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Re: wallichii survey/ GH
Thank you to all that have participated in my survey.
From what I've gathered, this plant requires a
combination of low nutrient levels and water that is
not too hard. I'm still trying to see what effect
Like Paul said, Rotalas seem to like low nutrient
levels. I had some macrandra that grew very quickly
and very red with an almost deficient nitrate level.
When I allowed nitrate to climb too high (no water
change for awhile - my tank may not need that much),
it faded and died. GH did not seem to have any effect
Strangely, it would grow tiny stunted leaves for a few
days after trimming before normal sized leaves would
appear again. I ended up just pushing the plant down
a little further into the substrate instead of
trimming it. I could grow it, but not do a very good
job of reproducing the plant.
My rotundifoilia does occasionally grow some tiny
leaves, but thrives in my low nutrient conditions. It
always responds well to trimming and comes back
strongly time and again. Any stems showing puny
leaves recover on their own (this is rare though).
Wallichii is a different story. When I first got the
stuff, it did well. It grew quickly and looked
plumish and bright reddish pink. Not ratty. I'm not
sure if its eventual failure had more to do with a bad
reaction to trimming or too long a time being in water
that was too hard. I again refer to the Baensch Atlas
statement that the plant grows well for a while in
harder water before degenerating.
Internode distance increased and new shoots would grow
up above a stem tip and inch or so before dying
themselves. Calcium and boron were in good supply,
and nutrient levels were relatively low (though I do
need better test kits to be more certain of my water
So, I think we've decided that wallichii needs quite
low nutrient levels to do well. But, what of GH?
Based on my own experience and that of Tom Barr and
others, many so called soft water plants do just fine
in harder water (such as macrandra). It seems that
wallichii may be an exception. Thoughts?
On a side note, why is it that so many sources of
information on aquatic plants (like the Baensch
Atlases) say that so many plants native to soft water
cannot adapt to harder water? How did this myth take
hold? What other plants really do adhere to this
belief that is largely untrue?
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