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Help with struggling Hygrophila

Joined
13 Nov 2023
Messages
37
Location
Berkshire
Hello
Wanted to ask if anyone knows what's going on with my Hygrophila Pinnatifida. I added them as cuttings, without any roots, to an otherwise thriving aquarium. I have various stem plants and crypts, anubias, buce, monte carlo, marsilea, floaters, and houseplants in the sump section, all doing well (though the MC is mainly just surviving). I have high light, have to dose ferts, including NP, but no CO2.

As for the Hygrophila, I planted some stems into the substrate, (stratum + tnc complete root tabs). They lost all their leaves except for a few small ones at the top. There are some tiny new ones, but I'm not sure if they'll make it. I also stuck one just into the wood (the one on the photo), and that's been doing much better, but now it developed holes and started loosing leaves.

20231113_131428.jpg
 
Hi all,
Welcome to UKAPS.
They lost all their leaves except for a few small ones at the top. There are some tiny new ones, but I'm not sure if they'll make it. I also stuck one just into the wood (the one on the photo), and that's been doing much better, but now it developed holes and started loosing leaves.
I think a few people have found that it does better as an epiphyte, and it is also a plant a lot of people have struggled with.

However you grow it, it wants plenty of nutrients, including CO2 <"Anyone figured out H.Pinnatifida?">.

It really wants to grow emersed, it is a plant that survives underwater, but really wants to be above the surface. <"Talk to me about growing hygrophila pinnatifida low tech?">.

cheers Darrel
 
Welcome to the forum!
I think it is one of those plants that really needs Co2, they are also prone to Potassium deficiency!
Those leaves with holes look like emersed leaves....I would remove them to encourage new leaf growth.
As @dw1305 stated they prefer growing as an epiphyte....if conditions are favourable it will send out roots to reach the substrate.
 
Would have to agree with above regarding CO2, however also give it Time!

In both my tanks, with CO2 and EI dosing, it was hobbling along for ages but is now like a weed and I actually have to strip quite a bit out every week as it wants to take over everything sending runners everywhere - the runners will also quite happily root down well into the substrate wherever they land.

In both tanks the majority were planted in substrate though the ones just hanging around epiphyte style are doing similarly now.
September:
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1699899011549.png

Now:
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1699899042442.png
 
Thanks everyone! I'll try pruning some of the original leaves. Sounds like it's much harder to grow than I thought. The one stem I have as an epiphyte is doing better (it's the one in the photo). It's not emersed yet, but very close to the light. The potassium in the tank is off the charts, and it also has very high Mg and SiO2. Everything else (N, P, Fe) are barely measurable, they get used up shortly after dosing.
 
Hydrophilia pinnatafida is my favourite plant in the aquarium hobby. When i set up my new tank i brought one pot of 1-2 grow. I found that it started off growing really well then drastically pinholes began to form. I thought it was co2 and potassium so I increased Co2 and brought seachem potassium but the problem persisted. Eventually 3 of the 4 plants completely melted away. Eventually I tried adjusting my light settings by increasing the red and blue channels and the overall power as i was desperate to save my last plant. After three weeks the one surviving plant has grown into a dense bush with runners shooting off everywhere. I brought a new 1-2 grow pot and all four new plants are sending out runners and showing strong growth. I have stopped dosing the potassium extras and the growth has continued strong. My personal experience has shown it to be a very fussy plant and hard to work out exactly what is causing the melting for me it was to weak a light set up. I dose using estimative index and I inject co2 but for me lighting fixed the pinhole/ growth issue.
 
I can confirm Hygrophila pinnatifida can be kept successfully without CO2 injection. It is rather sensitive, though. My theory is that this species is weak in its ability to oxygenate rhizosphere. That is why it sometimes grows better as an epiphyte. It grows for me in rather lean conditions - both in water column and namely in the sediment. Good oxygenation.
 
I've had it happen a couple of times that I bought it and over the first few months it grew very aggressively, but then all of a sudden it stopped growing and eventually everything melted. I think that it may have been some desperate use of the plant's accumulated resources, which eventually ended.

The last time I bought it, I treated it like it were the most delicate thing in the world for the first 2 months. It worked, and today it looks unkillable. It still annoys me that I don't know how to deal with the tall stems, I wish it would stay in its small form.
 
Hm, I'll keep trying for now. They still have a few leaves left (and some new ones growing, though only 1-2mm so far), so they might bounce back. I'll also increase the N, P and Fe doses as they test pretty much at 0 an hour after adding them.
 
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