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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have always had great success growing blyxa japonica. The plants have grown so well and fast I have had to remove half of them periodically just to keep them from filling up the tank. But, the last time I rescaped the tank, I used far fewer plants, and kept mostly my blyxa plants. Since then the blxa have all been reduced to small pale stubby growths, nothing at all like I am used to.

Yesterday I noticed that my 3 Yoyo loaches were picking at the blyxa, and even, in one case, sending a leaf floating away. So, my obvious question is, do Yoyo's eat plants, such as blyxa? Is that likely to be my problem?

I will be adding a few more plants back to the tank next week, so that may be the test, but in the mean time my poor blyxa plants look so anemic. And, my fertilizing routine hasn't changed at all.
 

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My tank did this to me once with Val Americana...never figured out why. I'd grown thousands of plantlets in the tank, then it stopped... Still doesn't make sense to me.
 

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Yoyo's were probably rummaging through them looking for food, but not eating the leaves themselves. more likely you have a thread algae eater such a Flag fish or SAE who's become a fine leaf plant puller. this tendency may vary from fish to fish, not just their entire species, so you may have to observe your tank regularly to identify and isolate the culprit. perhaps those plants just melt like crypts when relocated.
 

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Hoppy,
I can't tell you if loaches will eat blyxa...I've never kept them, but I will offer another alternative.

Any chance you have pond snails? They have completely destroyed the blyxa in my tank. The snails seem to prefer that plant to all other forms of food available. After a replanting a few months ago they seem to eat the blxya faster than it grows.

It would also explain why the loaches were interested in the blxya....if thats where the snails were hanging out.
 

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The same thing happened to my blyxa. I think it's just a temperamental plant. In some conditions it absolutely thrives, but in others, not so much. It used to be my fastest-growing plant, but then I had a minor outbreak of GDA and BGA, reduced my lighting, and the Blyxa hasn't been the same. I can barely keep it alive now. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The only fish I have are the Yoyo loaches, guppies, one Cardinal tetra, some "lambchop" rasboras, 5 otos, and one cory, plus about 40 or so Cherry shrimp. The loaches have eliminated any pond snails, of which I used to have a lot. I have transplanted blyxa many times, including into my nano, where it has entirely different lighting, temperature and fertilizing, and it always grew well before. The biggest single change I made was reducing the mass of greenery in the tank, then a couple of weeks later, reducing the lighting from 110 watts to 72 watts, but the blyxas haven't done any differently after the lighting change.
 

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perhaps your nitrates or phosphates were left too high now that you have fewer plants on lower light to utilize those macros?
I assume you have not noticed your shrimp feasting on the grass leaves or you would have mentioned that by now.
 

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I had the same thing happen when I had SAEs. I don't know if they were just rummaging around roughly, or actually eating the plants, but I noticed elatine trianda and blyxa getting torn up after they rummaged around with their mouths. I ended up getting rid of the SAEs. Not a big fan of them anymore. Loaches are probably similar in this regard.
Is there a chance that your Nitrates are bottoming out? Or maybe something else, like iron is suspect? I found out later that the ET might have been melting from low No3, instead of hungry SAEs like I once thought. Not sure if blyxa is the same way.
Oh, by the way, did you buy those "lamp chop" rasboras at Capitol Aquarium? If so, I have the same thing and they've been ID'd as regular Harlequin rasboras. I used to work there and honestly think that the owner just makes names up for fish or plants he doesn't know the names of, or if he wants to make it seem "rare" or "exotic" in order to sell faster.
 

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Hoppy, have you checked you're filter lately?
Rinse the media with tank water and clean the sponges good, don't over clean the media with a light plant load though.
You sure C02 has not declined somehow?
I don't keep Blyxa J. in my hightech tanks any more but I do grow them well and slower in lowlight no ferts.
Beautiful plants but when you go to pull them up they tend to gut the substrate pretty bad making a hell of a mess of the system....
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Spypet, I continue to dose by EI, but reduced the dosages by about a third to a quarter when I removed a lot of plants. My remaining other plants are growing very well. My CO2 is at the same setting as before, and my drop checker says it is still at about 30 ppm. I now use Tropica Plant Nutrition Liquid instead of CSM+B - and that possibly is the significant difference, but I doubt it.

Ringram, yes, I did get those "lambchop rasboras" from Capitol Aquarium. I realized that they might just be a minor variation on harlequin rasboras, but I liked the colors and the schooling, so I got them anyway. I really like them in the tank too. Capitol does like to name fish with catchy attention grabbing names, but that doesn't bother me too much. Before long I expect to do all of my LFS buying at Fish Planet anyway.

Craig, I use only a Magnum 250 filter, so I have to clean the media about weekly, and have been doing so regularly. It has occurred to me that my changing media so often may be killing the biologic filtration each time, but it hasn't bothered the other plants, and didn't bother the blyxa before I thinned out the plantings so much. Next week I will be adding a few more fast growing plants, so maybe that will have some effect.

I put a slice of blanched cucumber in the tank yesterday and it is pretty well gone now, but I noticed the guppies were the ones doing most of the eating of it. I may get a zucchini and try that later - none of the fish appreciated the frozen chopped spinach I tried first. My fish are all gourmets.
 

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Could be that the loaches are eating the tender shoots as they come out the center...
Best answer I can see. Unless Hoppy has done anything that could have interfered with the blyxa's growth, yoyo loaches are the prime suspects. Hoppy, you mentioned you witnessed the loaches snapping off a leaf? I'd say they are indeed your suspects. My loaches were rehomed after demolishing several plants. They often leave bite marks on the leaves and eat the shoots.:angryfire
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You would think that a hungry loach would go after cherry shrimp. But, mine just bump them out of the way as they search the ground for ??? snails, I guess. The one food they really like is Aquarian bottom feeder shrimp pellets. When I feed those every other day all of the fish go wild in a feeding frenzy. But, the female guppies always seem to get the most. Maybe when I add some more plants the blyxa won't be so enticing to the Yoyo's.
 

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Until the loaches managed to eat on a shrimp's tender body after molting, they won't.:smile: They get a taste for shrimps only if they find out about the shrimp's tender body. You know how vulnerable shrimps are after molting.:icon_mrgr
 
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