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How fast is "fast-growing"?

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Hi all,

 

I realize that this depends on parameters, lighting, and other environmental circumstances, but I was wondering if anyone would care to share their experience with so-called "fast-growing" plants like creeping Charlie, pennywort (if this is in fact fast growing...), and even thinks like wisteria, which my fish have always destroyed/dug up before it had a chance. For my own part, I'm curious about how quickly stemmed plants will establish roots, although I would be interested in any thoughts on carpeting plants... though these are the plants that my fish seem to enjoy destroying the most. 

 

I have a T5-HO light (7,000 K) with a supplemental Finnex LED. I use root tabs and water column fertilizers (Flourish comp and Excel... though I am chaste with the Excel dosing). I also use a neutral sand substrate (Estes "Stoney River" that is both marine and freshwater safe). I'm fishless cycling right now, so the ammonia is around 3-4 ppm and the heat at 82 F, and I am hoping that the plants will have a chance to steel themselves from the fishy onslaught that is coming in a couple of weeks.

 

Thoughts? I am a plant beginner. 

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My plants usually take a couple of weeks to root themselves. It helps a lot if the substrate is deep enough so that they don't fall over. It also helps if your fish ignore your plants :) but if it's going to be a few weeks before you add your fish they should be OK.

The plant I have that has grown the most is dwarf sagittaria ... that thing extended itself all over my tank and is still growing! I also have Anubias nana petite, Anubias barteri diamond, Cryptocoryne wendtii red, lace java fern, Cyperus helferi, red Ludwigia, melon sword and a big rose sword. I use a Marineland Double Bright LED and enriched substrate (Activ-Flora Lake Gems), and use Excel, Flourish and Flourish root tabs.

Here's a pic of my plants in action. I do have some problems with hair algae on the dwarf sagittaria and Cyperus helferi, which I have to manually remove with each water change ... the stuff can be somewhat controlled with that and Excel, but never goes away 100%. It seems to like the plants with long, grass-like leaves. Today's water change day and I haven't done it yet, so the algae is pretty out of control at the moment!

a934f964bb73b3c93dc178434f47a24b.jpg

Edited by *Amanda*

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In my setup, I don't really dose anything for the plants, I just keep the lights on for a good 6-7 hours a day (just a cheap Aqueon fluorescent hood) and let the goldie poop do the rest. :rofl I have mostly watersprite in my tank. When I first received it, I expected it to die in my care, but I was shocked at the exponential growth that it underwent in a short amount of time.

 

Before:

10932079_245980245594063_1749839913_n.jp

 

About three months later:

10570116_429088240605871_335334892_n.jpg

 

I have since trimmed them down tremendously now, and unfortunately those swords never looked that good ever again, as they've become salad. :( On average though, I'd notice a new bud forming at the base and maturing into a full stem in a period of about a week or so. They grew in height as well, sometimes folding over at the surface. They made babies prolifically too, if you left them be they'd get really big and the mother stem would eventually die off.

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In my setup, I don't really dose anything for the plants, I just keep the lights on for a good 6-7 hours a day (just a cheap Aqueon fluorescent hood) and let the goldie poop do the rest. :rofl I have mostly watersprite in my tank. When I first received it, I expected it to die in my care, but I was shocked at the exponential growth that it underwent in a short amount of time.

 

Before:

10932079_245980245594063_1749839913_n.jp

 

About three months later:

10570116_429088240605871_335334892_n.jpg

 

I have since trimmed them down tremendously now, and unfortunately those swords never looked that good ever again, as they've become salad. :( On average though, I'd notice a new bud forming at the base and maturing into a full stem in a period of about a week or so. They grew in height as well, sometimes folding over at the surface. They made babies prolifically too, if you left them be they'd get really big and the mother stem would eventually die off.

So it looks like you can float water sprite, too, just to make sure I'm seeing thinges right?

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Yes, you can! It is not a heavy root feeder, so it takes nutrients in from the leaves.

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In my high tech tank I've had hygrophila polysperma rosanervig grow a good 30cm over the course of a week. Pennywort (specifically hydrocotyle tripartita) doubles in size once a week and needs regular trimming. In a low tech I have it is much slower, maybe doubling in size every 2-3 weeks. :)

Carpets are tricky as I've mostly only grown them in high tech tanks. For me, helanthium tenellum (pygmy chain sword) usually starts sending out runners a few days/a week after planting. Glossostigma elatinoides is much the same. Hemianthus Cuba is slower, usually doesn't start spreading in my tanks until week 2 or 3, but then it takes off. Eleocharis parvula takes time, I don't expect a carpet until at least 1-2 months (I have this in a low tech too, it grows rather slowly sending out only a few leaves a week, but it does well). Staurogyne repens seems to do well in my low tech. It doesn't grow very fast, but does seem to thrive.

Throttling light, carbon dioxide and fertilisation will reduce growth speeds. I've heard Tom Barr say this a lot on other forums/in interviews: lighting is the driving factor. It's all about which plant is able to photosynthesise faster. If you can photosynthesise in less light (i.e. imagine before the sun reaches its midday peak), then you have an advantage over your neighbours.

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