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>Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 16:36:20 EST
>From: Biplane10 at aol_com
>Subject: Re: Annoying plants... (Aponogeton madascariensis)
>I have a madascar lace plant in a 55 gallon tank. When I received this 
>healthy plant, it had a good number of leaves, perhaps 6-8 inches in length. 
>I planted it, and as expected, some developed rotten spots, and I started 
>stripping leaves. Within probably about 6-8  weeks or so, it had filled in 
>beautifully, and I had a VERY large lace plant (leaves perhaps ~12 inches+) 
>in a spot where it was quite cramped, so I moved it to the center of the 
>aquarium. Again, I started getting those rotten spots, and began stripping 
>leaves, one by one, waiting for it to resume growth. It never happened. I 
>pulled up the bulb the other day with one lone new leaf (which had remained 
>the same size for about 2 weeks) and it (the bulb) was obviously rotten. I 
>cut off the rotten parts, and tossed it back in the tank. I now have a bulb, 
>about half the size previously. Question is, what to do with it? This 
>happened to an aponogeton ulvaceus in my tank, 2 months or so ago (though it 
>still has leaves on it, they're not growing any longer, and again I cut away 
>the rotten part of the bulb), and my crispus plants appear to have stopped 
>growing after being transplanted.
>I understand some of these plants go into dormancy, while others don't. Any 
>suggestions? I really hate to lose the lace plant. It really was quite 
>beautiful and healthy, and would have looked great in it's (new) location. 

Pretty common experience. First, any of the exotic Aponogetons
(ie, not crispus and it's kind) get large, huge, bordering
on massive. Two feet is not uncommon for laceplants. Other
get twice that big. (George? URL handy ?).

The plant grows from a corm. When you plant one of
there naked "bulbs" it uses food stored in this corm
as enerygy to grow. Once it's got a half dozen leaves
out it started building the corm back up - it should
get bigger, not smaller, as it grows. If it doesn't
get enough food, it keeps using the reserves in the

Aponogetons are *increadably* heavy feeders. 

Don't feel bad. I've killed dozens of them
this way, too. Whatever your fertilization
schedule was it wasn't enough. Double it.

I ripped one out last week thinking it needed
a rest, tore the few remaining leaves off
and tossed it in a holding tank till I could
get around ot it. It's not got 4 small plants
on it that I think I'll try to separate. The
bulb is still big and healthy.

Richard J. Sexton                                         richard at aquaria_net
Maitland House, Bannockburn, Ontario, Canada, K0K 1Y0       +1 (613) 473 1719