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Re: plant groupings
OK Roger, you've gotten me to bite on this one. Your comment
that crypts are usually referred to as slow growing, etc. is
likewise counter to my experience with Cryptocoryne petchii
and also Sagitarria subulata, once they get established in
"clumps". I further agree with your technique of initially
planting three or more individual plants within close proximity.
You mention one to two inches, but my best experience is at one
inch apart. The time required to form into a grouping is
accelerated the closer they are initially.
I have one 40G tank that is pretty much overrun by C. petchii
and S. subulata in this fashion. I have to severely thin out
both plants on a regular basis. My technique for thinning is
very similar to your description of controlling them within
a fixed area. I do find that if I remove too many plants at
one time, recovery takes much longer. However, once a critical
density of plants is reached, growth is explosive.
I have often wondered exactly what motivates this. I find this
only works when I initially establish the planting with three
or more seperate plants - not just a multi-plant runner of a
single plant. Overlapping of the different root systems seems
to be the factor the causes this phenomenon. I don't know if
each respective plant somehow detects that there is another
seperate plant within close proximity, and it therefore must
spread out to enhance it's survival ability (due to competition
for nutrients or other resources) or what. I have noticed that
when I don't start with "enough" initial plants, that a group
will often times never establish, and I will wind up with a
singular plant, or it will eventually die off (from loneliness???).
I have successfully spread my S. subulata and C. petchii to
other tanks using this technique. Your observations and techniques
are very similar to my experiences. I would be very interested
in a more scientifically based explanation of this behavior.
Eric Deese Columbus, Ohio
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