Can't Grow Floating Plants

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by mattgirl, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

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    So far I have tried dwarf water lettuce, red root floaters and frogbit. I receive beautiful plants but before long the plant starts losing leaves and before long all I have left are babies. Lots of babies but they never grow into a plant that looks like the original plants.

    The only exception is the frogbit. It still looks like the original plant but the roots refuse to get much longer than maybe 1 inch for a while and then it even stops that and the leaves start melting. I have only had the frogbit for a short time. I expect it to stop growing and just give me babies like the other two have done.

    I corral the plants so can pretty well keep them contained and out of the flow of water.

    I thought maybe it was because my water is soft and very low in minerals. The TDS out of the tap is 21. I now add equilibrium to get them up to 100 in my main tank. I have them up to 125 in both the 10 gallon and 5.5 gallon tank and even higher in the 2.5 gallon bowl. I have been experimenting with different levels hoping for better results.

    All but the main tank (55 gallon) are open top. I do leave the lid open on this tank to keep the heat down. The 55 and the 5.5 gallon have led lights. The other two just get natural light through a north facing window.

    I use Thrive root tabs for root feeding plants and dose with Thrive liquid ferts for the water feeders. The nitrates in all tanks usually get up to at least 40 between weekly water changes. Part of that is from the Thrive.

    I set up a big sterlite storage tote outside on a covered deck to see if more light would help. The DWL and RRF produce tons of new plants but never grow into full size plants and no roots. I actually have to constantly remove handfuls of baby plants.

    Does anyone have any idea as to why I can't grow these plants? I hate to just give up but It seems I have tried everything I have read about taking care of them for over a year now. I am finally thinking about just giving up on them but I really want to see those beautiful roots in my tanks. :(
     
  2. kallililly1973

    kallililly1973Fishlore VIPMember

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    Sorry I don’t have an answer for floaters I happened to get 5-6 pieces of frogbit in a bag when I got shrimp a while back and put it in my 10 but it wasn’t doin much and I was down to about 2-3 pieces so I put it in my outside tank and being in full sunlight it has absolutely exploded so I recently added a couple pinches to all my tanks to see how it’ll do... but from my short time having frogbit now that it’s overwhelming my 29 the roots are still only 1-1.5” long so I don’t think they get extremely long but could be totally wrong.. hope u find the solution... @Vishaquatics he could possibly help us out with it under leds or indirect sun ... pics attached are from about 1.5 months ago to now
     

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    mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

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    I haven't put any of the frogbit outside yet but I will put some of it out there today. I do know both the DWL and RRF do the same out there as they do in my tanks. Tons of babies but no adults.

    Fortunately I am having some success with other plants but I am thinking I am never going to have any success with the floating plants. :(
     
  4. angelcraze

    angelcrazeWell Known MemberMember

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    I think it's pretty normal for plants to adjust to growing in your tank. That might mean they have smaller leaves or don't grow as large. I would keep the babies and let them grow in.

    I grow mostly water lettuce as floating plants, but I'll tell you, it grows much larger in my 90g with bright light. It gets a lot of light at the top. It tends to grow smaller with shorter roots in my 33g. But what I do in the 90g (where it grows really really well), is I take as the baby plants away and keep the larger ones. The large plants are then able to grow even larger. I have to cull (add them to other tanks or compost) water lettuce every single week or it blocks out the lighting.

    Also do you have any pest snails? I don't think you do because your tap water is so soft like mine, but they do like to eat water lettuce roots or dislodge them at least.
     
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    mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

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    I know you are right but I don't think that is the case here. I actually expected a die off when I first got them. Maybe they will never get used to my water. I got my dwarf water lettuce well over a year ago and the red root floaters a short time after that.

    I was blaming it on not enough light. That is one of the reasons I moved some of it to a container outside. It actually gets some morning sun and just normal natural light the rest of the time. I have had it out there for at least 2 months now.

    I would love to actually have even one bigger plant but sadly I haven't had any since I originally got them. Each baby plant grows 3 or 4 tiny leaves and that is where it stops. The leaves are less than 1/4 inch across.

    I was taking several handfuls of it out every few days. I cleaned out most of the babies just yesterday. I am hoping with just having a small handful of them in the container with lots of room to grow will prompt them to start growing instead of just producing more babies.

    I actually do have pest snails in some of my tanks and have seen snails on the plants but don't have them in all of the tanks. There are none in the outside container. I get the same lack of growth in all tanks. :(

    this is what they look like...

