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I moved this to the plant section.

Pogostemon Stellatus is a plant I have struggled with in my own tank. It really is a beauty, but can be a little slow to acclimate. How long has it been in your tank? What are you dosing, what size is the tank and how far are the lights from the substrate? Also, do you have good flow in the area you have placed this plant?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
it's been in the tank for a few weeks. I love this plant and really want it to grow for me.
i dose kno3, kh2po4, csm+b and barrs gh booster. i also use diy root tabs
my tank is a 55.
my lights are about 20" from the substrate
i have reduced the amount of flow around the plants because they arent taking to my tank very well and the flow pulls them out of the substrate daily. so i have them tucked into a corner for now.
 

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If it has only been three weeks, it sounds like they still could be getting used to your parameters. Is the corner you have them in shaded at all? If it is, move them to a brighter spot. Also, this plant responds well to additional iron. Do you have any Fe you can dose?
 

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P. stellatus is a plant that does pretty well for me. I have a 75 with 2x54 T5HO. I dose standard EI amounts including the optional iron mentioned in the EI sticky. I have found the key for me is consistent CO2 with good but not overpowering circulation. If you're dosing EI then you have enough nutrients so that can be ruled out, IMO, which goes back to CO2. A couple of months ago I had a CO2 refill, messed with the needle valve and ended up running with a much lower bubble count than I had been. Within a few days the plants pretty much stopped growing and I had all kinds of twisted stunted plants. Cranked it back up and within two weeks the stunted plants were a memory. If the growth gets too thick and I don't thin it then the plants in the middle start to stunt because they're not getting enough CO2. I just mention all this to stress that I've found CO2 is the key for me with this plant. I know you're going to tell me that your CO2 is fine, but you didn't mention if you're using PC's or T5's and what sort of reflectors you have. IMO, 4 wpg is a lot of light and as we know, light drives nutrient demand so even if your dropchecker is yellow you may not have enough CO2 for the plant. Just my 2 cents.

Ignore the stem floating at the top, I missed that one when I trimmed :)


 

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Yea, my P. stellatus looks like jeff's. I recommend increasing the CO2 as well and giving the plant a little more time. Mine didn't start taking off till a couple of weeks ago. (I just recently set up the tank). Now it won't stop growing. Increase the CO2 slightly and see what happens. Also how old are the bulbs in your fixture?
 

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Jeff....your just the aquarium master! To grow plants like that in plain old aquarium gravel.....you the man! I have never seen P Stellatus look as good as yours look. I drool over yours everytime I see them.

Jeff, I know you said you inject all your CO2 thru a reactor. Do you have a bubble counter and how many BPS are you running?
 

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Jeff....your just the aquarium master! To grow plants like that in plain old aquarium gravel.....you the man! I have never seen P Stellatus look as good as yours look. I drool over yours everytime I see them.

Jeff, I know you said you inject all your CO2 thru a reactor. Do you have a bubble counter and how many BPS are you running?
Thanks but I think you've started your New Year's celebration a bit early ;). If you saw the whole tank you'd not say that. I need you to scape my tank like you've done your bowfront.

I'm probably running around 4-5 bps, it's kind of hard to count but I keep a pretty good ripple going on the top also. I do use a reactor but I've used misting with a needlewheel in the past and the plants really did well with that but I just don't care for the look of that much mist.
 

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Yea, my P. stellatus looks like jeff's. I recommend increasing the CO2 as well and giving the plant a little more time. Mine didn't start taking off till a couple of weeks ago. (I just recently set up the tank). Now it won't stop growing. Increase the CO2 slightly and see what happens. Also how old are the bulbs in your fixture?
Increasing the CO2 certainly won't hurt as long as the fish are okay but I can't help from thinking that it would also make things easier if he would lower the light some too, either but running only half the light or raising them some. Less light would still grow the plants and give more flexibility with CO2 levels, but I have been wrong in the past and could be once more.
 

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Is a thin line obviously as of which factor will run him the best outcome. Also, a different method of diffusion might be a way to increase the CO2 without having to tamper with any other parameters. I don't like reactors, since with microbubbles you can tell which parts of the tank are not receiving a lot of flow and which ones are. The other thing that I have in my tank is a heavy bioload, so the nitrates are undesirably high, around 20ppm. However, I doubt that that made any difference. In comparison, because of the nitrates, my limnophila aromatica is a bright green. The CO2 has to correspond to the lighting levels as jeff mentioned. Are your plants pearling? I regulated my CO2 and lighting so that mine are, and ever since my P. stellatus is a bright pink-red like the picture.

