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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, All.

Earlier this month I tried an experiment with two species of plants. I took three pieces of Hottonia palustris from my 10-gallon tank (if anybody's really interested, I can post specs) and five pieces of Rotala indica from a 5.5-gallon tank in which the plants weren't really the main focus. Anyway, I planted these in two terra cotta pots filled with soil sandwiched between two layers of gravel. I put these in a bare-bottom 2.5-gallon tank and used an incandescent strip light that houses a single 10-watt screw-in PC bulb.

I was too lazy to put together another DIY CO2 bottle so I found an old bottle of Excel and dosed as recommended. I also kept the fertilization *approximately* the same as what was going into the 10-gallon tank. I scaled down a little because obviously, there weren't as many plants in the experimental tank.

I didn't think I was going to see a huge change, and granted, it was slow to happen. It could be due to my using Excel rather than CO2. But I'd say that the difference I'm seeing is of some significance. If you go to the link and click on the folder with the Hottonia photo, you'll see the results.

http://photos.yahoo.com/mizmo_naomi

The new growth in the Hottonia does appear somewhat "leggier" than before, but the leaf span is greater than I've ever previously managed. Also, the base of the stem isn't disintegrating like it usually does. The R. indica I started with was really puny. The tank I took them from was overgrown with algae and never received fertilizer or even CO2; however, the new growth in the experimental plants are much more massive than what's growing in my other planted tanks.

There's always the possibility that other factors are playing a bigger role in the results shown, but I've failed miserably with many plants enough to be reasonably certain that the soil is *really* helping things out, here. Just thought I'd share. No point. I hate it when people say, "so... what's your point?" I rarely have one. Just wanted to share. :D

-Naomi
 

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Naomi, I have transferred species grown in high light tanks to tanks with lower light, with the result being larger foliage.

I imagine that the lessened light calls for larger leaves to gather more of it.

By "leggier", do you mean longer internodes? I also experienced that.
 

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Actually, I have a bunch of Hottonia growing in another 2.5-gallon tank with only 8W of normal-output fluorescent light, and the leaves are smaller. It's growing in 100% Flourite. The fact that it's heated and the experimental tank isn't *could* be a big factor, as I know Hottonia is reputed to fare better in lower temperatures.

The 10-gallon from which the experimental Hottonia was picked has a 28-watt, 6700K PC light over it and is 100% Eco-Complete. The Hottonia is mostly dying in this tank. I think the light is just not doing it; the base of the stems rot and the plants float up or get sucked onto the filter intake sieve. I'm looking into getting a 10,000K bulb to replace the present one. The stuff in the 2.5-gallon are doing way better, but are not as big as the experimental one.

I'm going to set up my 4-gallon 'long' tank with soil and natural gravel. Since a 16" strip light sits perfectly on top, I'm going to have 14W of normal-output fluorescent lighting over it. The results should be interesting. It'll be just like my experiment, only on a larger scale.

-Naomi
 

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Sorry for re-hashing this, but was that folder not viewable? I was just told in the substrate forum that only one album was there. I just changed the settings so that the other three should be available to check out. Sorry! I wish somebody would have said something earlier. Oh well... Hope it's visible, now.

-Naomi :)
 

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Two factors that could be important in causing the better growth: (1) the soil---the roots of the cuttings are getting into this soil that may have more iron and who knows what else in better supply than the substrate in the old tank. (2) The amount of room in the new tank. I have not seen a picture of the old tank, but my guess is that there are a lot more plants per gallon in it than in the new tank. I think that with a lower biomass of plants per gallon, the plants are less likely to run out of some critical nutrient. I remember a 5 gallon tank I had where I had about five amazon sword plantlets taken from a flower stalk. They all were pale and miserable and hardly grew at all. I removed all but one of them, and the remaining one got nice and green and immediately started growing much larger leaves. There was no change in fertilization; actually there was no fertilization during the whole time other than from the wastes from a few tetras.
 

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