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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm considering trying Blyxa japonica again, but I should probably figure out why my first attempt ended in utter failure. I bought some pieces where a few of them had little plantlets attached at the crown. None of the plants had roots but the leaves looked very healthy. Because they didn't have roots, they wouldn't stay put (in Eco-Complete) and every morning I'd find them floating around at the surface. They were getting weaker and soon the snails and shrimp were eating them. After a while, there was simply nothing left of the Blyxa.

This time I would like to put them in a smaller tank with weaker light and Flourite. I'm better about fertilizing, now, if that may have been the problem... Is this just a difficult species, or did I have a bad bunch? If there's no chance of them surviving in my 2.5-gallon tank with 8W fluorescent light, DIY CO2 and Flourite, I'd like to know. I do fertilize daily in moderate amounts. If anybody needs numbers, I'll come back with them.

-Naomi
 

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gnome said:
I'm considering trying Blyxa japonica again, but I should probably figure out why my first attempt ended in utter failure. I bought some pieces where a few of them had little plantlets attached at the crown. None of the plants had roots but the leaves looked very healthy. Because they didn't have roots, they wouldn't stay put (in Eco-Complete) and every morning I'd find them floating around at the surface. They were getting weaker and soon the snails and shrimp were eating them. After a while, there was simply nothing left of the Blyxa.
Okay, first of all, its difficult IME... Attempt one, which failed... bought from aquarium center, planted in Flourite, daily trace dosing with a Flourish Root tab under it... did great for two months, went transparent and died after that...

Second attempt, which is working great so far, Eco-Complete with Ferti-plant under it plus a little peat, _deep substrate 3.5"_... very bright lighting, 2x36W PCF on a 15 gallon.. I think its iron availability with this one... root tabs plus a deep substrate with some organic matter to make more iron available to roots, also dose daily and dose a lot (10ml TMG, 10ml Flourish iron per week dosed daily, about it up it some more). You can easily grow the root outs, grab the crown with tweezers, plant very deep, then pull up on it until only 1/2"-1/4" of crown is buried. It will die long term if left like this but for a week or two it should be okay.. gradually pull up on it a little each week until the entire crown is exposed you should have a root system by this point. Did that make sense?

Every bunch I've had the old growth died off, I think its grown emersed...

HTH,
Jeff
 

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Hi all,
If you haven't checked , Kasselmann says it needs absolutely soft, acid water with a low conductance. Tropica says that it probably demands soft water and CO2.

Good luck,
Steve Pituch
 

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I would take Kasselmann's growing recommendations with a grain of salt. She mentioned that Blyxa aubertii is an annual and must be propagated every year by seed...

I grew this plant last summer rather successfully in my 55 gallon. It had 3.75 wpg, pressurized CO2, KH 4 and GH 6. I ran the tank rather lean on the N and P, but dosed high amounts (35-40 mL weekly) of Flourish and Flourish Iron into the aquarium.

It was a pain to get it to root at first, however. The entire plant nearly completely disentegrated. Out of about half a dozen plantlets, about three survived floating on the surface of the aquarium. I carefully planted these (all Blyxas are very buoyant, by the way, so they will float to the top in the beginning). Within a month, they started growing rapidly and bud several daughter plants. I noticed that when shaded, these plants became less bushy and taller. With direct lighting, they remained shorter, bushier, and more colorful.

I am a bit suspicious that Blyxa japonica may in fact be an obligate aquatic. I tried growing it emersed this summer to no avail. It relentlessly tried to grow leaves in the film of water on the surface of the growing media.

I didn't try this with my Blyxa japonica, but when I grew Blyxa aubertii, it absolutely loved to have a piece of jobe stick placed at the roots. The extra boost from fertilizing at the substrate caused my B. aubertii to go from a small, miserable looking, rootless stem to a monster within three months. Here is an old picture of mine in the corner of my 55g:


Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I guess that's the problem... Our water is very soft, but the pH is very high (usually about 8.4-8.6). My DIY CO2 is not sufficient to lower the pH, either.

