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  1. Dave Spencer

    Why is this happening?

    I have cut back Eleocharis sp back to the substrate after initial planting the same as you. Give it a little time, and it will kick off. Then there will be no stopping it. You may experience a little algae around the stubble left behind. As an aside, when I add it to a tank with uber high CO2...
  2. Dave Spencer

    Narrow leaf java fern - Latin name?

    Gfish, You are thinking of the "needle leaf", which is thinner than narrow, and widely used in Asia. Supercoley1 has some in a tank in his journal. Dave.
  3. Dave Spencer

    Anubias and high light

    I have had Anubias sp growing close to the surface, and out of the water with no problems (lights were T8s). You should find it grows faster, and flowers like mad. Dave.
  4. Dave Spencer

    trimming Bolbitis heudelotii

    I always used to cut the bigger, older leaves off at the rhizome. This encourages newer growth. Dave.
  5. Dave Spencer

    Marsilea crenata question.

    I`m the same as you Fred. I still get clover shaped leaves coming up. I am cutting them off at the moment, but leaving one or two to see how tall they get. Dave.
  6. Dave Spencer

    utricularia graminifolia

    My UG had very root like appendages, Darryl. Any idea what these were? Dave.
  7. Dave Spencer

    Marsilea crenata question.

    Coolamundo, George. I always thought my original Marsilea sp was crenata (from Greenline), but the emerged growth I have with the Aquafleur is about 20cm, which made me a tad suspiscious. I`ll plant up what I have tomorrow during the footie. :thumbup: Dave.
  8. Dave Spencer

    Marsilea crenata question.

    I have just bought some Aquafleur Marsilea crenata and it looks to me as if it going to be way too tall for my requirements. Does anyone know how tall it grows submerged? I am hoping for one or two cm at the most. I knew I shouldn`t have put my original Marsilea sp in my propagator. It all died...
  9. Dave Spencer

    utricularia graminifolia

    I have grown it in play sand with EI dosing levels. My tap water was very soft. It is a strange plant in the sense that I have seen it in tanks that have done well in the IAPLC ,where it looks leggy to me, and nothing like the compact growth I was getting. One bit of advice I can give is don`t...
  10. Dave Spencer

    Amazon deficiency?

    Don`t bother with the test kit. Iron is difficult enough to test for in lab conditions, let alone with a hobby test kit. Personally, I have never kept these types of plants before, so I can`t comment how significant targetting the dosing of iron is, but I would be surprised if it was deficient...
  11. Dave Spencer

    Limnophilia sessiliflora melting

    Not when introducing them to a tank with good CO2. Whilst I haven`t used Crypts extensively, I have shifted a few from tank to propogator and back to tank without any melting. Gently ease your CO2 up over the next day or two and push the dropper closer to yellow. Keep an eye on your fish, and...
  12. Dave Spencer

    crypt propagation

    All my Crypts are growing, although nothing like TGM. My plants were taken out of my 240l when I stripped it down, and put straight in to the propagator. One or two leaves died off but, on the whole, the plants took to it like a fish out of water. The C undulata seems to be doing best out of the...
  13. Dave Spencer

    crypt propagation

    Chris, I grow Cryptocoryne undulata, parva and petchii (i think) using this method: viewtopic.php?f=56&t=6215 They are all thriving. I don`t think tropica do my variant of undulata any more, just the broad leaf version. Dave.
  14. Dave Spencer

    Sluggesh growth after rescape

    I have set up two tanks with Eleocharis parvula. The first one from a while ago took a couple of months for it to start growing, then it exploded in to life. The current one, which I have recently started has the Eleocharis parvula growing really well from the outset. Both tanks are/were EI...
  15. Dave Spencer

    Acicularis 1st trim

    I generally try to avoid cutting new shoots, but there will be plenty within the main plant mass that will get cut. It isn`t too critical in my experience, though. Cutting back Eleocharis sp sure does get messy. Dave.
  16. Dave Spencer

    Rotala rotundifolia planting advice

    I generally allow stems a good growth period before I cut and replant them. Just replant the cut off stems in the substrate and they will quickly root. The original planted half should develop two new growth points, making the plants look bushier. Any decent pair of sharp scissors will do the...
  17. Dave Spencer

    Some "alien" invaders - Do you know where to find some?

    It looks a lot like Hemianthus micranthemoides to me. Considering how much I like and use HM, I`ll have to keep an eye out for this plant on my wanderings. Dave.
  18. Dave Spencer

    what's the downside to using e. parvula as carpet plant?

