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Re: Steminess

>From: David Corner <dcorner at innercite_com>

>I have a 29-gallon community tank, fully stocked with fish, that is
>fairly well planted.  But some of my plants are growing oddly.  The
>cabomba is growing like crazy, and has to be trimmed weekly, but is not
>very bushy; it's all stem and little foliage.  My ludwigia came with
>small red leaves, but has now grown nearly to the water's surface with
>much larger leaves, all green except at the very top, and again, stemmy.
>My Amazon Swords have long, narrow leaves, without the widening at the
>top that is characteristic of the plant.
>I do have trouble growing dwarf corkscrew vallisneria--they keep losing
>My substrate is mixed gravel and sand, and I fertilize weekly with Tetra
>FloraPride, which has iron sulfate.  Light is two 20 watt flourescents. I
>use DIY CO2.  I get moderate circulation from an Aquaclear filter and an
>air stone, both turned down low.  My pH tends to run high, 7.5-8.0, so I
>filter with peat, but it doesn't seem to help that much.

The symptoms of the Cabomba and the Ludwigia seem like low-light symptoms
to me.  A third or even a fourth 20 watt would be the first thing I would
try to correct the situation.  I am not sure if losing leaves is a symptom
of low light in Val, but I know that Val likes strong light.  Also, the Val
may be shaded by the quick-growing "stemmy" plants if it is the
short-leaved variety.  The red leaves in Ludwigia are also a response to
strong light.  I believe it has been reported here on the APD that the
lights that have more output in the blue region tend to encourage red
colors in leaves more than the those heavier in the red region.

I doubt that the high pH could be causing the "steminess", but it does seem
high, considering that you are adding DIY CO2.  Are you taking precautions
to reduce the escape of CO2 from your water?

Paul Krombholz                  Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS  39174
Recovering from the flu