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Old 02-25-2007, 10:37 AM   #1
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planting stargrass

A very generous poster here sent me a good sized quantity of stargrass (thank you!). I haven't worked with it before, so I am not sure how to plant it.

My observations:

The stem is brittle, and delicate. Easy to break

Roots run the entire length of the stem

The leaves shed off easily if you handle it too rough

It is difficut to determine the top from the root end

it is difficult to untangle stems



So, I could use some suggestions on planting it. Any advice would be appreciated. It is very difficult for me to seperate the stems and plant individually. Can it be planted in bunches? Can it be planted horizontally since the roots run the length of the stem? Good lighting requirements? etc, etc.
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Old 02-25-2007, 11:12 AM   #2
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I think it's preferred to plant these in bunches of 5-7 stems per bunch
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Old 02-25-2007, 11:19 AM   #3
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I plant mine in bunches. It grows very fast so if you have decent light it will propagate quickly. I always have new shoots floating on top of the tank. I agree it does break easily fortunetly if you plant the pieces they will keep on growing.

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Old 02-25-2007, 11:26 AM   #4
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cool, thanks. I am hoping to keep it low foreground, so I chose to plant it somewhat horizontally. I am hoping it will bush out and stay compact and low. I planted it where there is the highest concentration of light in my tank.
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Old 02-25-2007, 11:53 AM   #5
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after I got my stargrass from a generous member I have LOVED it, its now one of my favorite plants! I plant mine in bunches as well and it mine is currently "bushy"..let me see if I can get a pic...
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Old 02-25-2007, 01:22 PM   #6
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I have found that it loves high light and will develop larger leaves. I'm also growing some in under 2 wpg, most sites will say that you can really do this but I'm finding that it stays bushy with more compact leaves. In comparison, the first batch I received from a member was divided between two tanks. The high light (+3wpg) has been pruned many times. The low light tank has never been pruned and is just starting to reach the top of the 10 gallon tank and is so thick that you can not see through any part of it.

I just pull off the bottom couple of leaves and with a pair of tweezers plunge it into the substrate. It is one of those plants that you almost can't stop from growing.

I have also learned that it can be a great indicator of nutrient deficiencys.

- Lack of N - leaves turn pale and transparent.
- Lack of P - tips will start turning black.
- Lack of K - plant will stunt.
- Lack of micros (Fe) - plant will become transparent.
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Old 02-26-2007, 06:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyCatsDrool
cool, thanks. I am hoping to keep it low foreground, so I chose to plant it somewhat horizontally. I am hoping it will bush out and stay compact and low. I planted it where there is the highest concentration of light in my tank.
This is not likely to happen from my experience. It is a VERY fast growing plant (I put it slightly under wisteria and hygro), and will quickly take over a tank. I have a 65w on my 20gallon high tank and every week have to prune about 40-50% of the growth. I also plant towards the back of the tank since it grows so quick and dense that it would block the view of the rest of the tank (and its slightly away from the highest light in the tank).

So bottom line is that this plant is best in the mid to background for placement, unless you are willing to prune every or every other day.

I also don't believe it can be planted horizontally with good effect, but it all depends on its propogations. Most times it will grow straight up, with some branching. Only the branched spots will then grow vertical if you have it planted horizontal. Much more common (I've seen this with some floating in my QT tank) is that the entire stem will bend at a 90 degree angle towards the surface, which doesn't look good IMO.

It is a very beautiful and undemanding plant (as long as you don't allow for deficiencies), but is also somewhat of a nuisance due to the constant pruning.

As for planting, its relatively indestructable, but for best results a delicate touch is required. I plant in bunches, and will uproot the entire plant when it hits the surface of my tank (probably about a foot or so), and cut off the bottom 4-6". I then have a small bucket that I swish the end to be planted in to get rid of all the leaves that have been cut or will fall off during planting (this saves a lot of time netting all the leaves). I grab the bundle about 2" above the base and (with my index finger extended BELOW the base of the stems) corkscrew it firmly into the substrate (this helps to prevent just crushing the stems as your finger makes the hole). While holding it down I use my Index finger to cover it with substrate. This is the best method I've found that firmly holds it without damaging the plant. On larger bundles I've held a small rock in my hand along with the plants and tried to pin down the very tips of the stargrass before burying.

