The first two-thirds of my talk was a summary of my Rotala Kill Tank experiments, which was set up to figure out why Rotala stunt so often for so many people. The last third was a summary of takeaways from my 'social media database' and finding commonalities in tank conditions of experts and semi-experts who grow Lythraceae (Rotala, Ammannia, and Cuphea) without any tip stunting under a wide range of conditions.
Vin thanks for sharing here. I always look forward to hearing your latest.
Couple of questions and thoughts. These experiments all focus on Lythraceae. Are there similar experiments with other groups of plants? Should there be? Or is the position that if Lythraceae do well, everything else should as well?
Iíve discussed Wallachii with you before, and have never had much luck with it. Since I lowered KH (from 4.0 to less than 1.0), I added a small bunch. Have had it going for about 6 weeks, and while not perfect, itís alive, growing, and better than any other time. Makes sense given your comments.
Iíve also had Rotala Macranda Variegated for over two years. Most of the time at KH 4, and only recently at lower levels. Dosing over that time frame has been anywhere from NPK 27-18-42 to 12-5-13. Itís seen micros from CSM+B at extremely low levels (0.12 Fe weekly), to custom micros at 1.05 Fe weekly (current 0.525). Itís never really missed a beat. The only time I had a serious issue with it was when I experimented with higher B in my micros. Stunted it and lost all color in hours.
So are all Lythraceae created equal? It seems to me there are lots of shades of grey even with that family.
Which leads me to the next thing I have wondered about and your thoughts. If you perfect a Wallachii experiment, and find the parameters to bring out the absolute best in it, how does that translate over to the average hobbyist with a tank full of 20 or 30 different species? Will that same environment bring out the best in each of those?
IMO thatís where it seems things get tricky. Different tanks, different substrates, different plants, different source water, different fish loads, different light intensity, different maintenance habits, pretty much different everything. I just havenít seen a ďrecipeĒ that works for every situation. Do you think there is one?
Iíve been experimenting for a few months with much lower macro dosing. All in all, things have gone well, which I think is partly because of my lower KH. But I have noticed some groups, like Ludwigia, are not as robust as they once were. Iím actually going to be boosting things up a bit to see how they react. But if I do so and it works, will Wallachii suffer? My guess is yes.
So I guess my point is the tricky thing to me is providing the right mix to bring out the relative best in as many species as possible at one time. That is my goal and seems to be the goal of the average hobbyist here. And we all seem to have winners and losers, and sometimes we donít know why. It seems to me it would be helpful if there were more information available on prime conditions for other varieties of plants. Might help folks choose plants more wisely given the soup they are providing, and explain why some fail.
Anyway, sorry for rambling. I try to relate these experiments to my own tank, and I am sure others do as well. But not many are focused on Rotala/Ammannia/Cuphea, so trying to figure out how to relate all this to the average hobbyist like me.