Originally Posted by jaslyman
1) As the plants get to the surface, they are sending out lots of little rootlets at each of the nodes (?right term) high up on the stem. What do I do about these? Take them off? Trim the top portion of the plant, remove the leaves of this portion and plant it? I realize this is probably pretty basic but I'm still learning!
Those are what is reffered to as side shoots on a plant. You can snip those side shoots off of the ludwigia and replant the shoots as well as the top. This is the main form of propegation for ludwigia. Ludwigia sp. (in general) is great about side shooting. Nice and easy to soon have too much ludwigia..
2) Several of my plants are missing the lower leaves - ie the lower third/half of the stem is bare with leaves only on the upper half. Does this sound particularly diagnostic of any type of specific problem? Would snails do this? A nutritional deficiency?
This could be from a few different reasons. The most common is that the bottom leaves get shaded from the upper tops. This really happens when you let your tank get out of hand and let it get that jungle look. Hard to get light to keep penetrating deep into those lower leaves.
It also could be some form of deficiency. For instance it could be a nitrogen deficiency. Where the plant is sucking the nitrogen to the newer leaves and leaves nothing in the old leaves.
Snails would most likely just be eating already dead leaves. I seriously doubt that snails is the problem, but it could be depending on what kind of snails you have, but most likely they would also eat the tops if they were plant eating..
IMHO I would assume it's just due to shading. If you don't think it's due to shading and is more of a nutrient problem then you will need to give many more details. I.E. PH, KH, GH, Co2 Levels, Nitrate, Phosphates, What your fert schedule is like, what exact kind of lighting do you have. How deep is your tank, what is the substrate, Details/frequency of water changes and what you might use to buffer water, etc. etc.