Anacharis keeps turning brown?
I LOVE Anacharis, I love the way it looks in the tank, and the fact that it's cheap to buy. I havent been having much luck with it though. A lot of the stems will turn brown, and sort of melt, while the tip of the plant seems pretty vibrant and green. I just have the standard hood on my 29 gallon with the light it came wiht. I keep it tied iwht the lead weights it comes with from my LFS, to keep it rooted. I also have some root tabs int he gravel as well. My heater kind of sucks, and isnt as accurate as I'd like, I noticed today it was at 80 degrees, so I took it down a few notches. Any idea why my Anachris doesnt do well?
This may be a combination of several issues, so I'll mention each that occurs to me.
First is light. Stem plants are fast growing and thus require good light. [Pennywort is an exception.] I have a 29g tank too, with the single-tube T8 fixture by Aqueon (which may be what you have, doesn't matter the brand) which takes a 24-inch tube. The tube that came with it was junk and went straight to recycling. I use Life-Glo 2 tubes on all my single-tube tanks as it is the best I have so far found. ZooMed's Ultra Sun is also good, near identical. If you can find them in 24-inch length, the "daylight" tubes made by GE, Phillips or Sylvania also work, just get the one with a Kelvin of 6500K. These latter you can get in hardware type stores for a couple dollars; the first two I mentioned are in fish stores and more expensive. This will give you better light, but I can't guarantee Hornwort will do well, as we are still dealing with moderate light.
Second is nutrients; substrate tabs will do little for this plant, as stem plants assimilate nutrients via roots and leaves and roots will appear from most of the nodes along the stem. The node is the spot from where a leaf and/or root grows. So liquid fertilizer in the water is better. It needs to be a complete one to ensure all nutrients are available. I recommend Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement or Brightwell Aquatics' MultiFlorin.
Third point is placement. This plant, Ceratophyllum demersum, does best left floating [this solve the light issue]. This is likely why the lower portions fall apart when the upper get to the surface.
The higher temp might be an issue, but this plant should manage up to 30C/86F. It does not like chemical additives [Excel might kill this plant], but the two fertilizers I have mentioned are not chemical so they are fine. Last, many members find this plant falls apart on them, constantly clogging the filter with bits of leaf. Changing to another plant may be best, especially if you want the growth down in the water.
Hope this helps.
thanks for the advice Byron! the fixture I have does indeed have the Aequeon t-8 bulb. Is the Life GLo a direct replacement for the bulb in my stock fixture? In other words can I buy that bulb and swap out the original with it with no modifications?
A t-8 bulb is a T-8 bulb it should work in your fixture just fine. I've had three different brands/styles of T-8 lights in my no name fixture and they all worked (the LifeGlo is by far the best IMO).
I have Anacharis in my 29g (single LifeGlo T-8), dose flourish comprehensive once every 4 days and it does great. I have it growing "out of" my driftwood (as in I shoved the bottom into a small hole to anchor it) looks pretty cool, anyway it not only grew to the surface but is now growing around the perimeter of the tank with a ton of off shoots swirling around. Makes a pretty interesting semi-floating plant mixed with my Pennywort. Before I had an 8,000k bulb and the Anacharis barely lived, it would brown out near the bottom and growth was slow. As soon as I switched to the LifeGlo it exploded.
I also have some in my 10g with two 10w GE Daylight CFL, same dosing regime, and it is almost uncontrollable in there.
Both tanks are kept at around 78 degrees. Even when I was fighting Ich in the 29g and I had the temp at 86 it survived, didn't grow much but survived.
Anarchis (elodea) does well floating too. Try it that way.
Getting a Life Glo bulb this weekend will be my goal!
oh, good luck finding it local, I struck out everywhere. I had to order it from Amazon. Once I got it in and saw the difference it made I ordered 4 more for stock lol
Is there any other brand equivalent that I might be able to find locally?
Not sure what you have around in way of LFS. Petco carries Zoomed, the UltraSun is pretty close to the LifeGlo. Main thing to look for is something with a spectrum of 6500k. I was using the PetSmart Aqueon Daylight that had an 8000k spectrum and while it wasn't as purple as the traditional "plant bulbs" the color was more "drab" than the 6500k light. I don't have much for actual fish stores around here so most stuff I order online. If you can't find it local it is well worth the wait to order online.
thanks for the advice! i'm going to check out petsmart tomorrow and see what they have!
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