Ludwigia Repens - rootlets and missing leaves - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Ludwigia Repens - rootlets and missing leaves

I have two separate questions about my Ludwigia Repens

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!

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?

These are in a 50g tank with a little less than 3wpg

Thanks!

Jason
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 02:50 PM
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You can go ahead and trim those roots off. It won't hurt your plants. The reason your plants have no leaves on the lower third is likely due to insufficient lighting not a nutrient deficiency. Even with 3wpg if the light isn't making it to the bottom of the tank your plant will drop its leaves. If the plants are buchy on top trim them to increase light passage, replant the tops when the plant starts getting leggy. A good reflector will also help
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 02:56 PM
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Hi, here are my answers.
1. The roots are normal, I personally like that look, I think its more natural.You could trim the roots but they are helping to suck up nutrients from the water column. You could also cut the top half off the plant and replant them( if they are making to much shade for lower levels ).
2. It seems like your plants are either to tall or to close together as the lower portion of the plants isn't getting enought light ,hense no leaves. The other explanation I have is that the plant is relatively new to submerged life and simply shed its old leaves which were grown terrestrial.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to you both. Seems like the bottom line is 1) the rootlets are fine and I can trim them or leave them, and 2) the missing leaves are most likely due to lighting, which I'll try to address by trimming any plants close to the surface.

Thanks again!

Jason
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaslyman
Thanks to you both. Seems like the bottom line is 1) the rootlets are fine and I can trim them or leave them, and 2) the missing leaves are most likely due to lighting, which I'll try to address by trimming any plants close to the surface.

Thanks again!

You can also plant shorter, lower-light plants directly in front of the bare Repens stems to conceal them. Could have a nice effect.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 08:28 PM
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What I've been doing with my Ludwigia when I get a stem that's sending out roots all over is to take that stem section and lay it on the substrate to root along it's length. This in turn will produce a nice row of shoots that will grow vertically off the horizontal stem.

This is hard to do if you don't have an open spot you can get at, but it's a nice way to fill in an open spot without having to surgically insert multiple stems.

óBill

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
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..

Quote:
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.

Matt
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-19-2004, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bharada
What I've been doing with my Ludwigia when I get a stem that's sending out roots all over is to take that stem section and lay it on the substrate to root along it's length. This in turn will produce a nice row of shoots that will grow vertically off the horizontal stem.

This is hard to do if you don't have an open spot you can get at, but it's a nice way to fill in an open spot without having to surgically insert multiple stems.
That's an interesting idea. So when you lay it horizontally, do you sort of push the roots into the substrate and that's sufficient to hold it down while the roots take hold?

Jason
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-19-2004, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corigan
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.

Matt
Sounds very reasonable. My light fixture is really centered over the back half of the tank, and this seems to be more of an issue with the plants that are at the front, which seems like it might contribute.

I've learned recently (thanks to the good folks here) that my fertilization routine is pretty lacking - I'm only supplying micro nutrients not macro's (yet) but I've started testing and will correct what's needed. But to answer your questions:

pH = 6.8-6.9
kH = 3
GH = ? (this test never seems to do what it's supposed in terms of color changes!! perhaps my home water softener throws it outta whack)
NO3 = 10-20
Phos = .05-.1
Lights = 2.88wpg
Pressurized CO2
Flourish given twice per wk following directions on bottle
Flourish Trace given twice per wk following directions on bottle
10% water changes given once every 1-2 weeks
Substrate - boring regular plain old gravel!

Jason
50g planted tank

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-19-2004, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaslyman
That's an interesting idea. So when you lay it horizontally, do you sort of push the roots into the substrate and that's sufficient to hold it down while the roots take hold?
Yes. What I've found works is to either anchor one end then sprinkle gravel over the rest of the stem to weigh it down. Or you can anchor the center of the stem deeply which will cause the rest of the stem to form a 'V' into the gravel.

With the second method you end up with more of a bush than a line of stems.

óBill

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-19-2004, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bharada
Yes. What I've found works is to either anchor one end then sprinkle gravel over the rest of the stem to weigh it down. Or you can anchor the center of the stem deeply which will cause the rest of the stem to form a 'V' into the gravel.

With the second method you end up with more of a bush than a line of stems.
Do you strip the leaves off or just leave them? I would imagine they just die off, eventually, but I don't know if they're needed in the interim for light absorption....

Jason
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-19-2004, 06:24 PM
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Typically when I do this there are a number of side shoots already present so I'll trim off some of the bigger leaves from the main stem before I anchor it. I don't think it's necessary, though.

óBill

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-19-2004, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks!!! Your advice is most appreciated.

Jason
50g planted tank

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