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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a pot of Rotala but it is quite bushy with many stems coming from the root structure, I was just wondering if I can separate the roots. I would like to separate it into a few smaller thinner plants and space them out a little more.

I have DIY CO2 and I read that putting the air stone under your filter intake will help diffuse the CO2 into the water. I have always avoided this however because I was under the impression that the rapid movement of the filter would simply cause the CO2 to gas off.. I have a HOB Aquaclear BTW.

I have also read that you can add gelatin to your CO2 mixture to smooth out the flow of CO2 and make it last a little longer. Can anyone corroborate this? Is it worth doing?
 

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Rotala is a stem plant, meaning each individual stem is a plant. If you just cut the roots off entirely (it sounds scary - I know!) and replant each individual stem, they will grow roots before too long. This doesn't hurt the plant and might be the easiest way to break up your bunch. If you pull apart the roots or even trim the roots back very far that would also work. Trimming roots on newly acquired plants is good - it encourages growth. The very fine roots are useless once they are uprooted, they'll only rot if you try to replant. Trimming will encourage new roots to grow.

The idea behind putting the airstone under your filter intake is that it will suck up the bubbles, chop them up into mist in the impeller, and hopefully dissolve it, and dump the gas-rich water back into the tank. If the bubbles aren't actually getting IN to the filter then it will do the opposite and just bubble them right out of the tank like you said. Honestly, there are better ways to get CO2 dissolved - do a quick search for 'diffusor' or 'reactor' on this site and you'll have LOTS of reading to do. Reactors might work best for DIY CO2.

As far as the Jello method, I haven't used it but I did a quick search and dug up this thread - http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/diy/9916-jello-co2-thread.html?highlight=jello+CO2

Hopefully that's helpful!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow, the plant advice was really helpful, thank you. I had no idea that it was beneficial to trim the roots back. I think I will go expiriement with my Rotala. :icon_biggThanks for the link to the Jello recipe too, I am going to try it when I add my second bottle.

As for the CO2, currently I have the CO2 just bubbling to the surface. Seems almost pointless, so I have been thinking about putting the airstone under the intake. But I just wonder if the water tumbling inside the filter will cause the CO2 to gas off. I want to build some sort of reactor, but I don't know what to do for a DIY system in a twenty gallon tank. I saw a reactor that was made from a power head and a large clear plastic pipe on the outflow end, but I can't seem to find instructions for it. I think I will take your advice and do a search for some DIY reactors though.

Thanks again for the help, I really appreciate it.:proud:
 
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