question on Vals..
I got some about 2 months ago and after taking a couple weeks to acclimate have started to send out runners almost every other day. The problem is it seems all the runners get to about an inch to inch and a half then come to a stand still. Is this normal that runners produce fast but actual growth is slow? I have very low lightning over my 55g,only one standard T8 6500k fluorescent and ph of 8.2-8.4,hard water. Also of note I got some water sprite at the same time and it has completely fell apart, had to remove the final bits today. I used it as floating plant. Pretty discouraged about it since Byron said it's one of the few plants thats hard to kill. Should I try and get another?
Water Sprite should manage in your water; Kasselmann writes that hardness and pH play no decisive part during cultivation, and I used a broad range in the profile. But this plant in my experience does not like being moved. Even from one tank to another in my fish room with near-identical water and similar light, I see a decline until it begins to re-establish. I would just give it time. Once established, it is one of the most useful and beautiful aquarium plants. I now have it floating in all my tanks, and the fish love it.
On the Vall, presumably this is Corkscrew Vallisneria. I planted maybe a dozen smallish plants on the left side of my 90g, and over a full year it has spread right across the front of the tank in a swath of about 7 inches width. I wasn't keeping especially close eye on it, but I think it did this by sending out the runner, and producing a plant which would begin to develop, and the runner then continued to the next plant after the daughter plant was established and a decent size. In other words, it takes time. Not like the pygmy chain sword that will send a runner and as one plant has only just begun to develop (a couple specks of green leaf) the runner has already moved another couple inches. In hard water Vall should do very well; mine barely manages in my soft water. It also likes light, being fast growing, so you should expect a bit slower growth with what you have. I'm not suggesting increasing it, the fish have to be considered;-) but on my 4-foot 90g I have two tubes and floating plants and this is not really up to what this plant prefers. But it will be fine, slower no doubt, but still healthy.
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