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Aponogeton Undulatus "Flower Stalk"
I have an Apon. Undulatus that was up until last week growing in my 10 gallon "no-tech" tank at work:
Washed sand with Tetra Hilena Initial D
DIY UGH water temp 76 deg. F
pH 7.5 (no CO2 injection)
No other variables measured
low fish load - fed 4 days per week
Water changes every 1-3 weeks (approx 30%)
Additions of approx. 1ml Tetra trace element mix (I forget the name) whenever I remember (monthly).
Eclipse filtration and lighting (15W wide spectrum)
The plant went berserk, the leaves are 12-14" long, there are approxiately 30 leaves. The plant outgrew the tank, so I brought it home and put it in one of my 90 gallon "high-tech" tanks:
Rich Substrate (lower 2/3 - 3:1:1:1 of Sand, Clay, Peat, Worm Castings; upper 1/3 sand) Set up for 8 months.
DIY UGH water temp 78 deg. F
DIY trickle filter
DIY Bottled CO2 injected into trickle filter return pump - no pH controller - on 24 hours/day
pH 6.7 lights on, 7.0 lights off (Hach)
PMDD 3 ml daily
Fe .05 ppm (Hach)
320 Watts (Duro-Test Aurora V) on 8 hours per day
Nitrates 10 ppm (LaMotte)
Nitrates 0 ppm (Aquarium Pharaceuticals)
Weekly 40% water changes
Plentiful Bacopa Caroliniana, Cabomba, Vallisneria Gigantea, Hygrophila polysperma "groves"
Low Fish Load: (Three Clown loaches, three Gouramis, 6 Juliannas Corydoras, Malaysian trumpet snails, 2 Ramshorn snails)
Very little green algae on back glass.
Anyway, finally, to the point: this Apon. Undulatus has sent up what looks like a spear head on a very fast growing stalk. It reached the surface of the tank in two days and is now (4 days) approximately 4 feet long. It is just following the glass at the surface of the tank. My questions are: is this normal behavior for A. Undulatus? Will this eventually flower or produce small plants like Echinodorus bleheri? Is there anything that I can do to encourage propagation? What do you think caused this "bloom", perhaps the sudden increase in lighting intensity?
I would appreciate any comments