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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks,

Having a bit of an issue with some Hygrophilia polysperma 'Rosanervig'. The problem is - It's creeping across the substrate - rather than growing vertically.

I've tried various pruning techniques, but the problem remains.

It's a 55g tank is running 2x40w(t12) 2x36w(t8) for just under 152w of NO flourescent. pH 7.2, kh 140ppm, DIY CO2, PMDD ferts. Rather heavily stocked (6 5->6.5" discus, 4 bolivian rams, swarms of ottos and amano shrimp)

The tank gets about 1.5-2hours of direct sunlight first thing in the morning, I don't think that should be causing the problem. (Didn't find the window until after the tank was installed (its 16' above the tank) and there's no other place to put the tank) I'm way up in the north, so during the period the sunlight does hit the tank, it's not overly strong light - not as bright as the artificial lighting.

The H.P. does pop up vertical shoots, but they fall over and start creeping within a week. Pruning the runners has resulted in a very bushy 'globe' like plant. Frustrated today I ripped out the plants, replanting only the vertical stems - but previous attempts at this method have resulted in the same growth. I don't anticipate 'proper' growth...

I'm out of ideas, is there some nutrient I might be lacking? I can't see the lighting causing this... Removing 1-2 bulbs has been tried - but hasn't helped.

Any ideas?

Andy
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Art_Giacosa said:
Yes. What is your fertilizer regimen?
I dose roughly 10ml of trace every 3-4 days (7% Fe, 1.3% B, 2% Mn, 0.06% Mo, 0.4% Zn, 0.1% Cu, EDTA, DTPA), MgSO4 at the same time, usually just 2-3ml.

Daily I add 5-10ml of KNO3 solution (brings it up to 10ppm) - having a fight getting nitrogen levels up lately.

K2SO4 I've stopped dosing at the moment; as I think my K levels are probably pretty high due to the amount of KNO3 I'm using.

PO4 (fleet enema) is dosed just a couple drops every 2-3 days.

Water changes are every 3 days, in the 50-80% range, depending on detrius.

Andy
 

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Andy,

If you can, check your PO4 levels. Several plants will creep along the ground until PO4 levels are increased. Hygrophila is one of them. Get the PO4 to 1 ppm for a few weeks. You'll notice the difference pretty quickly. However, keep an eye on nitrates as they will drop even more than they are now.
 

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Certain stem plants like to do that from time to time. They won't do it if they're unhappy--so your Hygro is probably getting what it needs.

The idea is for the plant to claim as much territory as possible before sending up vertical shoots. If you let the creeping stems get long enough, you'll probably see more vertical shoots from the nodes.

Rotala loves to do that as well.

I've always though that the real conundrum is why Ludwigia grows diagonally regardless of light :)
 

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I have observed Heteranthera zosterifolia (stargrass) exhibiting creeping growth along the substrate in a moderately light aquarium. It was very dark green.

A couple days after some addition of PO4, the plant began to turn a lighter green and grow upward.

Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Error said:
Certain stem plants like to do that from time to time. They won't do it if they're unhappy--so your Hygro is probably getting what it needs.

The idea is for the plant to claim as much territory as possible before sending up vertical shoots. If you let the creeping stems get long enough, you'll probably see more vertical shoots from the nodes.
LOL - don't say let it claim as much territory as possible - there's been a few occasions where there has been no substrate visible (2 'main' plants, opposite corners - whole substrate covered).

I'll try increasing PO4 to 1ppm, I've been keeping it under .5ppm so maybe that's part of it...

Thanks!

Andy
 

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Would it be possible to make a stem plant foreground? I just discovered that if you remove leaves from H. augustifolia and "crack" them, roots will out from the places where the leaf snapped. Praps lay those down and trim the stems short. It would be a real pain to keep up with though.
 

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My first "real" planted tank was a 30 gallon with 90watts of NO flourescent lighting on it. I dosed Flourish once a week, probably not even enough to sneeze at.

I put a couple stems of H. polysperma in there and ended up with a hygro carpet within a few weeks. It was growing in really well and worked better than the E. tenellus I was trying to grow, so I just maintained it by pruning the thick parts every week or so. Wasn't the prettiest foreground plant, but I thought it was pretty nifty.

I always thought that H. polysperma did the creeping thing when it got "enough" light that it didn't want to get too close... I've seen it happen in higher light tanks, too, where there wasn't much of an effort to dose any nutrients whatsoever. Interesting that it may be due to a PO4 deficiency...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well extra PO4 is making some difference... I've got one shoot that has gone straight up and hasn't fallen (yet - knock on wood)

The majority however is still doing the groundcover thing...



Yeah - lookit the pretty algae too :) Bloody BGA never seems to go away!

Andy
 
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