Stem plants rot - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-13-2004, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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What exactly causes this? Every stem plant (cant think of the names offhand) seem to be fine for about a week and then they start rotting where they meet the gravel/substrate. I am using the shultz aquatic plant stuff and pea gravel. Any insight would be excellent.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-13-2004, 08:14 PM
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How much light do you have, how big is the tank, what are you fertilizing, what is you pH, kH?

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-13-2004, 08:19 PM
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i dont think it is down to the gravel, but is most likley light or nutrients. If these are some of the hardy growers like hygrophilas. it does depend on what stem species. Some plants are more fussy then others.


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-13-2004, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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sorry about the details, I beleive it is 55 gallon, 60x18x12. PH is 7.4-7.6 (iirc), water is very hard and very alkaline, I have the diy co2 setup 2x. I have 2 overdriven t8 fluorescents on it.

I think one of the victim might have been the hygrophilas (is it fluffy and dark green and get uprooted by plecos?)
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-13-2004, 08:34 PM
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Sounds like you don't have enough light to me.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-13-2004, 09:08 PM
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not enough light, and that's a weird size 55...a normal 55 is 48" long, 12" wide, 20" deep. You must have a 55 long?

No hygrophila is fluffy that I know of...is it cabomba? That can be fussy...but hygro's...in some states (California) they are outlawed as noxious weeds...that's how easily they grow.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-13-2004, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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cabomba...thats what it is.

So ya think if I have 4 overdriven fluorescents that will be enough? sheesh, that is equivalent to like 250-300 watts.

The size is weird, I think it was a reptile tank or something. I saved it from the local goodwill and disassembled it and resilconed the entire thing.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-14-2004, 12:33 AM
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Make sure to take off the weights they make the bases of the plants they often cause the plants to melt.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-14-2004, 12:39 AM
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What are you using for reflectors?
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-14-2004, 02:16 AM
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How are you planting the stems? It might simply be a matter of too forceful a planting procedure. Are you using tweezers to pull the stems into the substrate or are you kinda "pushing" them in or man-handling them? Its really easy to mangle/break the stems without ever knowing it...
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-14-2004, 04:57 AM Thread Starter
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Excellent insight.

I am trying to finish the top and presently there are no reflectors, when complete I will just paint the inside flat white.

As for planting, you might have a good point. What I have been doing is making a hole in the gravel and the placing the stem inside and side filling with the gravel/profile. I was cleaning up some tonight and I noticed that they are rooting.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-14-2004, 12:11 PM
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No reflectors means not enough light. It's not just about how much you have over the tank but how much is getting into the tank. NO bulbs without reflectors get at most maybe 30% of their total output into the water.

One of the reasons I'm such a AH Supply pimp is the reflectors. It's very nice knowing you are pretty much getting as much light as possible into the tank.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-14-2004, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidEric
Make sure to take off the weights they make the bases of the plants they often cause the plants to melt.
If you take teh weights off, how do the plants stay down if they haven't grown any roots yet? I have some that get uprooted by my dojo loach and they will float at the top with teh weight still attached.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-14-2004, 03:15 PM
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Another concern would be TYPE of substrate--what are you using? If its too course/jagged, it could be damaging the stems. Or, if you're using a lot of peat or something...that stuff can be very acidic at first.

As for keeping plants down without a weight, it all comes down to owning a nice pair of tweezers. If you're planting stem plants without them, you're probably causing yourself unnecessary grief. Just pull about 2" of plant below the surface and it should stay in place long enough to grow roots. Of course, a fine substrate or current could cause problems...

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-14-2004, 04:16 PM
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How are you planting the stems? It might simply be a matter of too forceful a planting procedure. Are you using tweezers to pull the stems into the substrate or are you kinda "pushing" them in or man-handling them? Its really easy to mangle/break the stems without ever knowing it...
===============================================
I think this may be the answer. When I first did my plant tank I found some stems plants floating to the surface. When I looked at the plant, the bottom 1/2" or so was all smooshy. I believe I was not careful enough when pushing it into the flourite. I now use a tweezers. I definitely know it is not the light as I have almost 4 watts/gallon.

Ken
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