Swords or Val - Help me decide which for glosso background! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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Swords or Val - Help me decide which for glosso background!

Hey guys, need some opinions Im moving across town in 2 weeks, and my tank is gonna fall apart anyways, so I decided to go ahead and rework it while Im at it. I am going to do a simple glosso tank almost identicle to http://www.aquabotanic.com/glossostigmaarticle.htm Ive decided to make one small change to that setup though.

Where you see the big rocks in the middle area, I want to put a fairly tall background plant in the small half-circle behind them. This will allow me to "hide" my CO2 reactor, heater, etc. Also, this will give me some faster growing plants that will help soak up excess nutrients and kinda buffer my tank some. By the way, for fish, Im planning on probably doing just a large school of Neons - about 50 or so - but not till my plants are going good.

I currently have 4 fairly large Amazon swords in another tank that I could use for the background pocket, but I was afraid they would "soak up" too much nutrients and out-compete the glosso (which is priority #1), since Swords tend to be a pretty beastly plant. I am also afraid they will shade the glosso in certain areas. As an alternative, I also have a pretty good amount of healthy Corkscrew Val that I could use to fill the pocket. This was immediately my first choice because it grows very fast and I love the look of dense Corkscrew Val. However, the only drawback is I can't seem to get mine to grow over about 4" tall. I was looking for something more along the lines of 12"-18" tall. I could use Jungal Val, but I don't think it grows near as fast, doesn't look as cool, and can get 3ft. tall easily LOL

So my question is: Should I use the Swords or the Val? If neither, what would you recommend I look into?

~ Thanks for your time y'all




P.S. Here are my vitals for all you guys who were about to ask


-Typical 55g "Walmart Special"
-3.75wpg AH Supply bright kits
-Flourite substrate w/ granite rocks
-Tanked CO2 feeding both powerhead/tube reactor & bubble ladder
-Currently no fish
-Currently no filtration
-Rio Mini powerheads for some current
-pH, kH, gH = whatever I make it (tapwater is 8.2-8.4 pH, very soft)
-PMDD dry ferts
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 04:44 PM
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I would say go with Vals. Swords require lots of space for each plant and will significantly shade everything around them. I made a mistake of purchasing a medium sword plant and now it's pretty much barren gravel underneath the plant. Your glosso wouldn't like it there under the swords.

Also, Vals grow mainly vertically and can form a nice wall, while swordplant grows both vertically and horizontally.

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Corkscrew Vals, 2 angels, 4 corydoras aeneus, Ramshorn snails, MTS
5 gal RCS tank with sand bottom, java moss, small internal filter, MTS, Ramshorn snails.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Any tips on getting my Corkscrew Val taller? Or should I just buy some Jungal Val?
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 06:52 PM
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...
Quote:
I can't seem to get mine to grow over about 4" tall.
...

Are you sure you have corkscrew val? When I had these in my tanks, I had blades that would reach over 2 feet in length.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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yeh... im sure its corkscrew... and Ive never heard of corkscrew val getting over 1 foot tall

Do you think mine stays short because I have high light? It grows like crazy via runners, but doesnt grow taller than 4" or so
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 10:21 PM
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I have Corkscrew Val, and i used to not beabot the grow it at all, while other vals grew fine. Once i added a pressurized co2 system corkscrew popped up out of no where. Literally...i had none at the time. And i find it only grows tall with high amounts of co2, and i've had it just under 24". I also have Giant Val or Jungle, i don't know if there is a difference. And if i let those leaves grow, they got to over 6 feet. I just cut them with scissors and let them drape over the top of the water a few inches, IMO it looks more natural than cutting them below the water line. And i think that the Giant Val grows just as fast and the corkscrew, atleast in my tank.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2005, 01:20 AM
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Of all the Val's I think that corkscrews like the most light and CO2. They will definately grow longer, mine were a couple feet easily when removed. They also like a nutrient rich substrate. The fact that your plants are throwing out runners over height tells me you may be a bit light on nutrients for them and they are searching for nutrients to survive.
When any runner plant stays short with excessive runner output they are hungry and searching for nutrients... when they get height and runners they are happy.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2005, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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OK, so I take it you guys are leaning towards using the Vals in my new tank?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2005, 01:37 AM
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I love Vals... they scream AQUATIC !
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2005, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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aye


i got love for vals
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2005, 02:05 AM
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Niether... Vals are a pain, or at least in my system. In my 125 they just got too darn thick and when I tore it down I had a runner that was nearly 4' long.They grow like weeds and over take everything. Swords get too big. I nominate C. balensae (spelling... too many adult beverages...sorry). With higher light they stay pretty compact (less that 18"), with my lower light systems they seem to grow about 20-24" high.

Just my $0.02.........

Currently tankless for the first time in 24 years... Getting the itch again
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2005, 07:55 PM
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A question: Is the growth of corkscrew val affected by the KH? My impression is that they can get carbonates directly from the water if the disolved CO2 is lacking.

Thanks.

Bill
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