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thelub 02-05-2013 08:38 PM

plants growing up not out
I have some clippings that are starting to come around, but they seem to be growing up a lot, but not out much. All new growth is all at the top. Is this a side effect of a low tech tank?

Setup is a 55gal
sphagnum moss with a sand cap
(2) T12 bulbs. One 6500k and one 5000k
no firts, no CO2

Ludwiga SP Red (up, not out)
Cabomba Caroliniana (up, no out)

Blyxa Japonica - (not doing very well. growing, but VERY slowly)

There are a couple others that are growing, but they seem to be struggling.

Water hovers around 76 degrees steady and water parameters are perfect (ph 6.8, ammonia 0, nitrate 0, nitrite just over 0)

ony 02-05-2013 08:43 PM

You need some nitrate in the system and if theres fish/shrimp in the tank the nitrites should be 0. If you want a plant to branch you can encourage it by trimming but they do generally want to grow upwards even in high tech.

GeToChKn 02-05-2013 08:56 PM

Could be not enough light. Plants grow up to reach the light. If they are getting enough par, they can grow bushier to get the light on more leaves.

ronnie6989 02-05-2013 09:10 PM

Those are stem plants let them grow up ward......when they get to the top cut them in half and replant the top piece. The top piece will grow upward again and what is left should split into 2 stems.


thelub 02-05-2013 09:45 PM

Thanks for the input folks! I've been sick with the flu and can't remember if the Nitrates or Nitrites are over 0. I tested a few days ago after a WC. The water is good and stable and I remembered the only level that was over 0 was the good one.

Right the only fish in the tank are 3 tiger barbs and a common pleco that's crapping up a storm. I hope to get rid of the pleco as soon as I feel better and replace it with a couple otos or something. I'm starting to get a little algae on the sand and it almost looks blueish. Because it is sand the pleco won't touch it (i'm guessing). The lights are on a good 12hrs a day and I'm guessing that is why the algae is starting. Never had a problem with it until I planted the plants. The storm of pleco poop probably isn't helping matters either. :icon_roll

The cabomba has almost reached the surface. I was already contemplating on trimming it and replanting.

I was also going to try some liquid carbon (excel flourish or something) to try to knock back the algae and encourage some more growth in my green friends, but then I got sick. Maybe I'll grab some in a few days when I feel like getting out to the store.

Ashnic05 02-05-2013 10:11 PM

I am currently having this same problem with my stem plants (Moneywort and Broad Leaf Ludwig) and was told it's due to lack of light near the substrate. Maybe I'll do some trimming and hopefully they'll bush out a bit :) I was also thinking of adding some CO2 and root tabs just to give them some nourishment. Thanks for the post it helped me too!

thelub 02-05-2013 10:28 PM

I'm using a lowes shop light dual lamp fixture with no reflector for the bulbs. I think I'm going to try to rig up some type of reflector and get more light in to the tank and off the fixture.

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