppm K, 0.31 ppm Fe (0.1 from CSM+B and 0.2 as Fe DPTA).
 

Stan510

Member
Nov 28, 2019
188
12
18
Hayward ca.
Thanks Snark. Sounds encouraging. My aquarium since I started with iron has just done...great. I added Heteranthera zosterifolia ( star grass) it came a little pale...just in a week it turned a darker green and today I noticed new shoots that did look like little stars.Attractive. I also added Alternanthera r. rosanervig from tissue culture...half over a few days just disappeared...what's left looks great and picking up speed. Things are hitting on all cylinders... The Bolbitis is or was a bucket list plant for me. IF I could have any plant do well...it would be this one. Especially as the first did do well last year and then my mistakes...
I'm going to explore getting a test kit. Reading the city's water department stats..there is no measurable amounts of iron. Manganese was at 4 ppm...but that's going in. I imagine the plants absorb...so I put a few teaspoons in a few days ago.
I appreciate you help!
 
Jul 17, 2017
95
125
33
Ontario
Glad your tank is doing well.

Manganese was at 4 ppm...but that's going in. I imagine the plants absorb...so I put a few teaspoons in a few days ago.
Did you mean Mg (magnesium) rather than Mn (manganese)? I did forget to mention that I add 2.5 ppm Mg via epsom salts. Partly this is because there is no Mg in the Canadian version of CSM + B that I have. The Mn I am adding is just what comes in the CSM + B micronutrient mix so I am dosing only about 0.03ppm Mn.

All the ppm values I am quoting are calculated based on what I am adding; I don't do much testing these days. I did do a lot of testing at the beginning to understand my water because I'm on a well so have no water report to rely on. My dosing is just EI low light modified for higher K and Fe which I have found that I need (probably to compensate for my high pH which reduces Fe availability and which may or may not affect K absorption). Don't put too much faith in the precision of hobby grade test kits!
 
Last edited:

Stan510

Member
Nov 28, 2019
188
12
18
Hayward ca.
I meant Magnesium,yes! My native water has 4 ppm according to the city water system website. It's mostly from the Hetch Hetchy waters of Yosemite that are granite runoffs...the water in my tank might at one time have been running off of the famous Half Dome-lol.
But what enters the tank might not be there 2 weeks later.
I'm finding..I could be wrong- that Seachems Iron must do more than just unlock,chelate more than iron..because all the plants look like I had fertilized them..flushes of growth like I would see in my garden plants after giving them all purpose fertilizers..with iron. Ferns love the acidity of iron.
Later I can post photos I took the other day of the Bolbitis...so far no black on other then one tip it had. I think this is one plant you REALLY are better off getting from the LFS stores as fresh as can be compared to internet and days out of water and in the dark.
But,we do only what's possible and this plant has been very hard to find.
Nice cat. Mine never pays any attention to the fish,lol.
 
  • Like
Reactions: snarkingturtle

Stan510

Member
Nov 28, 2019
188
12
18
Hayward ca.
It's now day 10 days into this opus and the Bolbitis is no worse than yesterday. So,I have the soft water,I have the powerhead aimed right at it,I have the iron in the water...and its 77f water.
Any ideas on any water additions?
I will keep updating this !
 

Stan510

Member
Nov 28, 2019
188
12
18
Hayward ca.
No kidding.. I see now four new croziers. Three are brand new since I put into the tank. The plant has stabilized,Mollies and ramshorn snail seem to be taking off the slight algae growth on old fronds. I imagine my lighting is brighter than what it had been getting.
I still credit Seachem Iron for the better results than last time around. The fuzz algae is no doubt from the houseplant iron...good to note it's more potent and should used be in as small a dose as possible. Seachem? Go nuts with it!..the more the better!..within reason.
 

Stan510

Member
Nov 28, 2019
188
12
18
Hayward ca.
I can't ever remember being this stoked I got something to do well,grow. I think only my other obsession..growing Mango's here in the bay area is greater..close call! ( and I do have a fruiting mango tree!)
 

