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Decaying stem plant?

Hi fellow aquarists!

It is now the second time that I was
trying to keep such a red looking stem
plant (according to my plant book it
must be Red Ludwigia) and the same thing
happened to it: the first week it seems
to grow in very good and starts getting new leafes.
At this point, everything looks perfect.
But, after about 3 weeks not anymore: It
seems that the lower part of the stems
are decaying (from the point were the plant
comes out of the gravel, about 1 inch in
length). Within 1 or 2 weeks this part is
completely gone and the plant is floating
on the water surface. The strange thing is,
that until it leaves the substrate, the
upper part still looks good and the plant 
is still growing many, nice looking leafes.
After replanting, the same happens again.
There is no problem at all with any other
plants, and I also have no algae in the
tank (at least almost, there is nothing
The substrate is a vermiculate/garden soil
mix in which I also put these Tetra Initial
Sticks. Could it be that the plant is over-
fertilized? (I doubt this).
Is there anybody with an explanation for this?
Here are some more specs about the tank:
- 29g
- pH 6.8-7.0, KH 5
- Nitrates at 10-15ppm
- Fe about 0.2ppm after water change with Fe
fertilization, about 0.1 or a little less before
- 15-20% water changes weekly
Any advise or help is appreciated!


Karsten Klein.

kklein at uceng_uc.edu