Is Rotala Rotundfolia suitable for low tech?
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Old 12-24-2007, 11:26 PM   #1
kornphlake
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Is Rotala Rotundfolia suitable for low tech?


I've got a 10g tank with play sand substrate planted with cryps, java fern, valisineria and rotala rotundfolia. I'm using a DIY CO2 bottle that produces about 21 BPM and is diffused directly into the intake of my HOB filter which expels a fine mist of bubbles from the overflow. I have a 15w 7800k lamp on the tank but it's pretty old, it may only be putting out 10w or less. Everything seems to be doing well, the crypts have more than doubled in size in just a couple weeks, the java fern is sending out plantlets on several leaves and the val grows a few inches each week, even the rotala is growing a couple inches a week, but the new growth doesn't look as healthy as the old growth, the leaves are more transparent and show more pink than red or green. I just started fertilizing with some Jungle brand root tabs (which are probablly junk but they were given to me) The package says 0-0-6 with 4% iron.

I got the rotala from another member of the local fish club who had been growing it in a similar low tech tank, I'm not sure what I could be doing wrong. All other plants seem to be doing well, the only think I can think of is more light or maybe more iron. Any ideas from the pros?
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Old 12-24-2007, 11:40 PM   #2
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All my new growth on Rotala had been a transparent pink and it eventually darken to a vibrant pink. Do you have any pics of the "pink transperancy"?
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Old 12-27-2007, 12:25 AM   #3
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here's a pic of the new growth:


compared to the old growth:


If anybody was wondering:

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Old 12-27-2007, 12:29 AM   #4
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The pics are not showing up
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Old 12-27-2007, 01:29 AM   #5
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Fixxed the pictures above. Stupid comcast will show images if you type the address http://home.comcast.net/~username/file into the browser, but if you are trying to insert an image you have to use http://mywebpages.comcast.net/username/file It's something new they decided to do just to be annoying, and they can't fix it because that wouldn't be annoying.
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Old 12-27-2007, 01:35 AM   #6
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The tops are kinda yellow as well, or maybe its just the pic, but try add some pottassium to the tank. Do the tops look like the old growth eventually?
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Old 12-27-2007, 04:17 AM   #7
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The root tabs have potassium, will Rotala suck up nutrients through the roots or does it need it in the water column?
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Old 12-28-2007, 08:44 PM   #8
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Well I built a canopy using 2 16watt 5500K spiral compacts, I know I'm getting out of the low tech arena now with about 30watts over 10 gallons, but I started here so I figured I'd close the loop before moving on to somewhere else. I'm hoping that the color and intensity of the light will bring out more red in the Rotala.

Here's a comparison of the old hood I was using and the new canopy:




I didn't adjust the exposure between the two shots, the difference was about 2 f-stops, which I believe equates to something like 8X the amount of light
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Old 12-28-2007, 09:06 PM   #9
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I think your rotala is fine. They get all nutrients through the roots. With spiral flourescents you lose half the light due to restrike. so youhave about 1.6 wpg on the tank.
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:36 PM   #10
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actually, on 10 gallon tank, 3 wpg is still considered low light

and to answer your question, i think rotala rotundfolia is a medium-high light plant. I am going to have them in my tank with 3 wpg. I heard people said 2.5 wpg is a minimum for this plant.
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