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superfly724
06-18-2010, 05:21 PM
I'm planning on creating a Tanganyika Biotope and I wanted to include some Vallisneria in the tank. I've never dealt with any live plants before so I'm not sure what would be required. I'll be using sand as a substrate. I guess my main question is what kind of lighting do I need? Will 10k bulbs do alright, or should I buy something else? Also, do I need to prune them or anything like that? Unless there's someone close by, I'll probably be getting them from Aquariumplants.com since they sell 10 plants for like $8.

Rahnk
06-18-2010, 10:25 PM
I think it is interesting that with all the great plant people we have Val. in any form shows up at auctions very infrequently. Is it hard to grow or slow growing or just not that interesting? I'd like to try some Italian Val. if anyone has any.

Chris Noto
06-19-2010, 03:21 PM
There is a significant biological reason that we don't see much Vallisneria hereabouts.

A google search on "vallisneria carbonate" (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&pwst=1&&sa=X&ei=SRQdTPW6LYH_8Aa6lbH-Cw&ved=0CBIQvwUoAQ&q=vallisneria+carbonate&spell=1) yields this, among many others: FAQs on Vallisneria Plants for Aquariums (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/plantedtkssubwebindex/valfaqs.htm)


I can tell you from personal experience that soft water ... is lethal to Vallisneria. They die practically overnight in such conditions. As well as CO2, Vallisneria removes carbonate hardness from water as a source of carbon...
I can testify to this from my own experience. I'd grown Vallisneria since I was ten years old, in the Midwest, the Memphis, Tennessee area, and South Florida, and had known it as one of the unkillable, easiest grown beginners plants. Then, a few years ago, I grabbed a nice bunch of a dwarf Val out of the canal across the street from my dad's house in Plantation, Florida, washed it, and carried it home wrapped in some newsprint. It looked great for a few weeks, but then melted away to nothing. Right next to other plants that were thriving. In our lovely, near-to-distilled Atlanta area water. I was baffled, and really upset with myself for a while, then filed it away under "M" for "Mysterious."

Thanks for reminding me. Now I can let go of that irritation. And, if and when I give Vals another try in our water, I'll make sure that I've added some carbonate hardness in the water. ;)

superfly724
06-19-2010, 03:39 PM
So, if kept in hard water meant to replicate the conditions of the rift lakes, it would be fine?

sandyd
06-19-2010, 08:35 PM
Yes Super,,,,,a lot of people who have the rift lake cichlids put vals in their tanks....

Eric
06-19-2010, 10:10 PM
Just to play the devil's advocate: I have to say that I have no problems whatsoever with the 4 species of Vals. that I keep. Granted, they grow slowly, but they never melt. Two of them I've had for about ten years :o

Chris Noto
06-21-2010, 04:49 PM
Just to play the devil's advocate: I have to say that I have no problems whatsoever with the 4 species of Vals. that I keep.
I'm always glad to have another voice in the conversation! Which Vals are you keeping, Eric?


Granted, they grow slowly, but they never melt.
Now there's something I've never heard of! My experience with Vals, until this last time, was of startlingly rapid growth, both in terms of leaf extension and propagation by runners, even in the lowest tech environments imaginable, beginning with incandescent bulbs, and never, until recently, any nutrients added, other than by way of "used fish food."


Two of them I've had for about ten years :o
That's excellent, consistent work over a long period of time. Kudos.

It sure would be nice to see some photos, though. :)

mike from philly
07-13-2010, 04:53 PM
I found out a good way to kill vals is Excel. I had a bunch that were growing great. They had runners and babys popping up all over. 3 days after heavy dosing with excel, its all melted. :(

zmo63
07-13-2010, 06:05 PM
I found out a good way to kill vals is Excel. I had a bunch that were growing great. They had runners and babys popping up all over. 3 days after heavy dosing with excel, its all melted. :(
I've found (the hard way) that this is true for most grassy plants.