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[APD] Spindly fronds

Here are some questions to which I have not found answers in the archives.  
They are common problems though.  Reintroducing my two gallon tank: moderately 
soft water ~80 mg/l CaCO3, Alkalinity ~5 dH, ~23 mg/l CO2, ~5 mg/l NO3, ~0.05 
mg/l PO4, ~2.25 watts/gallon of full spectrum flourescent lighting, fertilize 
with 4 drops TMG/water change, dose with K, growing java fern, Bolbitus h., 
Anubias n..  All three plants are responding to their current situation with 
very little algea growth.  I've been changing 25% of the water every three days 
with reconstituted RO water.  I've been working with this two gallon because I 
have had bad luck (bad skill?)  trying to grow plants in the past.  The two 
gallon is hard to work with, but I figure "if the plants can make it there they 
can make it anywhere" and then I can move on to a bigger tank with the skill 
I'm developing in the crucible of the two gallon aquarium.  Besides I don't 
want to spend money on a bigger tank if I can't grow plants.

1.  Have I been making too many changes?

I mean since I started this about six months ago I've been making constant 
changes to water chemistry, filtration, lighting and the arrangement of the 
plants in an effort to make them grow.  Wouldn't the plants be happier if I just 
left them alone?  A couple of days ago I went into a pet store and saw an 
Anubias that was thriving on neglect!  It was in a dimly lit tank with no CO2 and 
probably no ferts.  But this plant looked nice and happy.  So I'm thinking 
maybe I have been messing around in the tank too much and would be better off 
working some neglect into my routine.  Therefore instead of changing 25% of the 
water every three days, I'm going to change 50% of the water every five or six 
days depending on what the algae is doing.

2.  Why are the fronds on my Bolbitus growing long, staggered and spindly?

For a long time the Bolbitus was not growing but it took off when I put it 
under the water current of a nano power filter.  It seems to appreciate the 
current.  However, unlike its old growth, the new leaflets coming off the fronds 
of the new growth are more staggered and farther apart from each other.  If I 
were to hazard a guess, I would say the plant doesn't have enough nutrients to 
keep up with the light provided to it.  The Anubias has been dormant for the 
last six weeks after most of its rhizome disintegrated and is now teasing out 
the beginning of a new shoot.  Growth on the java fern looks good to me 
compared to the Bolbitus.

3.  Could something important be missing from the RO Vital I've been using to 
reconstitute RO water?

RO Vital is a proprietary formula for reconstituting RO water.  The problem, 
of course, is they won't tell you what's in it.  I called to ask if it has 
Potassium and they said yes.  The label says it has every necessary mineral and 
trace element.  But the product was formulated for Discus who live in very soft 
acidic water.  Shouldn't plant water have more substance and alkalinity than 
Discus water?  If they want to play games and not tell me what it has, I could 
have a sample analyzed.  It would make dosing the tank easier if I could use 
a decent premixed proprietary product.  But they don't want me to know, so I 
guess I'll have to respect that.  I'm down to the last couple of grams of the 
stuff and now I'm going to start rolling my own ingredients (sorry, I can't 
tell you what I'm going to add because then I would have to kill you.)  If the 
plants respond better then I'll know the RO Vital was deficient.

I think I know good plant growth when I see it.  The problem is, excepting 
java fern, I haven't seen it yet.

On the threshold of success, George

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