Can anyone tell me the best way to root stem plants? I have some Bacopa caroliniana and Hygrophilia corymbosa, both of which I was told would be easy plants and do well in my tank, however they are both rotting from the bottom up! Both of them came with just the stems, no roots, and I think that might be the problem. They are currently floating on the top of my tank because I have a feeling I just fail at planting or something - I was pushing them into my substrate (eco-complete) and surrounding them with rocks to hold them in place, but now they are dying. The TOPS of the plants look okay, just the bottoms are totally melted and no roots have formed.
I know I could attach plant weights to the stems and just let them sit on the bottom of the tank until they root, but I don't feel comfortable putting anything metal into my tank, hence trying to use the rocks...
Not that I've had great luck either, but when I have bought the stem plants, they come with flexible weights wrapped around the base of the bunch. I inquired and found that these weights do not contain any metal, so you could perhaps reshape and resposition them to just hold the plants down? I'll probably try that next time I buy a bunch. My most recent purchase, I just got the mini-potted ones.
I wouldn't have disposed of the weights till they plants showed some form of growth.
Also one of the negatives with eco-complete is if you're too forceful with planting.... you can easily suffocate the stems. Before you plant it into the eco-c, there should be some form of root system otherwise, you end up cutting off the circulation of the that section and it will brown up & decay.
Move what's left of your plants, closer to the light. Hopefully the bettas won't chew on the decaying stems and make matters worse. Hopefully you'll see some roots start to form.
Did you manage to get any shelled hitchhikers from this plant order?
As for the plants that are doing well, DON'T touch them.
I have all the stems floating, I removed all the decaying pieces. So far the girls are leaving them alone.
This is my first planted tank, so I really had no idea what I was doing when it came to planting them. The ones that had roots (with the exception of anacharis) I made sure to leave the crown above the susbtrate and I haven't touched them. Obvious growth on anacharis and banana plant, crypts are totally melted (leaves, roots look healthy), vals and amazon sword look good. Dwarf four leaf clover is hanging in there, but I'm not really expecting it to live.
Some plants are finicky and must adjust to your tank. I have had stems that have gone to mush, I have found that some stems will do this all the time or it will be the weak plants. I have found that, getting plants from the best place can help a bit as they will be in much better condition and can make the adaption better. Best thing is to get all the dead part off and just wait it out. You may toss out none, half, or all. It sucks but it does happen.
For now I would float it near the light, the plants may be getting used to the new water too and will most likely bounce back in a few weeks. My hornwort did the same thing when I introduced it and I almost lost all of it, but after floating it near the light it is now growing really fast and has greened up a lot!