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Re: Root Bound
>I have several crypts in my 60 gal. tank and one large one in my 10 gal.
>tank and have noticed little "hairs" of roots sticking up similar to your
>descriptions. I too was curious after reading your first post, but both
>tanks are less than 5 months old and neither are root bound by any degree
>that I can determine. I can see under the substrate in the 60 gallon with a
>flashlight in the stand, and the root growth is very extensive under each of
>the crypt areas.
Crypts can put out some serious roots. I pulled a small Crypt out that had
a "tapping" root that was just about an inch shy of 3 feet long! All of
the Crypts had similarly long roots. I was amazed. I was also more than a
little sad that I had to pull such well-established growth out.
I'm certain that overcrowding both under and above the substrate was a
problem in the 20 gallon I mentioned, but it's slowly sinking into my
concrete cranium that above-substrate roots are probably not so uncommon
when it comes to Crypts. I was at a LFS yesterday, and I noticed the same
thing going on with Crypts in a large display tank there. I've heard from
several folks, including you now, that also experience the root thing with
their Crypts. Most just pinch the roots off or sprinkle some fresh gravel
I added another inch of depth to the substrate in the tank I redid. It's 4
inches now. At the very least, I suspect the swords will be happier. I
also replanted the Crypts slightly deeper than I normally do. I found that
the "wild" Crypts that popped-up on their own away from the parent plants
where set a bit deeper in the substrate than I usually initially plant Crypts.
I'm curious to find out what effect a finer substrate may have too, so when
I thin-out the Crypt tank, I'm going to try adding some coarse sand as the
top layer of the substrate to see if this lessens the habit they have of
sticking roots out into the water column. I'm also going to check out "The
Crypt Pages" on the Web (I had forgotten about it--great Crypt resource
from what I hear).
This all probably falls under the category of "much ado about nothing,"
especially since my Crypts are healthy and thriving, but I'm curious by
nature and I'm a tinkerer so I can't really help myself. I'll post if and
when I learn something useful.
Knoxville, Tennessee USA
mailto:grendel at usit_net