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A few weeks ago, I posted that I had some Crypts that were putting roots
out above the substrate even though the substrate was not compacted when
put to the highly scientific "poke it with a chopstick" test. Well, I
think maybe I have solved the mystery. I have a new theory other than
substrate compaction at least.
I redid a 20 gallon tank this weekend and found a similar rising root thing
happening there with several species, especially the Bacopa that
necessitated the redo. When I pulled the Bacopa out, I found that the
entire substrate was saturated with root mass to the point where it was
impossible to remove the Bacopa without removing all the plants (except one
flowering A. nana for some reason), so I checked the Crypt tank--same
thing, roots aplenty.
I'm thinking now that the roots poking out of the substrate may be due to
the plants becoming root bound in the small tanks and/or because the
substrate is too shallow (I usually shoot for ~3"). Both of these tanks
are/were a year old or more and have never been seriously molested in that
time, so the plants have had plenty of time to become well established and
prodigiously rooty. Too rooty it seems.
However, the one thing that keeps me from exclaiming "Eureka!" is the fact
that I've heard of many tanks much older than one year which have had the
same plants always and yet there's never any rising root problem mentioned.
Knoxville, Tennessee USA
mailto:grendel at usit_net