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Hornwort morphology

hi all

i bought some hornwort to use as a nutrient sponge (to stave
off algal growth), and i'm growing it in two tanks.  in the 
first tank, i have tropical fish/temps, lots of mulm in
the gravel, slightly over 2 w/gal, trace elements added,
co2 injection.  i notice that in this tank, the plant 
grows very thin and weedy, the pin-leaves are thin and 
fragile, as is the stem.  once it reaches the
top of the tank, closest to the lights, the distance between
nodes decreases dramatically, and the stem and leaves get 

so i figure - okay, it is growing towards the light, spending
as little energy as necessary on leaves, just trying to get
closer asap, and once it's there, can spend more effort on
thickening the stems and making more leaves.

but on my other tank - a coldwater (gfish) tank, no co2 injection,
very little light (~1 w/gal), nothing to feed the plants except
fish poop.  this plant grows so thick and bushy, not as fast as
the other tank's plants, with thick needles.  it looks almost like
a pine bough, whereas the other tank's looks more like cabomba than

what's going on?