Maintenance of Pogostemon helferi

vauxhallmark

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Hi guys,

how do you maintain this plant? It looks like a rosette forming plant, but it is actually a stem plant.

I've had it in my new tank for about 5 weeks, and it's been very well behaved, in fact ridiculously easy to keep looking good (I thought it was difficult, can't think where I got that from).

However, I can see that as it grows, it is gradually going to get taller, as the new leaves are always fractionally higher than the previous ones. If the older leaves eventually die off, there would be a visible stem, which wouldn't look good. What do people do to keep the plant looking good when that happens?

My guess would be, cut the top off, replant it as a cutting, and leave the old stem to form side shoots. Is that right, or does anyone have any other hints and tips? Pull the whole thing out and just replant the top?

Thanks,

Mark
 

vauxhallmark

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Wow, thanks for the quick replies!

Hopefully won't need to for a while, but good to know now.

Cheers,

Mark
 

Oz_planter

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Hi all,

I thought i'd continue asking questions on this thread, instead of asking a new one...

I've had P. helferi in my tank for about 3 months now, started with about 6, now have about 60+, but it isn't looking as good as I thought it would...

I got this plant as a foreground plant as I don't really like (nor have enough light for) glossastigma or riccia, but mine looks a bit... crap...

It grows well, admittedly not as compact as I would like, though I think this has to do with the amount of light (I have an Interpet CF with 2x54 watt and 2x 24 watt tubes) or possibly the photoperiod (2x4 hours with a 2 hour siesta)

But it just appears to be a mass of dead leaves with green tops to them... They have shot off little plantletts to the sides and runners everywhere but it's just not as colourfull as I thought it would be...

I was wondering if anyone could give me their experiece with this plant and how to get it looking it's best - without manually trimming the dead leaves off every waterchange?

Thanks.

Justin.
 

ceg4048

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Assuming your nutrient dosing is adequate, add more CO2.
Browning and deterioration of leaves is a classic symptom of either poor CO2, poor flow or both...


Cheers,
 

GreenNeedle

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Im impressed Ceg.

Thats some lush and very compact Pogostemon Helferi you got there.

Mine is a little more leggy as expected but its also a more lettuce type colour.

AC
 

ceg4048

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Cheers Andy,
This is another plant which responds well to Easycarbo/Excel if CO2 injection increase is impractical. If you can get good flow to the substrate you can deliver nutrients/CO2 properly and they will appreciate it.

Cheers,
 

Themuleous

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I guess the shape of the leaves i.e. concave and crinkled, don't help with water flow or at least makes is tricky to get the water to flow right down 'into' the leaf.

Sam
 

vauxhallmark

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Oz_planter said:
Hi all,

I've had P. helferi in my tank for about 3 months now, started with about 6, now have about 60+, but it isn't looking as good as I thought it would...

Justin.
You're obviously doing something right, if you're plants have increased from 6 to 60 in three months!

Sorry to hear you're not happy with the look of them. Try what ceg4048 suggested and post your results.

Don't forget to take a photo now, so you have a before shot to compare with!

Best,

Mark
 

GreenNeedle

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Well these are mine. You have to bear in mind they have only been in there 2 weeks and for 1 week they were shaded by a Fluval 3+ which was helping remove some cloudy water caused by the substrate disturbance from removal of it's predecessors.

There are 2 Tropica pots in that patch!!!
helf.jpg


Hopefully they will grow as well as Ceg's have

AC
 

LondonDragon

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Mine was doing well but now is dying off :( my CO2 its at the max I can have for the fish and flow is pretty good as I have the koralia pushing flow right into the glosso and helferi! run out of ideas now!
 

JamesM

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LondonDragon said:
Mine was doing well but now is dying off :( my CO2 its at the max I can have for the fish and flow is pretty good as I have the koralia pushing flow right into the glosso and helferi! run out of ideas now!
Same problem here now too... was doing amazing, but with my drop checkers yellow and flow great, Pete Helferi is melting away :?
 