    Sam, it should stay well anchored by its root structure. Like any plant that sends out runners, you have to keep on top of it with scissors. I am just about to use E parvula for the second time. Dave.
  19. Dave Spencer

    quick riccia question

    I used the netting from one of those scrunchy things women use in the shower, and my Riccia stayed put. If your netting is as fine as what I used, you should be OK. Dave.
  20. Dave Spencer

    echolaris parvula ? invasive how to control

    The HC tends to break out over the top of the E. parvula. A narrow depth of field put the HC out of focus in the pic below, but it shows the HC climbing out over the top of the grass. The two aren`t directly compatible in my experience, but they look nice side by side, each given their own...
  21. Dave Spencer

    Anubias yellowing?

    I read somewhere, from Aaron North I think, that upping the dosing of traces helps. Dave.
  22. Dave Spencer

    echolaris parvula ? invasive how to control

    At the end of the day, a good old pair of scissors is all you need. Dave.
  23. Dave Spencer

    Staurogyne sp planting

    The only thing I would say is that with stem type plants, I tend not to trim them until they are established and showing immersed growth. Give the plant time and it should turn around. It isn`t too difficult to grow. Dave.
  24. Dave Spencer

    HC going brown

    Drop checkers aren`t particularly accurate, that it is true. It is still down to interpreting a colour and using a hobby grade pH indicator, but they are useful as a general guide, albeit with a very slow reaction time. They are, however, better than pH controllers because they are only affected...
  25. Dave Spencer

    HC going brown

    If there are no fish in the tank yet, then why not just whack the CO2 right up and maximize plant growth and health? No offence, but pussy footing around with the pH controller for a .2 change won`t give you a quick turn around in plant health. The controller is measuring the pH of the water as...
  26. Dave Spencer

    Echinodorus bleheri (Amazon Sword) help

    Here is a quick quote form the Tabs hard sell. "Tabs contain no phosphate or nitrate that would promote algae proliferation" Good old Seachem. We musn`t supply our plants with nitrates or phosphates. Oh sorry, yes we must, via Seachem Nitrogen and Phosphorus. I sometimes wonder how any planted...
  27. Dave Spencer


    Re: What plants will survive best in my tank Judging by the specs of your tank, I would say you could virtually any plant you wish. For a bushy, stem planted back ground, Rotala sp Green is hard to beat in terms of looks, and ease of growing. You could also consider Micranthemum umbrosum or...
  28. Dave Spencer

    Some Hairgrass trimming hints & Tips please!

    Make sure it doesn`t grow too densely, as the growth becomes forced upwards, resulting in a mid ground height plant. Dave.
  29. Dave Spencer

    Rotola, how do yo get it vertical

    I`m not sure what type it is in that tank, Marsilea all seem to look the same to me. Marsilea has a Glossoesque look to it, but grows more sparsely and is easier to control. I think it is under rated and under used, although Amano has used it quite a lot. I think mine is M crenata. I have just...
  30. Dave Spencer

    Rotola, how do yo get it vertical

    I use Marsilea sp a fair bit, and find I get the single lobed growth in direct light, and the multi lobed growth on the plants that are quite well shaded. Dave.
  31. Dave Spencer

    HC or not HC?

    I have grown HM imersed and emersed, and HM is what you have. Dave.
  32. Dave Spencer

    Cyperus helferi

    What are your CO2 levels, and how are you measuring them? I suspect your dosing to be on the lean side. Try mixing your own ferts using potassium nitrate, potassium phosphate and trace mix from one of our sponsors. Take a look at the EI method of dosing and modify this to suit your situation...
  33. Dave Spencer

    green rotal rotundifolia

    I used to get seriously red Rotala in my Juwel Lido, but always thought that it was because it was Greenline Rotala as opposed to Tropica, which I have never turned red under my Arcadia T8 lamps, which are their freshwater tubes. The Lido is in storage at the moment, but when I get the chance...
  34. Dave Spencer

    Emersed moss

    Put it in the tank. :wink: Like most plants we buy that are emersed, plonk it in there. I have moved varoius mosses from a propagator to a tank, and the other way without any real problems. Dave.
  35. Dave Spencer

    Crypt's plants

    All my Crypts have been emersed growth from TGM, but I have never had any melting. I suspect it is down to the CO2 levels in the water being good enough to prevent this. Dave.
  36. Dave Spencer

    Plants that absorbs Po4

    I was none the wiser after reading the link either. :lol: Paul, I am sure the majority of people would agree that your PO4 levels are fine. Dave.
  37. Dave Spencer

