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Ever run into plants that you just can't keep?

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  • Ever run into plants that you just can't keep?

    I have been re-reading "Ecology of the Planted Aquarium", since it has been a while, and I needed something to do at work to pass the time

    Anyway, I was reading the part on allelopathy and totally forgot about all the crazy chemical warfare that plants and algae are capable of. This got me wondering about my own past experiences with different plants.
    In one tank, I couldn't grow NL Java fern for the life of me(accompanied by a variety of stems)
    But in another, with the same water and fertilization regimen, I could grow it fantastically quickly(only other plant was Blyxa).
    Again, in another tank, I could grow Downoi faster than I could find places to replant the cuttings. In a more diverse tank it'd immediately tank out and melt.

    Have any of you had similar experiences, or just have one plant that doesn't do well in your tanks? I am curious to hear what plants have done this to you, and maybe what other plants were in the tank. Also if you were running any chemical filtration (carbon, purigen, chemipure, etc).

  • #2
    Many times. Any red stem plant!Warfare is happening all the time, we just cant see it. Most of the time Im able to make adjustments quick enough to restore order. I find the most difficult task is figuring out where the weak link resides. For me its always light intensity. With the way these LED's have full range of controls I find myself working in PAR levels I normally would not be in. Adjust photo period,adjust intensity or color.

    Some of the best plants I have ever grown were in a tank with only RO water, no GH and no plant food with minimal co2 and low light.
    The Planted Aquarium Blog

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    • #3
      Blyxas are weird for me like that. Blyxa japonica is supposed to be the easy one, so everyone says and aubertii is supposed to be the hard one, according to popular consensus, but for me, the opposite is true. I can grow aubertii to pest levels but japonica just withers away on me. I never could figure that one out .

      Now here's what kills me: My absolute favorite plant in the entire Universe is Barclaya longifolia. I love it above all other plants. It's easy, it grows leaves that are broad, twisty, translucent and is a symphony of reds, oranges, yellows and pinks on one side and jade green on the other. The leaves can be easily over 3 feet long. I can get these plants to propagate vegetatively and I've seed grown them. The flowers are alien looking things but that's one more thing to love about it. Algae never touches them and tanks with a dense bed of them never get algae. They're not picky about light either. They never go dormant for me.

      But mine never form bulbs. Never. And if I get one with a bulb, the bulb shrinks away. So, when I go to slice off a daughter plant and put it somewhere else, it quickly suffers and dies. Unless I let hem grow in a dense mat like Crypts., I have a hard time replanting them or if I trade them, they always fade away on the unsuspecting hobbyist. Makes me feel like an idiot and a conman. I give them tons of root tabs, they thrive but never form bulbs. It's a mystery. I've tried everything and this is the only way they grow for me.
      "You are much better off with no numbers than meaningless ones. The minute you believe numbers uncritically, that is, without understanding how they're calculated and how well they measure whatever they're supposed to measure, you will generate a breed of employee who will produce numbers and not results. Your data-processing system will then serve not to describe reality but to lie about it."

      -Micheal S. Montalbano

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      • #4
        As far as the B. japonica and B. longifolia, are they in community tanks with other plants? are there any commonalities between tanks where they fail / thrive? Walstad had such a large portion of the book dedicated to allelopathy that I am curious how rampant it really is in our aquariums.

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        • #5
          I've observed that collectoritis tanks seem to not have this problem, or at least not so much and it has everything to do with allelopathy. It's what they're keying into on each other that's such a mystery.

          It was only recently discovered in terrestrial plants and it has everything to do with volatile organics like salicylic acid and terpenoids. These are the major signaling pathways between conspecifics. But how does that work in water? Why does it work at all?

          I'm thinking with a collectoritis tank, there are enough plants together from so many far flung places that most of the inhabitants didn't evolve the resistances or signaling pathways to fend off a chemical assault, start one or listen in on "conversations" between non-conspecifics.

          In fact, I'm thinking the more closely related the plants, the more vicious their cold war.
          Last edited by ukamikazu; 04-29-2015, 12:27 AM.
          "You are much better off with no numbers than meaningless ones. The minute you believe numbers uncritically, that is, without understanding how they're calculated and how well they measure whatever they're supposed to measure, you will generate a breed of employee who will produce numbers and not results. Your data-processing system will then serve not to describe reality but to lie about it."

          -Micheal S. Montalbano

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          • #6
            I have ran into this problem many times my self.
            Mr. Miracle Grow" for aquarium plants.

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            • #7
              Any red stem plant is my issue as well. I know several issues that are hindering it though so with my new setup I hope to correct it... When I started my tank I should have got a stronger canister filter like most planted tank people suggest so I have better flow. I have some pumps but they just don't work as well with my co2 being inline. Also the distance my red plants are from the light. I think it really isn't enough light to get them to grow consistently.

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