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How to keep red hornwort?


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#1 Betta132

Betta132
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  • San Gabriel drainage area

Posted 20 May 2015 - 02:13 AM

We have what I believe is some form of red hornwort in our rivers. It's wider than most hornwort I've seen, but it has the same structure and texture. It grows in clumps from the bottom of the river to the surface, so it's at least five feet long in deeper areas. From what I've seen in shallow areas, it has roots, but the roots are usually just clinging into rock. 

I've tried a couple of times to bring some back and keep it, but it doesn't seem to like being left in a bucket to check for pests. 

I currently have duckweed acting as the nitrate sucker in my sunfish tank, but I can scoop the majority of it out. I'd like to replace it with something more natural, especially since that's what the sunfish like to hide around in their river. 

My smallest fish is about 2 1/2" long, so I don't think I have to worry about dragonfly larvae or such. Given that and its apparent dislike of quarantine, would it be safe to just firmly rinse the hornwort and then put it in the tank? I know leeches are a concern, but leeches don't like fast water, and I can get the hornwort from a faster-flowing section of the river. Could that work?

 

Basically: There's red hornwort in the river near me, and I want it for my sunny tank. How do I make it grow and be happy?



#2 predatorkeeper87

predatorkeeper87
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  • pennsylvania

Posted 20 May 2015 - 05:59 AM

pick it and plant it in your tank after a good rinse.  I do this with all my wild collected plants.  leeches are a concern but you can easily see them on the fish, at least in my cases I've dealt with you can.  I've caught darters with leeches on them, I just scoop them out and remove them, its not a terribly hard process.



#3 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
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  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 20 May 2015 - 06:41 AM

Hornwort hates change. No matter what you do moving it to different water condition will result in the dreaded "hornwort melting". But, some small pieces will survive. Never throw out the naked stems they might be the piece that comes back. And when it does it will. One back thick and luscious. You just have to be patient because the first time it can take a month from collection to melt to re-establishment.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#4 gerald

gerald
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  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 20 May 2015 - 08:59 AM

Hornwort (Ceratophyllum) does not have roots.  I'm guessing you've found Myriophyllum or Cabomba.

 

We have what I believe is some form of red hornwort in our rivers. It's wider than most hornwort I've seen, but it has the same structure and texture. It grows in clumps from the bottom of the river to the surface, so it's at least five feet long in deeper areas. From what I've seen in shallow areas, it has roots, but the roots are usually just clinging into rock.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#5 UncleWillie

UncleWillie
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Posted 20 May 2015 - 10:52 AM

I'm with Gerald.  At first thought, I was thinking what you could have seen was Chara (which is an algae that can look and feel almost identical to hornwort).  But I've never seen Chara with red coloration.  Red Cabomba does exist though.


Willie Pruitt
Chattahoochee River, GA


#6 Betta132

Betta132
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  • San Gabriel drainage area

Posted 20 May 2015 - 12:10 PM

It might be cabomba, actually. Is that stuff very fussy? I really like the look of it.



#7 lilyea

lilyea
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  • Peace River Watershed, Central Florida, USA

Posted 20 May 2015 - 01:36 PM

Red plants in general usually require higher light levels, is this true with Red Cabomba as well?

#8 strat guy

strat guy
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  • Orland Park, IL

Posted 20 May 2015 - 07:55 PM

Forget red unless you're planning on running a high tech planted tank. The red pigment means they require a different light spectrum, which is going to be difficult unless you want to buy some pricey equipment. Any basic book on aquarium plants generally lists red pigmented plants as difficult.


120 low tech native planted - Blackstriped Topminnow, Central Stoneroller, Fathead minnow, Golden Shiner, Black chin shiner, Carmine Shiner, Emerald Shiner, Sand Shiner, Spotfin Shiner, Orangethroat darter, Johnny Darter, and Banded Darter.


#9 Betta132

Betta132
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  • San Gabriel drainage area

Posted 20 May 2015 - 10:18 PM

I'm not running high-tech. Decent light, filter, pump to cause a bit of surface stirring, and that's it. 

Anything else I could try that isn't fussy? I'm fairly certain we have hornwort around here, so where's a good place to find it? 



#10 strat guy

strat guy
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  • Orland Park, IL

Posted 21 May 2015 - 08:06 PM

Reg hornwart is everywhere, but it depends how you want to keep it. It doesn't have roots. It will modify some leaves to act as anchors, but it requires strong lighting. I had a bunch of it (and everyone I hear who keeps it says the same thing) and eventually replaced it little by little. If it doesn't get the light it needs, it uproots and floats. And uproots and floats. And uproots and floats. And loses all its leaves making a giant mess. Keeping it as a floating plant isn't bad though. Mine did real well once I let it float. I just recently put it in my pond though, enough was enough.

 

The issue with red plants is that they need green light spectrum (red plants obviously reflect red light, so the plant doesn't need it, it needs more of what it absorbs), most plant bulbs provide red or blue light spectrum. The way you provide for it is by overcompensating essentially. Meaning really, really strong lighting.


120 low tech native planted - Blackstriped Topminnow, Central Stoneroller, Fathead minnow, Golden Shiner, Black chin shiner, Carmine Shiner, Emerald Shiner, Sand Shiner, Spotfin Shiner, Orangethroat darter, Johnny Darter, and Banded Darter.





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