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Old 07-04-2011, 04:25 PM   #1
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What plant is this - and growth issue

Plant image is attached.

This foreground plant is the first plant I bought and of course I've lost the tag for it. Does anyone know what it is?

I prefer plants in pots. This plant was stable for about a month, then it grew and grew for several months. Got taller, got more stems. I finally trimmed it. It was stable for a few more months, but now it has diminished in size.

I'm thinking of making my own larger pot with a plastic bottle bottom, potting soil, and some aquarium gravel to hold the soil in in hopes that might rejuvenate the plant.
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Old 07-06-2011, 03:00 PM   #2
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The plant in the front is water sprite!... With a lot of blue green algae all over it. At least that's my best educated guess... The plant in the back I'm not sure of.
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Old 07-06-2011, 03:21 PM   #3
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Your Plant ID'd

Hello sd...

The potted plant looks like a variety of Pygmy Chain Sword, " Echinodorus tenelllus". It needs to be taken out of the pot and planted in the gravel. If it has rock wool inside the pot, that needs to be removed for the plant to grow.

The plant in the front looks like Water Sprite or Water Fern also called Indian Fern. This plant really does better floated, so it's near the light source.

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Old 07-06-2011, 03:23 PM   #4
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That plant in the back definitely too tall to be pygmy chainsword, looks more like some kind of hairgrass to me.
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:34 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info guys!

The plant in back is Giant Hairgrass, just got that this past weekend. I should probably trim it a bit more. I should take it out of the pot? My sand isn't very deep, but I'll move it out of I have to. The "plant grows without nutrients in the soil" thing is hard to grasp for me, as I grew up on a farm.

the 2 or 3 plastic plants I have in the aquarium are freaking covered in algae - I wonder if that's what happened to the water sprite. It was doing great, then maybe it got algae on it which really brought it down. I tried rubbing a little algae off the plant occasionally, but the plant just comes apart. Maybe the algae inhibits nutrient absorption from the water or something?
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:36 PM   #6
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Sounds like you have a nutrient imbalance of some kind--either fert or light.

What kind of light is on the tank and what size tank is it?

Are you dosing any fetilizers at the moment?

What are your nitrates testing at?
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:40 PM   #7
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Ok I'm not sure why I didn't think of this, but it just hit me. If I make bigger pots, say for the watersprite, I don't need to put potting soil in and anchor that with gravel. I can just fill the pot with the sand I use, since it gets nutrients from the water. Duh.

Now I gotta research and see if/how I should clean algae off the plant.
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:42 PM   #8
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It's a 20 gallon high tank, flourescent light. I'm sorry to say I don't know the wattage on the light - I got this tank from my neighbors, whose daughters weren't taking care of the fish. I'll check that.

I'm not adding any fertilizer.

All tests are ok; I can get the nitrate number from my tests when I get home.
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:48 PM   #9
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K, let me know what your nitrates are testing at, and the wattage of the bulb, and also the color temp. I am assuming it is a T8 bulb. The bulb should have this info. If it is not distinguishable, just post all the numbers/letters on the bulb.

How long per day are you lighting the tank?

Once you post your latest nitrate test results, we can also talk about potential nutrient deficiencies/imbalances.
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:57 PM   #10
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Thanks for your help; I'll post more later. the tank gets 10 to 11 hours of light/day; I believe it starts at 1pm CDT. The tank sits in a southeast corner and gets some light from 2 windows.

Is it bad for live plants to be covered in algae?
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:26 PM   #11
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It means that something is not balanced. All planted tanks will have some algae, but if the plants are covered in it, something is off.

That is a pretty long photo period... still would like to know the rest of the details on the light, but I would put the light on a timer for 8 hours per day. That will help out with controlling algae, even if all else stays the same. Natural sunlight on most planted tanks is not a good thing. Light is not all bad, but if the sun is shining through the window onto the tank for any length of time, that will also contribute significantly to algae.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:39 PM   #12
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It's a 15w flourescent bulb.

Last nitrate test was ALMOST zero, I wrote it down as "0 - 5". In the past, they were normally around 40.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:58 PM   #13
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Any idea on the color temperature of the bulb? It would be something like 6500K or 10000K or a number that looks like that.

I would start by cutting back the photo period to 8 hours per day, max. This will help control some of the algae. This should get your nitrates to come back up a bit... you want them to be 10-20 in a planted tank as plants need N to grow.

If that doesn't help the issue, then I would consider dosing a potassium/trace element mix, like API leafzone or tetra florapride.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:08 PM   #14
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Unfortunately, there are no numbers on the bulb. It's an "All-Glass" aquarium lamp, 15w, made in Germany.

I'll cut down to 8 hours starting tomorrow. Gotta figure out the timer of course!
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:13 PM   #15
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Ok, sounds good. I think that will help. Hopefully, the bulb is a standard daylight bulb, which will be around 8000-10000K which would be fine for plants.
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:33 AM   #16
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My experience w/watersprite: it likes being hurried in the substrate (NO POT!!!!). With medium light, it will grow like crazy, and was less prone to. Staghorn and bba than most of my other plants. You definitely have another issue going on in your tank- what are your Amonia/Nitrite/Nitrate numbers looking like?

Over-feeding?

Tank get any direct or nearly-direct sunlight?
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:39 PM   #17
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That's what's funny - it DID grow like crazy for a while.

Tell you what. I'll move it to a bigger pot full of sand temporarily and see how it does. I'd like to do that before burying it.

I'm going to re-test tonight and I'll post results. I did move the light to only 8 hours turned on, starting today.

The tank sits in a corner that has 2 windows. The windows are south and east, and both are shaded by trees but get some sunlight. Blinds an both windows are turned slightly to allow us to see out but block much of the sunlight.

I don't *think* it's overfeeding. I've but down on that a lot since I got the aquarium, and I don't see a lot of waste on the bottom of the tank.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:08 AM   #18
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Last nights test:

ph = 7.6
ammonia = 0.25 (I don't think I've ever had the bright yellow result that means 0)
nitrite = 0
nitrate = either 40 or 80
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