    Plants that absorbs Po4

    Is 5ppm causing you problems? I`m not aware of any specific P intensive plants, but a lot of fast growers should consume them at a reasonable rate. Dave.
  38. Dave Spencer

    c.balansae help

    Provided the water column is well dosed, I would look at CO2. Some people do experience crypt melt for a while when the plants are newly introduced, but even this can be avoided with good CO2; good being at non limiting levels distributed throughout the tank. Dave.
  39. Dave Spencer

    Utricularia graminifolia

    Hi Paul, I fully intended to, but I thought you started a thread saying you had given up on EI. We`ll have to sort something out then. :D I will be in Spain this coming weekend. Dave.
  40. Dave Spencer

    Utricularia graminifolia

    DO NOT put shrimp in to the tank until it has become established. They used to shred mine blade by blade, leaving a horrible floating mess. My UG was always grown in an inert substarte. To plant it, you will need to cut the rockwool in to small cubes for planting. Dave.
  41. Dave Spencer

    Hygrophila corymbosa compact max size

    Mine grows to a max of about 40cm. It sure is a tempramental plant. Dave.
  42. Dave Spencer

    easy carpet plant with eco complete

    Personally, I would stay with the haigrass now that it seems to be getting established. You may find it really starts to grow in from here. Dave.
  43. Dave Spencer

    small leaved stem plant - suggestions please

    I love Micranthemum umbrosum, and it compliments HM in my opinion. Dave.
  44. Dave Spencer

    Moss I.D needed

    It could well be Leptodictyum riparium "stringy moss". I had some in my 120cm. It does look stringy, and grows upwards. Mine lasted two or three weeks before I got rid of it. It wasn`t to my taste. Just attach it to the wood, or whatever you want. It is fairly fast growing, without any special...
  45. Dave Spencer

    Attaching Pogostemon Helferi

    I have just seen your fickr account. I was in Marrakech last November. Dave.
  46. Dave Spencer

    Attaching Pogostemon Helferi

    Another thumbs up for superglue from me. :D Dave.
  47. Dave Spencer

    Eleocharis Vivipara - propogation

    Cheers, Ed. I guess you mean that you can snip it off from a point where the stem bifurcates/splits in to more than one. I never persevered with mine long enough to try anything, so I assumed it behaved like the other two Eleocharis sp. I got rid the moment it started strangling my MU. It is a...
  48. Dave Spencer

    Eleocharis Vivipara - propogation

    E.vivipara is not like stem plants, so you can`t replant the cuttings. Just wait for the runners to appear, and separate them from the mother plant. Dave.
  49. Dave Spencer

    Utricularia graminifolia

    Keep those bloody shrimp away! :D I have always grown mine in inert sand. Dave.
  50. Dave Spencer

    Utricularia graminifolia flower

    Great pics Jan. Especially the first one. Any ideas how you got it to flower? Dave.
  51. Dave Spencer

    Juncus Repens.

    I`m fairly sure it can`t be cut back like a stem plant. Mine isn`t ready for cutting yet, so let me know how you get on. Dave.
  52. Dave Spencer

    Juncus repens

    Have you looked down the page? :D I intend cutting each stem right at its base. Dave.
  53. Dave Spencer

    Got a bargain, need a positive ID.

    So does mine, when it is IMMERSED, you buffoon! :lol: Dave.
  54. Dave Spencer

    Got a bargain, need a positive ID.

    It could be emersed Ludwigia arcuata, but I am not sure. Dave.
  55. Dave Spencer

    Juncus Repens.

    What is the best way of trimming this stuff? Is it right down at the base where the shoots form? Dave.
  56. Dave Spencer

    Java Moss As A Carpet

    A moss carpet would be easy, but consider any moss other than Java. It is a very untidy looking moss, IMO. Dave.
  57. Dave Spencer

    tips on growing hc

    I find with HC you need to give it the best possible start. For me, it sits around for a good while, doing nothing, then it takes off like a weed. Usually when you first buy it, it will be in its emmersed form. It tends not to like the double experience of being immersed and planted out at the...
  58. Dave Spencer

    Has Riccia gone out of fashion?

