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Talk to me about growing hygrophila pinnatifida low tech?

Ajm200

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19 Feb 2010
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522
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London
I love the look of hygrophila pinnatifida but I really do not want to use co2. I’ve seen a few videos showing people adding it to low tech setups on YouTube but they rarely show the tank again or talk about their failures.

Have any of you had success growing it low tech? I have fairly high light levels for low tech. Far more than I thought I’d get away with. The tank has no obvious algae

I can grow Java ferns easily but have never had success with bolbitis. At best it barely grows but usually it just melts.

I suspect if I’m going to need in-vitro plants to have any success with pinnatifida. Is it prone to melt like other epiphytes?

The new tank will be expensive to plant if I buy all the plants new so I’m using this 120l and my shrimp tank to grow out the plants I would like later. The tanks are messy, jungle style as I replant cuttings where there’s space. If necessary I will set up another second had tank as a grow out second tank later

Setup details.
Tank: 120l float glass tank
Filter: FX4 with reduced output
Light: Cheap no name RGB full spectrum led light running at 50% for 12 hours a day (possibly 40w)
Substrate: large pea shingle, topped with John Innes No3 and capped with fine gravel
Ferts. EI salts mixed as per aquarium plant foods recipe. 1 ml of each on alternate days
Water changes: About 5 litres a day after removing any surface scum. 30l once a week
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate around 20ppm
London hard water
PH 7.5

lots of epiphyte plants, S repens, mini hairgrass, rotala, wisteria, various stems rescued from my 500 l that I got rid of
Far too many fish and snails. (This is a temporary tank while work is done to the house. Will be moving everything to a 4ft tank in the future)

Thanks in advance for any advice

(apologies for any typos. I’m using Siri dictation and trying to correct any errors as I go)









 
Last edited:

Hufsa

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22 Aug 2019
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Norway
A bunch of us have been dutifully failing to grow it in low tech, ive done multiple tries myself. I would be very impressed if you can grow it, and would want to know your secret 😁
"They" say the best chances are if you start with pinnatifida that is already growing under water, emersed to submersed is apparently quite hard to transition the plant. I dont know where invitro falls on this spectrum. Invitro plants dont have a lot of reserves to fall back on though.

Ill look through my personal plant database to see if I can find anything that looks a bit like it, but it has a distinct look, so no promises :geek:
 

shangman

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13 Jul 2020
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London
I've tried to grow it in low tech in three tanks. It did ok in one, which was 100% rainwater and quite high light, I planted it into the soil. It grew but was very spindly in my second, which was 90% rainwater and lower light, and it was grown as an epiphyte. It dropped dead in a few weeks my hard tap water low tech.

If you can manage to keep in soft water, ideally with high light and avoid algae and have soft water it is worth a go, I would buy some from a user here so it has the best chance. I would probably add it once the tank is mature and more stable too.
 

Sarpijk

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11 Jan 2015
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645
Hi , I too have seen some MD videos where he uses Pinnatifida ( and Rotala Macrandra) but I rarely see a follow up. There is video on YouTube where it grows in a low tech tank and I also recall reading on some forum that you have to plant it in soil to be successful.

Even in high tech tanks I had trouble with it melting after a while. In vitro plants where the most successful choice.

In case you try it keep us posted!
 

Ajm200

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19 Feb 2010
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522
Location
London
Hi , I too have seen some MD videos where he uses Pinnatifida ( and Rotala Macrandra) but I rarely see a follow up. There is video on YouTube where it grows in a low tech tank and I also recall reading on some forum that you have to plant it in soil to be successful.

Even in high tech tanks I had trouble with it melting after a while. In vitro plants where the most successful choice.

In case you try it keep us posted!
I believe he’s in the Devon where the tap water is very soft. Very different to the liquid limescale they pump through London taps. We have ridiculously hard water here
 

sarahtermite

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9 Nov 2010
Messages
203
Location
South Devon
I had success growing it in my low tech tank (very soft, Devon water), essentially just scrambling through the wood and other plants (ie, not planted in substrate). It was growing in the upper half of the tank, so better light. I took some and glued it to a rock and placed it at substrate level towards the back of the tank, and it promptly died :( .
 

Garuf

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30 Oct 2007
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Copenhagen
“Better” light I think has only given you half the picture, what you’re also doing by it being closer to the surface is putting it in an area with better access to co2.

I’ve grown it a few times in low tech, it was a weed in my vampire crab tank. The thing common to all the low tech tanks though has been that its been in very shallow tanks, sub 20cm of water and was already pre adapted to aquatic life.
 

Aqua360

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15 Feb 2016
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paisley
Just on this thread, when I grew it in my 10l, I just poked it in between some wood, and left it. I dosed ferts, and water changed 50% per week.

I have soft water, 070 TDS out of the tap. I think it might just be one of those plants that you either get lucky with or don't, cause I can't grow dwarf hairgrass to save myself, even with co2, and I see people growing swathes of the stuff in the lowest tech 😂
 

John q

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Lancashire
I have soft water, 070 TDS out of the tap. I think it might just be one of those plants that you either get lucky with or don't,
Tried it a couple of times in low tech and high tech and failed miserably, also have soft tapwater but that didn't persuade it to flourish either. I suspect there will be people growing it well in hard and soft water.

Agree with the above remark about you either get lucky with it or you don't.

Would also agree that trying to get a plant thats already adapted to life under water is going to be your best bet of success in low tech, rather than getting emersed plants or invitro.
 

Aqua360

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15 Feb 2016
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paisley
Tried it a couple of times in low tech and high tech and failed miserably, also have soft tapwater but that didn't persuade it to flourish either. I suspect there will be people growing it well in hard and soft water.

Agree with the above remark about you either get lucky with it or you don't.

Would also agree that trying to get a plant thats already adapted to life under water is going to be your best bet of success in low tech, rather than getting emersed plants or invitro.

The plant I used was already submersed, so this likely played a key role as you mentioned
 

Wookii

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13 Nov 2019
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Nottingham
I 'kind of' grew it in my low tech for a while. It would put out plenty of runners, but once the leaves got to a certain size, they'd brown and decay. As @Garuf has said, it only really grew in the higher light area of my tank, close to the surface agitation of the filter outlet. I think it's CO2 requirements are higher than most areas of a low tech tank can provide. In my high tech tank, it grows like a weed.
 

Ajm200

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19 Feb 2010
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London
Just on this thread, when I grew it in my 10l, I just poked it in between some wood, and left it. I dosed ferts, and water changed 50% per week.

I have soft water, 070 TDS out of the tap. I think it might just be one of those plants that you either get lucky with or don't, cause I can't grow dwarf hairgrass to save myself, even with co2, and I see people growing swathes of the stuff in the lowest tech 😂
I have all sorts of hairgrass even the really tiny one growing in a dirted tank under an IKEA desk lamp so I think the water parameters are a huge difference.
 

Ajm200

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19 Feb 2010
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522
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London
We are away too much to go high tech and have the high light, high ferts and CO2 growth and maintenance requirements. I have a friend who will tip premeasured fish food into the tank but isn’t going to start messing with ferts for me
 
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