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having problems with L. aquatica


27 Apr 2010
having issues with rangy growth in my limnophila aquatica . once i had some new,finer submerged growth , i trimmed them just below this and disgarded the old emersed bottoms and re-planted the lush new tips . now they have grown quite a bit , but only the top inch to inch and a half is the lovely fine growth , the rest of the stem has reverted to the sparse rangy emersed looking growth . possible issues i have considered are 1, flow . its swaying around nicely in the current so perhaps not the issue . 2, co2. drop checkers are showing yellowish green , although the copper tetras i have in there seem happy , so i could probably up co2 a bit . 3, ferts im using ei starter kit from APF at these dosages

macro: 6 tsp potassium nitrate , 6 tsp magnesium sulphate and 2 tsp potassium phosphate mixed in 500ml dosing bottle
micro: 2tsp chelated trace elements in 500ml dosing bottle
30ml 3 times a week of each on alternate days . 50% weekly waterchange

tank is 125 liters , 2x25w t5/reflectors , 6.5 hour photoperiod , co2 on 2 hours before lights on , off 1 hour before lights off . filtration/flow eheim 2213 , 1400lph and 400lph pumps on back wall aimed towards front wall . aquasoil amazonia substrate

a pic is of course worth a thousand words . any thoughts before i start pulling my hair out ? the ludwigia that sits next to it is pretty much a foot tall and has lush growth top to bottom so i am at a loss

iphone5 by mark pettican, on Flickr
In the future, keep the bottoms as they set new lateral shoots when you trim off the top.
My guess is too little light, as I've seen this kind of growth due to just that.
It doesn't mean you should necessarily get more light, just know that this kind of deformity can easily occur when you have 0.4 w/liter.
I think I allready told you, Lim. aq. does benefit from extra rich substrate. You can reach your goal by giving it a couple of root tabs. Also remember, that there is much more light to catch, the closer the plant gets to the surface.
What I do is giving root tabs, letting it grow to surface, cut to 5 cm. above ground, LEAVE the cutted stems, replant 10 top cm. of the 3 thickest cuttings without their lowest leaves.............and repeat (only adding root tabs, wen their lifespan runs out). Sooner or later new, strong shoots will come from the stems, you left after cuting. Those are usually stronger and thicker, than the replanted tops.
Hope you'll now succeed wth Lim. aquatica - it's such a nice plant.
i figured the amazonia would be rich enough , i will try some though as i would really like to get it looking nice . any in particular you would reccomend?

re the light , with this being my 1st planted tank im going to resist adding more . at this point i think it would do me more harm than good .
Any standard root fert. tabs will likely do the job.
You're probaply safe on not going too high on the lights - just remember there's allways a limiting factor (factors have to follow eachother regarding temp., lights, ferts and co2) and yours will propably be the light. Running all factors high, is like driving a porche - no space for errors left.
Making Lim. aq. look like that pic. calls for all factors to be as high as possible, suporting eachother. That said, you can still make your plant look really good given your levels of light etc.
thanks mick . i have got 4 stems planted about an inch apart , should i be placing 1 tab at the base of each stem or 1 in the middle of the area they are planted in ? deffinately going to stick at it with this plant .
i do plan on my next tank having more light . not silly levels but just a little bit more than i have on this tank . but right now its all about walking before i try to run .
The "walk before run" approach will pay you back a mill. times, my friend- wish everybody could find it in'em to go that path :thumbup:.
(We've all been beginners, mind you.)
ONE tab in middle of group will do for most brands (but do read instructions)
Oh, I forgt to mention, un-even numbers (here yor stems) allmost allways works better than even numbers. So next time go for 3 - 5 -7 .........
thanks mick . im going to be ordering some echinodorus tenellus for the foreground in the next day or 2 , so il add some root tabs to that order .
just out of curiosity , ive got an echinodorus ozelot ( red) which is doing well . would that benefit from a tab too ?
then il give it a tab at the same time . its got loads of lovely lush leaves , but hopefully that will help it get a spurt on and gain some height . cant wait for it to mature , its a beautiful plant .