I buy jungle val and vallisneria spiralis from William Tricker. They are very good, save for snail eggs, and I presume both plants are grown in ponds.
V spiralis does very well in our aquariums, like a weed in various substrates and pH; Eco-complete, cichlid sand and play sand.
Jungle val leaves melt from the crown, and there are no offsets or sprouts.
What's up? Does jungle val have different requirements?
My test strips are old and inaccurate, but pH varies from 6.1 in the N. multifaciatus tank to 7.0 in the others.
No fertilizer is used in cichlid sand or eco-complete, and cheap plant tabs from Petco in the sand.
A couple of possibilities occur to me. One is light, can you detail it? Second is nutrients, thinking here first of the essential hard minerals calcium, magnesium, etc. With an acidic pH, the GH may be low, any idea what it is? An d second, without liquid fertilizer there may be a shortage of trace elements.
And a third issue, are the crowns buried or just above the substrate? If plants rot from the crown it can be due to it being buried.
My mention of liquid above is not without foundation. I have Flourite substrate in one tank (which is near-identical to Eco-Complete that you mention), and it does not provide sufficient nutrients for any plants. I have to use liquid Flourish Comprehensive once or twice weekly, or the plants do not do well. If nutrient fertilization is needed at all in an aquarium, it must first occur as liquid because this gets to all plants, and some nutrients can only be assimilated via the leaves.
Sorry it took a while to get back, I obtained test strips.
The folks at Tricker say:
In reference to you mentioning pH, Vallisneria americana does not grow well in lower pHs, and will disentigrate if the pH approaches 6.0 as well as does not grow good as the pH approaches pH 8-9.
Pulcher tank, where it melts like tissue:
55 gallons, Penguin filter with two wheels, 2-F20T12 Aquarium plant lights
Gh=150, Kh=40 pH=7.0 NO2=.5 NO3=20
5 adult Pulchers, 40 1/2" fry
Loach tank, where they are hangin on, but not reproducing 55 gallon, 2-F20T12
Four 4" loaches, two 2" loaches, 2 angels about three inches high.
Gh=75 Kh=40 pH=6.2 NO2=0 NO3=80
Has a big chunk of driftwood.
Angel tank, one angel 4" tall 30 gallon, they are melting F15T8 and an LED strip.
pH=6.8 kH=80 NO2=0 NO3=20 Gh=75
Vallisneria grows in the African rift lakes, to give you an idea of how hard the water can be. It also is very adept at using bicarbonates (higher in hard water) as a source of carbon, and actually prefers to over CO2. Another indication of a preference for hard water.
As the fish mentioned are better with the water where it is, I would look for an alternative plant. The light is minimal for Vallisneria, but I wouldn't mess with that since the GH is still going to affect the growth more than the light.
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