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Cryptocoryne Lutea and Vallisneria

Deanasue

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Thinking about putting some crypts in my community tank. Which of the above is best? I’d like them to get tall but not go nuts. I understand they are easy to grow. I have sand in this tank. Do they need soil too?
 

Retired Viking

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I am new to planted tanks but I have some Vallisneria-(jungle Vals) in my planted tank. I planted it in gravel and it had some melt issues but was doing pretty good until my golden mystery snail went on a rampage:mad: There is still some left growing, I have not added any chemicals or soil.
 
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Deanasue

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I am new to planted tanks but I have some Vallisneria-(jungle Vals) in my planted tank. I planted it in gravel and it had some melt issues but was doing pretty good until my golden mystery snail went on a rampage:mad: There is still some left growing, I have not added any chemicals or soil.
Yikes! I have several different snails in my tank. Hmmm...
 

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I had two and they up-rooted some of my plant and took the leaves off others. I think I just had a bad experience. I separated the snails and put one in another tank by himself. The one still in my 55 gallon tank has not caused anymore issues, so far. The funny thing is I had them for 2 months with no issues and was very happy with them. I was planing on buying a couple more but those plans are on hold.
 

Kritastrophe

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Depends on what you like. I have both crypts and Val. Val does get runners that grow new Val. I started with one Val and now I have five plus l. Both are fairly easy plants and do fine in sand, or at least they are doing very well for me.
 

seangee

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Vals in my experience take ages to establish (including when you trim the roots back), but once they go they go and if left will take over the whole tank. As @Kritastrophe says they grow runners so its easy enough to chop the extras off. You can let it go as high as you like, trimming just requires a pair of scissors. Mine are spiralis.

I am quite new to crypts but so far my cryptocoryne wendtii are doing well, and I have just added two to my community tank. A small bit of metling in the first couple of days, less than I expected, but new growth was visible in under a week. I did give these root tabs.
 
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Deanasue

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Thanks so much everybody. Now to choose...
 

Byron

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Two aspects not yet mentioned are the two most important for these two plants. Light and GH of the water.

Vallisneria will do better in harder rather than softer water as it needs the calcium. It grows naturally in the rift lakes, so that should tell us something. And it also gets more light there than it would in a forest stream, another clue. Brighter light and more nutrients equal faster growth, and this plant does grow quite rapidly once settled.

Cryptocoryne species can manage with less light, and in soft or very soft water. Being slower growing (considerably compared to Vallisneria) light and nutrients can be less.

Vallisneria is much easier and hardier, very much less prone to melt with any change in parameters or light.
 

seangee

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Vallisneria will do better in harder rather than softer water as it needs the calcium. It grows naturally in the rift lakes, so that should tell us something.
Hmmm - mine definitely went on the decline when I reduced the GH in the nano from 12 to 6 degrees. So much so that I have now tossed them. I also increased the surface plants and always thought it was the reduced light that heralded their demise. I do still have some healthy ones in the community tank (0dGH) but these get root tabs, which they never used to, and are not nearly as rampant as when it was a hard water tank.

And yes - they do need plenty of light.
Edit: Now that you menion it I do recall the leaves sometimes looked like they were covered in limescale - which suggests they were indeed taking calcium out of the water. Not in sufficient quanities to reduce the hardness though.
 
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Byron

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Hmmm - mine definitely went on the decline when I reduced the GH in the nano from 12 to 6 degrees. So much so that I have now tossed them. I also increased the surface plants and always thought it was the reduced light that heralded their demise. I do still have some healthy ones in the community tank (0dGH) but these get root tabs, which they never used to, and are not nearly as rampant as when it was a hard water tank.

And yes - they do need plenty of light.
Edit: Now that you menion it I do recall the leaves sometimes looked like they were covered in limescale - which suggests they were indeed taking calcium out of the water. Not in sufficient quanities to reduce the hardness though.
Yes. The Vallisneria plants readily assimilate carbon from bicarbonates (as opposed to carbon dioxide) and thus do exceptionally well in harder water; some can even tolerate brackish water that is not too high in salt. The mineral deposit you mention is indicative. The following related information may be of interest to some, others can ignore it. This comes from a profile I wrote some years back now for another site.

Vallisneria belongs to the Hydrocharitaceae family of floating and submersed aquatic plants, commonly called the Tape Grasses, which contains both marine and freshwater plants found on all continents in the tropical and temperate zones. With the exception of the Asian genera Blyxa and Ottelia, the plants in this family tolerate very hard water. All species are flowering, the marine species being pollinated submersed and the freshwater on the surface; pollen is dispersed by water except for Stratiotes and a few species in Ottelia that are insect pollinated. There are 18 genera, several containing plants commonly seen in aquaria.

The genus Vallisneria was named in honour of Antonio Vallisneri (1661-1730) by the "Father of Taxonomy" Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) and he described the species Vallisneria spiralis in 1753. The confusion over the species in this genus has largely occurred due to the difficulty of identifying them by anything other than the flower structure. The leaves of plants in the same species can appear very different depending upon growing conditions, both in nature and in the aquarium.

