trouble with HC - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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trouble with HC

I've got a ada-m style tank going with HC in the foreground, some tennellus in the back a few types of mosses.

tank is 5.5g
light 26w 6500k desk lamp
injected co2
ph is around 6.8
ada ammazonia soil
I add flourish iron and excel regularly.

all other plants do well but the HC grows up instead of spread across...Kind of the same way glosso will tend to do...what is the usual culprit for this ? lack of light?

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 08:29 PM
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Spread out the HC - retrim it and replant all the little plantlets, shove them in deeper.
Also try increasing light, as i had the same problem but i replanted my HC later on and it started growing nicely.


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 08:42 PM
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I agree...

What kind of fixture/reflector do you have? Can you post a pic of the whole tank including the light? In another thread concerning growing HC, I measured the photosynthetic energy provided by these household compact fluorescent bulbs... and the general result is that you definitely can get enough light but it depends on the reflector and how far above the water surface the light is.

Additionally, when I plant HC, I usually plant single sprigs at about 1/2 inch apart. This is a little time consuming, but not that bad for a small tank like this. I grow HC in tanks with approx 60 umols/m2/sec of light and it grows very compact to the substrate. You should be able to achieve this with your 26 watt bulb (depending on your fixture).

So, it could be that you need to place the light closer, or it could be the way you planted it. Otherwise, it looks healthy.

Here's the post where I detail household CF bulbs (several pics): https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lo...tml#post837592

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 03:10 AM
 
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I have an emersed 5.5 gallon that has been up for about 4 weeks. The HC is also beginning to grow towards the light, although too early to say if it will spread overtime as the setup has only been up for about 4 weeks. I did deep plant individual strands, so it well could be light related. Ryeguy, I believe we are using the same lamp(hampton Bay clone 26 watt). I advised you to get it based on several other forum members experiencing using this lamp to get a nice HC carpet going both emersed and submersed and before I read i4x4nMore thread.

If it does not spread within the next 3 weeks, I was going lower the light a few inches and line the stock reflector with mylar foil to increase reflection of light, hopefully resulting in greater light intensity. I wish I had a par meter to accurately ensure proper light intensity to substrate as per i4x4nMore finding. Since I don't have a par meter, I am going to have to do a hit and miss. I am not too worried about algae at this point as the setup is emersed and when I submerse it, I plan to crank c02 up to 40ppm for a while and use a few floaters to try and deter algae.

Anyway RyeGuy, if you like, I have more than enough Mylar foil. When you come over to pick up the Eco-complete, just let me know and I will give you some mylar foil if you want to try it. For me, it makes no sense to spend additional money on a new lamp if a simple fix may solve the issue.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 06:52 AM
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I doubt that it can be the lighting. I grew hc perfectly under 27 watts in a 7 gallon tank and it was maybe 3-5 inches above the tank. How old are the bulbs? You might have to switch it for a new one.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 10:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddtran46 View Post
I doubt that it can be the lighting. I grew hc perfectly under 27 watts in a 7 gallon tank and it was maybe 3-5 inches above the tank. How old are the bulbs? You might have to switch it for a new one.
Interesting....I set up another seed transplant tray with HC, growing emersed but it was under a dual fixture 30 watt total fluorescent desk lamp that is almost 8-10 inches above the transplant tray. The HC in that one is really growing tall and leggy and not spreading.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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thanks all, I will try to replant them a bit better first...
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 04:51 PM
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I have HC in a 2 gallon with 16 watts of T5 light. the HC grows right on top of the soil with no lifting at all. I have DIY CO2 and fertilize every two days.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 05:17 PM
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Light is definitely the biggest factor. WPG is a very vague way of determining photosythetically usable light reaching the plants. But that is a long discussion of its own. IMO, if your bulbs are 10-12 months old (assuming fluorescent bulbs), you should change them, but before that try moving them closer to the substrate.

I have practical (bad) experience growing HC submerged. They can take months (5-6 or more) to spread out submerged. Emersed growth is usually much faster. That leads to another factor other than light. CO2. In emersed form, they have access to CO2 in the air. In submerged form, dissolved CO2 concentration needs to be maintained at a healthy level (I maintain 10ppm).

Patience is the name of the game.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-26-2009, 07:24 PM
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I just replanted my HC stem by stem in my 20 high but did a 3 day black out right after ( maybe a bad decision, but I had rhizo problems). It looks a little droopy right now and slightly transparent, but I am hoping it bounces back and begins to spread. There is still some rhizo on it but better than before. If I get any of the stems that become too tall, is it a good idea to trim them closer to the substrate to encourage more growth? Or should I just let it be?
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 06:15 AM
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Speaking of blackouts... I just experienced the following with my HC test tanks:

I have two tanks with HC carpets. One was grown without CO2, the other with CO2. As far as compactness and growth density, they look identical. However, when I moved my tanks from LA to San Francisco, they both got green water after the move. So, I tried a 3 day blackout, which I had never done before (in a hotel room nonetheless)...

When I took the black plastic bags off the tank with CO2, all of the HC had melted COMPLETELY! :-( However, when I opened the non-CO2 tank, it was completely normal with no degradation at all.

The melted tank had some sort of nasty grey water that smelled awful, obviously; while the good tank was completely clear of the green water.

I'm actually interested to see how the melted HC regrows, i.e. if there was enough established roots etc. If it has a good root system, it should be pretty tenacious even if cut all the way back to the substrate (similar to glosso). Just three days after the disaster, I noticed several tiny emerging leaves on the ruined network of runners. So I think it will regrow.

But at the same time, I'm wondering why the tank with CO2 melted during the blackout? In reading further about doing blackouts, many wrote that they turned off the CO2, but mine is controlled with a pH controller. But it really is the only difference between the two tanks during the blackout.

Just curious.

.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 12:27 PM
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I noticed some of the same after my blackout i4x4. My mistake may have been plating the HC and then doing the blackout just a day later. Some of the individual stems I planted just looked melted completely, just stringy and falling apart. I removed those stems that I could but left the ones that looked fairly normal. I run pressurized Co2 but turned it off during the blackout as suggested by Tom, and 2x24 wat T5HO 6 hours a day.
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