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Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus Tips/Tricks


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New setup, Fluval Flex 15. Substrate is 2-3” of Seachem Flourite Dark. I’ve got some dragon stone and 2 pieces of Mopani Driftwood. The wood was boiled multiple times and soaked and the substrate cleaned thoroughly before going into the tank. No issues with cloudy water. I planted the following when I setup the tank. 1 pot of Anubias Nana (AN). 1 pot of Anubias Nana Petite (ANP). 2 pot of Cryptocoryne Lucens (CL). 2 pot of Bacopa Caroliniana (BC). 1 pot of Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus (PSO). All the plants looked strong and healthy when they arrived. I’m almost 4 ½ weeks in the Anubias’s and CL look like they’re doing ok. I broke up the BC & PSO during planting to spread the plants around a bit and all but one of the BC’s are dead. 3 of the 5  PSO’s are dead and the remaining two are not looking great.


After two weeks I added 8 Cardinal Tetra’s, 7 have made it. The one that died kicked it within the first 2 hours of being introduced into the tank. Frankly I was surprised made it from my local fish store, I took their last 8 but they only charged me for 7 cause this guy looked terrible. Since introducing the fish Ammonia is stable at .25ppm. NO2 was also at .25ppm but just dropped to zero yesterday. Still no NO3 yet. Weekly water changes. Feeding fish only once a day. pH is 7.4. GH is 4. KH is 5.


I used Seachem Flourish Tabs when setting up the tank for my stem feeders and Seachem Flourish & Flourish Iron for the leaf feeders. For the first 3 weeks I used the minimum dosage for the Flourish because I didn’t consider what I put in a lot of plants and I didn’t want to fight algae. Now I’m wondering if it wasn’t enough nutrients since my BC & PSO are looking like they might be a total loss. A week and a half ago I slightly increased the Flourish dosage. Still no issues with algae.


So I’m ordering more LC & PSO (2 pots each) because I love them in my tank. I’m also ordering a Java Fern to try out because I’ve had great luck so far with the water feeders. Any tips on keeping the PSO’s from dying on me? This time I’m getting two pots and will drop them in as bunches, hoping that will do the trick. I’ll also add more Flourish tab’s in the area for these guys. Appreciate any tips or suggestions.

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Possibly Seachem Flourish Tabs for the root feeders and Seachem Flourish & Flourish Iron for the water column feeders (generally stem plants)?  That's weird about the PSO, I have to trim mine weekly, even just floating it grows like crazy.  The nice thing about PSO is you can just cut some off and stick in the substrate (or float) and it will grow.

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I’m wishing my PSO would slow down a bit. It’s so successful it has almost gone into the pest category. It has completely engulfed the Jungle Val, which had been the dominant plant in the tank...my Java Ferns have never prospered. 
 

I’ve got rock hard water, Ph around 7.8 or 8.0, Nitrates hover in the 25 to 40 (Salifert test) range, a Current USA light that’s not spec’ed for plants, temperature at 78. I dose either Easy Green or Thrive whenever I think about it...about once every week or two.  I don’t know what I’m doing right but it must be one of those things. 
 

Good Luck. 🍀 
 

 

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When I buy plants I tend to divide them between my various tanks. I bought Pogostemon Octopus and received it back on January sixth. There were eight stems in the pot so I split it up between all four planted tanks  The one stem in my 30 high is doing great. It's doubled in size (maybe more than doubled,) is putting out lots of new shoots and I couldn't ask for more from it. It's just perfect. Another stem in the same tank is largely just sitting there and doing nothing. As are the stems I put into the other three tanks. They're not dying they're just not doing much.

Two stems from the same pot, in the same substrate, in the same tank, with the same water, and lighting and one is thriving and one is just hanging around. Why the difference? God only knows. I'm assuming the rest will eventually take off and start to grow like the one since they haven't died. Perhaps they just need to settle in. The one stem is doing great though. The other seven are just hanging around and looking pretty, but not doing much.

