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C. Crispulata var Balansae (tropica in vitro) - not growing?

erwin123

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Hello,

I bought the Tropica in vitro C. Crispulata var Balansae which I separated into 4 plants. 1 was too small and not viable. the remaining 3 have not been growing much at all. Maybe 5-6cm after 30 days but in the last week no noticeable growth. Tank has CO2 and the Crispulatas are getting good lighting and I'm dosing Tropical specialised as I have 10mg+ NO3 without dosing.

I have 2 C.Retrospiralis (not in vitro tho) which were planted around the same time in the tank and doing fine ( new leaves are around 20cm already).

websites mention Balansae's native environment is hard water near limestone. In which case, just wondering whether anyone has grown tropicas C. Balansae successfully in 'soft' water tanks? Any help appreciated as I do like Crypts :)

erwin
 

erwin123

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Balansae.jpg
 

Mark Nicholls

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All Crypts are mainly root feeders therefore co2 won't have much impact on them. They grow in stages. Roots/leaves/roots/leaves.
Before sending out lots of new leaves, your newish crypts will be establishing a good root structure first. I suggest you focus less on co2 and start feeding them on a good quality substrate fertilizer.
 

Sarpijk

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Μy experience tells me that you should be patient. Not only the plants have to adapt but it takes them quite some time to grow an extensive root system. Once this has happened it will be unstoppable.
 

John q

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I grow them in soft water and they grow fine, it did take them 3 or 4 weeks to settle and then they suddenly took off.
 

Nick potts

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All Crypts are mainly root feeders therefore co2 won't have much impact on them. They grow in stages. Roots/leaves/roots/leaves.
Before sending out lots of new leaves, your newish crypts will be establishing a good root structure first. I suggest you focus less on co2 and start feeding them on a good quality substrate fertilizer.

While crypts do have big root systems, co2 is just as important to them as any other plant.

So lots of nutrients in the substrate are definitely good, adding co2 will (or should) increase growth rate and overall health.

Give them time, as above crypts do take longer to settle and start growing.
 

mort

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I just redid the substrate in my tank and had to take out the large crypts balansae plants in there. I trimmed the roots and popped them back and they have sat there for about a month now not seemingly doing anything, and these are matured leaved plants. It doesn't surprise me as the roots xtensive and cover most of the base of my tank and there was far more root per plant compared to most other plants. So they do need a decent root system before they put on growth. You will likely see, as mentioned above, a period of relative inactivity before they suddenly spring into life and boom.

I used some of the old roots to try root cuttings and left them long and fleshy to see how they did. In the longer roots I have lots of little plantlet's springing up that have grown more than their mature parent plants. So roots are very important.
 

erwin123

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thanks so much for all the advice. I am using ordinary Gex plant soil rather than something fancier so I've just added JBL Ferropol tabs to them. Hoping for the best and like it was pointed out, hopefully they are building up a strong root system first before growing!
 

Conort2

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Invitro crypts are painfully slow to get going. One of the few plants I’d actually recommend to get as a potted version instead unless it’s a rare variety that’s only available in tissue culture.

However it is because I'm impatient! They will get there eventually if you give them everything they need.

cheers
 

Courtneybst

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If it's any consolation I have Cryptocoryne Balansae in my setup and it's been there since end of February. It did absolutely nothing for weeks except the old melted leaf.
It's only now just very very slowly started to elongate.

I noticed it melted most if not all of the original wider leaves for healthy thinner ones but over a very slow period (not like regular crypt melt where it happens at once - only this week I cut away another melted original leaf). This is also under medium light and CO2 but I'm pretty sure the sword plant next to it has been blocking a lot of light. In other words it seems totally normal.
 

Tim Harrison

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All Crypts are mainly root feeders therefore co2 won't have much impact on them.
The two aren't related. Whilst it's true that many Crypts can grow in low-energy tanks i.e. that are not enriched with injected CO2, most will greatly benefit from additional CO2.

