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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am wondering why my stems do not develop as strong root system as my epiphytes and rosettes. My stems, Luwidgia, Hygrophila and Mermaid, are getting vigorous top growth, vibrant color, and lot of aerial roots, but the bottoms are weak and often rotten out that I have to replant. Is it the nature of all stems or it is because my light level at the substrate is too low. I have around 40 PAR at the substrate and up to 150 PAR high up, so it is in the medium light range.

For Dutch growers with very high light, do your stems develop strong roots?
 

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I have inert gravel. My rosettes have no trouble developing extensive roots, and Dutch growers commonly use inert substrate. What is BDBS.
Black diamond blasting sand, an inert substrate.

That was my experience with inert substrates. Stems were feeding from the water column so didn't need to develop a strong root system, kind of like how they grow roots all over when grown floating.

You don't need aquasoil to have good looking plants, btw, that was just my observation on root growth.

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With my Ludwigia I found it really easy to damage the bottom stem while planting. If you're not super careful it can snap and cause it to rot.

I have a combination of BDBS and Ecocomplete and mine throws both regular roots and tons of aerials. I also have some attached to a suction cup on the side and it has about the same amount of aerial roots as plant mass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
With my Ludwigia I found it really easy to damage the bottom stem while planting. If you're not super careful it can snap and cause it to rot.

I have a combination of BDBS and Ecocomplete and mine throws both regular roots and tons of aerials. I also have some attached to a suction cup on the side and it has about the same amount of aerial roots as plant mass.
Ludwigia is one red stem that thrives in my medium light setup despite bare and weak bottoms that break off easily. I also tried heater suction cup to hold a bunch for a while but it did not last long and broke off. For a 20 inch tall tank, it’s hard to get good light penetration to the bottom without over lighting the top. And I don’t want to go the Dutch way as I also grow many low light plants that don’t need and may get hurt by intense light.

Is it lack of light or lack of fertile substrate that causes stems to develop weak bottoms. I think stems can uptake nutrients entirely from the water column and bottom roots are develped for anchoring, but then why do they prefer to abandon roots to floatIng.
 
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