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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In my 29 gallon tank I have been pushing N, P, and K, with additions of Miracle-gro every two or three days, along with a good shot of MgSO4, and calcium. This dosing regimen has been in effect, for about a month and a half, and I have almost a half tablespoon of the crystalline Miracle-gro in the water by now.

I see improvements in many, but not all of the crypts in the tank, and the fact that some species have not responded is interesting.

C. cordata, C. undulata, C. x wendtii (green gecko?) and two unknown Sri Lankan crypts are all showing improved growth, darker green leaves, and production of more runners. C. moehlmannii, in the right corner is also doing better. C. lingua, could be a little better, but is holding its own. I have not seen any improvement in it since the start of the increased fertilization. The tank gets 80 watts of compact fluorescent light.

C. affinis (behind the moehlmannii) shows no improvement and is much smaller than it ought to be. C. ciliata is responding by growing somewhat larger leaves, but, as it has always done, it has only two working leaves at a time. I suspect that is the best that anyone can expect with this plant unless one grows it emersed. However, there may be varietal differences in the species in its ability to thrive submersed.

My plant of C. albida (mostly hidden behind the C x wendtii) has responded by growing somewhat bigger leaves, but it is also continuing to have dieback of older leaves. I had some C. albida once before, and it did a lot better than it is doing now. My single plant has not produced a runner since I got it at at the AGA convention Nov, 2003. Holes start appearing in the leaves as soon as they reach full size, and they increase, and the leaf deteriorates until it dies at around the time it becomes the 3rd or 4th leaf.

Why is my albida doing poorly? Possible answers:
(1) When I had the species before, it was a different plant, perhaps a different variety that was better adapted to submersed growth.
(2) When I had the species before, It was planted in a richer soil with a lot of composted leaves. Perhaps the soil made the difference. Now I have it in plain topsoil taken from the woods, but no semi-decomposed leaves in it.
(3) When I had the species before, it got its growth while nutrients were metered out at much lower levels. I would give N and P in small amounts and see growth spurts in response. The plants were nitrogen deficient for sure between additions. I don't know whether or not they were P deficient.

Which one of these hypotheses should I test? I tend to lean towards the last one that low levels of nutrients are better than high levels for this species.
 

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Could it be that C. albida is actually a soft water plant and you are giving it too much Ca and Mg?

Why do you like moldering substrates? Mineralized would more closely represent the submerged silt banks that stream crypts are usually found on. The beech tree leaves mold thing is for emersed growth.
 

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I'm leaning towards the first possibility Paul. We both got our albida from the same source at the same time. Besides the addition of calcium to its roots that Phil suggested in chat, I've tried everything, all to no avail. Old leaves die, no runners are formed, and it just sits there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I want to try the leaf compost substrate because I want to try to recreate the way I grew the species the last time I had it, when one plant grew into a whole forest of plants in just a few months, pictured below

Cavan, have you had better luck with the species in the past?
 

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It has been my experience that Crypts like rich substrates, but are easily "shocked" if they are not eased in to it. I have had experiences with affinis melting when I would place pelleted ferts right under the plant. It would not kill the plant, but it sure did act negatively toward it. I regularly feed my plants this way, but instead of feeding right under the plant, I feed 3-4" away from the crown and "allow" the roots to find it on their own. My plants seem to positively respond to this type of feeding. I'm no botanist or expert, but this is something I have observed in submersed growth with affinis as well as cordata, retrospiralis, "balansae", and some of the sri lankan stuff too.
 
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