Aternative For Vallisneria?

luca1980

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Hi guys and merry Christmas!
 
Does anyone have any suggestions for an alternative to vallisneria - but something that looks similar?
 
I am looking for something tall and thin to plant out gaps along the rear of my tank and a few places on the sides - I like the look of vall and it always goes well for awhile in my tank but for some reason starts to die off after a month or so.
 
Hardy and fish-friendly suggestions are greatly appreciated!
 

RainboWBacoN420

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I know how you feel. My valls seem to be doing okay for the most part in my 15 gallon, but strands always seem to melt one by one with new ones growing in. If it's Vallisneria Americana, I think it's normal for the tip of the blades to look a little melty. At least that's how the picture appears in the book I have. 
 
But are you just looking for an alternative grassy like plant or just some tall plants to cover the background?
 
If any plant, the first thing I can of in bacopa and anacharis. I'll be happy to look into my book and recommend some others later when I return home, tonight.
smile.png

 
 
 
(update: Sorry, I missed that you said "something similar", I'm at work and must have skimmed it. As I said, I'll be happy to look into some similar looking plants later tonight.)
 
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luca1980

luca1980

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Hi RainboW, glad I'm not the only one that has val problems :) I'm not sure if my val is the Americana variety - mine tends to get a bit 'melty' either halfway down the strand or at the base where they attach to the roots, then they tend to break off and end up floating around until I scoop them out.
 
I am really just looking for something tall and un-killable! :) My amazon swords, banana lillies etc are all going great and I dose with seachem flourish as well to keep things kicking along. I will have a look online at your suggestions of bacopa and anacharis, thank you!
 
If you could come up with any other ideas that would be great, I really appreciate your kindness :) merry Christmas!
 

RainboWBacoN420

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In the mean time, I did a little reading up on vallisneria, I came up with that it doesn't do too well in soft, acidic water. I believe it does best in hard water.
 
What kind of substrate do you have it planted in?
 
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luca1980

luca1980

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You might have nailed the problem RainboW, my ph is 6.8 - 7.0 so that might be the issue. The substrate is fine/medium gravel. All of my other plants seem to thrive in that tank so it has to be something that the val specifically isn't too happy about!
 

RainboWBacoN420

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The pH in my 15 gallon is 6.4-6.6, and the valls are doing okay. As I said there's some melt on individual strands, the valls in my 55 gallon (which has a pH of about 7- 7.2), however, seem to be doing excellent, probably because the water is slightly more harder than in my 15 gallon. I think the reason for this is because of the CO2 levels in the 15 gallon, the 55 gallon does not have CO2, however, I should mention that carbon supplements are added to the 55 gallon daily. So there might be some kind of balance with the valls in the 55 gallon, the water is still acidic and soft, but it might be benefiting with the CO2 supplements. I'm not exactly sure to be honest. 
 
I also have pretty good lighting and fertilizer as well. 
 
But the valls in 15 aren't doing bad, just a few strands tend to melt here and there. There's more blades coming than there are melting.
 

TallTree01

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I had troubles with my Vallis too. I got so fed up with them I cut them down to their stumps as all their leaves were dead or dying. From there they grew rapidly and covered the rear of my tank. They really hate moving tanks so so often they die in new setups and people give up. Give them a few months to settle and constantly prune dying leaves is my advice. Also beware of some fertilizers as I've had Vallis and Pygmy chain sword show some minor issues when using some fertilizers ( notably flourish excel ).
 

Ch4rlie

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TT does offer some good tips on how to care for vallis plants, pruning the dead or dying leaves helps a lot and they really do not like being moved once settled into substrate, once planted, just leave them be and wath them grow by shooting out runners and more vallis plants will soon grow.
 
The addition of ferts does helps greatly, especially root tabs.
 
However if one does not want to carry on with vallisernia plants, there are a few alternatives which could be along the lines of Blyxa Japonica for example. A rather pleasing plant imho and does not have such long leaves as vallis.
 
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luca1980

luca1980

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Hi guys thanks everyone for your input. The val went in about 3 weeks ago, so the fact that they don't like being moved is probably contributing to the problem. I will keep up with my weekly dose of flourish excel and see how they go. My amazon swords, banana lilies etc seem to be on steroids these days so hopefully the val catches up :)
 
In the meantime, thank you all for your suggestions on val substitutes!
 

Byron

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luca1980 said:
Hi guys thanks everyone for your input. The val went in about 3 weeks ago, so the fact that they don't like being moved is probably contributing to the problem. I will keep up with my weekly dose of flourish excel and see how they go. My amazon swords, banana lilies etc seem to be on steroids these days so hopefully the val catches up
smile.png

 
In the meantime, thank you all for your suggestions on val substitutes!
 
The Excel is likely going to kill Vallisneria.  This genus of plants does tend to melt when Excel or the similar API CO2 Booster is added regularly.  Some mosses also fail with this chemical, which is the highly-toxic glutaraldehyde and something I would not recommend putting into a tank with fish.  The Flourish Comprehensive Supplement is fine, if this is what you mentioned previously in this thread.
 
Water hardness can impact Vallisneria, and while pH is related it does not in itself tell us the GH.  Check your muinicipal water authority's website, it may be there.  One can add the "hard" minerals found in moderately hard to hard tap water if it is very soft, but let's get the number before going down this road.  Light is also important; being fast growing, Vallisneria requires decent light, and no data is here for that aspect.
 
Byron.
 
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luca1980

luca1980

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Thanks for your advice Byron, you are the guru!
 
Seeing as everyone/everything is happy in my tank (fish are doing really well and all other plants growing like crazy) if the val dies, so be it. At the end of the day I would rather have a tank of happy, healthy fish rather than messing with the GH for the sake of getting the val to grow when I can give other alternatives a shot.
 
I don't think that lighting would be the issue here, I have an UP Aqua U series - gives around 7000k of colour temperature and the lumen output is 150lm. The other plants seem to love it and the fish seem quite happy with it too.
 

ShinySideUp

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I have no problems with Vallisnaria. Indeed, left to their own devices, they have gone from strength to strength and on at least three occasions I have given away plants when the original three plants grew to ten, and again, and again.
 
My water is about pH 6.8 to 7.5 and very soft (I live in a granite area in Cornwall).
 

eaglesaquarium

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Some alternatives are:
 
Cryptocoryne spiralis
C. retrospiralis
C. balansae
Sagittaria subulata
Echinodorus Angustifolia
Blyxia auberti
Aponogeton crispus
A. natans
A. capuronii
A. undulatus
A. boivninanus
A. longiplumylosus
 
 
 
Research these and I'm sure you'll find some that will work in your situation if the vals don't.
 
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luca1980

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Thanks eagles, that was very kind of you (and very helpful!)
 

eaglesaquarium

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Glad to be of service... And I can understand the frustration with Val's. I have never had success with them. So I just decided to go a different path.
 

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