    I only like to see it used as a main feature, rather than attached to the odd piece of slate in the foreground. It is a very very high maintenance plant, though. I am sure I will use it again. Dave.
  59. Dave Spencer

    Plant Propogators

    Re: Plant Propogaters Cheers guys. I will definitely look in to a cheap alternative. As for crypt melt, I have never experienced this. I don`t know why, because I don`t do anything special. I have added quite a few emersed grown crypts to my last two tanks, and not seen any sign of melt. Must...
  60. Dave Spencer

    Plant Propogators

    Re: Plant Propogaters Cheers Andy. I`ll have a look at them this weekend. Dave.
  61. Dave Spencer

    Plant Propogators

    Can anybody recommend one? I am thinking ahead for when I break down my 120cm which has a lot of expensive crypts in it. It will probably be kept indoors, so I am guessing some supplementary lighting may be in order. Secondly, what medium should I keep them in? Something from John Innes...
  62. Dave Spencer

    Hygrophila corymbosa `Siamensis` 53B.

    I have had a lot of flow issues with this tank, which have only recently been addressed properly. Perhaps it could be from not getting CO2 in to that corner, which is only manifesting itself now. Ah well, lets hope it picks up and I can break my scaping virginity in time for competition...
  63. Dave Spencer

    Hygrophila corymbosa `Siamensis` 53B.

    Has anybody used this plant alongside Easycarbo? I have started adding the stuff, but some of the Hygro is turning to mush. I`ll knock the Easycarbo on the head for now, but I just wondered if anybody else had this experience. Dave.
  64. Dave Spencer

    Stem plant suggestion

    Hemianthus micranthemoides! By the way, with a pair of scissors, you can make any stem 8" - 12" tall.
  65. Dave Spencer

    Leggy stemplants

    If you have Rotala sp, let them grow across the top and observe the change in shape/growth. You may like the look. :idea: Dave.
  66. Dave Spencer

    Emersed Eleocharis acicularis

    The plants generally come in rock wool. I ALWAYS take my plants out of the put and plant them in the substrate. The look is so much better than leaving them in the pots, IMO. Dave.
  67. Dave Spencer

    Washing New Plants?

    I don`t feel the need to wash my new plants because I buy/acquire them from reputable sources. The only things that come in on my plants are snails, and they are more than welcome in my tanks. If you have doubts about what may be introduced in to your tanks from your sources, take a look...
  68. Dave Spencer

    Pearling after a water change? Why?

    There is a lot of talk of these bubbles on the hardware being O2. Could they possibly be N2? As an aside, with my 120cm which has been running for three or four months now, I only get "pearling" bubbles after a water change. With my new 60cm which is about four days old, and getting daily 70%...
  69. Dave Spencer

    Pearling after a water change? Why?

    Nice one altaaffe. That was some good thinking. Dave.
  70. Dave Spencer

    Pearling after a water change? Why?

    I find that I only get bubbles on my plants and not on my hardware or other surfaces, so I have had a little hunt on the Barr Report and found these. ... t=pearling ... t=pearling Dave.
  71. Dave Spencer

    Toxic plants

    I have been unable to keep shrimp in my tanks planted with stems for longer than two months. They have looked 100% throughout this period, but then just start to die one by one. My latest tank is my first attempt at Anubias and Crypts, yet have an Amano shrimp that will have survived for around...
  72. Dave Spencer

    the best red small leafed stem

    Hm doesn`t turn red, as far as I know. Didiplis diandra is a fantastic plant, but most of its red comes from the stem when I grow it. Dave.
  73. Dave Spencer

    green rotal rotundifolia

    Mark is asking about Rotala rotundifolia that is currently staying green. You are thinking of Rotala sp "green" Garuf. Dave.
  74. Dave Spencer

    green rotal rotundifolia

    I found Greenline R. rotundifolia goes very red. My Tropica was very difficult to turn red. Nitrogen starvation can help to turn it red, apparently. Dave.
  75. Dave Spencer

    Utricularia Graminifolia???

    I would say that it is a beautiful plant and worth the effort. :D Consider using it in longer term scapes though, as you may find it to be a slow grower like me. Dave.
  76. Dave Spencer

    Which stem plant?

    I think you will find most stem plants to be fast growing. For a nice bushy effect Rotala sp "green" is ideal, but for a red colour try Rotala rotundifolia or Nesaea pedicellata. Ludwigia arcuata can give a more orangy colour. More delicate looking stems include Micranthemum umbrosum and...
  77. Dave Spencer

    Plant ID quiz

    I have no idea what it is, but I want some! Dave.
  78. Dave Spencer

    Is there such a thing as a 'highlight' plant? An experiment

    I don`t think Llj`s tank is proof of anything yet, regarding HC growth. My money is on it not carpetting properly, and reaching upwards for the light. Dave.
  79. Dave Spencer

    Leptodictyum riparium (Stringy moss)

    I have some Leptodictyum riparium too (no pics until the tank has matured). I suspect it will become pretty popular. Dave.
  80. Dave Spencer

