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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have some Rotala sp. "mini" I got from Craig a long time ago. One is in a 65 gallon flourite tank which is a very stable tank. It has similar lighting with T5s to the 90 gallon tank. The 90 gallon tank has primarily Aqua Soil on top with a little bit of a mix of Eco and river pebble on the bottom back of the tank. Same near EI dosing schedule on both tanks and decent CO2 on both tanks. Photoperiod about the same.

The Rotala "mini" in the flourite tank has a nice rich leaf and good green. Nice growth like the plants I recieved from Craig (Wolfenexx). The same plant in the Aquasoil tank has fast growth, but the leaves look stunted and not so happy. I pulled the plants out and switched them, and the healthy plant I moved back into the 90 gallon began to look stunted again. The stunted "mini" I moved from the 90 gallon back into the 65 gallon started looking happy again.

Maybe its not enough CO2 in the 90 gallon, but I doubt it. Possibly more iron from the flourite? Who knows. Any ideas?

I'm really thinking of going 100% flourite on both tanks. Things grow a little slower, but I think for some reason, in my water, plants do better with flourite. I think we sometimes underestimate how much of an effect our substrates have on our plants, even stem plants.
 

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It maybe from the organic fraction in the ADA AS, other than the CO2.

But the CO2 sounds more probable given the visual stunting of the tips.
The lowering of pH can cause CO2 issues that are less of an issue in the Flourite tank, that tends to have me more skeptical when comparing things.

These two issues together are much more likely to be the issue, you use EI, so the water column is likely ruled out. That's a fairly safe assumption.

Try this: do very large water changes on the ADA tank 2x a week and see if that improves things.

Also, try planting and inspecting the roots on the Rotala near other plnts that are doing well. Some of the newer plants are not that strong aquatic plant growers in more anaerobic soils till the other plant roots get going.

So look at the roots also, not just the shoot when looking at growth.
The very large water changes will equalize the acid effect and make measurement easier. New tap also tends to be loaded with CO2. It's sort of an easy way to see if you have enough cO2 or not, when the water change day or day after produces decent growth then later(day 2-3 after the WC), the growth slows/stops again. This does not always work, but it's still not bad way to see and cleans the tank up, and stabilizes the nutrients very giving you more confidence and ruling things out better.

Plants also need some time to adapt, so a little patience is also in order, some stunt when changed from their environment.

I think you can rule out Iron.
There's plenty in the ADA AS, it's an iron rich clay.

Other possible issue is shading in the deeper tank etc from other plants vs the 65.

Before drawing such conclusions, I'd certainly really get a good handle and go through these things.

Why? Because I would not expect nor predict a plants to do worse in the ADA AS vs Flourite, maybe the same, or maybe in a rare case, a very subtle difference, but in general, miore growth would be expected in ADA AS vs Flourite if all things are truly equal.
ADA AS has more nutrients available than Flourite, so it would make sense to predict more growth in that tank, there's less transport.

Flourite tanks are highly stable after 1-2 years IME. Adding mulm speeds this process up. Fish loading is similar also?

I've seen enough evidence, as many others have, that the ADa AS improves growth even if you add the EI to the water column.

You mention slower growth being desirable, reducing the light by removing the a T5 bulb here and there can greatly reduce the pruning chores and electric cost.

The other added benefit to less light=> less CO2 demand,= which leads to less Nitrogen demand= which leads to the dwonstream nuteients and allows the plants more time to acquire and transport nutrients to their proper location and develop correctly.

I think George Booth and myself have nagged the wonders of less light for many years, but mainly to death ears. Folks would rather add just enough Fe, rather than a main player that influences algae growth very significantly like high "EXCESSIVE"(one of their favorite words) light.



Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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While I can't offer the explanations Tom can, as someone who suffers from MTS (multi-tank syndrome) I can say different plants seem to like different tanks. I've even seen it in tanks that are virtually identical (same tank, lights, dosing, substrate, and filtration--only differences were in plant choices and wood vs. rock for hardscape). A big part of the hobby for me is finding out what plants grow in the conditions I'm willing to provide (vs. a quest to provide the conditions that will grow any plant I want). It looks like that plant is telling you which tank it wants to live in. :icon_mrgr

When I converted a few of my tanks to gravel over soil, some of the plants got really happy and others let me know they wanted to move to a different tank. I think it may have been less space around the roots if that makes sense.

