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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I am new to aquariums and obviously this forum too. Got a 20 gallon bad boy only 3 weeks ago - I want to turn it into a well balanced eco system before I put any fish in. I've got three plants from the local store.

Bacopa Caroliniana, Egaria Densa and XXX (please see the pictures)
I have a gravel based tank and I prefer to have only stem feeders. But the store guy gave me a wrong name for one of the plants. Went back to the store and 2 others to hear the staff give me 3 different names, none matching it.

I'd love to know if its a stem feeder or if I need to get soil (which I'd like to avoid). To make things complicated, I'm noticing their leaves are wilting away slightly...

Other info:I am using Seachem Flourish (1x week) and Advance in small doses... lights out for 10 hours everyday... 2 hours of crisp, mild morning sun, then LED all the way.

I would be highly indebted to any of you kind fellow-planters (vets or otherwise) if you can ID this plant.

I'm in the process of scanning this forum pages further - but if any of you could be kind enough to share any tips for my plants - esp any watchouts, I'd be extra grateful!

Thanks a lot!

NN.
 

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I am not an ID expert by any means but your plant looks like the transitioning emmersed form of either a Myriophyllum sp. or a Proserpinaca sp.

If you scroll up from here to the main "blue" bar with some topic headings in it you'll see one called "Plant Finder" where you can take a look at some of these and many others. Most of them have some description of plants appreciating a fertilized water column compared to bring a heavy rooted plant.

There is also a specific forum/thread heading specifically for plant ID where someone who frequents that area may know exactly what the plant is and whether it requires a rich substrate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks a million!

Ukamikazu - you're link has led me to a realisation that it is indeed a Water Wisteria - got confused with its weird leaf shape. 99% of the images in the search results showed a different leaf structure.

It turns out Water Wisteria is a heterophylly which (I learnt today!) makes it grow different leaves according to its environment! So your responses really helped!

If you are familiar with WW - wonder if its OK to leave it in the pots or in the coarse gravel I have? I would love to let them float - and prefer not to use root tabs, but instead liquid ferts- but the filter may keep moving them, or is that normal?
 

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In my experience, it does much better planted into the substrate with an occasional root tab placed under it, say every 3 months. I can say without fear of contradiction, water wisteria is a weed and among the easiest, hardiest, most useful and versatile of plants anyone could ever grow.

Just to be clear, your plant's leaves will start to melt and die back as it transitions from its emergent form to its submerged form. This is perfectly normal and expected and starts happening in the neighborhood of 2 weeks after being submerged. Your mileage may vary. You'll see as the rounder smaller leaves are replaced with bigger frond like leaves.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you! Extremely valuable input considering until yesteryday I knew nothing about this plant and now it seems I've got the most essential dope on it thanks to you!:D

I'll leave a couple floating (sideways, hoping it would grow across) and the others planted in the subtrate with root tabs as you adviced. Do the tabs work fine under the corase gravel that I've got? (In the pic it can be seen I hope?) The store guy told me soil is a must - but it would be very costly for me to replace the subtrate - esp considering I have a bacopa rooting in there already. Online I found some saying gravel works - but fine... mine isnt!

also do you think its OK to leave these plants in the pots for a while? I found mixed views online - have a feeling your view would certainly help me decide.
 

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Leaving it in the pot is fine but the rock wool it's potted in is not nutritious. You will need to fertilize the pot with root tabs if you intend to leave it in there for some time or even forever. Eventually the roots will grow out of the net pot. In my personal opinion, I remove my plants from their pots. I think it'll be fine while you think things through.

Without a nutritious substrate, fertilizing is essential. You can use the root tabs to feed your plants and possibly use a pre-made liquid fertilizer for the water column. Follow the directions for whichever product you choose, using both is fine just, again, follow the directions and adjust your lighting & dosing as appropriate if you notice algae or unhealthy growth. The root tabs stay in the substrate which ameliorates algae issues, so take it easy with water column fertilizers. Whatever substrate you have will likely be fine.

A wise old retired marine postman once called the brightly colored gravel you sometimes see in pet stores clown puke, but as long as you fertilized, it would grow weedy plants just fine. I miss Rex Grigg. He had a way with words and could cut to the heart of anything though not gently. That's what made him awesome.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'll folow your tip and get some root tabs. I'll have a community of tiny fish (cherry barbs, WC minnows, BN pleco) that can supply the CO2 needed? or something like Seachem Excel later (I prefer to keep the tank low tech)

Quite excited to watch WWs shed its boring, vanilla leaves and grow the sexy ones. How cool is that. You take these tiny lucky accidents for granted - I picked this plant having no idea about it (I liked how strikingly green it looked inside the tank) and the staff being clueless too helped!

I've got a couple more weeds - Bacopa caroliniana and anacharis. both of them look hardy and energetic for now. Floated a few, kept some in the sub.

You've been a terrific help. Would love to hear what plants to you grow?

I've looked up and Rex Grigg's planted tank site - looks a fab world of lots of delicious info on this. Cant thank you enough.
 

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...I'll have a community of tiny fish (cherry barbs, WC minnows, BN pleco) that can supply the CO2 needed? or something like Seachem Excel later (I prefer to keep the tank low tech)
The passive CO2 your fish produce will be plenty for tough plants like water wisteria. I'd really advise against using Excel or similar products unless you're combating really tough, bad algae and even then, only as the nuclear option. I can tell you from experience, Excel is a tough addiction to break.

