Hornwort driving me crazy-suggestions? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 04:14 AM Thread Starter
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Hornwort driving me crazy-suggestions?

I am a newbie, and have discovered I love Hornwort when I put a sinker on the bottom of a bunch of it. It looks pretty good, and its cheap for my low tech tank. I have the LED lights that came with my 20 gallon high, so I can only have low light plants. I also have Vallisneria Spiralis, Java Fern, Micro Sword and Aponogeton crispis.

The Hornwort works great for me with shy fish, and it can be a great hiding spot for when I have fry. My problem though, is that portions of it are regularly turning brown and dying. This means I have a lot of dead plant debris on my substrate that I can't seem to keep up with.

It all started when I had an outbreak of ich in the tank, and had to up my temp. to 86 for about 10 days. (No, I didn't use salt or other meds). My Aponogeton is still melting, but I haven't had it long, and I hear that is normal, and that it will grow back.

My main big concern here is the water quality. Every time I move the Hornwort the slightest bit, or do water changes and use a turkey baster on the substrate, the Hornwort starts shedding like crazy, and this in turn causes plant debris to go all over the tank and then loads of it are on the filter intake. Why is it doing this? Its been 3 weeks since I had the temp high. (Its kept at 79-80 now) so shouldn't the Hornwort stop dying now? What can I do for it? Is there another type (I don't care for Java moss) that would work better for me? I don't want the water quality from dead plant material to harm my fish, as I have a couple of Mollies and I keep hearing they must have very good water quality.

By the way, my Ammonia is 0, Nitrites are 0 and Nitrates are 10ppm. My tank has been cycled for over a month now.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 04:38 AM
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Hornwort is a floating plant. If planted in your substrate the buried part will turn brown. If you really want it to do what it does best.....let it float and it will grow like crazy. Trust me mine is almost out of control. Every week I have to get rid of handfuls of it and my fish love it.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 11:09 AM
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I would take the lot out and put it in a bucket with a desk lamp. Ive found that no matter how fast it was growing before, once you upset it its a nightmare.

On the other hand its close to impossible to totally destroy. If you cut off about an inch of the healthiest bits, keep those and take the rest out. It will eventually repopulate the tank and the smaller bits seem more resiliant too.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 03:54 AM
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I have found Hornwort thrives in hard water with medium light.

I have heard that it is OK in a med-low light tank, but that must be when it is floating and is therefor closer to the light (making the situation more like medium light).

I get the densest fronds and the least leaf drop in brighter light.

I agree the high temperature is not good for it, either.

I usually wrap the stem around something like driftwood or the filter intake and allow the Hornwort to stream across the tank, about mid tank or higher.
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