Out of curiosity, how do your gh and kh compare in the 2 tanks?
 

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A big part of the hobby for me is finding out what plants grow in the conditions I'm willing to provide (vs. a quest to provide the conditions that will grow any plant I want).
I like that quote, Cheryl. :) Many folks seem unhappy if they can't grow everything they try. I tip my hat at the folks who can put anything into their tanks and have it flourish. Personally, I am quite satisfied knowing I can't grow macranda worth a darn, nor will I be able to grow any soft water plants, due to my liquid rock and having no desire to go RO.
 

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While I can't offer the explanations Tom can, as someone who suffers from MTS (multi-tank syndrome) I can say different plants seem to like different tanks. I've even seen it in tanks that are virtually identical (same tank, lights, dosing, substrate, and filtration--only differences were in plant choices and wood vs. rock for hardscape).
And many folks use their 1 tank as a "statistic" for support.
You need far more replicates before you can make any generalization.
Then you need to test the suspected treatments that you think are influcing things.

Clearly basing one sole tank's performance is a poor support for any generalization.

My issue is that at a basic level, what is seen in this one tank, does not fall into a predicted pattern.

Why would more nutrients and a softer texture be worse for this plant and also, why would it stunt the tip like this?
Fe is available in the sediment, so is Ca, so are most nutrients, but it's also available to in the water column.

It's not a transport issue in other words.
The plant has the available nutrients in both places if the aquarist is really providing good EI, mainteance, light...........the only suspected variable here, and the expression of the stunted tip really points to CO2, not the substrate so much.

A variation of the largest nutrient player, 40-45% of the plant's biomass is
CO2.

And it's measure is suspect when using something that messes with the KH.
So both of these issues , from a reasonable point of view, really points to that, rather than siome sediment issue.

Because the general notion of nutrient supply is met(plenty for both tanks) and fairly straight forward.

The main variation is going to be the CO2.
The CO2 needs to be measured and assured to be stable as well.

That is the parameter that you will want to rule out effectively and give the plant some time to adapt.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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I like that quote, Cheryl. :) Many folks seem unhappy if they can't grow everything they try. I tip my hat at the folks who can put anything into their tanks and have it flourish. Personally, I am quite satisfied knowing I can't grow macranda worth a darn, nor will I be able to grow any soft water plants, due to my liquid rock and having no desire to go RO.
I like that quote as well...........but I also see that it begs the question....... why and what is occuring that allows plants to grow well in one method vs not so well in another?

If you can answer such questions.......then you are much less limited and have the entire pallet of colors and species to chose from. Some trade offs exists for Hard vs soft water, not many really.

I try and master each method, not just the one that haphazardly works.
I never liked that approach personally. It feels much too much like having faith in a method rather than demonstrable evidence I can bank on consistently.

Then I know what else is going on and am better able to solve potential issues with horticulture.

If Amano can can do it, we should be able to as well, if George Booth can, we should be able to as well, if I can so can you, if Diana Walstad is able to, you should be able to as well.

While this is my approach, and I'm a bit more "into it" that many, a lot of folks are plum happy with their 100+ species that they can grow very well.
Some are fine with non CO2 approaches and even less work.
Each has a trade off.

In this aquarist's quest, he's not willing to do this trade off really.
In seeking an answer, he may and often has learned more and become a better horticulturist. Some are not that passionate nor interested in improving that ability and that's okay also.

Many pursue a path that is the Collectoritis path, trying to grow every species that comes along.

This helps them fine tune their horticulture and test their limits, this is a good learning path, but careful not to make too many unsafe assumptions, I've made a lot of them, so has Amano, so has George and so has Diana.
But we learned from them and try not to make the same mistake again.
As a group, we do try to point those assumptions out and help others avoid them.

Things progress and we learn more, often times changing a view we once had for something that is slightly better, a "progression" that gets a little bit closer to the truth.

Whether you want to really work on and figure out each case is up to you, but just consider things carefully before you waste a lot of effort setting up test, buying all sorts of test kits etc. A lot of it is basic common sense, not some abstract theoretical science.