Here's a pic for reference just after a trim (back middle and small amount in back right corners):

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Old 02-26-2007, 08:10 AM   #8
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7enigma I have had a very different experience. I have NEVER had to prune mine, and I am at almost 4wpg on my 10gall, its small and compact AND have had it grow horizontally on its own.
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Old 02-26-2007, 08:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazeyreef
7enigma I have had a very different experience. I have NEVER had to prune mine, and I am at almost 4wpg on my 10gall, its small and compact AND have had it grow horizontally on its own.
Hmm, I can't explain the horizontal growth since I have more light than you? (maybe that particular propogation you have is a horizontal grower), but I have no clue how you haven't had to prune it. I see near 50% growth per WEEK. Occassionally I neglect the pruning for 2 weeks and the entire surface of the tank is covered from that back-center bundle in the pic.

Here's a pic at slightly over a week between prunings:

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Old 02-26-2007, 09:24 AM   #10
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MyCatsDrool, I think if you are trying to use this as a foreground plant you had better sharpen your scissors


I is odd that you get such little growth blazy. We do know that the WPG rule is quite different with small tanks, I wonder if this has something to do with your results?

I have a similar bunch but like I said, that bunch is in a tank with much lower light <2 wpg. The leaves are short, thin, and pale. It grows but does not even begin to compare to that stargrass is doing in my other tanks. Like 7Enigma said, cutting 50% each week is more the norm. Maybe you could post some pictures in another thread?
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Old 02-26-2007, 10:17 AM   #11
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I'd be interested as well. I still see rediculous growth even when deficient. A while back, I couldn't figure out why the leaves were getting these black lines on them (almost like you scored the leaves trying to cut them in little pieces). I was told it was CO2, but that didn't make sense. I was dosing practically all the nutrients possible and had a good CO2 diffusion method, so I started to look at other things. Even though I was reading 10 degrees GH I decided to start dosing Mg and Ca. That seemed to help a LOT, which to this day I can't understand unless 99% of the GH was from either the Ca or the Mg.

Point being, this stuff will grow under even deficiency conditions, it will grow with algae on it, it will grow pale, twisted, or straight.

Bottom line, I just don't know how you're seeing such small growth, unless you are only lighted for 2 hours per day or something....even with small tank dynamics (where more light is required for the same amount of growth compared to larger tanks) it just doesn't make sense from my experience with this "weed".

Also wanted to mention I have a 10 gallon QT tank that currently houses snails. For a while I was dumping all of my clippings into this 10 gallon to give a really great atmosphere to breed snails. This tank has a stock 17w NO hoodlight which doesn't fit obviously since the 10 gallon is shorter in length, so not even the full 17w is hitting the tank. I let this tank go for about 2 months with no trimming, and no additional clippings after the first week or 2. At the end of the time I couldn't even see IN the tank because the stargrass had just completely taken over. The leaves near the surface had turned completely white/transparent due to the deficiency conditions at the surface, and the plants at the bottom were a healthy green. In the middle was a tangled mess of decaying leaves, and a ton of roots that the stargrass had sent out at all angles due to deficiency I'm assuming. I did weekly 25-50% PWC's but didn't add ferts or CO2, so I was clearly bottoming out several nutrients (but probably not nitrAtes because I was heavily feeding the snails).
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Old 02-26-2007, 10:39 AM   #12
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well I dont know either I to, would be currious to know
here is a picture of my tank currently

and a messy picture of my stargrass (its been like this for about 2 months)
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Old 02-26-2007, 10:52 AM   #13
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Response posted http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewto...=791240#791240

Sorry for hijacking your thread Mycatsdrool.
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Old 02-26-2007, 06:15 PM   #14
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i got some w/ferts co2 3 wpg lets see what happens 8O sorry meant to post in stargrass planting
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