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HC Cuba - dark and tiny leaves


30 Aug 2008
hi all

see photo below, ( i know it's not great)
i have cuba growth thats a bit odd, its very thin darker shoots with tiny leaves
now the chances are that this is some of the pieces i planted very deep
i had severe issue keeping it in place (in-vitro plants) so planted it very deep
and then capped it with more substrate to keep in there, i then planted a bit more
shallower, so these pieces in question are probably the deep ones coming through
would that sound right?

will i just leave them there, if i try thin it out ill pull loads up
do you think it will start looking normal now its poking out into the light



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I would expect the brighter parts to be new growth, actually.
The darker parts are likely the original material, finding it hard or impossible to adapt.
Personally I would let the plantlets grow some more new growth, and then carefully trim off some of the worst of the darker parts - these dark parts will very likely be home for algae.
Thanks Mick, I didn't spot your reply, here it is a couple of days ago with a better photo, the dark bits seem to be spreading, not the other way around, I'm on medium light with a fairly short cycle 6.5 hrs, this has maintained good growth and no algae, do you think the cuba might want a bit more light, I have Monte carlo in it too and that's growing rampant and very healthy looking, cheers

The HC need more light intensity, than does MC.........so this can be why MC is thriving and HC is barely surviving. HC is more demanding in needs of added CO2 and good, even flow also.
HC is really not difficult to grow - it just has quite specific/high demands.
MC is more adaptable to different environments. Thetefore more likely to be successfull, if you are not spot on.
Thanks again, maybe you can help me with lighting suggestions, (on advice) I have kept the lighting moderate (2 x 27w compact pll fluorescents) 6.5hrs, co2 is good, well distributed, flow is decent, 850lph external and a koralia, my co2 is delivered through a mini internal filter so thats adding flow across the carpet, I have a single 39w t5ho luminaire that fits beside the current one, id welcome suggestions on a lightinf schedule please, I'd be happy to up the light period and use the single luminaire if that will work, I'm paranoid about messing the tank up with algae with the extra light, everything is going really smooth apart from the Cuba, here's the mc in front and the struggling hc behind it, as you can see the eleo. acicularus is flying too, many thanks

Being a bit "philosophical"............that is your (and a lot pf other people) problem ; wanting different plants to grow obtimal, side by side in uniform conditions!!!! Different plants does not only look different. Different plants have different needs and preferances - fitting the differences in environment. This is basically why there are different plants at all. Then again, some plants are very "specialised", not capable of compromising - while others are more "oportunistic", capable of adapting to some degree. It is not really possible to please all (though there are some small tricks to mix more plants).
In your case the HC is the very "specialised" one, with high needs for light (amongst other things).Your Eleocharis need much less light, and your MC can adapt quite much, regarding light. If you have Anubias, these even dislike strong light intensity.
I can perfectly understand, that you hesitate giving more light, especially since things are working as it is. Giving more intense light is like stepping on gas-pedal of a car; speeding up things (incl. problems).
To be honest, I would abandon HC, letting MC do the job, since they are so alike in appearance.
Thanks, I appreciate the feedback, I was trying to create scale with my narrow front to back measurements (12") by having the Cuba in the background, I've been kinda thinking the same way as you though, the tank is so trouble free I'd rather pull the Cuba than put myself through the world of pain that I had last time with higher light, ..while I wow at the perfection of the scapes out there and much as I prefer cuba to mc, the reality is that I'm much more likely to keep the tank looking good keeping it as is, I've fluked a really balanced tank, high tech with medium light is suiting me nicely with my busy life, cheers
The purpose of a (private) planted tank, should ofcourse be to feel happy about it - not to "show off".
I fully agree with your points/decisions on this one....:thumbup: