Why are "easy plants" the hard plants in high tech? - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-13-2020, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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It's propagating itself. Those are little plantlets that will eventually get big enough that you can pop them off and plant them other places. I find that the leaf that grows the plantlets is not salvageable in the long term - the babies are sapping its resources. As for why this is happening, I can't find a for sure reason. Some plants go into reproductive mode when they are stressed, but it might just be a periodic thing or something that certain genotypes are prone to - it seems like Windelov does it a lot, but I have four different varieties of java fern and they all have done it at least a little bit.

This doesn't address your question, but hey - free plants!
That is something interesting I did not know,. Part of it is I don't fully understand this plant which is a strange one that grows roots from the leaf tips.

I like the idea of free plants, at what point would you "pop them off"? Do you take the leaf with it and plant that with the roots?
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-13-2020, 10:54 AM
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That is something interesting I did not know,. Part of it is I don't fully understand this plant which is a strange one that grows roots from the leaf tips.

I like the idea of free plants, at what point would you "pop them off"? Do you take the leaf with it and plant that with the roots?
As mentioned by @ElleDee the leaf is stressed, unhealthy, damaged and it will develop those plantlets. That is the kind of damaged leaf that should be cut off and let a new leaf develop from the open rhizome area. The plantlets aren't worth tending to IMO. In a hi-tech tank new leaves should develop pretty quickly.

And yes pretty much all anubias are sold emersed unless you purchase from a hobbyist.


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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-13-2020, 11:51 AM
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That is something interesting I did not know,. Part of it is I don't fully understand this plant which is a strange one that grows roots from the leaf tips.

I like the idea of free plants, at what point would you "pop them off"? Do you take the leaf with it and plant that with the roots?
I have experimented a bit with this and haven't managed to kill a plantlet yet. I don't remove any until there is a distinct root-rhizome-leaf body pattern I can clearly make out with my naked eye. I'd say the largest leaf is about 1 cm long by this point. You want to be careful about not injuring the rhizome since that is both the point of attachment and the meristem, but I find this surprisingly easy to do with just my fingernail. I have also used scissors, but it was unnecessary. It seems like there's an abscission zone between the plantlet and mother leaf. I don't think leaving a substantial amount of leaf will do anything but grow algae once it's removed.

You don't have to remove them this small though - they grow fine still attached, but the mother leaf will decline with time. The growth rate seems similar attached or on their own.

My favorite thing to do with the babies is to glue them to pebbles and use them as foreground plants I can move around. I have several in a bare bottom quarantine tank too that are doing outrageously well even though the bad lights are bad and they only fish waste for nutrition.
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-13-2020, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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As mentioned by @ElleDee the leaf is stressed, unhealthy, damaged and it will develop those plantlets. That is the kind of damaged leaf that should be cut off and let a new leaf develop from the open rhizome area. The plantlets aren't worth tending to IMO. In a hi-tech tank new leaves should develop pretty quickly.

And yes pretty much all anubias are sold emersed unless you purchase from a hobbyist.
Hmm, so if all the leaves on the ferns are growing these roots, that would imply the ferns are under stress. So I am back to my original question of why they are not doing well when everything around them is.
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-13-2020, 04:07 PM
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Hmm, so if all the leaves on the ferns are growing these roots, that would imply the ferns are under stress. So I am back to my original question of why they are not doing well when everything around them is.
The relation between java ferns reproducing vegetatively and their being stressed is not proven. It's not a bad theory at all, but we don't fully understand the reason. I bet there are multiple factors, of which stress is probably one, but that's just my hunch.

