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RE: Long Internodes

On Sept. 9 Rachel wrote:
> I have noticed that many of the fine-leaved plants in my tank - the purple
> cabomba, foxtail, and ambulia - do not look like the beautiful pictures in
> the Tepoot book. His are compact, lush, and bushy. Mine are growing
> and are brightly colored, but the internodes are very long, so the plants
> are not very good looking.
> The plant is 72 gallons, GH=KH=4, pH 6.6-6.8, 220W AH supply, compressed
> CO2. I add Flourish, Flourish Iron, Flourish Nitrogen, Flourish Phosphate,
> and K2SO4 as nutrients, and baking soda and Seachem Equilibrium to manage
> the KH and GH.
> Is there too much light? Not enough light? Too much of a particular
> nutrient, or several? Too little? What makes my plants so long & straggly?
> myself am short and wide, so this long thin thing is confusing to me.


Seems like the questions I'd most like to get opinions on don't ever get
answers.  Here's some observations of mine:  Tank parameters similar to
yours. My Heteranthera zosterifolia had long internodes and black leaves.  I
used this as an indicator plant.  Got a ton of light, so first I reduced the
photocycle from 12 hours to 10 (with an hour off at mid day).  Reduced my
green spot problem, but still had leggy plants.  Started boosting my iron
and trace dosing well above bottle recommendations.  This made a difference,
node length reduced, longer time until blackening leaves.  Noticed that my
GH was about 50% due to calcium and 50% due to Mg.  (I wonder if this is a
natural consequence  of the Seachem Equilibrium?)  So third thing I tried
was adding additional CaCl or CaSO4 to change the ratio to 2:1 in favor of
calcium.  Finally have nice full buds on the zosterifolia, though 5 or 6
leaves down still are blackening.  Will cut and replant the buds and throw
away the rooted stem when they get a little bigger.  Keep my NO3 (0.5 ppm)
and phosphate (0.2 ppm)low.  Maybe a little higher will give me perfect


My tank:
54 gal, 231 Watts (Custom Sealife)
GH = 5
KH = 4
pH = 6.8 (compressed CO2 on a controller)
Flourish Iron (3 ml per day)
Flourish Trace (5 ml per day)
baking soda and Seachem Equilibrium
dose KNO3, K2SO4, and super-triple-phosphate

Joe K In Takoma Park, MD
Where we're finally getting good rain.  Sternbergia (nice clumps) and
Colchicum blooming in the yard.