Oh well... I'll have to come up with a better idea to fill that space in my 2.5-gallon tank. Thanks, guys!

-Naomi
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oops - I didn't see tsunami's reply before posting mine. That's some seriously healthy aubertii, there! Carlos, you're well aware at my horrible luck with growing even the easiest of plants (like Alternanthera reineckii and L. ovalis). I think if there's even the slightest bit of difficulty about this plant, I better forget about it. It probably needs more ferts than I'm willing to provide. I was hoping that I'd get an answer like, "if it didn't have any roots, there was little chance that it would have made it at all." But apparently, it's common for it to be sold without roots... I just killed it :cry:.

When my Hottonia palustris grows out and I've put it all in one spot, maybe I'll post a photo of this femto-tank and people can suggest plants to fill in the blanks. I guess I may try to acquire some Blyxa japonica in a future trade and experiment with it. Hey - it just occurred to me that I have never seen hobbyist-grown B. japonica being auctioned on AquaBid. Maybe this is an indication of how difficult it is to grow them.

Anyway, thanks again!

-Naomi
 

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I had a Blyxa of a different kind for some time---neither japonica or aubertii. It was a stem plant that got about 10 inches tall. It spread everywhere with five inch runners that looked exactly like Vallisneria runners. I got it from Steve Dixon, at the 2001 AGA convention. (Thanks again, Steve!) Unfortunately, I lost it when the ballast for the lights on that tank conked out. By the time I found a replacement ballast, the plants had all died. It seemed pretty easy to grow, once I got it going, but it took a very long time to get going.
 

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HeyPK said:
I had a Blyxa of a different kind for some time---neither japonica or aubertii.
Was it the Blyxa sp. "Vietnam"? Both Jay Luto and Cavan have some of this stuff methinks...
 

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JLudwig said:
HeyPK said:
I had a Blyxa of a different kind for some time---neither japonica or aubertii.
Was it the Blyxa sp. "Vietnam"? Both Jay Luto and Cavan have some of this stuff methinks...
Paul,

Are you talking about Blyxa sp. "vietnam"

This is a weed in my tank. Grows extremely fast but looks great.

 

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The base of the leaves are very fragile and prone to damage. Plant and do not move. I think flourite seemed to cut the leaves, wereas the onyx did not. I re tired it in flourite but have left it alone and it's doing fine.

I like the plant, B aubertii is easier to grow though and taller. I do like the B japonica though since it makes a nice hedge and I like the color of the leaves.

It's done well in my tank with high light, CO2, NPK, trace additions I normally suggest.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Just to throw in a little wrinkle here, I find B. japonica to be rather easy. I've grown it in the shade and under sun-like conditions. Lean and heavy water column ferts. It loves iron, though. The hard part is keeping it in the gravel and getting it to root as was mentioned a couple of times.

I grew it in plain gravel as easily as Flourite, etc...

It seems the trick is starting with good plants. I'll snap a couple pics of what I have going now and post tonight.

HTH :)
 

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I had to go and run my big mouth :?

All my B. japonica's are shedding their old leaves much like a Crypt melt except the ones in the shade of a huge L. arcuata bush. The ones in the direct light are red with a little green striation. Really beautiful, but they seem to be touchy to light variation. Anyone else notice this?

Anyone know why these plants melt? This is a first for me, and I prefer it to be my last...[/b]
 

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Don't move it around and get it well planted first, then leave it alone. Needs the light and room, do not crowd.

Keep the NO3 higher. Plants drop leaves when they are either damaged at the base, when the nutrients are too low(they use them as a storage organs, when they do not get enough light(no sense in keeping something that's a drain rather than an asset).

I've found many plants will do well if you leave them alone for awhile, plant them in well rooted areas with other plants.
Most seem to need more nutrients than many think.
I do not think we are micro limited or PO4/K, so NO3 is the one I've been adding more of as trying to keep this low often burns me.

It's got wimpy roots/leaves so uptake and establishment takes awhile, I agree that good plant stock sure helps.

It's a rewarding plant.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 
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