That said, having to transition from emersed to submerged growth is itself very stressful. The plantlets are going to be adapted to submerged conditions from the jump and you may find they grow better than the plant they came from.
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post #21 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-13-2020, 04:17 PM
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I just researched that the holes in the Anubias may be cause by low potassium, which is surprising because I thought I had been liberally dosing potassium at 2ppm a day. But the good news is that K can be added rather cheaply and without algal effect.
Potassium is always blamed anytime there are holes that is often not the problem, if you are adding 2ppm per day and doing 50% WC weekly your target concentration could be as much as 28ppm I doubt its that. Too much calcium can inhibit Potassium but it could be just old(especially emersed) growth being scavenged to make room for new growth, you can trim those leaves just don't take too many all at once do it progressively.

You should check Flow and CO2 the best thing I did for my Buce and Anubias was increase CO2 I had 1 ph drop before but bumping it up a little to like 1.2 really helped.

I didn't look at the PAR of your lights but Anubias and Buces with too much par on them means you better keep a very clean tank and Excel dosed at water changes at the prescribed dose to prevent algae is a good idea. Since Anubias and Buces grow slowly you can't expect to see changes as quickly as fast growing stems but if the new or semi new leaves looks irridescent almost glowing you are on the right track. The old leaves may look dull but just ignore/trim those.
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post #22 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-13-2020, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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The relation between java ferns reproducing vegetatively and their being stressed is not proven. It's not a bad theory at all, but we don't fully understand the reason. I bet there are multiple factors, of which stress is probably one, but that's just my hunch.

That said, having to transition from emersed to submerged growth is itself very stressful. The plantlets are going to be adapted to submerged conditions from the jump and you may find they grow better than the plant they came from.
I have to wonder if the Seachem Advance I am using could be promoting the leaf rooting. From Seachem, the supplement is:
"Natural phytohormone supplement for the planted aquarium that dramatically stimulates the growth of both roots and shoots in aquatic plants"

I have been dosing daily for past 5 weeks.
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post #23 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-13-2020, 04:21 PM
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I just researched that the holes in the Anubias may be cause by low potassium, which is surprising because I thought I had been liberally dosing potassium at 2ppm a day. But the good news is that K can be added rather cheaply and without algal effect.
Potassium is always blamed anytime there are holes that is often not the problem, if you are adding 2ppm per day and doing 50% WC weekly your target concentration could be as much as 28ppm I doubt its that. Too much calcium can inhibit Potassium but it could be just old(especially emersed) growth being scavenged to make room for new growth, you can trim those leaves just don't take too many all at once do it progressively.

You should check Flow and CO2 the best thing I did for my Buce and Anubias was increase CO2 I had 1 ph drop before but bumping it up a little to like 1.2 really helped.

I didn't look at the PAR of your lights but Anubias and Buces with a lot more par on them means you better keep a very clean tank and Excel dosed at water changes at the prescribed dose to prevent algae as you are already doing. Since Anubias and Buces grow slowly you can't expect to see changes as quickly as fast growing stems but if the new or semi new leaves looks healthier(for buces irridescent and glowing) you are on the right track. The old leaves may look dull/pale but just slowly trim those.
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Last edited by cl3537; 10-13-2020 at 04:23 PM. Reason: ...
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post #24 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-13-2020, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Potassium is always blamed anytime there are holes that is often not the problem, if you are adding 2ppm per day and doing 50% WC weekly your target concentration could be as much as 28ppm I doubt its that. Too much calcium can inhibit Potassium but it could be just old(especially emersed) growth being scavenged to make room for new growth, you can trim those leaves just don't take too many all at once do it progressively.

You should check Flow and CO2 the best thing I did for my Buce and Anubias was increase CO2 I had 1 ph drop before but bumping it up a little to like 1.2 really helped.

I didn't look at the PAR of your lights but Anubias and Buces with too much par on them means you better keep a very clean tank and Excel dosed at water changes at the prescribed dose to prevent algae is a good idea. Since Anubias and Buces grow slowly you can't expect to see changes as quickly as fast growing stems but if the new or semi new leaves looks irridescent almost glowing you are on the right track. The old leaves may look dull but just ignore/trim those.
I am currently doing a .5 pH drop for CO2, a bit scared to push it too far and hurt fish and shrimp. Growth has been strong in all other plants, so more CO2 seems like it will buy me more trimming which is already a lot to keep up with.

