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Najas guadalupensis looking puny

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#1 Guest_velvetelvis_*

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 07:51 PM

I received some Najas from another hobbyist about 10 days ago. It was in very good health, bright green and vigorous. It's been looking worse over the past week, though. Some leaves have bleached out, and others are turning brown. I do see some roots sprouting here and there, but the plants are looking pretty sorry right now.

The Najas is planted into the substrate in an unheated 50G cube, which is filtered with an Aquaclear 500. No other current. Substrate is CaribSea Naturals "Golden Sunset" (basically beige sand--I'm guessing silica-based?). The tank is undergoing a fishless cycle and I'm not using any fertilizers so far. Lighting is EcoRay 60 LEDs. Our water here in eastern NC is fairly soft and neutral, around 7-ish. I've grown other hardy plants (Vallisneria and Eleocharis montevidensis) successfully under the same fixture before.

Is this just the normal shock some plants go through upon being introduced into a new environment? I'm used to vals dying off on me to begin with, then coming back vigorously after about six weeks, but I've never kept Najas before. I've read so much about its invincible hardiness that I'm a little concerned. Thanks in advance for any suggestions or advice anyone cares to offer.

#2 Guest_gerald_*

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 10:14 AM

I've found it to be hardy in the sense that it will grow under a wide variety of conditions (straight rainwater to 5 ppt salinity), but it is also a soft, fragile plant that can die back quickly if stressed. I grow it mainly free-floating, both indoors under shop lights and outdoors in plastic tubs, but it will send down roots and anchor itself too. I guess yours is just showing stress from some change in water conditions, and the stems will survive and resprout, even if most of the leaves die.

#3 Guest_Orangespotted_*

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 11:06 PM

I've always had dieback on my rooted Najas specimens, but if the top of the roots is kept level or very close to level with the surface of the substrate, they tended to grow back again. Floating ones remained green (probably easier to compete with all the other plants in the aquarium that way). They are quite delicate as Gerald pointed out and it's easy to break off what few roots they have if trying to plant them in certain substrates with your fingers or pinchy tweezers, or if constantly brushed against by your fishes. EDIT: Since I only had small sprigs to start with, I usually let them grow to a nice size floating before I tried planting them; leaving some floating just in case helps if your first attempt(s) go awry.

#4 Guest_harryknaub_*

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 12:14 PM

I've had Najas guadalupensis in a 30 gal. for at least 6 mo. I got @ an RAS club auction. It grew very slowly for some time and I too had trouble getting it to take root well. The substrate is sand over garden soil. Again I also have an Aquaclear HOB filter. About two months ago it just took off and is filling up the tank. I guess the best advice I could give is just give it time. The tank is in a room with lots of windows for fitered light. Now that I think about it, the Najas has done a lot better since I swapped the full width T5HO fixture out for a shorter T8.


#5 Guest_velvetelvis_*

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 01:22 PM

Update: I think you're all right about the Najas going through an adjustment period. I lost almost all of the "mass" of the plants, but even after a cleanup there were still enough healthy bits left to plant carefully into the substrate. I've also begun dosing a bit of Seachem all-purpose liquid fertilizer once a week. Roots are popping up all over the place, and the plants are greening back up. Thanks, folks!

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