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Re: flourite and clay balls

Steve Pushak wrote:

>I doubt that adding fertilizer to the substrate is really going to make
>Ludwigia and certain other plants stop sending out roots on the stems.
>That is a trait of certain types of plants and you have to live with it
>if you want to use them.

I have two plants in particular with an extreme case of this.

One is ludwigia, of which I have four or five stalks that have great color,
it's growing tall and wide, and even the bottom leaves look great.  But I
have other stalks next to them, with stems that are covered in a big,
feathery, black root mass.

The other (I forget what it's called) looks just like giant hygro, except
it's got a brilliant scarlet color.  It looked great, but it just didn't

After two or three months, it started to send out roots, like crazy.  All
along the stem, at every leaf joint, going in every direction.  I clipped
just the roots for a few weeks, but the plant still didn't grow, and the
bottom leaves were starting to get an algae coating, so I clipped it and
planted the base and top sections.

After I clipped it, the leaves started to grow, but were stunted, rounded
and twisted.  But still a brilliant scarlet.  It started to spread, with
multiple plants growing off of the same stem/root mass, so I separated them.
Now I have three or four of them, with the same twisted, stunted, rounded
leaves.  I have another two that are starting to grow taller, with normal
hygro-shaped leaves, but again have roots growing out of every leaf joint.

Since the sunset and green hygro in the same tank had an abnormal explosion
of roots at the time, I thought it might be a result of the same problem.
In retrospect, I think it was just because it had been clipped a number of
times, and I'd moved it around the tank.  And since the male krib has
already attacked me for trimming plants in that corner (that's where they'd
been excavating, and are now raising a batch of fry), I can't trim them, so
I just have no choice but to leave the prominent mass of roots intact.
Combined with the roots protruding from the substrate, and the aesthetics
were bothering me enough that I hoped to find a magic potion on the APD.

As usual, though, it seems to be more complicated than that :)

Does anyone have specific suggestions for the scarlet hygro, though?

For what it's worth, my other plants are doing well.  Explosive growth of
the rotala, as long as I do water changes on schedule.  Skip a week, and the
growth all but stops.  pH has been around 7.  Liquid fertilizer doesn't seem
to be having any effect at all (I'm using Kent).  It's time to add CO2.  I
keep saying 'this weekend I'll set it up', and I've even got the soda bottle
drilled and sealed.

Alysoun McLaughlin
alysoun at planetall_com
In Wheaton, Maryland