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I just got my first crypt-Cryptocoryne wendtii, along with some Java Fern and Nymphoides aquatica - Banana plant. I have a question about bleaching them. What is the best method for bleaching crypts? Should I even attempt it? Any tips to get wendtii growing good? I already fertilize and have laterite. Lighting is 2 watts per gallon for now, new power compact will be coming soon.

Thanks!
 

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Crypts are pretty resistant to the bleach treatment. Some of the leaves may die back, but the rhizome is not bothered, and new leaves soon sprout. I would give crypts four minutes in 5% bleach, several good rinses, and then they go right into a well-lit tank. Float them for several weeks until you see some new roots and leaves. Then plant in the substrate. This tank must be free of hair algae, or you have wasted your time bleaching the crypts. The purpose of the bleach treatment is to eliminate hair algae from the tank. If you just bleach the plants and then put them in a tank that already has hair algae, then it will just climb on the treated plants in practically no time. If you don't have some kind of well-lit hair algae free set up to put the treated plants into, don't bother treating them. They really go down hill fast if they are forced to wait around in plastic bags or trays of water for days after the bleach treatment. For that matter, they don't keep very well under those conditions even if they have not been given the treatment.

Crypts take a while to get established. They need to get their roots down into arich soil or, better, a soil-peat mixture. Once they are well established, they will start sending out underground rhizomes and sending up little plants near the parent plant. They should be left alone for long periods of time. Replanting is always a set-back that requires months to recover from.

Java fern is also pretty resistant to the bleach treatment. The leaves may be killed, but the rhizome is not, and it will send up new leaves soon. Keep the iron in the water up for Java ferns as well as for the Crypts.

I never had a banana plant, but it looks like it would be fairly resistant to the bleach. Treat the same way as the others.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info! I went ahead and put them in without treating them because I dont think they had any hair algae. My substrate is laterite/gravel. I planted the crypt with the rhizome just above the surface of the gravel, which I think is correct. Hopefully it will do well. There were three of four little plantlets.
 
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