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What causes Rotala Rotundifolia to grow round leaves under water?

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  • What causes Rotala Rotundifolia to grow round leaves under water?

    I have rotala rotundifolia growing normally in one of my tanks. I took trimmings from that and planted it in my grow out tub, which is a storage tub placed next to the window for some sunlight. The tub has potting soil capped with gravel and diy co2 and I fertilise it following EI.

    The weirdest thing is that the plant started growing very large round leaves, whereas the cuttings from when they were planted had thin needle like leaves (like how they normally look like under water). The plant seems to look like it's halfway between the emersed form and under water form. The leaves are green and round, although not fully circle shaped liked the emersed form, and the stem is much thicker and more robust than they are in my other tanks.

    The plants otherwise look and feel healthy (no stunted or otherwise deformed growth). Does anyone know what causes this?

  • #2
    My guess is that the light levels can cause the same plant to grow in different forms. Any pics?

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    • #3
      Here's a pic. I'm holding the plant grown in the tub next to the others in my aquarium. The lights in the tank are usually off at this time which is why the leaves are slightly closed.


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      • #4
        left looks like classic emersed growth.

        On the right, looks to be very healthy stems. Nicely done.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Rebel View Post
          left looks like classic emersed growth.
          Yes, that is the weird part, because the left one is grown 100% under water. I'm really confused as to why it has started growing like that. One thing is that the plastic storage tub is placed such that the sunlight hits the side of the tub. As the tub sides are whiteish/semi opaque, it diffuses the light evenly. I wonder if that is causing it, with the diffused light hitting the plant leaves evenly from the side across the whole plant, as opposed to just the top like in normal tanks?

          Or it could be nutrient related, as I am using a potting mix with unknown nutrients (even though water column dosing is the same).

          Either way, I've just cut all of them down close to the substrate and will see how they grow back.

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          • #6
            Definitely not nutrient related. Maybe it had too much light and CO2 so thought it was emersed!!!

            Best thing is to put it back in the tank and see what happens!! Cross over experiment.
            Last edited by Rebel; 04-06-20, 08:07 AM.

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