Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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scottysgirl 03-31-2007 11:49 AM

Banana plant
I bought one of these thinking they are cool plants but it is not doing well. After doing some research I see that it likes soft, acidic water. I have pH 8.0 currently, and very hard water. Temp is about 78. I fertilize once a week with a .15-0-0 ferilizer. Every day I dose with flourish, and there are root tabs in the substrate as well. There are about 2.75 watts per gallon in there. I was just wondering if there is anything else I can do to help this plant grow

herefishy 03-31-2007 07:52 PM

Your water may be the problem, high pH. Plants can be acclimated, but their general welfare will be compromised. Also, I notice that your fertilizer is total nitrogen, it is a low percentage but it should be so. While this is good to green up plants, it won't help with the growth. You should look for a fertilizer that has a little phospherous and a little potash in it. The numbers on the label denote nitrogen-phospherous-potash percentages in the bottle/tablet/powder. An easy way to remember what each does is the saying "up, down, all around". Nitrogen takes care of what you see. Phospherous takes care of the root system. Potash takes care of the all around health of the plant.
So soften you water up a bit, maybe down to a pH of 6.8-7.2 and change your fertilizer to a more rounded blend. You should be fine. To soften your water, I would use a softening pillow in my power filter that uses a resin to absorb salts that harden your water. Many pillows can be regenerated by following the directions on the package.

scottysgirl 04-01-2007 12:12 AM

Thank you for the fert. recommendation. I don't really want to mess with the water chemistry, as my other plants (besides the banana plant) are doing well. If I softened the water in the tank, I would still be adding hard water in during water changes, and I don't want to hurt the fish via water chemistry swings. Crypts, bacopa, swords, and anubias are doing great, so I think I will stick with the water out of the tap. I will, however, switch ferts.
Thanks for the help

fish_4_all 04-01-2007 12:34 AM

The best information I have found about banana plants is that this is normal for any banana that has the little root tubers on it. They are actually a system of "bulbs" that store nutrients for the plant over the winter or supposed to be. The plant will lose these little "bulbs" and in the process it will start to put out roots. It will also send up runners to the surface. These are what you want to grow healthy banana plants. They will grow roots and offshoots in healthy conditions and the sister plants can be healthier than the mother plant. I don't remember the informaiton about when to remove the offshoots but I would think it is when ithas a couple leaves and a descent roots system started, kinda like most sowrds with runners.

Remove the little "bananas" when they start to fall off or they will rot and diminish the health of your tank.

This is all from memory so I may be off a little. I will try to find the site I had that really explains this plant well and get it to you when I do.

scottysgirl 04-01-2007 06:43 PM

Thank you! That is very helpful. I was thinking that maybe it was just one of those plants that won't grow in water with high pH and hardness, but perhaps it just needs to be split.

Piranha Joe 04-17-2008 12:08 PM

Banana Plants
The guy at the LFS stated that the banana plant is good for betta tank, helps keep the water where it needs to this true?

Fishcricker 04-19-2008 04:34 PM

:) I got a banana plant for our betta's tank. The "bananas" rotted off and the rest of the plant split into 2 plants and now we have 2 plants with roots, one of which has runners to the surface. ph 7.6 temp 78. All's well ends well.

Piranha Joe 04-19-2008 04:42 PM

Banana Plants
So, what you are saying is, even if the bananas rot off, keep the plant portion in there and just "wait and see"...ok will do...I try to remove anything that looks rotten ASAP.

fish_4_all 04-20-2008 02:19 PM

No reason to remove the plant if the bananas rot, it will grow for a long time without them. Congrats on getting them to split, I have never gotten them to do so.

okiemavis 04-20-2008 02:28 PM

They're funky looking plants! I just got one. I try to buy plants that look weird like "what's that growth?" I can't wait to see a giant banana plant, they look really incredible when they get big.

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