I'd say CO2 based on things thus far, I'd also suggest a pH drop checker with a KH reference, that would provide a fair comparison for the two tank's CO2.
Adding slightly more CO2 progressively(slowly) might be another method with careful observation of the plants.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Tom and Cheryl and Bert -Thanks so much for the feedback! I want to up the CO2, but when I do my Rainbows really go sluggish and the pH drops to 5.8 or so. So I'm in a quandary of upping the gas, but I might try. I haven't checked the KH/GH in the 65 gallon - which is the same height 24 inches. But it was recently around 6 KH and 6-7 GH in the 90 gallon. I actually have a little bit of crushed coral to raise the pH up a little for the Rainbows. My tap is around 6.6 pH and 5-6 KH and 6 GH after an Acid nuetralizer we had to add to our well house.

On another note, and maybe it is CO2, my Crinum calemestratum is also growing better in the flourite tank,where I moved it to some months back. It started out in the 90 gallon. Virtually no BBA, so Tom, you might be right on the CO2. I'm not sure what I am going to do, but I'm leaning toward more flourite.
 

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Bob I didn't read this whole thread but think of this as a hypothesis....
In medicine, for example...when something proliferates too quickly.....like say, white cells, they tend to sometimes malform. Such is the case with Leukemia. The white cells proliferate soo quickly that they are malformed so they don't develop into perfect working cells. Sometimes quality and quantity are exclusive of eachother.
My thoughts are, perhaps in this species, growing really fast is not the ticket. I know a lot of plants grow faster in AS and that is great....but maybe some species require slow growth to develop properly, and maybe the flourite, being more inert for lack of better terms, allows that slow growth for better component development.
Like I said, it is a hypothesis, but I know how rainbows get in high CO2, and if they are already sluggish, I wouldn't risk pumping it up just because of your rotala mini. Everything else in that tank looks great.
Just my 2c
 

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Bob I didn't read this whole thread but think of this as a hypothesis....
In medicine, for example...when something proliferates too quickly.....like say, white cells, they tend to sometimes malform. Such is the case with Leukemia. The white cells proliferate soo quickly that they are malformed so they don't develop into perfect working cells. Sometimes quality and quantity are exclusive of eachother.
My thoughts are, perhaps in this species, growing really fast is not the ticket. I know a lot of plants grow faster in AS and that is great....but maybe some species require slow growth to develop properly, and maybe the flourite, being more inert for lack of better terms, allows that slow growth for better component development.
Like I said, it is a hypothesis, but I know how rainbows get in high CO2, and if they are already sluggish, I wouldn't risk pumping it up just because of your rotala mini. Everything else in that tank looks great.
Just my 2c
I also know that Steven and George of Aquaforest advocate little to no dosing of macros with the aquasoil/powersand combo. They say too much dosing leads to leggy plants in aquasoil. They rather have their plants grow slower but also more compact.
 

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lol, wow. There are a lot of word's in this thread...

I would look to the C02 Bob, add some Excel to the 90 for a few days if you can, I know it is a little costly for such a large tank, but I am sure that will perk it right up, and show you that C02 might need to be tweaked a bit.
If the Rainbows are stressing add a little more surface splash till they relax and turn C02 up a bit more, use the aeration and C02 in conjuction till you find that happy medium, or reduce the lighting intensity a bit if you can which reduce's the need for so much gas and ferts.

This is a little more practical method, I seriously doubt you would need to toss the AS for Flourite just to grow this plant. I grow it very well in AS amoung other sub's. the plant. R. mini as small as it is, is a C02 hog.... oink.

Planted tanks can be a pain in the ass at times I know, but I love it... :biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Edit: First thanks FN and Ian. Those are good points. And Craig, you Ninjaed me and thanks as well... Now I'm going to read Craig's post again. Then back to work...haha. (self employed perk here).

Well, some of the plants grow a bit faster in the AS for sure. Anubias and ... well come to think of it, most of the plants do. None are really doing the high light leggy thing - because my photoperiod only has four tubes on for 4 hours and a 2 tubes on for 4 - for total of ~ 8 hours. But the two plants I mentioned (the Rotala mini and the Crinum) grow at about the same rate in both tanks. The Crinum is probably growing faster in the flourite. I really think Flourite has been underated of late. Its a good substrate, without doubt in my mind.

But the more I reflect on Tom's post the more I think it probably is a CO2 issue, if anything. And EI has definately helped knock back some algae issues, so I'm becoming a reluctant subscriber in non limiting fert methods.
 
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