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Re: Eichhornia

Roger wrote:
> I have some Eichornia diversifolia that Tom Barr sent to me last winter.
> It grows in my tanks, but the leaves always turn black an inch or so below
> the end of the stem. Tom mentioned that this could be caused by an
> allelopathic interaction, but I don't think I'm keeping the plants with
> any of the species that Tom thought caused it problems.  Does anyone know
> what might cause/cure this problem?

I spoke to Neil Frank (and others) about it as well:
>> The Eichnornia has really taken off. The lower leaves have all turned
>> dark.... gives it a nice look. I think you said (but I forgot) why this
>> happens. I can't remember if it was always black or just recently turned.
>> What are your thoughts?
> The blackening is a sign of lack of light I believe or poor health/bad cut on
> the trimming. I roll the stem in a small circle and replant that rather than
> cutting it. If it can be lightly broken/divided apart rather than having to
cut > it, this is much more preferable. But sometimes it gets so tall and no
> roots are showing up along the stem that it will not put out roots when
replanted and you'll
> get a completely black dead plant. Strange thing is - it doesn't rot, like a
>plastic plant.
> You know how sometimes rather than pulling a plant up that just a little too
> tall you push/bend the stem back into the gravel while it is still rooted?
> That's another method that works as well. It will form nice dense stands and
> is much nicer than H. zosterfolia I think. Folks were slow to warm up to it
> but it's starting to take off I think. Not an easy plant for many folks
> though. Nice plant though.
> The black aspect is interesting as it will do this intensely when you put H.
> zost in there with it. I do not add these two together after playing with this
> aspect 4 times now. Careful trying this, don't kill your whole stand!
> It loves light as well.

 I think it requires work to keep the black off but it makes it kind of neat
in a way as well. I don't try to make it do this though:).
I've had some nice dense stands of it as well.
It says L. incilata but that is Eichhornia.
It tended to bunch up close together and form a thick layer that light
cannot get through. The underneath portion often gets black and is not
viable but it doesn't rot either. It is quite algae resistant as well.
> It's in a 10-gallon tank with 30 watts of NO fluorescent lighting.  I mix
> magnesium sulfate and potassium chloride into all my change water, and
> change 15% per week. The water is soft but strongly buffered.  The tank
> gets yeast CO2 and iron gluconate tablets in the substrate.  Temperature
> is at 78 degrees F, but it's warmer during summer.  Besides the Eichornia
> the tank is planted with C. wendtii, Echinodorus tenellus (regular and
> dwarf), dwarf lobelia, "willow leaf" hygrophilla and some floating
> hornwort and duck weed.  For animal company it has male guppies, female
> swordtails and a couple otos plus MT and ramshorn snails.

nothing except the Stargrass ever gave it problems. I want to see if it
happens to others as well. Get the plant going then add the stargrass. I did
this in a 20 gallon tank and a small amount(one bunch of each). It did not
take long , maybe 2-4 days.
Tom Barr