Would love to hear what plants to you grow?
I've grown all kinds of plants over the past 36 years but my thing for the past 12 or so have been biotopes: Attempts to replicate specific regions of the world. Right now I'm doing one for the Western Congo, also a Walstad tank, and it is filled to the brim with Ammannia senegalensis, Nymphaea zenkeri, Crinum calamistratum, Bacopa monnieri, Ammannia mauritania, Nessaea crassicaulis, Nessaea pedicellata 'Golden', Bolbitis heudelotii, Anubias barteri var. coffeefolia, some Eleocharis or another and an unknown Marsilea. Absolutely dominating the tank is a way too happy and perpetually blooming Aponogeton ulvaceus. My kingdom for just 3 larger Eriocaulon cinereum of reasonable price.

Right now, I'm flirting with the idea of South American nano replicating the Madeira River basin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Your suggestion on Excel is relieving. I'm already using Flourish sparingly- underdosing once a week. And I was hoping my fish would feed them the rest of the nutrients. Certainly reassuring on wisteria. I do have a couple more

Bacopa Caroliniana: Some on the substrate and some floating around. Its amazing how fast they respondent to floating - their tops stood up overnight! Man, these things are aliveee! I can see some of the top leaves taking a pink hue (Meaning they are getting the light they want?)
Anarchsis - they seem rather weak and wilty. I'm assuming they are getting used to the waters? I've head they are rather hardy too. But the root are snaking around whether floating or in subtrate. I've got one on the driftwood too. Giving them time - i'll propagate the healthier ones as soon as I see some growths.

Just sharing my tank scene here. You've been very helpful already.

Having heard your terrific experience in this domain - I have to admit something I probably won't on Fishlore forum. :D I am loving my plants a teeny bit more than my fish![smilie=b: Probably not the nicest thing to say but it only means i am that crazy about plants and trees. Biotapes are extremely fasincating idea. Havent researched much about it yet. Will also look up on the plants you're doing. If you have a blog or channel, pls do share. Love to have a peak.

Right now we live in a rented apartment here in the Middle East - and in my eventual plan to retire back to a village in Southern Indian, I do plan to tke this route. I'm from a very tropical area in India - we're used to more of brown/cloudy and muddy waters. People in our part are quite irresponsible ecologically (or ignorant) so many lakes and rviers are filled with nasty foreign weeds. (African algae for instance). We're only getting to realise how bad these are for our system. I digress - So crystal clear water basins are a fantasy material for us. If you ever plan to do a South Asia biotape and need some local insights, I could help you out. If at all!
 

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.. I'd really advise against using Excel or similar products unless you're combating really tough, bad algae and even then, only as the nuclear option. I can tell you from experience, Excel is a tough addiction to break......
I'm very interested in what you mean by "addiction", and why you are so strongly anti-Excel. I have always seen it as something that can be very useful, but also something that is generally not necessary. Sometimes I use it, but not often.
 

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I never stated I was anti-glutaraldehyde but I can state clearly and for the record that I am pro-careful-and-judicious-use-of-glutaraldehyde. To what degree one is careful and judicious is up to the individual and their specific circumstances. It is my personal opinion after years of use that glutaraldehyde really excels (pardon the pun) at its intended purpose, cleaning and sterilization.

When it comes to addiction, say caffeine, nicotine or other alkaloids that tend to make you momentarily happy, there are two aspects: Chemical and Psychological. Chemical dependency is your brain demanding a substance because it feels good. This part is easy to beat with good support. The really hard part is psychological dependence. Knowing that it's there for whenever life gets a bit too hard, when there is a threat of future pain. It becomes the security blanket, or if you remember the Michael Keaton movie Mr. Mom, the Woobie.

For me, Excel was that woobie. CO2 presence seems suspect? Just top it off with a little Excel. No pretty pearling? Some Excel will fix that! A little spot of algae? No problem for Excel! I avoid it and discourage its use because, for me personally, it was a silver bullet, a crutch. It solved the medium and short term problems but tended to discourage me from doing failure and root cause analysis and correcting the actual cultural problems I was personally responsible for. It was a quick and easy solution in a convenient bottle that could be measured out.

Yes, real psychological dependency, I am ashamed to admit but Diana Walstad rescued me from that. Actually trying to understand limnology and be a real husbander of plants & animals and do things the right way, the simple way, the ethical & humane way is what broke the spell. Well, that and the fact I'm a penny pincher & lazy. The stuff's not cheap!

Can it help grow plants? Absolutely! Is it a good long term solution for some hobbyists? I guess so. Is it completely without risk, especially in a natural planted tank? Absolutely not. What are those risks? I can only speak subjectively and qualitatively on that and I am aware that anecdote is not the plural of data. It just seems wrong to introduce a strong reducing agent into something meant to replicate natural processes as closely as possible, robust though they seem to be.

I still keep a bottle. I use it to sanitize my equipment and hospital tank or to kill off the fuzz on a piece of wood I'm trying to waterlog. I even had a minor breakdown recently where I couldn't find fish locally because of the pandemic to stock my newest tank and broke down long enough to consider pouring in a capful, just in case. No, I'll keep Walstad tanks as simply and responsibly as possible. This is only my personal testimony.
 
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