Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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el Mattador 02-17-2009 03:15 PM

New bulb?
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One of the plants in my tank grew a long stem-looking shoot. At the end a small circular thing started to grow, and now a few small leaves are growing out of the ball. It looks like the ball might also have the beginning of some roots growing off it as well. I'll post a picture below. I was wondering if anyone has seen this before, and if it is a new bulb like I hope, should I just cut it off and stick it in the gravel?

Byron 03-10-2009 05:31 PM

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The plant appears to me to be an Amazon sword (Echinodorus species), so this is a flower stalk. Depending upon your set-up, it may flower, but more normally daughter plants will grow from these stalks. I like to leave them floating, since the small plants along the stem look natural in the water column. For illustration, I've attached a photo of one area in my 70g with two of these plants. At the rear on the left you can see a stalk from an Echinodorus bleheri that has one daughter plant at the surface (a couple of small floating Ceratopteris plants are tangled in it). Then just on the left of the bogwood on the right side there is a stalk from an Echinodorus 'Kleiner Bar' that has two daughter plants forming along it, one at the surface.

You can cut the daughter plants off (cut the stalk at the base of the "bulb" where the new plant is leafing from) and plant them in the substrate. If you decide to do this, I would leave the stalk until the daughter plants are more developed, probably a couple of months.

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