Good luck though, I would recommend lightly and slowly fiddeling with the set up. Are there any algae? They usually are a phenomenal indicator of what levels are in need of adjustment in your tank. Good luck.

Simon
 

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Sara,

Lighting is 10 hours a day, thinking of going to 11 just to add another hour of viewing. I have the CO2 on a couple of hours before lights come on and then it cuts off 1 hour before lights off. As far as determining the CO2 level I do have a dropchecker but I've finally gotten to the point where I pay more attention to how the plants and fish are doing along with any algae growth.
 

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Yea, I don't have a drop checker, I just check the plants and fish. My CO2 comes on with the lights. Have you tried floating the plants till they develop roots? And there is a trick I used on a couple of plants, that were hard to root and melted from the bottom up. I put a hand of ada aquasoil into the substrate, and planted the plants directly into that. That way a 3L bag goes a long way, and the plants stopped melting immediately. Do you have very tight substrate? Give the roots a bit 'air' to breathe.
 

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Are your plants pearling? I regulated my CO2 and lighting so that mine are, and ever since my P. stellatus is a bright pink-red like the picture.

Simon
Good point. That's one of those things I've also learned to pay attention to and usually a good indicator that everything is as it needs to be. I look for it to start within 2-3 hours after lights on. If it's absent then it's usually one of two things for me and could be both. First and most common for me is it's time for the weekly trim and circulation is off and there's more shading of some plants due to the increased plant mass. Second thing is filters need to be cleaned and the flow is decreased. Third and less often I couldn't keep my fingers off the needle valve and I've lowered the bubble count for whatever reason.
 

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Good point. That's one of those things I've also learned to pay attention to and usually a good indicator that everything is as it needs to be. I look for it to start within 2-3 hours after lights on. If it's absent then it's usually one of two things for me and could be both. First and most common for me is it's time for the weekly trim and circulation is off and there's more shading of some plants due to the increased plant mass. Second thing is filters need to be cleaned and the flow is decreased. Third and less often I couldn't keep my fingers off the needle valve and I've lowered the bubble count for whatever reason.
Excellent point. Definitely check the right amount of CO2, and then keep those hands off the needle valve. I know I struggle everytime I think my plants might need a bit more. Also make sure the plants are receiving good flow to add to a good diffusion of CO2 and nutrients. Do you have any algae at all to indicate anything/.
 

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Hmmm.....I am seeing a theme more and more. Less light more co2. This is a concept that I personally struggle with. You are encouraged to buy high lights and then you see beautiful tanks always have less lighting than you and no algae problems. :)
 

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Hmmm.....I am seeing a theme more and more. Less light more co2. This is a concept that I personally struggle with. You are encouraged to buy high lights and then you see beautiful tanks always have less lighting than you and no algae problems. :)
Haha yea, my 30gal low light has thriving plants everything and no algae to speak of. No dosing other than the occasional iron, and there is R. rotundifolia, and lots of crypts, and one dominating tiger lotus. I found that the high lighting is actually more of a diy than anything else. As soon as you go 'high light' all bets are off, and you have to figure out your own everything. The common systems, EI, 30ppm CO2 etc. are all good guidelines, but you need to figure out your own system for nutrients leaching from your substrate, bio load, dosing regimen, CO2 diffusion rate, etc. If you have all the prerequisites for great plants, I'd turn the dials a bit till the plants look better. And talk to your plants.... they love the positive attitude?:) :thumbsup:

One definite point, crank up the CO2 till the fish tap out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
thanks for the info everyone.
i know that the lighting level is high but i have had lots of trouble with groundcover growing for me. and 3wpg just wasnt cutting it.

my co2 levels are already pretty high. i have a yellow drop checker. and i know that kh/ph chart isnt really reliable but i have a kh of 3 and a ph of 6, which would be around 90ppm. but if you think that going higher is ok then i will try i guess. and my plants pearl like crazy.

i do get a little bit of gsa. other than that i have the normal gda.
i have been working on fine tuning the ferts though and gsa has dropped of signifigantly
 
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