I have Rotala wallichi in here and other Eriocaulon's and a rug of HC.
I had a nice Ohko stone scape in here, but am tossing them out and going Dutch row in the arrangement.
I just got the pantanal and the Tonia "belem"
Last week and have over an inch of growth already, the L pantanal is a very nice plant.
Tonuia belem is much easier to grow than the T. fluvitalis which I get 2" a week out of and have 15 new 2-3" stems from last week. The issue is raising the new stems, they need more light than I can give them in the layout I want, so it's not much of a nursery tank.
Sopme plants are tolerant of that, but if these plants are shaded on the sides, they tend not to do as well.
The L. pantanal looked pretty sad looking and has in stores also, but it's really liven up well at home. It does well with fast growers also.
These plants do prefer soft water, but I've not found anything to substrate they require acid conditions, nor low pH's, nor ADA substrates. I've grown the hardest of these in plain old flourite.
I also got 2" a week out of the Tonia fluviatilis, but the water had a low KH, 1-3 degrees etc.
That seems to be the only real requirement.
ADA soil will certainly help though, and it's good for root growth vs flourite for the Tonia fluviatilis, but stem/leaf growth was the same. You can see visibly more roots on the Tonia with ADA soils. Most likely do to soft nature and NH4 content rather the acidic nature(we can add peat if we want to explore that issue), and you can add soil for macro's like NH4 etc.
But for most, simply getting the ADA soil does make things easier.
I'm not impressed with the powersand though. It makes a mess when you replant/uproot.
The other large factor was switching to CO2 mist, although I did well with these species in FL + flourite without CO2 mist.
The mist really causes the growth spurts to increase in ther Tonia and leaf cone size diameter increases nearly 2 fold, a very marked difference.
This tank is simple EI dosing and CO2 mist, 8800K lights from hellolights(5.5 w/gal). There are 50 cardinals in here and 50 manao shrimp, and a few Royal Farowella babies.
Well, here's where you get your plants: local club plant swaps!
Tons of plants.
I can send you some cuba if you want some, crap grows 4-6"s a week and more, nearly a foot a week in another tank.
It's a weed.
But if you want access to many plants, forming a local club is a great idea.
Think globally, act locally.
The sfbaaps club is the oldest local club in the USA that I know of. We started with a great core group, but without new folks coming in, there little dynamic growth.
So the last couple of years I and the other folks in the club have really worked it and worked hard to get folks involved.
We started with 20 or so, maybe 8 remained active over the last 8 years etc, now we have well over 25-30 that are active, many new folks, and nearly 100 people in the club.
One person really took over as site administrator, that really helps.
Now we get together to swap and talk weeds and if someone wants a particular plant, we all have access to it and the local growing tips.
L cuba gets pretty red, in the larger tanks it stays a nice yellow color, sort of like a giant yellow red Eustralis.
It branches well in shorter tanks with more light and will creep over rocks etc to some degree.
BTW, the pantanal have gotten much larger, about 2/3 the size of the cuba and redder.
Looks like you are ironing out the "mist" approach!!! Still, most of us are still using the old method of reactors. How did you deal with GSA with your EI method while using reactors. I am 100% certain that my CO2 levels are way above 30ppm, closer to 50 or 60. Even with it this high, I cannot dose NO3 without running into severe problems with GSA. I am dosing half the recommended NO3 and almost double the PO4 to combat the GSA. In order to maintain high NO3 my PO4 has to be through the roof. What am i missing here? Did you ever have serious probs with GSA? I can keep in under control and it is almost none existent with my current dosing. However, when I try anything close to the recommended ratio of dosing, I get it really bad......grows in 3 days. I feel my plants are suffering, I am seeing stunting (which i assume is from lack of NO3). What am I not seeing here. Could it have something to do with my local water? I am at a loss here. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks