Jungle Val- How do I grow it? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Jungle Val- How do I grow it?

It feels like everybody can grow Jungle Val like weeds; I somehow manage to kill it. I've also tried Italian Val and had the same result. I plant it and about a week or so later it starts to melt, it never sprouts new leaves and dies.

I use RO water in my tank that is remineralized. Currently I'm using Aquavitro Mineralize for that, but I'm going to be switching to Kent Marine RO Right. I don't know if it will make a difference or not, but it was what I was able to get my hands on. Yesterday I dragged the test kits out:

Tank: 40 breeder
Light currently being used: Fluval Aquasky

Tank temp: 78
No CO2
pH: 7.2 ( I get here by adding a pinch of baking soda to the tank as needed)
KH: 1
GH: 5
Ferts used: Tropica-the orange one as it doesn't contain nitrates. I have ordered root tabs for my Amazon swords. They will be here in a couple of days.
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 15
Ammonia: 0

I turn tank lights on at 9 AM, shut them off at 3 PM. If I happen to miss the 9 AM time, I adjust the the time lights are shut off. Regardless, plants get 6 hours of light.

How do I address this? Do I chase the GH & KH? Increase the time lights are on? Use root tabs for them as my substrate is a mix of Eco-Complete, Flourite and small gravel? All them or some combo of any of them?

I have a bag of small pieces Seiryu Stone coming. I have plans to use this in a nano tank project, but since it alters water parameters, I could try using it in the to try to stablize the GH and KH if need be. I don't know if it would work or if it would help.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 02:20 AM
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It's sort of like getting crypts: it hates moving.

I found medium to young (but not tiny) val adapted to a move better than really mature plants. I grew mine in ecocomplete with 12 to 16 hours of light. Hard water from tap, used Flourish (Comprehensive) and Leaf Zone, no root tabs. I did find it tended to die more easily in very new tanks, but did exceptionally well in unheated tanks. Val also hates liquid carbon, as an FYI.

Also, if you can get it from a local fellow hobbiest with similar water parameters, you might have better luck. I killed it several times until getting some at my LFS that had been brought in by another customer. Then it grew like mad and took over my 60g in just a few months. I was taking 30-40 plants back to the LFS about every 8 weeks.

It may also do better if you can get it potted and plant the rockwool with it to avoid bothering the roots. It doesn't seem to like having to adjust to new water while also having roots disturbed.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. I spent more time looking into this than I should have yesterday, but I think I found at least part of the problem. Vals are heavy root feeders and since most of my plants sans the Amazon swords are fine with being fed via the water column, I was basically starving vals of the past to death which would explain at least part of why I've had zero luck with them.

I'm going to start with root tabs and see where it takes me. Melting when a plant transitions from one tank to another is normal. As long as new growth follows, I can deal with that. If I'm still having issues after a month ( assuming I have them for that long), then I'll consider things like GH and KH and what to do about it.
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