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RE: Black E.diversifolia - and Zosterella ?

T. Barr wrote:
"Your blackening is a commonly occurring symptom. Anyone that has this plants 
for a period will see this. This plant needs PO4. I could not grow it until 
I added PO4 to the tap water here which has no PO4."

I have been adding 1-2 pinches (BB sized) of KH2PO4 every other day.  I have 
been lazy about testing lately, so I might check uptake next week and ensure I 
am maintaining proper levels.

"Root and stem damage can cause this. If your careful where and how you plant
these cuttings you can avoid this somewhat. If it's crowded too much it will
get black on the lower leaves. I suppose this is a good thing for the plant
since it blacks out the competing plants and the blacked leaves don't rot
and last for a very long time allowing the growing tip to continue to get

Very interesting Tom.  I hadn't thought of the advantages of maintaining the 
black leaves as a survival / competitive strategy. (My evolutionary Bio 
background was always animal models)

"The blackening also seemed to occur when Stargrass was also in the tank. It
was a 20 gallon and a fair amount of each was in the tank and the tank had
50%+ weekly water changes. A larger tank might get away with it."

I had read your posts on this in the archives, but I guess I didn't take it to 
heart enough!  I have a small little stand of H. zosterifolia on the opposite 
side of the tank -- I will pull it out tonight.

What about Zosterella dubia?  I bought a "stargrass-like" plant labeled "Zosterella" at The Aquarium Center in MD a couple weeks ago, and it 
is in this tank.  It looks like H. zosterifolia, but smaller.  It very well 
could be H. zosterifolia and my imagination makes me think it is smaller!  I 
can post a pic if anyone thinks they might help me ID it...

"First you have to be able to grow non blackened plants to gauge any causal
response from Stargrass. Stargrass had no distress signs when I did this(4
times when I said to heck with it due to the fact it took 3 months to get he
E. d. looking good again after each trial)."

Yeah, the small stand of Stargrass in the tank looks fabulous, but the E. diversifolia is about half-black.  I guess I will have to put the Stargrass up 
on Aquabid...

I am not looking forward to 3 months of blackness!!!  

"It's entirely possible that something else is going on but I don't think so. 
I had those stands of the Ed. going great when I did this each time. I was 
like that dumb kid that sticks his tongue to the icy flag pool(I tried a fence 
by the side yard...once)."

My brother once convinced me to stick my tongue to the metal shelf in our 
freezer once... (I grew up in Phoenix, so the fences would have had the 
opposite effect!)

Thanks again Tom.