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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For some reason I don't seem to be having any luck with Vals. I've got a couple of giant vals and 3 corkscrew vals that just don't seem to want to take off. In fact I keep having to remove sickly leaves. They've been in my tank for just about a month now and I'm starting to wonder if there is something I'm missing. They are growing, but ever so slowly. Consdering they are supposed to be hardy plants, I'm baffled. Other plants I'm growing (rosefolia, crypts, wisteria, barthii etc) are all doing great.

My water:

PH - 6.9 KH - 6 CO2 - 23 FE - 0.1 NO3 - 5 PO4 - 1

I recently upgraded from a yeast system to a cylinder so my CO2 is finally where I want it. Prior to this I was struggling to get 10 ppm. Could this have been my problem?

I'm running almost 4 WPG in a 108 gallon. Tank height is 24"

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I tend to have better luck with my vals when I grow them in harder water (comes out of the tap at 8.4 and they do great). I put a little bit of flow through them. They aren't one that requires pressurized CO2, so I doubt that is your problem. Do you have them in an area that gets a little bit of flow? Also 4 WPG in a 108 is HUGE! I have (and do) grown them at 1 wpg in a 110 and they do just fine. I don't think high light is a problem necessarily, but maybe you could try putting them where they are not directly under the bulbs and see if that changes how they grow.

If your vals don't like your softer water, don't change your water. Instead try a different grass-like plant. Crypt retrosprilis, Crinums, Sagittaria, needle-leaf java fern, and a few others I'm sure will give you a similar look. Hygrophila corymbosa 'angustifolia' is a good one for that look too, and I bet it would grow like a weed in your tank (I have some if you want to try).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Jen,

I've got a lot of flow in the tank as I'm running two powerheads just for flow (1 in each corner) on top of a Rena Filstar XP3 and two Aquaclear 110s. The Vals are moving all the time. Recently I removed a bunch of Hygrophilia polysperma's that were just growing far too fast and taking over the tank so the Vals were shaded. Now they are out in the open. I thought that maybe the Hyrgro's were my problem.

When I was struggling with two yeast reactors to get to 10 ppm I could rarely get my PH below 7.5 - even then they weren't reacting.

Today I added some Flourish Tabs to the Vals hoping to give them a boost. I can't help but wonder if there is something they are lacking as everything else seems to be doing fine.

Thanks for the quick response.
 

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In fact I keep having to remove sickly leaves.
Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
Describe the sickly leaves. (Not saying I will be able to help after reading that, but others might have stronger diagnoses...)

Are you using Flourish Excel? I found out the hard way that Val doesn't like that stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Tsigoloeg,

They slowly lighten in color almost becoming translucent but not quite, and then they quickly turn brown. Even new shoots from runners do the same. Not all of course but enough that I have to pick them every few days.

No, I'm not using Excel and in fact have never used it.

Any ideas?

Thanks.
 

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In my experience, vals are much like crypts in their response to change. They take a while to settle in. Once they do, they will explode in growth, then slow down just a little (still fast growth). When my jungle vals first took off (after about 2 months in the tank) I had some leaves that were almost 4ft long!!! Now they stay to no more than about 30 inches. Keep a little fertilizer in the substrate and keep the CO2 up where it should be - they will come along.
 

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That's my experience too. I have corkscrew val and it took a while to get started (high light, press. Co2, daily dosing, fluorite), but once it did, it spread runners like crazy. Then, I got rid of all but one small plant and moved it around. Now it's barely growing, if at all :p
 

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mine sat and did nothing for about a month or so then started throwing runners out like it was their day job.
 

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when i setup my tank maybe 4 months ago, i got a bunch of vals and there happened to be one corkscrew val mixed in with them. the regular vals took off and completely dominated most of the tank. the corkscrew just sat where it was, looking healthy every day... but not growing at all. months down the road it looked exactly the same, but healthy. i haven't looked for awhile but i suspect it's still there, sleeping... or whatever it's doing. i think it conceeded growth to the other vals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the responses everybody.
Looks like patience is the key to Vals.
 

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The Tropica website has a link to an indepth article on Vallisneria right at the top of their homepage:

Tropica

They do mention that one - Vallisneria americana var. biawaensis - does need higher light levels than the other types. This is a variety with the corkscrew-like twisted leaves.
 
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