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Re: Cryptic Advice

On Thursday 26 September 2002 13:48, Rachel wrote:

> As you may recall, I am having trouble growing crypts in my tanks. 3 tanks
> in the house have crypts: a 29G with 30W of light, a 10 gal with 30W of
> light, and a 72 gal with 220 W of light. In all three tanks, the crypts
> either grow very slowly (if at all), or grow 3 leaves and then melt.

The problems you describe sounds like what happens when the plants aren't 
given enough time to settle in.

The most important thing to remember when you start out with crypts is to *Be 
Patient*.  They can take months to get established to the point where they 
are healthy and robust and if you do anything to them in that period of time 
it's just going to delay the amount of time that it ultimately takes the 
plants to get going.  Once they're adapted to your tank they can become weeds.

You should be able to grow some crypts in your 29G tank, but at 1 watt/gallon 
there are probably no crypts that will establish quickly and they will all 
grow at a glacial pace.  If you aren't adding CO2 to that tank, then you 
might try adding some.  This goes against some long-standing advice, but I 
found that it helped and I understand that Kasselman advises the same.  The 
first time you add CO2 to a tank with crypts in it the crypts are all likely 
to melt for a while.

Your other tanks have plenty of light.  Most substrates work ok and the 
plants aren't very picky about hardness or alkalinity.  They all respond well 
to substrate fertilization, but that isn't necessary.  I've never had much 
trouble with water changes, but if the water you're using for changes is much 
different from the water that's already in the tank (in either quality or 
temperature), then I can envision problems.

Once crypts are established they can be pretty tolerant of being moved about, 
handled, picked over and plucked at.  Crypts (none I've grown, anyway) do not 
tolerate large temperature changes no matter how well-established they are 
and sudden changes in CO2 can make them suddenly melt away.  Yeast CO2 can be 
a problem.

Good Luck
Roger Miller