I have two Fluval LED 3.0s on the tank and that Anubias is only 12 inches below the light so I am guessing 200+ PAR on the Anubias. It is definitely the place I see algae grow first! My shrimp and endlers are on it nonstop (did not realize endlers are actually partial algae eaters). They manage to keep ahead of the curve and keep the plant cleared. I do dose excel to prescribed dosage daily. I'm positive that is why my new tank has been relatively algae free except for intermittent mild GSA and GDA that I mitigate by going extra lean.
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post #25 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-13-2020, 04:48 PM
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I have to wonder if the Seachem Advance I am using could be promoting the leaf rooting. From Seachem, the supplement is:
"Natural phytohormone supplement for the planted aquarium that dramatically stimulates the growth of both roots and shoots in aquatic plants"

I have been dosing daily for past 5 weeks.
Ooh, that's kind of wild. I wonder what it is. Don't get me wrong, plant hormones or their synthetic counterparts get applied all the time for many different purposes, but I haven't heard about them being used in the hobby, especially as something intended for end users (as opposed to the the growers who mass produce the plants) and to be used all the time.

I have a lot of questions about this! I wish they said what the hormone is. There aren't that many plant hormones, and they all are involved in many processes and it varies a lot by concentration and different species react differently. My working knowledge of plant hormones is rusty, so I'll have to run their extensive list of involved processes by some old notes and try to guess what they're are playing at.

What I can say is that the concentration of the hormone is low - only 3 ppm in the bottle, so obviously that would be diluted in the tank. What's 5 ml at 3 ppm in 20 gallons? I'm skeptical that's enough to cause much change regardless of what it actually is, but I need to think about it more.

The short answer is sure, that could definitely be a factor, but I don't really know.
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post #26 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-13-2020, 05:04 PM
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I am currently doing a .5 pH drop for CO2, a bit scared to push it too far and hurt fish and shrimp. Growth has been strong in all other plants, so more CO2 seems like it will buy me more trimming which is already a lot to keep up with.

I have two Fluval LED 3.0s on the tank and that Anubias is only 12 inches below the light so I am guessing 200+ PAR on the Anubias. It is definitely the place I see algae grow first! My shrimp and endlers are on it nonstop (did not realize endlers are actually partial algae eaters). They manage to keep ahead of the curve and keep the plant cleared. I do dose excel to prescribed dosage daily. I'm positive that is why my new tank has been relatively algae free except for intermittent mild GSA and GDA that I mitigate by going extra lean.
I think it would be best if you made a tank journal and provide photos of your setup, a full tank shot and all the details it makes it a lot easier to look at your tank as a whole. Your one FTS looks great from far congrats! Plant density the higher the better is the best cure for algae problems. This hobby is about finding a correct balance for your particular setup, some experienced posters (much more than me) can point out things that seem out of balance from their experience but ultimately we are guessing based on the limited information you provide.

If you have a 20" deep tank and 96W from two Fluval 3.0 and the Anubias are 12" from the light you have high par on them for sure, and should generally shoot for 1 ph drop unless you have extremely high or low kH. CO2 could end up being your limiting factor and a focus on fertilizer would not be where I would start.

If you are adding Excel regularly(at the reccomended dose) and already have Algae issues I'd say too much light and an imbalance is already a problem but sometimes you just need all plants acclimate and fill out the tank before algae starts to disappear.

I have nerite snails both Clithon and Large shell as well as a prolific breeding red cherry shrimp population in my 1.2ph drop 60p tank, as long as oxygen and Calcium levels are suitable any pH above 6 should not be a problem for these fauna including most fish as long as you don't make sudden changes. You can slowly increase Co2 levels over a few days or weeks.


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Last edited by cl3537; 10-13-2020 at 05:17 PM. Reason: ...
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