Studying the flower of each species is complicated by the plants having distinct female and male flower forms that occur very rarely in nature and are therefore difficult to obtain. Extensive research detailed in published studies in 1982 by two independent botanists, R.M. Lowden and Christopher D.K. Cook, came to the same conclusion: the genus Vallisneria holds only two species, V. americana and V. spiralis, and both have two varieties. The relevant taxonomic criteria to determine the true species turned out to be the arrangement of the carpels in female flowers and the number of stamens in male flowers. Since the vast majority of aquarists will not be familiar with flowering Vallisneria, detailing these distinctions here would serve little purpose, but there is a summary in Kasselmann (2003) for those who are interested. The plant endemic to Australia was determined to be Vallisneria nana by Jacobs & Frank (1997).

More recent work (Les, et al. 2008) using phylogenetics has resulted in 12 species being identified by molecular data, and an additional 2 or 3 species by morphological differences within groups that were invariant at the molecular level. Two new Vallisneria species (V. australis, V. erecta) are formally described in the same study.

References:

Cook, Christopher D.K. and Ruth Luond (1982), "A Revision of the genus Nechamandra (Hydrocharitaceae)," Aquatic Botany 13, pp. 505-513.

Kasselmann, Christel (2003), Aquarium Plants, English edition, Krieger Publishing Company, Florida.

Les, Donald H., Surrey W. L. Jacobs, Nicholas P. Tippery, Lei Chen, Michael L. Moody, and
Maike Wilstermann-Hildebrand (2008), "Systematics of Vallisneria (Hydrocharitaceae)," Systematic Botany, volume 33(1), pp. 49-65.

Lowden, R. M. (1982), "An approach to the taxonomy of Vallisneria L. (Hydrocharitaceae)," Aquatic Botany 13, p. 293.
 

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My snail got at my jungle val again today. Only 3 left out of 5 and not much is left of them. Had a lot of melt issues too. I have some now floating on top. Will try and band them together again. The snail climbs them and breaks them off or goes after the roots.
 

utahfish

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My snail got at my jungle val again today. Only 3 left out of 5 and not much is left of them. Had a lot of melt issues too. I have some now floating on top. Will try and band them together again. The snail climbs them and breaks them off or goes after the roots.
Mystery snails will eat all your plants, mystery snails or apple snails and planted tanks dont mix.
If you want snails with your plants nerites are the best algae eaters as theyll eat even hair and blackbush algae,wont eat your plants while they clean them, stay small and wont multiply in your tank as they need brackish water to breed. If no nerites get some ramshorns, they come in pink brown and blue and wont eat your plants but multiply and if you mix different colors of snails theyll all breed brownish. Having said that most Vals get really tall but are pretty sturdy and fast growers and send out runners, cork screw Val stays a bit shorter and in my opinion is cooler looking As for Crypts, they grow like weeds for me in all sorts of conditions. Plants get their nutrients from two sources the substrate through roots and through the water column , crypts are mostly root feeders so the more rich the substrate the better the better they will grow as long as their light requirements are met which they do fine in low light, 2watts or less / gallon, though new theory suggests Lumens are more important than watts. Having said that the more watts/lumens the more nutrients the plants will utilize. Its a fine balance. Also crypts generally do better in neutral to hard water as in soft water they tend to melt but ive grown them in both. Hope this helps
 

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Mystery snails will eat all your plants, mystery snails or apple snails and planted tanks dont mix.
If you want snails with your plants nerites are the best algae eaters as theyll eat even hair and blackbush algae,wont eat your plants while they clean them, stay small and wont multiply in your tank as they need brackish water to breed. If no nerites get some ramshorns, they come in pink brown and blue and wont eat your plants but multiply and if you mix different colors of snails theyll all breed brownish. Having said that most Vals get really tall but are pretty sturdy and fast growers and send out runners, cork screw Val stays a bit shorter and in my opinion is cooler looking As for Crypts, they grow like weeds for me in all sorts of conditions. Plants get their nutrients from two sources the substrate through roots and through the water column , crypts are mostly root feeders so the more rich the substrate the better the better they will grow as long as their light requirements are met which they do fine in low light, 2watts or less / gallon, though new theory suggests Lumens are more important than watts. Having said that the more watts/lumens the more nutrients the plants will utilize. Its a fine balance. Also crypts generally do better in neutral to hard water as in soft water they tend to melt but ive grown them in both. Hope this helps
Thank you for the information, nerites sound like the way to go. My bother-in-law has a 10 gallon tank with plastic plants sounds like I will be moving them. I also just bought a cork screw val today as a replacement. When I researched snails the mystery snail was rated highly for cleaning tanks. they didn't mention about liking to eat plants. I'm still learning about planted tanks. Never had to worry with plastic;)
 
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essjay

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I have nerite snails in both my tanks: there are several different species, each one a different colour and pattern.
 

utahfish

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Thank you for the information, nerites sound like the way to go. My bother-in-law has a 10 gallon tank with plastic plants sounds like I will be moving them. I also just bought a cork screw val today as a replacement. When I researched snails the mystery snail was rated highly for cleaning tanks. they didn't mention about liking to eat plants. I'm still learning about planted tanks. Never had to worry with plastic;)
Sounds great, as far as Nerites, i have a preference for Olive Nerites, they seem to be a little more hardy than some of the more expensive nerites, like zebras tiger nerites.
 

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