Rotala thriving or dying?
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:46 AM   #1
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Rotala thriving or dying?

Hello all,

I am nearly done cycling a new 120 which I've planted with various easy-category plants in eco-complete substrate. I am not injecting CO2. I am not dosing ferts until the tank is more established.

It's been just over 2 weeks since filling, and most plants seem to be shooting new growth and doing fine. However the rotala (or at least that's what the LFS told me it was) has turned a very dark red and the established (esp. lower) leaves appear to be melting. It seems odd as there is new growth in several areas, especially one shoot that is tucked in the shade under some wood.

I always thought red color was a good sign, although the following are probably noteworthy:
- I'm using a fairly strong light (Satellite LED+ Pro) but only 6 hours for now
- It's a deep tank (120XH - 26" tall), so I was hoping the light would be about right considering
- I'm dosing ammonia to cycle (fishless)
- The shoot I mentioned that is in the shade is growing *really* fast


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The last picture shows the transparent leaves near the bottom. I'm assuming this is rotundifolia but I'm no expert. Is it possible it just hates the ammonia treatment, nitrate buildup, or light levels? Or is all of this normal behavior? Any insight much appreciated.

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Old 07-14-2015, 02:56 AM   #2
Raymond S.
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Rotala rotundifolia is not red. The top ,20% of each stem will turn pink if you have enough light for it however. Google Rotala "Macrandra". Not the easiest plant. Likes CO2.
Does not like excess of GH boosters. Might be effected by the ammonia.
But why wouldn't you use ferts/w the plants now ? CO2 also ?
I think Current has PAR charts on their fixtures on their site.
I'm thinking you will need 60 or better @ the sub for getting any amount of red from
that plant(plus the CO2) and it looks as if you might be there/w the light level.
So I'd check and that may give you an idea of what to expect from it once it settles in.
But the general growth in there says conditions aren't far off from being good for the
plants. But Rotala may react to being moved and can loose bottom leaves because of it.
Takes a while for thaqt one to settle in also. The CO2(if you do start it) will expedite
this, but it took months for some I got that was in bad condition to START to show
signs of getting better in my (s)low tech tank. And BTW it wouldn't do anything till
I stopped(didn't actually need it)using a GH booster in there.
It wasn't Macrandra but rather Magenta and they may act differently about the GH
booster. Till they got over the shock of the move and in that bad condition it likely
took longer to grow some new roots, it just kept loosing more of the bottom leaves.
And that's not going to grow back either. You just need to wait it out till new stems
come up and AFTER they reach the top cut away the old stems. That growth on those new stems will be because of the environment in your tank anyway and won't look the same as the old stuff you bought.
The shortest distance between any two points is a straight the opposite direction...
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Old 07-14-2015, 03:57 AM   #3
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Thanks for your insight. If I bought an expert-level plant, it wasn't my intention. The cycling is showing signs of being nearly done so maybe that will help. I was advised by an expert to hold off on ferts for a while if using eco-complete and see how things go. But I did buy Flourish, Flourish Trace, and Excel (if deemed necessary). I figured I'd start with the first two once cycling was done and things have stabilized.
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