It's also true that so called root feeders like Crypts and swords will benefit from a nutritious substrate. However, they are also capable of foliar feeding, like most other aquatic plants. So dosing the water column with fertz and feeding both sites makes good horticultural sense.
 

ceg4048

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All Crypts are mainly root feeders therefore co2 won't have much impact on them.
This is another myth created in The Matrix. Having an extensive root system has very little to do with preference for nutrient uptake location. One of the hallmarks of aquatic plants is that they adapt their leaf structure specifically to uptake nutrients from their leaves. There are other, very important reasons for plants to develop elaborate root systems that have nothing to do with nutrient uptake.
Secondly, the requirement for CO2 is critical for all plants and has no relevance whatsoever to nutrient uptake at the root level.
Aquatic plants feed from any location where nutrients are available, be it substrate or foliage. CO2 uptake is generally from foliage as that is where the chlorophyll structure resides.
I noticed it melted most if not all of the original wider leaves for healthy thinner ones but over a very slow period (not like regular crypt melt where it happens at once - only this week I cut away another melted original leaf). This is also under medium light and CO2 but I'm pretty sure the sword plant next to it has been blocking a lot of light. In other words it seems totally normal.
This is only normal when CO2 is marginal to poor. Any melting of plants is a direct result of an inability to uptake CO2 properly.
Poor growth is also a function of inadequate CO2, therefore, excessive lighting and/or poor CO2 uptake will always result in arrested growth.

Cheers,
 
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As mad as this seems Balansae for me is one of them plants that it doesn't matter where you think the best place to plant it might be the plant itself will find where it wants to live. I've planted them in places best suited for the scape, generally the back corners as they tend to grow big and they haven't really came to much but yet a little runner will appear somewhere from its extensive root system and the plant that appears there blows the lid off the tank.
Certainly hardness isn't an issue, I use rain water and keep the water sub 100 on the TDS.
 

Courtneybst

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This is only normal when CO2 is marginal to poor. Any melting of plants is a direct result of an inability to uptake CO2 properly.
Poor growth is also a function of inadequate CO2, therefore, excessive lighting and/or poor CO2 uptake will always result in arrested growth.

Cheers,
Yeah I believe I am having some flow issues in the back sides of my tank but I'm hoping to get a new powerhead to sort that out. I've tried every arrangement with what I've currently got and nothing seems to work.
 

Mark Nicholls

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What the hell has root uptake got to do with a movie franchise? I'm referring to THE MATRIX.
My comments are based upon my 40 years of horticulture and not on conspiracy theory!
 

ceg4048

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My comments are based upon my 40 years of horticulture
My Comments are based on 30 years of growing crypts.
What the hell has root uptake got to do with a movie franchise?
Because just like in the movie, it seems you have been programmed to think a certain thought that has nothing to do with reality.
Now, I have no idea what branch of horticulture your expertise is in but either your statement regarding "crypts needing to grow roots and not needing CO2 at that stage" is mistyped or your horticultural expertise is in an area far removed from the science of the metabolism of aquatic plants. In fact, there is no way that any plant, whether terrestrial or aquatic will choose to grow roots as a priority over gas exchange. Plants cannot even grow roots without first assimilating CO2 because plant roots, like plant stems, plant flowers, plant fruits and plant leaves are physically constructed primarily of carbon. In Northumberland there are gigantic mines filled with coal. This coal started out as the bark and tissue of trees. Coal is carbon. That should offer a clue as to the importance of carbon to plants. The petrol you fill your tank with and oil used to heat your home is hydrocarbon and is a descended from the carbon contained in the trees of ancient forests. Over 50% of a plants dry mass is carbon. One of the main reasons we have global warming is specifically the fact that we have cut down so many trees that the forests of the world are now unable to remove sufficient quantities of CO2, which lingers in the atmosphere. That's WHY CO2 is called a greenhouse gas.
So Crypts don't melt for any other reason than not having a co2 system
Err, yes! ANY structural flaw in aquatic plants while underwater is caused by poor CO2. That includes: deformation, holes not otherwise caused by predation, translucency, browning, decay, black spots as well as certain forms of algae such as green filamentous, hair for example and red, such as BBA.
For 30 years I've had to listen to people bitching and moaning about their crypts melting, and how it's caused by moving the plant, or by changing the water from soft to hard, or from hard to soft, or by not keeping the water parameters constant, or due to nutrient toxicity. All the time, my crypts never melted no matter what I did trying to replicate these boneheaded theories. I could not get crypts to melt until I reduced the CO2, and viola, melt. This is repeatable and is consistent. Everyone thinks their CO2 is excellent. I NEVER think my CO2 is excellent because I know it is the most important and the most difficult aspect of aquatic husbandry.

