View Full Version : Giving up on stem plants

05-21-2011, 08:32 PM
Thats right, no more stem plants for my current set-up.

I used liquid and tab. ferts on the easiest stem plants around (water sprite), and they still brown out and wither away to just stems. This duel LED canopy just isn't getting the light down there in the 55 gallon tank.

Swords, Anubis, and moss grow really well so I'll stick with what works.

My 10 gallon shrimp tank has cutting from the water sprite and it's going crazy with only two 15 watt incandescent bulbs using only shrimp poo.

I've read about CO2 systems and maybe thats an option but if the 6700k LED bulbs don't give enough light will a CO2 MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

05-21-2011, 08:40 PM
water sprite is an easy plant to grow with enough light and it doesn't need too much to grow well. If your light is sufficient co2 will make the difference between a flourishing water sprite and a well growing one,it won't make the difference between alive and dying.

05-21-2011, 08:42 PM
If you don't have enough light, and you add CO2, I would guess the only new growth you might get would be algae

Can you add additional light to suppliment the LEDs ?

05-21-2011, 09:07 PM
Thanks Smaug and Cliff for you replies.

Algae is not a by-product I want in my tank (the Amazon Sword has enough brown algae on it now which I rub off with my thumb), nor do I want to buy a new canopy for the extra light (cheap I guess), so I will take out the old stem plants which are looking ill and buy a few more Swords.
Thank you on the CO2 suggestion, I see it now as a waste of money/time to keep the water sprite in this 55 gallon.

05-21-2011, 11:24 PM
Hmmm. My water sprite is doing ok and I am using a $12 led strip light from ikea. It took a while to get going. The jury is still out on how well the Riccia is going to do.

BTW, I have enough to spare, if you want some.

05-22-2011, 12:47 AM
Do you have that Marineland setup that comes with LEDs in the hood? Someone with that setup purchased a package of plants with me and he claims everything's growing in his tank. He got amazon swords, anubias, rotala indica, Myriophyll​um Tuberculat​um, star grass and others. He doesn't supplement any other lighting nor does he use co2. Does water sprite require more light than amazon swords? I've never had them before. It might be something besides the lighting that's causing the problem.

05-22-2011, 05:35 PM
The LED's are the ones that come in the canopy about 10 inches by 3inches. White and blue lights. My Amazons are doing quite well, 4" to 16 inches tall in about 6 months. The anubius I have are a nice deep green and growing new leaves. It's just my stem plants (I've tried a few over the last few months) start out nice and green and then slowly fad to nothing.
Today I went out and bought another Amazon sword for the mid/back of the tank which will replace the water sprite I have in that corner. I will crop the water sprite off near the bottom and leave it in the tank to see if it comes back.
Thanks for the offer Abbey's_Mom but for now I will go with the Sword plant and see what happens.:ssmile:

05-22-2011, 05:38 PM
It must me the water, because I have the exact opposite problem. Watersprite grows like mad, but can't get swords to grow at all!

05-22-2011, 05:41 PM
Do the LEDs cover the entire surface area of the tank? If the water sprite is in the corner of the tank then it might not be receiving much light. Keep in mind that LEDs don't have a great spread depending on the type of primary optics and whether or not secondary optics are used. Maybe try moving it closer to the center of the tank to see if it helps.

05-22-2011, 07:43 PM
You are correct Funkman262, the LED's are not as intense in the corners of the tank. There is still light but not as bright as directly underneath, thats one of the reasons I picked Water Sprite due to it's ability to stay growing in low light tanks.
I have just finished cropping the watersprite so it's about 3 inches tall and am in the process of planting my new Sword in that corner. If I have problems with the Sword I will move it out under the lights a little more but I have faith it will grow. The Java fern is in the opposite corner of the tank in the same quality of light and it's doing ok.
ps. I also added my first pleco today, a spotted rubber lipped who I hope will take care of that brown algae I have in some spots. Yes I also feed algae waffers for my panda cories, redtailed shark and GBR's so the pleco will have something to chew on even if the brown algae isn't to his liking.

05-22-2011, 08:45 PM
I had terrible luck with stem plants. Even in the flourite with nearly 2wpg of light I couldn't get them to root.

05-22-2011, 09:17 PM
AmyLynn I too had my stem plants in flourite, they rooted well just the leaves and stems turned an ugly colour. I thought that flourite would be beneficial for stem plants but I didn't see a difference.

Lady Hobbs
05-22-2011, 09:44 PM
I had rotting stems when I used sand in my tanks and also with gravel. Since I use plant substrate now, I have none of that.

05-22-2011, 10:00 PM
By plant substrate do you mean dirt or flourite Lady Hobbs? I also have a bag of stratus left over from my shrimp tank which I was thinking may help my situation. Please tell.

05-22-2011, 10:18 PM
Does substrate type really have that big of an effect on water sprite though? It's my understanding that water sprite has a very weak root system and gets most of its nutrients from the water. I have water sprites that are both rooted in gravel and tied to a rock with their roots floating, and both look good. I make an effort to use liquid fertilizer once or twice a week. Just plain old smelly Flourish seems to do the trick. Maybe I don't even need that... can't say for sure.

05-23-2011, 01:10 AM
Its been my experiance that stem plants get very little nutrient uptake from there root structures.