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stubby vals

    I'm not a pro but I have had very good experience with valisneria 
americana.  I can grow way too much of the stuff and only moderate 
levels of most other plants.

Tank where the Val's go real crazy,

100w t8 5000k light
33 gal
82 deg, did better when a bit cooler(78)
pH 7.2 when I use DIY CO2, 7.6 w/o-grows equally well either way
shut down u/g filter with 4-5mm gravel 3 inches deep, no enrichment
light stocking levels
do well w/o fert., but a bit better with tropica mastergrow

the kicker:
5-8 deg kH
15-20 deg gH

I get the feeling that the Vals do better in high hardness tanks, 
people in my city (Calgary) tend to do quite well with vals.

I have on occasion tried the vals as an experiment in 3 other tanks:

15 Gallon Hex Goldfish tank w/23 w compact fluorescent-divided like 
mad along the bottom, a mature plant sent out 10-15 plants over a 
month and a half.  The young only grew 3 inches while the parent 
plant died.

15 Gallon Standard tank w/ good old 15 watts 4100k or so, this tank 
frow anubias and crypt species quite well.  Generally, it is a low 
input, low ouput tank.  I planted the Val's in the back corner of the 
tank, over three months it sent out about 20 plants toward the center 
of the tank, where the light was better.  Again, the young only grew 
to about 3 inches.

10 Gallon w/ 60w t8 and Laterite, I think you already know the 
result, they went mad, it's a nice little source to fill something 
like my 135 with.  It would take about 3 months for a real good 
planting of a 135.

I don't use CO2 anywhere except the 33 on occasion(lazy), and I don't 
think the Val's benefit a lot from it.  I get the feeling the Val's 
like the hard water, they seem to prosper most when our water is at 
its hardest, but I've only had one growing season to test this.

My diagnosis, you've got too low of a light level for the young to 
make it up, I know you listed a lot of light, but do you have a good 
reflector?  Changed the bulbs lately?  My light is pretty low in k 
value, what is yours?

Hope some of this is useful!

Colin Anderson

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