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How long does it take vallisneria to grow tall, on average?

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I think it depends a lot on environmental factors (substrate, light, etc), I have val from the Co-Op in a 20 long dirted tank w/ a stingray v1 light. The original plant has been in there for almost three months and is just now getting there, but it has had some of its offshoots grow up to the top in like a week. Val is not a consistent plant at all, it seems.

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When I had Val I started to see lots of new plantlets after 2/3 months. I started with lots of tall plants which I trimmed down.

If you have low light, it should grow further to the surface in order to reach the light and photosynthesise. If you have high light, the Val doesn’t see a need to grow taller because it’s reproducing or growing just fine.

Edited by HardeepTheLondoner
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12 hours ago, onlywei said:

I planted vallisneria from Aquarium Co-op on Thanksgiving into some Eco-Complete, and today at the end of January it's still only 2 inches tall. Is that normal?

I've had this experience too. I ordered my Vallisneria amongst other plants from the Co-Op around the same time as you, and they have still not grown that tall.

They have shot out a couple runners though.


I don't know too much about plants but I would assume @Gumbo99 and @HardeepTheLondoner are correct.

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To some extent it also depends on the val. Jungle val tends to grow very tall while some other varieties don't. (And there are a lot of varieties of val.)  I find jungle val to be one of the quirkier plants. It's really boom or bust for me with nothing much in between. I have four planted tanks and bought 25 jungle val through an eBay seller. I planted some in each tank. Most of it died off completely. I've got one plant doing very well, but not spreading. It is growing however. There are four others that are just sitting there and doing nothing. I've had tanks with absolute jungles of jungle val, but then had it all die off for no apparent reason. Its a quirky little plant for me. When it grows for me, it grows very, very well. When it doesn't, it doesn't. I've bought the jungle val from that same seller before with very good results and the plants arrived fine, so it's not that. It's just a quirky plant for me.

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Like a lot of things in this hobby the answer is it depends. For many (perhaps most) people Vallisneria grow like an out of control weed. For others it barely grows. And for some it just dies.

In the past my Vallisneria grew very fast. Currently in the same aquarium, it is growing very slowly. I don't know why.

I haven't seen a satisfactory explanation so far. It just seems to be in that mysterious category with water sprite of plants that have a reputation for being easy and yet don't grow well in certain aquariums.

I have read the 'low light hypothesis' on the internet but that theory isn't consistent with what I see in local native Vallisneria americana, nor what I have observed in my own aquaria.

Here is Vallisneria in the wild:


In the photo above the Vallisneria is in all day completely full sunlight in a creek and grows to 6 - 8 feet in length.

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I'm going to chime in on the "me too" train. I bought some val from the Co-Op, and some dwarf sag in November. The sag immediately shot up to the top of my 29 gallon, at least 18" tall, but my val is still maybe 4". It's funny because I placed the val in the back and the sag in the mid thinking their lengths would be reversed. Both have runners though so I think they're doing okay.

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I have had it stay short and just runner along, good coverage, but no tall growth, in eco complete in medium light.

Then I added root tabs and it was like watching a time lapse film, you could almost see them growing taller. I am guessing both light and food play a role. If your substrate is new, like mine was, they keep runnering short stems, looking for an area with more food. once they find it they set up shop so to speak.

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