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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A question for all the plant gurus on this forum. I've noticed recently that some of my stem plants (particularly elodea) seem to be growing with a shorter stem length in between leaves. Very evident when looking at the plant as a whole, since the leaves near the bottom have (for example) half an inch of stem in between leaf layers whereas near the top, that space may be only half that. Is this a sign that I may be lacking some nutrient in my tank? Or do plants tend to do that if they are growing very fast? (the elodea in question has grown an inch in a few days). Any thoughts on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Dark Lord Owner
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Do the plants look healthy? Are you doing EI and co2 or supplementing co2 for carbon in any way?

I have noticed on my rotala that when the plant is younger and at the bottom of the tank and leaves are smaller and shorter between nodes. As the plant grows towards the light the leaves are bigger and the nodes distance is greater. I don't know if that has anything to do with the health of the plant or just the structure of it.

As a child you had small arms and legs, as a adult you have bigger ones were you any unhealthier as a child?

You can usually see nutrient deficiencies in the leaves themselves or the way the plant grows.

If you are giving nutrients and the plant looks healthy and it grows fast then it's probably doing well.
 

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Plants tend to be "leggy" when they are reaching for the light. This means that the stem length between the leaves are long. I have this problem in my 20 gallon which is 18" tall. Once it grows to a certain height and doesn't have to compete for light as much, the stem lengths are shorter, allowing the plants to look "fuller", which is probably the look you want anyway. I think it sounds like you're doing alright.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies everyone. I'm not supplementing carbon yet (planning on getting my hands on some metricide in the near future though), but I think my plants are doing alright. 2wheelsx2's explanation makes sense I think, especially now that I consider it, the leaves at the top are actually larger than the bottom ones. Growth is good as well, with visible oxygen bubbles being given off by the plant, and the leaves look healthy. Guess I was worrying for nothing.
 
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