Tissue culture or potted plants (crypts specifically)?

Surya

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I have a 240 litre tank with the Fluval Roma Plant 3.0, pressurised CO2 and EI fertilisation.

I want to get some more crypts - C.balansae v.crispatula probably, plus a couple of smaller ones. I don't know whether to go for the potted version or the Tropica 1-2 grow version as they're available in both.

The only in vitro plant I've had before has been the Tropica 1-2 grow C.wendtii green. It has done amazingly well, which makes me lean towards tissue culture, but maybe it's just because it is a naturally easy to grow plant!

I would get the plants from Aquarium Gardens i.e. held emersed, so their potted plants are probably snail free aren't they? So it mainly comes down to which would thrive better, are better value etc. I've heard crypts often melt so if they're going to lose their leaves anyway might tissue culture be better, more cost effective with more smaller plants etc?

Thanks in advance!
 

Conort2

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I find tissue culture crypts take ages to get going and can also melt quite readily when first planted. For stems I’d recommended 1-2 grow all day however in regards to crypts I find potted plants a better option. Saying that I did have a low tech set up at the time rather than high tech and they did eventually establish and grow large it just took ages compared to the pitted version. Obviously added co2 will speed this process up.

cheers

conor
 

2born4

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Same as above for me... some plants I’d always go for in tissue cultures but I wouldn’t for crypts... I find they melt away too easily. Plus its easier to choose your placement with a more established plant.
 

alto

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I’ve had great success with Tropica 1-2-Grow C wendtii green and C undulatas red, both are easy, fast growing crypts, and like most tissue culture versions, are great value in terms of plant number

In contrast C crispatula is slower growing and seems to establish much more slowly, I’ve still had good results from the 1-2-Grow but TNA tissue culture version doesn’t have anywhere near the same plant density as the above (2 Crypt sp.), in contrast the TDK C crispatula pot version has significantly more stems (despite costing more than the 1-2-Grow cup it’s still much better value for money)
I suggest checking with AG as to what they observe in current stock

C crispatula does seem more sensitive to melt, but new leafs appear almost immediately (as with most crypts)
 

alto

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have a 240 litre tank with the Fluval Roma Plant 3.0, pressurised CO2 and EI fertilisation
Given the height of this tank, I’d make sure new crypts are not overshadowed (even with the Plant 3.0 Substrate PAR is relatively low) - if you want to plant the new crypts in more shaded areas, I’d go with the pot versions instead as these older plants will have more energy reserves to establish root and suitable leaf growth
 

Kalum

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this was something I had always wondered before trying things out for myself and what is mentioned above is good info

I've had no crypt melt from in-vitro at all and they are nice and healthy but are VERY slow growing (willisii - nevilii and lucens) and also parva has done well, i'd probably go for potted if i was to again

bolbitis in vitro (normal and difformis) is doing fine but VERY slow growing as well so in the same category as crypts for me

buce i've had mixed experience with from in vitro with it doing well at the start but suffers a bit of melt after while (but buce has a tendancy to have a mind of it's own at times anyway)

stem plants I don't think matters as much and you'll have success with either most of the times, early maintenance of in vitro stems like rotala can be a pain if not easily accessible though

one of my favourite in vitro is riccardia chamedryfolia, other mosses can be hit or miss depending if it's fast or slow growing
 

Oldguy

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I never have the balls to cut all the leaves off.

Interesting, but like you on both counts. Never really had crypt melt other than old leaves die back. Melt can occur if you you radially change conditions once they have become established.

Have tried to thin established plants in order to introduce stem plants but crypts always grow back even from small fragments left in the substrate, so the video is right. Perhaps they are aquatic dandelions.

To answer the original question I would go for potted plants. Less fuss.
 

Surya

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Thanks all. I took the advice and bought two lots of the Crypt Balansae potted version, and took a punt on the 1-2 grow Crypt undulatus red for the foreground. Will clear out overshadowing plants so they get decent light. Should arrive tomorrow. Will do an update in a couple of months!

I might pick up a cheap potted Crypt from my local P@H and do a Jurijs on it, just for science's sake ;) I've only experienced Crypt melt when I started using liquid carbon a while ago (they seem to be unbothered by it now as I still use it from time to time - which supports the adaptation theory), but the emersed leaves have always eventually gone skanky and died. But I'll keep the Balansae leaves on for now.

Here's the tank currently - all the Crypt wendtii green came from a single 1-2 grow pot.

