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Your stem plants seem to include a mixture of Rotala rotundifolia, Bacopa monnieri, and what seems to be Anachris? I think some gardening skills have to be learned here, with more effort paid attention to trimming those stem plants into tighter bushes and to plant health --some of those plants do not seem to be all that healthy. I am curious to know, what is the lighting on this aquarium? Due to their condition, I feel that the lighting may not be intense enough for them.

I would take out the disk-like rock (?) under the driftwood. Perhaps you would be interested in adding more, longer pieces of driftwood covered in Anubias nana, Java moss, and Java Fern? You could use the the E. xbarthii (melon sword) as a slightly-off-center-piece.

Carlos
 

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Andrea,

Are those 75 watts of light from normal flourescent bulbs or power compact bulbs?

How long have you had that E. xbarthii?

I am leery to suggest any foreground plant at this point, since the growth habits of your plants are showing some problems. The bottom portions of your Rotala should not be so bare, and the Bacopa monnieri shows alternating leaf sizes along the stem --which isn't a good thing.

For grassy plants, I would avoid Vallisneria and tall Crypts because they will get too large. Instead, I suggest the more finely leaved Eleocharis montevidensis (giant hairgrass). I would also suggest a stronger driftwood arrangement to anchor your layout.

The weekly topic archive is an excellent resource, as are the monthly interviews in the aquascaping articles section. I hope you will give them a glance.

Carlos
 

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Please keep us updated with photos. You seem to have adequate lighting --enough lighting that you are probably deficient in something else. Are you adding CO2?

If your melon sword (E. xbarthii) is that small in 6 months, I think you would be surprised that a really healthy E. xbarthii should be able to completely takeover your 29g in six months. I am not trying to put down your growing skills, but trying to point out that you may want to work on your gardening skills and continue to work on your plant health. *I* still work on perfecting plant health with each of the plant species I maintain.

You can simply yank the Java Fern off and transfer it to the new piece of driftwood. These are tough plants, and this 'abuse' will not set it back.

Carlos
 

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What liquid fertilizers are you using and how much?

Are you adding any nitrate or phosphate? With those lighting levels, you will need them to get the best out of your plants.

Vibrantly healthy plants are essential for a good aquascape.

Carlos
 
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