View Full Version : questions about the new vals

05-10-2010, 04:48 PM
Last week I got some corkscrew vals and straight vals in. Did a lot of reading about them and couldn't find answers on a couple of things.

First,they are starting to die off a wee bit,some aren't. I noticed two of the biggest ones are putting out new leaves at the bottom. I know I'll need some root tabs shortly for them. Are they like java ferns and die off a bit in new tanks until they acclimate? I hope I haven't killed a few off trying to get them in the fluorite.

Second question-I read a whole lot of people saying their vals did wonderful for a year or so and then started dying off. Trimming didn't help,nor did anything else they tried. Are vals like aponogetons,having a cool down period or something of that effect? I never did find one person who had a solution or answer to these people asking for help,nor in researching. (perhaps a lighting issue? I have read bulbs lose intensity after about a year of daily use..?)

05-10-2010, 05:51 PM
Well here's a few excerpts from my handy dandy plant book I have: Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants by Peter Hiscock.

Valisneria asiatica var. biwaensis
Synonym: V. spirals, V. tortifolia
Common name: Corkscrew vallisneria
Origin: Japan


This vallisneria is ideally suited to the back and sides of the aquarium and may require slightly more light than other species. In low light conditions, the spirals become more widely spaced and the leaves may turn yellow. The plant is hardy and adaptable, although it may not do well in very soft water. A similar plant, Vallisneria americana, is often sold as corkscrew vallisneria, but it has thicker leaves with fewer twists.

Maximum height: 14 in (35cm)
Growth rate: medium
Area: background
Light: bright

Vallisneria spiralis
Common name: Straight vallisneria
Origin: Tropical and subtropical regions


The leaves may grow to 24 in (60 cm) in length and should be used as background planting or placed around the corners and edges of the aquarium. The plant will grow quickly and produce numerous daughter plants from runners. It can be kept in a wide range of aquarium conditions and in coldwater aqauriums.

Maximum height: 24 in (60 cm)
Growth rate: fast
Area: background
Light: moderate; grows faster in bright lighting

With all that being said, the plants just may be establishing themselves yet. It's only been a week and the plant has to change a lot of things to get used to using your water and the nutrients in it rather than the water where it came from. It could also be your lighting, though, especially with the corkscrews that need brighter lighting; what lights do you have on this tank?

It didn't say anything about a cooldown period, but it does tell me their origins. Corkscrew vals are found in Japan, which doesn't say much because the climate varies a bit from the north side to the south side; I'm going out on a limb and saying it's not necessary, but I may be wrong. The straight vals are found all over in tropical and subtropical areas, so I think it could handle a small cooldown period, but it's not important to give it one.

Personally, I'm going to be changing my bulbs every 8 months. This is the same schedule I use with my UV bulbs for my reptiles too. It will still have some effectiveness for those last 4 months of the year, but I think it would be better to replace it while they're still producing some better light. This way you won't shock your plants when all of a sudden they get bright light again after slowly getting used to less light and you can keep the growth pretty constant by not losing too much strength in your lighting as well. If you have more than one light, it's best to stagger their replacement timing so you can lessen the effects even more.

Lady Hobbs
05-10-2010, 05:52 PM
They will come back, Heather. They often do that when first planted. Don't plant them too deep. They send up runners and will spread nicely for you.

05-10-2010, 06:14 PM
I have 36W T5 lighting.

However I just checked them and I have some super green brand new leaves at the bottoms of most of them about 2 inches tall on some and maybe 1.5 in. on the rest. The corkscrews have tiny little new leaves coming up now,too. They aren't melting like the straight vals are,tho. Looks like I'll be good when the new growth gets going. *whew* :ssmile:

I planted the roots just under the top of the fluorite,maybe this much __ fluorite touching the green parts.

I'm feeling better about them. Just thought I did something wrong. Thanks guys. :ssmile:

Sunschein that's a good idea about changing the bulbs every 8 months or so. You make a good point about the lighting intensity changing. I was quietly thinking as I read their pleas for help it may have been their lighting. No one ever mentioned that to them,tho. (I didn't join anything I was just browsing-not that i would have anyway I'm a newbie to this stuff)

Wild Turkey
05-10-2010, 07:03 PM
They will come back, Heather. They often do that when first planted. Don't plant them too deep. They send up runners and will spread nicely for you.

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