IMG_20191114_193329165.jpg
 
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alto

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about the melting in general.
my conclusion was that I have NO idea :rolleyes:

I kept a lot of crypts in lower light tanks, they would be looking absolutely splendid and then suddenly melt - slightly :wideyed: or totally :eek:
Usually this would happen after a water change - except it would be no different than the water change a few days previous (longest ever between water changes was 7 days), water parameter check at home and water supplier page would show nothing untoward (no roadworks etc)
Regrowth was always quick, and sometimes tank would go almost a year without any crypt melt

As I moved to higher light tanks, I just use MC for easy carpet plant

When planting crypts, I usually remove most emerse leaves, trim roots etc
Crypt balansae I generally leave untrimmed - it’s just too hard to cut back those lovely long crinkly leaves
 

Hanuman

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A few days ago I came across someone that posted that exact same video on a facebook group I am member of. Dennis Wong dropped a comment. In my opinion, his answer to that post made more sense than what Juris is doing in that video although what he does works. I am quoting Dennis:

For easing cryptocoryne transition stress it is better to emphasize on providing a good environment - this means having good levels of CO2/O2/nutrients, planting in matured, cycled tanks. Slightly lower temps and medium rather than super high light also reduce incidence of melting as it slows down plant metabolism/adapation speed. For many crypt species, the transition can happen smoothly with no loss of leaves. In wet emersed samples, some leaves will convert fully to submerged growth without dropping at all. Emersed grown leaves can be healthy underwater for months. Cutting off the entire top portions like in the vid - you will lose some sensitive species. for sure - especially if they were not in robust form to start with. It only works with the easier species that will recover with just the rootzone intact - this method just forces the plants to produce submerged leaves immediately, it doesn't 'help the transition'.
 

Tim Harrison

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The main problem with in vitro is the lack of roots. Aside from getting them to stay put (usually they have to be half buried) the plant will take time growing roots before it starts to develop foliage, maybe why they take a while to get going. However, potted crypts can also take a while to get going as well, they can sulk when disturbed.

As for melt, it's perhaps a reaction to disturbance and/or changing conditions; different parameters and maybe even something in the water we are not aware of. A single species can have several leaf morphologies which usually respond to variations in light, CO2, water parameters and competition etc, so I reckon old leaves are shed in favour of a more efficient structure.

Jurijs' method to avoid melt is a bit extreme but it works okay. However, you have to take in to account that he's a pro and is used to setting up tanks for private clients etc and doesn't necessarily want the hassle of coming back to trim and explain why the new plants are apparently dying.

Personally, I just plant as is, it allows you to position them for final effect better, gives instant impact and avoids over shading by hardscape and other plants that may overgrow the crypts while they are growing new leaves back. Also melt isn't inevitable, quite often I don't get any, more of a gradual replacement of old for new leaves.
 

Oldguy

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I'm very curious of your thoughts guys about the melting in general.

Also melt isn't inevitable, quite often I don't get any, more of a gradual replacement of old for new leaves.

I use an inert substrate. The older type of aquarium gravel always had sea shell fragments in it and was OK for low tech tanks.(As a lad there was only low tech). Crypts grew slowly but were immortal and you bragged out having some. These days I use inert silica gravel over a UG system and dose the water column as per E.I. and with CO2. Crypts grow well and require thinning out from time to time.

Heavy handed dosing with chelated iron & traces can cause some melt of old leaves as can an increase in light intensity but as @Tim Harrison says its more of a replacement of old leaves with new growth that can take advantage of the change in environment. Very high light intensity will stress crypts.

Sorry I have no note worthy insights into this phenomenon. In their natural environment they would usually grow emersed with periods of inundation and it could be that at times these plants just die back and rest.
 

Mick.Dk

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Cryptocoryne are not a "uniform" plant - different species will (ofcourse) have different preferances, therefore reacting different.
We tend to think of C. wendtii and the numorus variations of this species, when discussing Cryptocoryne. Likely because they are very awailable and very easy to grow, immidiately growing on, when re-planted.
Species like C. usteriana, C. crisp. balanceae will need time to develop their massive root-structure before starting to grow large, after that they produce new plants far away from original plant. The true C. parva takes forever to get going - and will always grow relatively slow (root tabs help a lot on this specie). C. cordata and C. nurii 'rosen Maiden' are slow starters, but grow quite invasive when established, C. bec. 'petchii' will have very varying colour and size, depending on light and C. pontederifolia can decide to dramatically change leaf-size if parametres are changed in the tank........... just to mention some differences in some species.
It is therefore unlikely, to find a single, specific reason for the melt of Cryptocorynes. In general, though, and for wendtii-types especially, I agree that Cryptocorynes are some of the most adaptable aquarium plants around. I also agree, from my own experiences, that cryptocoryne-melt are probaply always connected to changes in environment - be it changes we know of, or not. It seems the strategy of the plants is, to produce new leaves constructed for the present surroundings, rather than adapting existing leaves (which might not be possible).
My own approach, when planting (mature) Cryptocoryne into a tank - be it old or new - is to remove all existing leaves totally from very base, leaving only the youngest 2 leaves of each rosette. The stored energy of the plant will then be spent on producing new leaves. This goes for both submerse and emerse grown plants. In my experience submerse plants are not more tolerant, than emerse ones. Chance of melt is statistically the same in my experience. For in-vitro grown Cryptocorynes, I try to divide as much as possible, without damaging the plantlets too muck, thoroughly rinse off gel (often quite difficult from crypt roots) and remove any damaged or unhealthy leaves. I plant such material quite deep (as I do for most in-vitro plants). In general, I find introduction of a root tabs straight after planting in an aquarium, very benefitial to the Cryptocorynes I have worked with.
Hope this is of some help.
 
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Not much to add to what has already been said as the melt following a chamge in conditikns is my theory also... though I believe balansae is grown submerged as it doesn't grow so well out of water due to structure/length of the leaves.
 

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