Stan510

Member
Nov 28, 2019
188
12
18
Hayward ca.
For sure,it's now adapted...the darkening went away,and it's got its green color. I do have a piece of stem from over a year ago's first try..with 2 black frond ribs still attached...but that 2" now stem is very green. It may sprout.
To me,without a doubt the Seachem iron did it.
Any of you oldtimers remember buying Vitamin B-1 for garden plant transplanting? "Reduces shock" it said. I think Seachem's iron has a lot of that going for it. I think it does a helluva job of getting strictly Co2 plants to live,grow in non Co2 tanks. Just at a more sedate pace.
So,buy 4-6 of them instead on of one..and you got instant fill in that's faster than one and Co2!

ps the reduction of organics from the Syngonium may have helped..but the iron I'm just sure of it.
 

Stan510

Member
Nov 28, 2019
188
12
18
Hayward ca.
Nope..it's a bit darker..but sprouting croziers all over. I guess the only thing left to add to the water is potassium. I think health food stores sell tablet P.gluconate and I bet 200x cheaper then pet shop versions.
My first tries stem from last year? sprouted a tiny frond. I'm close people..but not there let alone in the clear.
 

Stan510

Member
Nov 28, 2019
188
12
18
Hayward ca.
I bought a bottle of Potassium gluconate at Walgreens. Since I know finding the average recommended dose would never be found for using it for aquariums...I used a pestle and mortar to grind one tablet for every 50 gallons..Five pills in total.
Lets see if it makes any difference since I doubt there was a problem with Potassium in my tap water in enough amounts. None of the plants had holes or...besides Bolbitis,off colors. There it is..as the Bolbitis got darker..I thought it might get a boost from Potassium.
Darn thing is..a second plant in the dealers dimly lit tank is normal looking. A 20 watt gro lux in a 20 long tank and some indirect window light. Hard to figure.
 
Last edited:

Stan510

Member
Nov 28, 2019
188
12
18
Hayward ca.
Ok..Its looking darker,with 5 new fronds forming. But tonight for the first time since I bought it,I looked at it from the side panel of the 240,and SURPRISE! it looked a perfectly normal green. Greenish black from the front, Normal green ( No black at all) from the side panel. Like a magic trick.
I can't explain that.
 

Stan510

Member
Nov 28, 2019
188
12
18
Hayward ca.
I can only hope that the faltering fronds are it adapting to more light. Maybe UV of the LED?..as I said,new croziers are formed all along the stem.
I just saw a new post of Bolbitis on H20 plants on youtube and he went on how easy..but slow..it is to grow. Never mentioned black leaves or why.
I did!
 

Stan510

Member
Nov 28, 2019
188
12
18
Hayward ca.
It looks a little better today..I gave the tank a cleaning with no water change..the Angels are guarding their eggs in the corner where the huge Syngonium vines and roots. I rubbed some brown algae off the older Bolbitis leaves..two new ones are opening and 3 more are in the crozier ( fiddleheads) stage.
 

Stan510

Member
Nov 28, 2019
188
12
18
Hayward ca.
Lights are out now..for sure tomorrow. Bonus with the sword plant and the Ammania"golden"..No sure what the heck it is..but looks bigger and better on the iron diet.
That Bolbitis is a hair puller. If I had hair.
 

Stan510

Member
Nov 28, 2019
188
12
18
Hayward ca.
Here it is Phish in its (horrible?) glory. Look how its pretty normal from the side glass..and from the front,the darkened leaves show up much more..backlit. Plus it has many new croziers forming all along the stem. A hard grow..very hard.
IMG_1564 (1).jpg


IMG_1567c.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: Phishless

Stan510

Member
Nov 28, 2019
188
12
18
Hayward ca.
AFTER I took the photos I made a water change and cleaned the leaves of the Bolbitis. Most of the black algae did in fact rub off and underneath the fronds were not especially worn. Bolbitis just might be a very light feeder and also you really have to wait for it to acclimate when you give it much more light than it was getting. Not much resistance to algae. No wonder those in very low light tanks can look so green. Only,they grow glacially they say under those conditions.
 

Stan510

Member
Nov 28, 2019
188
12
18
Hayward ca.
More photos of the tank. Before November I Was down to Vallisneria as the only large plant because of my use of hydrogen peroxide over the summer. What you see are other survivors who have made a very strong comeback in the iron diet. C.balansae in particular. The MB limit is really low,so see what I can post here. Gives you an idea. Syngonium is just wild.

IMG_1570.JPG


IMG_1576.JPG


IMG_1577.JPG