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Growing and propagating Cryptocoryne sp successfully ideas.

Konsa

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Joined
20 Nov 2010
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1,015
Location
Lostock Hall
Hi all
There is something that sorts of keeps me up at night and thought I will post a thread to see if I can get some insight on the matter.
I have been keeping planted tanks on and off for the best part of 30 years and always had some Cryptocoryne sp in the tanks.Nothing fancy or demanding usually. We know most Cryptocoryne sp are hardy and easy to care plants right.For clarity we are talking about the most easiest varieties available.
In my early days I had very hard water at 26-28 °C ,used very low light, sponge filters ,no ferts, plain fine sand and gravel and the Cryptocoryne (unknown sp and Balansae) were going mental.From a single stem of the smaller ones used to get morher plants with 12+cm rosettes with monstrous root systems (I had 50 cm wide tank with 2 motherplants in it and was able to lift the whole substrate clean out of the tank(I know thats alot of root;) ) and the Balansae was a tank buster.No issues with propagation whatsoever. Basically you put a stem of Cryptocoryne in your tank and in a year or two you will get a tank full.
Anyway I have grown ,gained knowledge and the hobby has developed significantly with all fancy and high CEC substrates entering the scene,better filtration and light systems, better understanding of plants nutrient needs and addition of various fertilizers and root tabs in our tanks.
Unfortunately the above didn't seem to improve my Cryptocoryne growing experience.
In fact is quite the opposite.While I have decent plant health in my tanks I am unable to achieve and propagate such large, strong mother plants.My Cryptocoryne doesn't have the monstrous root systems anymore either(I am using heavy water column dosing so maybe they don't need huge root mass)or propagate readily.
I was thinking maybe plant genetics so went on the hunt for Old school Cryptocoryne strain from a hobbyist(Will keep his identity private unless he desides to come forward).I found some that have been growing happily in a member's tank for the last 15 ish years and asked for some.Received gorgeous strong and very healthy plants.After few years in my tanks they not only have not propagated as rest of the species available on the market but they seem in decline not achieving the vigour they once had although they grow and seem in good health.
I have species that haven't sent a single runner for the last 5-6 years in my tanks no matter what I do while being in good health.
My Cryptocoryne sp list includes
C Albida brown
C legroi
C lutea hobbit
C wendtii both colour forms
C balansae
C beckettii
C petchii
C beckettii 'Petchii' hybrid
C nevelli
C spiralis (green form)
.......
2 unknown old school Cryptocoryne sp

Any thoughts on the matter much appreciated as I can't seem to get my head around it ;)
Regards Konstantin
 
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MirandaB

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28 Apr 2013
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1,113
Location
Suffolk/Norfolk Border
Just a theory for me but I think some of it may be down to providing such nutrient rich substrates/water column dosing,the plants have everything they want right where they need it so are less inclined to pop out runners or produce massive root systems.
For me,using Velda Superdensa as a base layer has made a huge difference,I can only presume that the more open structure of that encourages the roots to go down and spread out more.
 

Wookii

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Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
3,393
Location
Nottingham
There is something that sorts of keeps me up at night . . .

I don't seem to have to much an issue growing Crypts high tech. If anything, the problem I end up with is them growing much larger than any of the online websites say they should. The only one that's been painful to grow is Lutea Hobbit, but that may be because its so small everything else overshadows it, so it gets much less light.

Low tech is a different storey for me though, in there my Crypts grow painfully slowly, and a couple of quite large Wendtii Greens I had grown high tech, wilted away to nothing and never came back when transferred into the low tech tank.

I have wondered if substrate depth is a factor? In my high tech many of the Crypts have 10cm+ to root into at the terraced rear of the tank, but in my low tech they are down to around 4-5cm. I have read that potting crypts before adding to the tank can constrict their growth size too. Back in the old days you mention (from distant memory recall), when tanks were deeper and substrate cheaper, the substrate depth was typically much deeper too. Now with expensive aquasoils its seems more typical to often minimise the substrate depth for cost saving, aesthetics or avoiding losing real estate from shallower tanks.

In my early days I had very hard water at 26-28 °C ,used very low light, sponge filters ,no ferts, plain fine sand and gravel and the Cryptocoryne (unknown sp and Balansae) were going mental.

Sounds like a plan for you to replicate if you've had previous success that way?
 

dw1305

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UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
14,234
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
Cryptocoryne doesn't have the monstrous root systems anymore either(I am using heavy water column dosing so maybe they don't need huge root mass)or propagate readily.
Plants are very good at partitioning "roots", "rhizomes", "shoots" etc and then allocating resources as required.
I'll be trying that in a prop box sometime with a beech leaf litter substrate to see if I can actually get some plant mass going.
I'd agree with @MirandaB and guess it is a nutrient effect and that a leaner substrate with leaf litter as its nutrient source will definitely get them growing. I've noticed that they send a lot of very fine roots into the leaf litter/ mulm layer in my tanks.

cheers Darrel
 

Konsa

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Thread starter
Joined
20 Nov 2010
Messages
1,015
Location
Lostock Hall
For me some are just naturally lazy lol my C scurrilis just sits there doing nothing for about a year then decides to pop out a runner then back to doing nothing 😆
I'll be trying that in a prop box sometime with a beech leaf litter substrate to see if I can actually get some plant mass going.
Hi
maybe instead of leaf litter Spaghnum moss may be another option as many bonsai enthusiasts use it to invigorate root systems of weak plants or as an air layer medium.

I don't seem to have to much an issue growing Crypts high tech. If anything, the problem I end up with is them growing much larger than any of the online websites say they should. The only one that's been painful to grow is Lutea Hobbit, but that may be because its so small everything else overshadows it, so it gets much less light.

Low tech is a different storey for me though, in there my Crypts grow painfully slowly, and a couple of quite large Wendtii Greens I had grown high tech, wilted away to nothing and never came back when transferred into the low tech tank.

I have wondered if substrate depth is a factor? In my high tech many of the Crypts have 10cm+ to root into at the terraced rear of the tank, but in my low tech they are down to around 4-5cm. I have read that potting crypts before adding to the tank can constrict their growth size too. Back in the old days you mention (from distant memory recall), when tanks were deeper and substrate cheaper, the substrate depth was typically much deeper too. Now with expensive aquasoils its seems more typical to often minimise the substrate depth for cost saving, aesthetics or avoiding losing real estate from shallower tanks.



Sounds like a plan for you to replicate if you've had previous success that way?
I am not really struggling to keep them alive its more the lack of propagation in the tanks that is pissing me off. lol
I used ,aquasoil, sand ,moler clay ..... as substrate in the last few years in my tanks both CO2 and lately low techs but most Cryptocoryne sp are more or less as many stems as I originally started with.
Regards Konstantin
 
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