If your crypts melt - even if the leaves grow back, then that is an early warning that your CO2 is suspect and that you probably will have issues in the future.

As Barr (plantbrain) says, you must be willing to destroy your tank in order to learn the truth and you must be able to grow plants problem-free before you can ever hope to determine why they fail.

I've modified his postulate to wit: you must be willing to destroy your tank in order to save it (see Apocalypse Now).

Cheers,
 
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dw1305

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Hi all,
My comments are based upon my 40 years of horticulture
You can't beat experience.

I'm not going to enter the CO2 debate, I'm not a CO2 user and I don't have any practical experience of its addition. All I can say is that I've grown a number of easy Cryptocoryne spp. without CO2, and while their growth definitely hasn't been optimal, they've mainly grown without many melting issues.

If I wanted to grow Cryptocoryne spp. optimally, I'd grow them with emersed leaves (with access to aerial CO2) and in an organic substrate with a large proportion of leaf mold.

In terms of the mineral nutrients, plants can only take them up as "ions from solution". Personally I'm not convinced that there is much difference whether the solution those ions are in is the solution that bathes the plant leaves, or its roots. My guess is that the lack of a limiting nutrient is much more important.

Cryptocoryne spp. are "Aroids" and while they aren't epiphytic or epilithic , many Aroids are, including Bucephalandra., Schismatoglottis and Anubias spp. are and a number of members have grown Cryptocoryne sp. epiphytically in their tanks.

This is what RBG Kew says <"about feeding aroids">.

cheers Darrel
 
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or by not keeping the water parameters constant,
I could not get crypts to melt until I reduced the CO2, and viola, melt.
I think this is the most important change that people refer to, crypts seem to take any co2 changes worse than most I've came across. It's as if they don't get constant values they say sod it I'm off and reappear somewhere else in the tank. That's not to say that they need higher levels of co2 to flourish because they don't, I'm just about to put the scissors through some now as living testament to that and I don't inject co2 or use LC products. No idea what background levels of co2 or carbon through humics and tannins etc but these plants seem to be down with that. Back in the day when I moved away from co2 injection all these plants disappeared probably for about 4 or 5 months then one day a plant appeared and they are now the dominant plant in there. They're even starting to become a nuisance at the other end of the tank from which they were initially planted hence them getting the scissors.

As for substrate v's column feeding, having a cat litter substrate I put a bit of Osmocote around the so called "root feeders" every month or so. The difference in the plants is unbelievable for a few weeks, They tend to throw out a large robust leaf at a rate of about one per week whereas with column dosing only it's more of a steady process of the existing leaves growing and remaining healthy. Not 100% sure the reason for this, I've pondered maybe my column dosing may be right on the edge of where the tank wants to be and the extra nutrients are forcing this new growth but I don't get the same reaction if I increase column dosing. 🤔 or the roots aren't getting enough nutrients from the column. Using the Osmocote gets a better reaction than commercial root tabs for instance like Tropica which gives a little boost but nowhere near the effect of Osmo. I Suspect it may be because the Osmo is a terrestrial fert and it's something to do with the ammonium compounds in there but that's just me thoughts on it.
Either way, feeding the roots with osmo benefits the plant so I just carry on doing it.
 
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