    IMG_1939.JPG
     
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    mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

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  7. angelcraze

    angelcrazeWell Known MemberMember

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    mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

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    Thank you. I don't have to be driven. I am already there :D

    I can't imagine how that is possible though. I know the big beautiful plants I got were definitely DWL and RRF. Maybe there was a tiny hitchhiker stuck to one of the original plants and I missed it. Maybe the parents died off and I was left with a hitchhiker? I guess that is possible.

    That photo does kinda look like what I have but still not the same. This has really had me scratching my head for a very long time. I have looked at hundreds of photos trying to understand what is going on and finally decided it was time to get y'all to help me.

    With these each little plant grows 4 or 5 leaves along a central stem. Some grow up to 6 or 7 leaves but no more and never any bigger. They are very prolific and seem to double in numbers in just a few days.

    I do think you may be on to something though. I was looking through some of the other photos on that site and there are some that do very closely resemble what I have. Looks like I do not have what I though I had and had to have had a Salvinia minima hitchhiker.

    Mystery solved. Thank you from the bottom of my heart :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  9. angelcraze

    angelcrazeWell Known MemberMember

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    Well the hitchhiker is thriving. That is def not water lettuce. Frogbit is hairless. Salvinia grows in longer chains like that. Well for what it's worth, I really like salvinia.
     
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    mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

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    I might like it too if it weren't so prolific or I hadn't been trying to cultivate my dwarf water lettuce :D

    I am hoping I can get my frogbit healthy. At least I am positive that it truly is frogbit :D

    Let me rephrase that. I was told it was frogbit when I bought it hehehehehehe
     
  11. angelcraze

    angelcrazeWell Known MemberMember

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    Pic of the frogbit?
    It could be the salvinia out competes the water lettuce. Water lettuce is very prolific, but I've never tried salvinia yet to compare prolific-ness.
     
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    mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

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    IMG_1940.JPG

    this is the little bit I have in my 10 gallon experimental tank
     
  13. angelcraze

    angelcrazeWell Known MemberMember

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    That is indeed frogbit ;)

    Do you have any water lettuce left? I'd try growing it separately from the salvinia. It should do very well outside. They can grow really big in the sun.
     
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    mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

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    Sadly, no I don't :( I would love to get more but I am not going to until I am confident I wouldn't just kill it. If I can get the frogbit thriving I should be able to get water lettuce growing for me.

    Remembering back I do remember something that looked different from the big water lettuce plants I got but when I questioned it I was assured it was just a baby water lettuce because that was the only plant growing in the tank it came from. Now I know better.
     
  15. angelcraze

    angelcrazeWell Known MemberMember

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    My water lettuce for you to see
    20190821_144619.
    It grows in a rosette form. Baby plants grow off the mother plant like spider plant babies. If water lettuce is corralled in the light, it should do well. It really shades plants underneath though if you let it go. A great plant to use up nitrates and excess nutrients ;)
     
  16. yinoma2001

    yinoma2001Valued MemberMember

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    I have been unsuccessful with floating plants in my betta tank too (20G long with betta and 10 ember tetras). I use sponge filters and the water movement isn't too much. I also does with fertilizer and have lights right over it. Could it be the lights are too bright ?
     
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    mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

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    that is what mine looked like when I very first got it. Beautiful healthy plants.
     
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    mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

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    I suppose that is possible but I don't think that is the case here since mine didn't do well even with nothing but natural daylight.

    Right now I have some frogbit in several different tanks. Some close to an artificial light source (LED lights), others with just light through a north facing window and I just put some outside to see how it likes that light. Only time will tell if it is going to do well out there.
     
  19. angelcraze

    angelcrazeWell Known MemberMember

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    I think it's more sensitive to temperature. It doesn't like it if it's too cold, although no one on this side of the world would be having that problem this time of year.

    Btw, if you like floating plants but don't like them everywhere, give brazilian pennywort or hydrocotyle vulgaris.
    Google Image Result for https://i.pinimg.com/originals/08/4f/11/084f11fb765ff88b07e6d621417a50c0.jpg
    20150829_003607.
    Brazillian pennywort up top
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
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    mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

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    I agree. Too cold sure isn't happening in my part of the world right now. Weather folks are finally predicting some rain and a tiny bit cooler temps for us this week-end. Poor trees are actually losing leaves from the temps and lack of rain. :(
     
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