    Can you recommend a good red plant

    Rotala rotundifolia and Ludwigia arcuata. I really liked Greenline`s R. rotundifolia, but they have stopped trading. Dave.
  81. Dave Spencer

    Is there such a thing as a 'highlight' plant? An experiment

    I would be interested to see how HC copes. I suspect it would reach for the light, rather than cling to the substrate. I doubt whether Zig`s scape would have worked under too low a light level. Still, I can`t say too much unless I try it myself. Dave.
  82. Dave Spencer


    It could be UG, but mine has never grown that upright. Having said that, the plant in this tanks foreground is fairly dense, maybe forcing it upwards. UG is probably my fave plant at the moment. Dave.
  83. Dave Spencer


    I have just started growing Staurogyne myself, and pretty much agree with George (I doubt if there are many that know Staurogyne better than George). The grassy foreground will either be Eleocharis acicularis or E. parvula. It has been very neatly mown. Dave.
  84. Dave Spencer

    Nesaea pedicellata

    I found it very easy to grow, but that is using EI alongside ADA Amazonia. I can`t see it being too difficult as most stems are essentially weeds, and grow like them. Personally, I won`t be using it again, as it lacks the finesse of other stems such as HM, MU or the Rotalas. The stem is too...
  85. Dave Spencer

    Riccia Carpet?

    The tank I showed has 80% substrate coverage with rocks. Riccia looks so much better as a feature plant, rather than an after thought on the odd piece of slate. I used my lights on a split timer, so in the evening only the rear light was on. This would show the pearling off in all its glory...
  86. Dave Spencer

    Riccia Carpet?

    All those rocks and slate you see are sat on top of Argos play sand. I didn`t get any anaerobic spots. Dave.
  87. Dave Spencer

    Riccia Carpet?

    I used one of those scrunched up netting type things that women keep in the shower for no apparent reason. I got the idea off Supercoley. This... ...turned in to super high maintenance this in no time. Dave.
  88. Dave Spencer

    What stem plant is this?

    Rotala sp "green" with Rotala rotundifolia being the red plant behind.
  89. Dave Spencer

    Hygrophila corymbosa "Compact"

    You`ve got that right. I doubt I`ll ever bother with it again. Dave.
  90. Dave Spencer

    Pruning advice - Eleocharis acicularis?

    When you first plant it, you should be brutal and cut it right back. The growth will be emersed, and go brown and die. This stage becomes an algae magnet. If I were you, I would cut it right back now and wait for the healthy submersed growth. Dave.
  91. Dave Spencer

    Some questions on Dwarf Hairgrass....

    I would say you have Eleocharis parvula, as opposed to Eleocharis acicularis which is straighter and taller. Always use the latin name....dwarf hairgrass is not specific enough. :D Dave.
  92. Dave Spencer


    One thing I have noticed is that Tropica ET is the best around, and way better than Greenline. It stays lower and takes on a reddish hue on more mature blades. Dave. Trying to care. :(
  93. Dave Spencer

    bacopa australis

    It looks a lot like R. rotundifolia to me, too. Dave.
  94. Dave Spencer

    Ludwigia arcuata

    Mr Amano uses L. arcuata a lot, and his look similar. Dave.
  95. Dave Spencer

    Limnophila aromatica - The Rice Paddy Herb

    I have always been a fan of the smaller, more delicate stems (HM,MU etc.). Plus, I have always liked the E. stellata, but found it a bit too `big` for my tastes. L. aromatica looks like it could be the perfect replacement if I ever get my 120cm kicked off. Nice one, Clive. Dave.
  96. Dave Spencer

    Eleocharis parvula - how to trim

    You can cut it right back down to substrate level if you wish. If it is emerged growth, then I recommend cutting it right back straight away to avoid algae issues. Dave.
  97. Dave Spencer

    The Green Machine.

    Not only do they have a flyer on the wall, it is laminted.....LAMINATED I tells ya! I hand flyers out to all the LFS around here, but nobody seems to put them up.
  98. Dave Spencer

    The Green Machine.

    I thought you would like it Graeme. No need for us to feel jealous of all these guys with access to Maidenhead Aquatics anymore. :wink: Dave.
  99. Dave Spencer

    The Green Machine.

    Cheers, Johnny. 8) Dave.
  100. Dave Spencer

    The Green Machine.

    I used to have a lovely big house I spent my working life getting together, but divorce last year put paid to that. :cry: All I have is one double bed, so I may not be much help accomodation wise, I am afraid. Dave.