Limnophila aromatica - The Rice Paddy Herb

ceg4048

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Paulo,
I'm afraid to tell you this but when this plant melts under high lighting it means that it's suffering from CO2 withdrawal. CO2 is like a drug. Plants adapt to the level of CO2 in the tank by producing an enzyme called Rubisco which acts as a lock to the CO2's key. High CO2 levels results in high Rubisco levels and the plants calibrates it's carbon fixation and food production schedules based on the Rubisco content. A fall in the CO2 level creates a mismatch between the available CO2 and the available Rubisco so all schedules are disrupted.

What is amazing is if I trim the stems and float them in a non-injected holding tank under very low light (basically, the sink in my laundry room) they sit there for weeks without any adverse affects. I'm speculating that the lower lighting reduces the CO2 demand and their proximity to the air enables better CO2 availability. The only thing I can think of, based on this observation is to increase your injection rate a bit and/or lower the light for a few weeks while allowing them to float in the tank. This could give them a chance to "re-calibrate" based on the new CO2 levels while reducing the pressure of growth due to lighting. You might also try floating them in a bucket filled with tank water in a dark corner of the room for a week or two.

Let us know how it works out mate. :?

Cheers,
 

planter

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Just read this.... What a fantastic review. The colours in your plants are so vibrant, Really very impressive. Thanks for sharing.
 

ceg4048

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Cheers planter. Glad you enjoyed it mate. :D I found that the Osram 840, if not over used, can really accentuate the yellows and oranges. The low light shots are taken with only this bulb illuminated.

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LondonDragon

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Thanks Clive, some look ok so maybe a few stems will survive, I planted them in a bunch before, I have now spread them a little more and pointed the circulation pump at them in the hope that they will get more CO2 and nutrients.
 

ceg4048

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Hi James,
Thanks mate. My scaping skills pale in comparison to the transcendental powers of Graeme Obi-wan Kenobi or his disciple Luke Crawford but healthy it is. I named this 6 foot tank after the Kubrick classic Full Metal Jacket. Here is a representative frontal nude shot. I always have to endure a ration of abuse from the Gucci Glassware Gurus (3G) because of my ugly green plastic spraybars. :rolleyes: I've since replaced these with black Fluval bars which are less obnoxious.


This is an earlier shot of the center section:


A tighter shot of the middle:


Here is the lower left side after the P. helferi grew in a bit more:


Here is the lower right side:


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ceg4048

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LondonDragon said:
Thanks Clive, some look ok so maybe a few stems will survive, I planted them in a bunch before, I have now spread them a little more and pointed the circulation pump at them in the hope that they will get more CO2 and nutrients.

Yes, that's it - I forgot to tell you, sorry. All you need is for a single stem to survive and you'll be able to take over the world. After this trim it'll be a couple more weeks before I have any more so just let me know mate.

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LondonDragon

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I will keep you posted ;) by the way your tank looks awsome :)
Who needs great scaping anyway, I like jungles full of healthy plants ;) and your plants are very well positioned though and its looks stunning :)
 

JamesM

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If I'm honest, I want to stab the blue background with a sharp stick and call its mother names :lol: Everything else I'd happily take :D

What about equipment mate? How much co2 do you burn, lighting, etc.?
 

ceg4048

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Hi guys,
Thanks, glad you like it. James I really like the blue even though I got it at a garden center LFS. It was cheap. :oops:

Anyway, the tank sits in a southeast facing conservatory which is challenging because on a sunny day the tank gets almost as much sunlight as from the canopy. I had to cover the sides as well as the back or suffer meltdown. The summer temperatures also don't help in a conservatory so I'm one of the few people in England that doesn't mind cloudy or rainy days (well, not too much). On the warmest days the water temperature can exceed 34 degrees. Here is a rather sad snapshot of this startup last August: Doesn't that look pathetic?


Anyway, this tank is filtered by two Eheim Pro III 2180 Thermofilters which sit on either side on the floor because they are too big for the cabinet. One filter outlet is plumbed to a Cal Aqua in-line CO2 diffuser and the other side has an AM1000 reactor. It's a constant battle trying to equalize the gas flow but high filter return flow helps to churn the water so the tank doesn't do too badly. The regulator is a Malaysian AquaticMagick knockoff el cheapo model. A "Y" connector splits the gas to either side.

The neighbors call me "Sasquatch" due my large carbon footprint. A 25 kilo bottle from the BOC lasts me about 6-8 weeks but I think that's really due to the inefficiency of the diffusers.

Lighting is via the ASL T5 Compact Flourescent system which use gull wing reflectors. This is because the two canopy doors are a bit flimsy and low profile so I had to keep the weight low. The ballasts sit below the tank and the cables run down the back. There are a total of 9 banks of 55 watt CF bulbs distributed along the length and I want to add another two 24 watt bulbs, one at each end because it's uneven and too dark in the corners. Can you see how dark it is on the left? Funnily enough, there is some P. helferi growing at the extreme lower left. Go figure... :rolleyes:


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Ray

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ceg4048 said:
The neighbors call me "Sasquatch" due my large carbon footprint. A 25 kilo bottle from the BOC lasts me about 6-8 weeks but I think that's really due to the inefficiency of the diffusers.
<musing> I wonder how much energy is expended to get 25kg of CO2 into a bottle and delivered to Clive's door... :?
With 9*55w I hope you signed up for "green" electricity ;) From the ambient light in that startup photo it almost looks like if you omitted the backdrop you could grow the whole tank on daylight! I wonder if the plants could adapt to the varied British sunlight periods?

Then the summer temperatures, phenomenal CO2 consumption, unique flow patterns - its like "this tank should never exist" - you're breaking every rule in the book from location through to <shocked tones> adding Nitrogen and Phosphorous. Its not natural Clive :lol:
 

ceg4048

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Hey Ray, I actually did try the sunlight scenario but it was too uncontrollable. The spectral energy of the sun is way over the top so the CO2 requirements on a sunny day was beyond belief (last August was really sunny). Also it required something like 80% water changes 2X-3X per week otherwise diatom algae could not be held in check. Cloudy days weren't too bad. Besides all that, aesthetically it just looked awful. In the morning you'd be looking into the suns glare and in the afternoon there'd be this eerie yellow cast. Much better control and visual appeal with the canopy filled with T5's but there is still a lot of ambient sunlight streaming through the front glass which I reckon adds at least another 200 watts or so equivalent. That's probably why the D. diandra and P. helferi on the left do as well as they do even though they are in a dark corner. I'd love to get my hands on a PAR meter to take some measurements...

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Ray

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I guess that makes sense - in a pond at least light only enters through the top, you've got the sides as well. The green diatoms would cut the light getting to the plants and reduce your CO2 requirements but it wouldn't look good!

I guess you'd need a PAR meter on the bottom of your tank linked to some kind of automatic blinds on the windows. :wideyed: I'm getting way off topic so I'd better stop!
 

beeky

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Also from an aesthetics point of view, if sunlight were the main light source I expect the plants would grow towards the side and not upwards. Might make the whole thing look a bit 'bent'.
 

ceg4048

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More stems are available if you guys had bad luck getting them going. :D

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LondonDragon

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ceg4048 said:
More stems are available if you guys had bad luck getting them going. :D
Cheers,
Mine are doing great Clive, now all the leaves underneath are always full of bubbles, pearling time ;)
From all the stems you sent about 25% melted but the rest are doing very well.
Many thanks for the great plant and recommend to anyone :)
 
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