Aquarium plants are very quirky for me. Some will thrive. Others that require the same conditions will keel over and die. I spread my plants out and when I find a tank they like, I tend to leave them there. Frogbit and Duckweed love my fifty gallon tank. Dwarf water lettuce and salvinia prefer my thirty high. The water hyacinths prefer my twenty high but survive in all of the tanks. Water sprite loves my ten, twenty, and fifty gallon tanks, but dies in the thirty high. Why? I have no idea. Ludwigia loves my ten gallon. Java fern and anubias nana petite grow anywhere. Java moss grows best in the ten and thirty high and survives elsewhere. The crypts love my thirty high. Dwarf sag seems happiest in the ten. All my tanks use similar lighting for similar intervals, have similar fish, the same source water, the same substrate, yet growth varies wildly from tank to tank. I don't try and force a plant to grow anywhere these days. If it grows in that tank, great! If not, well, I'll move it and see if it wants to grow someplace else. If you just have one planted tank, just assume any plant that dies just doesn't want to live there and move on to something else. If it died there once, odds are replacements of it will die there again.

Houseplants and garden plants give me far less trouble. I dig a hole, pop them in and they grow. Aquarium plants are a lot quirkier. 

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When we planted PSO to help cycle our tank, we thought that it had died FOR SURE in the first week. But after about 2 weeks, it shot out roots like crazy before sending out new leaves or growing taller. I don't know if that is helpful, but that's our experience.

In addition, PSO can float freely and still root/grow. We use it in our quarantine tank when we have newbies coming in by just tossing some cutting with 3-4 nodes into the tank. We also have VERY hard water with more than usual nutrients, so I'm not sure if this is apples to oranges.

Edited by Gestaltgal
In addition...
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  • 2 weeks later...

Just an update, the plants came in about a week and a half ago, looked nice and healthy just like the last batch. Couple of days later I dropped in 6 Pygmy Cories. Fish are all doing fine. No spikes, new plants are starting to die back which sounds normal. I picked up a Seachem Iron test kit a few days ago and found out I’m not giving anywhere near enough of the Seachem Flourish Iron. Hopefully that turns things around for me with these PSO's.

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PSO loves to grow above the water line so if you have no jumpers let it grow out of the tank. Also it will produce a rather nice wildflower type bloom that last a good 3 weeks. I *think* you can actually pot it and grow as a pure terrestrial plant. It also seems to like light so the more the merrier.

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I have modestly soft water - gh 7 kh 3

Edited by anewbie
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On 3/30/2021 at 8:36 PM, gardenman said:

If it grows in that tank, great! If not, well, I'll move it and see if it wants to grow someplace else. If you just have one planted tank, just assume any plant that dies just doesn't want to live there and move on to something else. If it died there once, odds are replacements of it will die there again.

Houseplants and garden plants give me far less trouble. I dig a hole, pop them in and they grow. Aquarium plants are a lot quirkier. 

I'm right there with you.  After the Hornwort Apocalypse I began spreading plants around.
In the well tended planted tank, I've killed 8 of the 18+ "top 5 beginner plants".  My PSO is a week or two younger than yours, and stressing a little,  but I still have high hopes. Spread among 4 different setups, only time will tell if it really likes me. 

I moved the last of my Wisteria and Moneywort to my ten gallon project tank. The project tank should have far from ideal conditions, but the rotting remnant of Wisteria seems to be thriving, and the Moneywort has a second plant rising from the sand in addition to new leaves on the original.

 

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Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus

On 4/12/2021 at 11:22 AM, anewbie said:

PSO loves to grow above the water line so if you have no jumpers let it grow out of the tank. Also it will produce a rather nice wildflower type bloom that last a good 3 weeks.

Wish I knew this before the big trim...  Any tricks for growing out of the tank? How long till they flower?

 

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9 minutes ago, Odd Alan said:

 

I didn't do anything special - i just let it grow and after a month or so it put a few leaves above the water line and then kept going. In my tank it never seem to get past 4 inches - the flowers started to form about a week after it broke the water line - it takes them a long time to open and they last several weeks once they start blooming.

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