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Discussion Starter #1
I've had my Pogo. helferi for a couple of months now and it's been growing nicely. About four or so weeks ago, the very tips of the older leaves became raggered, the tips turned yellow and then they dropped off. The new leaves were unaffected until now. I had a chat on my local Australian plant forum and it was suggested i try burying the nude stem in the hope some of the nodes may sprout new life. I also added another root tab. Alas, a week or so later my plant looks even closer to death. If anyone has suggestions I'd be most grateful. I've basically resigned myself to loosing it.

The ONLY thing that has changed in the last month or so is the temp of the tank - summer now sees it at 30 oC but the book I have says P. helferi has a temp range of 20 - 30 oC. Can anyone help? Have you grown it successfully at this higher temp? I've included some dodgy pics to try and show what's going on [I dose with potassium, iron, traces, nitrates, a little phosphate, some excel, run CO2 and have T5 lighting. Have soft water, pH around 6.8, kH around 4,k and the plant has root tabs under it]

A week ago:



Added extra root tab and tried burying part of stem in hope other node may grow. Current state:



A big thanks to anyone with ideas!
 

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If the only thing that has changed is the temp, them that is probably the problem. Try setting up a fan to blow on the top of the water to bring the temps down, that has always worked well for me, in fact, it allows me to get the temp down a degree or two below ambient temps. Hope this helps!

Greg
 

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I would hesitate to say it's temperature. PH is a sensitive plant and responds greatly to water parameters. If your KH fluctuates, that could very well be the issue. It also takes an exceedingly long time to adapt. It's one of those plants that you set and forget until it becomes a problem. Judging from your hairgrass, you may be lacking CO2, possibly in amount and/or distribution. Other things to look at would be your nitrogen and trace dosing. Knowing your nutrient dosing schedule and regimen would help greatly. You have some unusual veining that would indicate some lacking nutrition.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your time guys. The hairgrass looks sad because I gave it a very severe crop with scissors - in case the P. helferi was not getting enough light. Yes, I'm getting desperate.

My schedule goes: 50% water change weekly, and to the 150 L tank I add: 4 mL of flourish iron, 4 mL of the comprehensive supplement, KNO3 to give tank composition of around 10 ppm nitrate, K2SO4 to give the potassium dose equivalent to that recommended on the Flourish potassium supplement (details are at home and I can't remember off the top of my head - think I'm running around 20 ppm K+). My kH is always in the range 3.5 to 4.

Do you think there's the possibility the root tabs could be causing the problem? It seems to be going downhill rapidly since I put the second (half) under the plant. Of course, it could just be in it's final stages of dying.

The fan idea is good, unfortunately my place is very warm. I keep cycling bottles of ice in the tank and that keeps it about the 30 oC mark (rather than 31 or higher). I suspect a fan wouldn't be more effective than ice?
 

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This is one I've never had long term luck with. I've tried it twice, and both times when first planted, it did great. Then over time, it would deteriorate on me, especially if I had to pull it up and prune it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi guys, thanks for all your help but I'm afraid the battle has been lost. With nothing to loose and after reading the above article, I thought I'd try cutting the stem along the "horizontal" part where there were heaps of roots. I left the denuded part of the stem untouched and transferred the "leafed" part with roots to a new environment and protected it with some net. Nice experiment but I probably left it too late to try. Both have begun melting. Oh well, you can only try.

I'd like to thank everyone for sharing ideas!
 

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This plant is very C02 sensitive, like L. pantanal, or R. vietnam
once the C02 fluctuates to sub-par levels this plant will either
get ratty or melt, whereas other plants will not be as noticeably
stressed.
A consistently steady amount of C02 and soft/er water for best
results.
This is why you get the level of difficulty of plant listings, some
are much harder to grow for the newer aquarist's for lack of
experience and an untrained eye for the plants.

Plus you do not want to crowd the plant, give it, it's own space,
it looks as though you have hair grass growing all around it.
 
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