Having a hard time planting this

PAcanis

I have what I believe is Rotala Macrandra - Set of 2 Bunches
At least from the picture in the link. When I Google it I am taken to pages showing a plant with large red leaves.

Anyway, it came in a group with a rubber band holding them together, but no roots. I took the band off and have tried several times to plant the clump in my substrate, but with no roots it is a no-go. I cannot get the substrate to hold the bunch down without several stalks drifting off. BTW, this is in a new tank I am still scaping, so I'm working in water.

Is there a trick to this? Should I have left the band on? Should they have roots?

Which leads me to another question.
Where are all these youtubers finding tiny plants they can simply pluck into the substrate and watch grow over several months?
I specifically ordered from an online source (the one in the link) because I thought I would be getting younger plants or clippings. Even my dwarf hairgrass was 5" long. And that was supposed to be my carpeting...

It seems to me a much smaller plant that hasn't been growing in another tank might not only adapt faster, but will be easier to have stay put without the long growth wanting to float and pull it out of the substrate.

I need some help.
 

TClare

The Rotala doesn’t need to have roots, it will soon grow them if you can get them to stay in the substrate. You are right, it is easier to plant if the stems are not too long to start with. So if the stems you have got are very long you could trim them and just use the top part. Sometimes if I can’t get stem plants to stay put I gently put a small stone over the bottom part to hold them in place (being careful not to break the stems) until they form roots, which they do very quickly.
 

awilkinson871

My guess is that you have plants that come from cuttings. It will take time for them to grow roots. Usually with stem plants you need to put each individual stem into the substrate about 1-1.5 inches apart to avoid crowding. You probably need a good 2" think substrate to hold it. You may have to attach some plant weights to them or weigh them down with rocks until they grow roots. I have never had this plants but reading about it makes it seem pretty tough to grow. It needs low Ph, high light, good fertilization, and ideally co2 injection. It is very fragile and easy to destroy. In other words the opposite of what I have in my tank...lol.
 

PAcanis

Thank you for the input.
They are about 8-10 inches long. And cutting the tops off and planting is a great idea! I have no green thumb skills, which I'm finding is quite a hindrance with my sudden love of planted tanks, lol.

I also read they were hard to grow... which I was not happy to read. These were supposed to be easy care low tech plants.

Will they grow roots floating in my left over plant tank (that I'm fertilizing)?
Or do they need planted to grow roots?
 

awilkinson871

I think there are rotala types that are easy, just not this one. Most of them like soft water and mine is really hard so I haven't tried. They should grow roots as long as they have nutrients. I would trim them about 3-4 inches for the best chance. Pretty sure they wont get/stay red unless you inject Co2 like most plants.
For easy plants- anubias, java fern, amazon sword, water wisteria, hornwort, anacharis. I just added ludwigia repens and it seems be doing well.
 

StarGirl

I have Rotala Indica and they are doing really well so far in my hard water. They are just green though. The Lud Repens didnt do so well for me.
 

TClare

I have some Rotala macandra in my planted tank, it is healthy but grows slowly compared with other stem plants, but I wouldn’t say it is difficult. I have soft water, medium lighting and no CO2. And yes it has lost the red colour, just the leaves at the top are pink. It may produce roots while floating, but it would be best planted if possible.
 

PAcanis

Thank you for the information.

I think I'll trim some and leave it in my left over plant tank. Then I'll try to plant it again when I do a water change.
 

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