NEED HELP identifying this plant - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-23-2013, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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NEED HELP identifying this plant

I am NEW to owning an aquarium.

I bought a Top Fin 10 gallon starter kit at PetSmart, some gravel, a few plastic plants to hide the filter and heater and 1 live plant.

This plant was in a sealed bag with gel around the roots. I believe it was Top Fin namebrand also. The bag had a cardboard like paper around it. I thought it was pretty, so I bought it. There was no plant name located on it anywhere.

The instructions said to rinse the gel off and place the roots into the gravel.

I have looked and surfed and waded all over the internet and have no clue what this plant is.

Could somebody PLEASE help to identify this plant?
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-23-2013, 08:45 PM
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Looks like a pretty little ludwigia repens to me :) They need high light to keep that pretty red coloration, very lovely plant. Best of luck with it!
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-24-2013, 03:00 AM
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-24-2013, 03:23 AM
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Alternanthera reineckii?
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-24-2013, 02:30 PM
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I'm inclined to think it is the Ludwigia...but I won't insist.
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Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-24-2013, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input

I guess what throws me off in identifying this plant is that it is young. It is only about 3" tall. The leaves are bright pink, to purple, to green.

I hope that it will live. I've noticed some of the leaves are turning translucent. I add API plant food everyday as the instructions say. Do I need to trim these leaves off?
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post #7 of 17 Old 01-24-2013, 05:43 PM
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I would. A dying leaf won't regenerate, so it's best to prune them off, which will allow the plant to dedicate it's energy into producing new leaves, and caring for the remaining healthy ones.

It might be that it isn't getting enough light. I have Ludwigia in a tank with lower lighting, it's growing - but it has lost the majority of it's red/purple hues, and is now mostly green.Whatever this plant it is, the red coloration on the leaves *usually* implies that the plant is used to high-lighting. (some plants are able to adapt themselves to high light conditions by changing the hue of their leaves to a color, like red or purple, that doesn't photosynthesize as efficiently, thus keeping them from getting too much light) If your light isn't bright enough, it may take some time and the loss of many or all of the old leaves as it adapts to the new lighting.

The same applies to to water parameters in your tank (provided that the lighting is right for it in the first place). Many new-to-you plants will go through a process where the older leaves that were used to different conditions will die off, and be replaced with new. Also, if this is one of the TopFin tube plants, it has been out of the water for some time. I'm not sure how these work (never got 'em), but if a plant has been grown out of water, it often sheds all of it's leaves and takes on it's underwater form.

So. . . it's kind of going to be a watch-and-see thing with this one, I think - but yes. Always prune of the dead/dying leaves :)

ETA: You're adding plant food every day? You might want to look into this. I'm not familiar with this brand of plant food, and if it has all of the required nutrition that the plant needs to thrive without going overboard and adding too much - which could lead to an algae problem. I give my plants Flourish Comprehensive by Flourish 1-2 times weekly, and they thrive. . . something you might want to do more research into. :D HTH!

Last edited by Chesh; 01-24-2013 at 05:45 PM.
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-24-2013, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmecon View Post
Thanks for your input

I guess what throws me off in identifying this plant is that it is young. It is only about 3" tall. The leaves are bright pink, to purple, to green.

I hope that it will live. I've noticed some of the leaves are turning translucent. I add API plant food everyday as the instructions say. Do I need to trim these leaves off?
Yes, trim the leaves off. But I would change fertilizers. API Leaf Zone only contains iron and potassium, just 2 of 17 nutrients essential for aquarium plants. While it is possible that all of these occur naturally (and sufficiently) in your tank from fish food and water changes (replenishing the "hard" minerals), they may not. I suggest a complete liquid supplement, like Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement or Brightwell Aquatics' FlorinMulti. These two are much the same, and you use very little so they last much longer.

Stem plants, being fast growing, naturally use more nutrients, so either of these will probably be better.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-24-2013, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chesherca View Post
Looks like a pretty little ludwigia repens to me :) They need high light to keep that pretty red coloration, very lovely plant. Best of luck with it!
Exactly my thought.

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post #10 of 17 Old 01-24-2013, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, auto correct made my earlier reply say every day. I add the API plant food once a week.

This was not a TopFin tube plant. It was in a sealed bag.

Now for a STUPID question - Do I take the plant out to trim it? The instructions said to place the roots under the gravel. I took that as plant it in the gravel like I would dirt. Is it going to hurt anything to remove the plant, trim it, then re-plant it in the gravel?

Also, my parameters are all good. Ph is a little high - about 7.8-8. That's what it is coming from the sink. I have the LED lights that came with the kit.

Last edited by jmecon; 01-24-2013 at 06:01 PM.
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