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I got about half a dozen stems of what I've identified as rotala rotundifolia in a clump of anacharis from the store, and I like it floating. Tank has good lighting. Can it grow this way long-term like the anacharis? My substrate is just gravel, so I doubt planting it would benefit it all anyway.
 

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Carpe Diem
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It sure can, especially if it's not swished around by the current.
 

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The rotala would have no problem growing while floating in fact, this will help it jump start it's root system if you ever wanted to plant it into the substrate. You may notice a red pigmentation that will begin to grow on the leaves which simply means that it is receiving sufficient light since it is growing closer to the light source.
 
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