ceg4048

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JAmesM said:
LondonDragon said:
Mine was doing well but now is dying off :( my CO2 its at the max I can have for the fish and flow is pretty good as I have the koralia pushing flow right into the glosso and helferi! run out of ideas now!
Same problem here now too... was doing amazing, but with my drop checkers yellow and flow great, Pete Helferi is melting away :?
Hmm...Well it suggests that flow or concentration at the substrate location may not be as good as it should be. First things first - had either of you guys gotten brave and increased your lighting levels? And, are you absolutely sure you are at your respective injection/Excel dosing limits? I know it's difficult to troubleshoot when you've got critters and other sensitive plants in there that might react negatively to some arbitrary maneuver, but one easy thing you can do is to lower the light for a few weeks. That is probably the only "innocuous" thing that you can do. It always depresses me to have to shut down some bulbs because everything seems so dim and boring after you've gotten accustomed to Las Vegas level lighting but it's your only option at this point unless you want to up your flow rates to George Farmer levels...

Cheers,
 

Oz_planter

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Hi all,

I'm going to do a before and after shot... I've already started looking at the 900lph powerhead on AquaEssentials, admittedly I don't have good flow, well not as good as most of you guys...

As for the other comments that people have been making and correct me if i'm wrong... But I treat pogostemon like Blyxa Japonica in that I vaccuum the crap out of it during water changes... Ceg, please correct me if I'm giving bad advise, but i found my Blyxa just took off... i would take in about 10-15 pieces every two weeks to my local fish shop in exchange for credit... But I have found that the pogostemon collects a lot of crap at it's roots...
 

GreenNeedle

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I tend to ignore the plants at water change as being lazy I let the water out from the filter hose (10% change.) My Blyxia didn't mind though.

Was one of the reasons its not in the tank anymore. Was prolific stuff. Will see how this pogostomen goes seeing as it is directly under the filter intake.

AC
 

ceg4048

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Yeah, agree with Oz_planter. I'm a real vacuuming junkie and the P. helferi gets unruly as a result of it's prodigious capacity for root production and interconnecting rhizomes. If left unchecked it can start to look like a mangrove swamp which then harbors algae. These appendages trap detritus and block flow so after a while one needs to thin the grove out by pulling the tangle up, separating individual plantets, trimming the excess roots and then replanting.

This is how messy it can get. Don't underestimate the level of biomass, even though it's a carpet plant.


Plantlet separated, trimmed and ready for replant.


Replanted section.


A few months later do it all over again. Honestly it baffles me why JamesM and LD are having difficulty because this plant has become somewhat of a nuisance, although admittedly I don't keep a lot of delicate, panty-waist fauna so I'm pretty much free to crank the CO2 to Rambo (or even Mongo) levels...



Cheers,
 

Ray

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Here is mine:
CIMG1566.jpg


Not the best photo but the point is this is a low tech tank, I dose TPN+ and Excel once per week and it grows rampantly chocking the foreground (there is some crypt parva too, but it never had a chance). 25l, 13w CF light, 250lph HOB turnover, huge bioload - about 25 guppies. Ever two weeks I trim the tops and stick them in my high tech tank where, in comparison, nothing much happens. Two weeks later it is back to where it was, pre trimming.

So this plant is a bit of an enigma to me - there is something slightly unusual about its requirements and CO2 isn't the issue.

But Clive, yours is amazing - a credit to your fanaticism ;)
 

Oz_planter

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Two weeks in and there are some good and bad results...

Well, I have been following Ceg's dosing regime for a little over two weeks now and there have been some good and some bad...

The good, well the P. helferi appear to be going green again! They are not all totally back, but they are well on their way, which is great! There is also some improvement in the crypts with some even gaining a different leave shape... Strange... The stem plants are also looking a bit better with the Myriophyllum slowly picking up.

The bad? BBA and the stringy algae has started to appear... I'm guessing it's either too little flow or too little CO2... I am running at 1200lph as I haven't got around to getting the powerhead and the powerhead i'm using is only 200lph, so that may be the problem... It is mostly on the E. tennellus (?) at the front of the tank which is where the powerhead is pointed... This may be a stupid question, but I have positioned the p/head really low in the tank i.e. it is sucking water from the gravel-line, could this be the problem??

The CO2 indicator is light green at all times, I have even increased not only the duration that the CO2 is running for, but also the bubble count, as I noticed that the plants were using more (the indicator was not getting as dark)

Any suggestions anyone?

BTW I have taken pics from before I started the new regime, I thought i'd put them up with the 'new and improved' pics...

Thanks.

Justin.
 
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