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new tank, 8 gallon planted journal.

i've been distracted with planted tanks lately... here's a project that i've been working on that i'd like to share with you:

started out with this:

which ended in disaster. who knew that akadama was an excellent phosphate binder? all that nana petite? melted down to the rhizome. --on the plus side, i've been learning a lot about how leaves can indicate which nutrients are lacking.

originally just decided to replace the akadama, but took the opportunity to just start brand new again, which lead to this:

rather than planting stems vertically, i decided to lay them down horizontally to encourage multiple nodes to activate and gain stems in that manner, seems to work well.

before hardscape change w/ akadama:

after hardscape change w/ magic dirt:

progress so far...12 days since the last whole shot photo:

thanks for taking a look.
it is indeed. i just wish the leaves were cleaner. thanks!
I got a purple/blue/bronze shiny plant. yes, it is real. and has iridescence.
is that a bucephalandra or however you spell it? or a crypt? looks very expensive if it is a buc.
of course it looks amazing :)
is that a bucephalandra or however you spell it? or a crypt? looks very expensive if it is a buc.
of course it looks amazing :)

Indeed it is a bucephalandra. this one in particular is a brownie ghost.
i always wanted one but could never afford.
I would be very interested with any throughts you have while growing your bucephalandra, I've almost bought one a few times but I just don't know enough about them and when everyone says they are easy to grow and they cost a ton I don't believe the easy to grow part :-)). Something weird has be to going on with this plant to keep the easy to grow plant expensive.
@RSS: nice seeing you again. long time no see!
for the most part, they are indeed easy, no different than growing anubias, and like anubias, they prefer not to have their rhizomes buried. im growing mine on smaller pieces of lava rock which will make things much easier when propagation starts. some people state that they prefer lower lighting, but mine seem to do well with high lighting and CO2 injection, along with EI ferts. i believe the huge price tag come quite similar to reasons why certain species of neps are expensive-- 1) recent discovery and 2) habitat pressure (removal of habitat for urban expansion). It is very difficult to ascertain whether bucephalandra in circulation are legitimate undescribed species, variants, or hybrids. More often than not, they are given designations based on morphological appearances or location of discovery. They also apparently are easy to transition from submersed to emersed growth, but the emersed leave do not carry the same iridescent quality as their submerged counterparts.
  • #10
it should also be noted that these grow painfully slow which helps add to their price tag. you get a $60 plant and you grow it for years to end up with maybe 2x or 3x as much as when you started. its slower than anubias from what i hear.
  • #11
Well I'm blaming you for me ordering a few of Bucephalandras :grin:

Took a bit of rooting around to find some in the US but they are available. They do have some nice flowers too.
  • #13
WOW very nice! The images up top won't load but this looks cool - I didn't know what to expect.
  • #15
It looks sooooooooooooooooo nice! I'm definitely a fan!.. look at that Otto! so cute*
  • #17
I like the plants creeping over the rocks in the back and a few popping there heads out in the cracks. Hopefully you will keep that aspect.
  • #18
Thanks RSS. Plants will continue to grow off and on the rocks. Just waiting for the plants to start running on full steam and fill the aquarium out. My A. reineckii isn't doing so well... Reading up on it, apparently it needs more N than I have currently given it. Started increasing my N dosage-- we shall see what happens. Hopefully I can get the buces to grow faster and we can do some swapping. Would like to make a Ariod tank in the future.
  • #19
bucephalandras grow very slow. i dont think its possible for them to grow fast :(
  • #20
That is absolutely amazing.